Complaints Policy

1. Introduction
UCM Education is accredited by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) and adheres to their most rigorous standards for professional recruitment, Compliance+.

UCM Education Limited is committed to providing a high level of service to its customers. If you do not receive satisfaction from us, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.

UCM follows strict standards in order to ensure that all candidates that we supply to our clients are of the highest professional and personal calibre. We take seriously any concerns raised regarding our staff and our candidates and the organisations that we place candidates in.

This policy gives details of what action we will take when concerns are raised with us and should be read alongside our Code of Conduct Policy, Allegations Policy, Safeguarding Policy and Safer Recruitment Policy.

NOTE:  In any event, UCM will comply with any statutory procedures that may relate to the complaint.

2. Scope of the Policy

This policy applies to anyone employed by UCM, including our directors, staff, any work placement/volunteers or anyone registered with us as a candidate.

Any member of staff or candidate who wishes to raise a concern regarding their conditions at work (or similar) should do so through the Company grievance procedures and also refer to the Whistleblowing Policy.

Any organisation or service wishing to complain about our services, or the suitability/capacity of any candidate placed with them should do so under this procedure.

A concern may be raised against an adult which suggests that they may be a risk to a child. This includes people who may:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she may pose a risk of harm to children
  • behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children

If a concern meets any of these criteria, then the process outlined in the Allegations Policy should be followed.

3. Complaints Procedure

The details of any complaint against a candidate or member of staff are recorded in an electronic file on our system.

When we receive a complaint, we explain our procedures for handling complaints and ask the candidate or member of staff in question if they would like for us to commence a process accordingly.

If you have a complaint, please contact Uche Monago, Director, by phone in the first instance so that we can try to resolve your complaint informally.  At this stage, if you are not satisfied please contact the Director in writing. You can write to him at:

UCM London Office

25 North Row

London

W1K 6DJ

3.1   Candidates

Complaints concerning candidates will be brought to the attention of the candidate by their consultant. Together they will discuss the complaint, and the consultants will give warnings where necessary. The details of the discussion and any warnings will be documented on the candidate’s record. Candidates will be told that if the behaviour is repeated or any further complaints are received, it will result in further warnings and ultimately could lead to the removal from UCM’s register. Examples of complaints include the following:

  • Failure to follow instructions
  • Lateness
  • Failure to carry out minor duties, such as cleaning up
  • Unsuitable attire

3.2   Clients

Consultants will encourage candidates to speak openly about their experience with the role and the workplace in which they have been placed. Candidate comments will be treated in confidence unless it is agreed with the candidate to raise the issue with the client. The consultant will act on behalf of the candidate to help resolve any issues causing difficulty for them.

Complaints which do not meet the criteria for an allegation (see above) but are of a serious nature regarding the behaviour of client staff, will be communicated to the relevant person at the client and/or relevant governing body.

3.3 Complaints Against UCM

UCM undertakes to ensure incidents and complaints are dealt with efficiently and in a fair manner. In the case of a complaint being made against UCM by either a candidate or a client, the matter will be referred to the Director who will decide which course of action would be most appropriate to follow in accordance with UCM’s Grievance Policy. To ensure the complainant is kept informed at all stages of the process, reports will be issued either verbally or in writing.  Support will be given to both parties until a satisfactory conclusion is reached.

4. Internal Investigation Procedures

Where appropriate, UCM will undertake an internal investigation into the complaint.

4.1   Stage 1

The complaint should be communicated to the Director of UCM by phone, by email or in writing at the following address to explain the nature of the complaint and how it has arisen.

UCM London Office

25 North Row

London

W1K 6DJ

If the complainant is a client, the client will be asked the following questions:

  • Do you wish to terminate the engagement with the candidate?
  • Do you want to terminate immediately or wait until an investigation has been carried out?
  • Would you like a replacement candidate?

If the complainant is a candidate, the candidate will be asked the following questions:

  • Do you wish to terminate the engagement?
  • Do you want to terminate immediately or wait until an investigation has been carried out?

