TIC Feedback and Complaints Policy

Date produced:May 2021
Initial review date:July 2021
Audited by Coops UK:November 2022
Latest TIC review completed:November 2022


Ongoing review period: 12 months

Person responsible: Director of Quality Assurance  

This policy is under regular review. Updates will be made to reflect developments in procedures and best practice, relevant developments in the justice system, and in specific legislation that relates to TIC  Intermediaries.

  1. Introduction

1.1 We aim to provide high quality services to Vulnerable People (Service Users) in the Justice System. It is therefore important to listen to our Service Users, Commissioning Bodies and the Judiciary to help us improve our services. This Feedback and Complaints Policy covers how we will process, respond to, and act on what Service Users, Commissioning Bodies and the Judiciary tell us about our services.

1.2 We want people to tell us if:

  • they are very satisfied with the service they have received so that TIC Intermediaries can be told;
  • they have a suggestion on how we might improve services;
  • they are dissatisfied with any aspect of a service or
  • we have fallen short of the standards we set ourselves in dealing with their complaint.

1.3 This policy is available on our website.

  1. Policy brief and purpose

2.1 Feedback and effective complaints management is fundamental to the provision of quality services and provides a platform for obtaining feedback.

2.2 This policy explains what Service Users, Commissioning Bodies, the Judiciary and Courts can expect from us.

2.3 It explains how we collect feedback, what a complaint is and how we will resolve it.

  1. Our aims

3.1 TIC aims to provide an excellent service to its Service Users, Commissioning Bodies, Legal Professionals and Courts.  However, on the rare occasion when a complaint is received, TIC has a robust process in place to respond to that concern.

3.2 TIC aims to offer a fair, effective and timely response to any complaint it may receive, and is committed to learning from the feedback it receives to help reform policies and procedures and develop the services it provides.

3.3 TIC will employ a range of feedback mechanisms to capture the views of Vulnerable People and justice professionals

3.4 TIC aims to share feedback with TIC Intermediaries so they can reflect on their practice and this forms part of their Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

  1. Feedback

4.1 TIC values all feedback because it helps us to improve our services and to identify where improvements can be made.

4.2 Where possible, TIC encourages Service Users, Commissioning Bodies, the Judiciary and the Courts to provide feedback directly to the Intermediary involved. This will give the Intermediary the opportunity to adjust to any concerns and is generally the best way to resolve an issue.

4.3 TIC has a range of methods for collecting feedback which includes feedback forms, informal interviews and online surveys.

4.4 Feedback is overseen by the Director of Quality Assurance.

4.5 Feedback forms for the Judiciary and Legal Professionals can also be found in all court reports produced by TIC Intermediaries.

4.6 Feedback from Service Users and Commissioning Bodies will be sought at various times throughout a case to give them an opportunity to express their views of the Intermediary and TICs service.

4.7 People can also fill in a feedback form at any time on our website or by contacting our Admin Team who will be able to send a relevant feedback form to complete [email protected]

4.8 A direct link to our feedback form is provided here https://forms.gle/Z8Tq1CnWdtEZuJSv9

  1. Raising a concern or complaint

5.1 TIC works hard to provide excellent service. However, on the rare occasion when the service falls short of this, it is important that we have your concern or complaint in writing and sent to [email protected]

5.2 Our commitment to the complainant

  • TIC will deal with all complaints fairly, confidentially and impartially.
  • TIC will show transparency, openness and honesty and record every complaint it receives.
  • The complainant will be provided with a copy of this complaints policy and all appropriate contact details so that they can submit their complaint correctly and fully understand how long it will take to deal with the complaint at each stage.
  • TIC will acknowledge the receipt of the complaint within 1 working day
  • TIC will respond in writing within 10 working days.

5.3 Our commitment to TIC intermediaries, in addition to above

  • If a TIC intermediary is the subject of a concern or complaint, they will be informed within 3 working days.
  • The TIC intermediary will be provided with a copy of this complaints policy and all appropriate contact details so that they can fully understand the process and timelines.
  • TIC’s preference is to work with TIC Intermediaries who are the subject of complaints or concerns in order to address any issues.
  1. Complaint Investigation

6.1 The complaint will be managed by two members of TIC’s Leadership Committee.  The complaint investigation will seek to establish the views of the parties and gather any other relevant information to fully investigate the complaint.

6.2 If it has not been possible to complete the investigation within the time frame, TIC will provide an Interim Report giving reasons for the delay and the likely timeframe for resolution.

6.3 At the end of the investigation, TIC will produce a report which provides a recommendation as to whether