The Director of UCM must be informed immediately of all serious allegations made against candidates or clients.

UCM will record the complaint in the company’s central register within 1 day of having received it.

Within 5 working days of receipt of the complaint, UCM will send the complainant a letter acknowledging the complaint and requesting confirmation of the details. UCM will also confirm the name of the person who will be dealing with the complaint.

Within 5 working days of receiving the complainant’s response, UCM will acknowledge the complainant’s reply and confirm what will happen next.

4.2   Stage 2

UCM will inform the complainant that they will conduct an internal investigation and explain the process of that investigation. A written statement will be requested from the complainant, together with any supporting documentation of the incident or incidents.

If the complaint is aimed towards a candidate, UCM will build up a profile of the candidate based on their original clearance checks, references and feedback from previous clients since working for UCM in order to assess the nature of the incident.

4.3   Stage 3

The complainee is notified about the complaint and is asked for their version of the events. Confidentiality is maintained on a need-to-know basis.

If the complainee is a client, they will be asked to discuss the matter over the phone, by video call or in person. If the complainee is a candidate, they are asked to attend a face-to-face review meeting. During this meeting the alleged incident will be discussed in detail, so the Director can evaluate the candidate’s ability to continue working for UCM.

This process is expected to take a maximum of 2 weeks.

During the investigation, if it becomes apparent that the complaint is more serious and meets the criteria of an allegation, the complaint will then revert to the Allegations and Misconduct Policy.

4.4   Stage 4

Within 5 working days after the conclusion of the investigation, UCM will invite the complainant to a meeting to to discuss and hopefully resolve the complaint.  UCM will inform, in writing, both the complainant and the complainee of the steps that have been taken and of the outcome of the investigation. UCM will advise whether the complaint can be resolved or whether the seriousness of the allegation warrants further action as well as what action will be taken and what measures would normally come into force to meet legal requirements.

If the issue needs to be resolved through any authority involvement, UCM will be guided by the authority’s decision when considering working with the complainant subsequently.

The process, outcomes and agreed solutions will be confirmed in writing within 2 days of the meeting.

In the event that a meeting is undesirable or impossible, the complainant will be sent a detailed reply to the complaint within 5 days of the conclusion of the investigation.  This will include the investigator’s suggestions for resolving the matter.

4.5   Stage 5

If the complainee is a candidate with an unblemished record and where a genuine error in professional practice has been made, UCM will go through the Terms of Engagement with the candidate and require the candidate to re-sign the terms. If required, additional training will be given. In the event of repetitive minor misdemeanours and where complaints are continually being made (by the same or different clients), UCM will take action that may result in the candidate’s removal the from UCM’s register.

All candidates returning to work for UCM after a review meeting will be closely monitored on returning, and relevant notes will be kept on their file.

If UCM is still concerned about a candidate’s ability to return to work after their practice review meeting, the matter will be referred to the Director. For issues defined as professional incompetence or serious misconduct which have been the subject of an investigation and which have been proven to the satisfaction of the Director of UCM, the candidate will immediately be removed from UCM’s register. If a candidate is removed from the register, the candidate and the relevant authorities will be informed. Affected clients will also be informed.

Every effort will be made to adhere to the the time scales set out above.  If, however, there is a delay at any point, UCM will inform the parties concerned, explain why and provide a new deadline, where possible.

5. Whistleblowing

This statement should be read alongside UCM’s Whistleblowing Policy.

UCM encourages a free and open culture in dealings between its managers, employees and all people with whom it engages in business and legal relations. In particular, this company recognises that effective and honest communication is essential if concerns about breaches or failures are to be effectively dealt with and the company’s success ensured.

This policy is designed to provide guidance to all those who work with or within UCM who may feel that they need to raise in confidence certain issues relating to the company.

Workers who raise genuine concerns in the public interest under this policy will not, under any circumstances, be subjected to any form of discrimination, detriment or disadvantage as a result of having raised their concerns. For further details, see UCM’s Whistleblowing Policy.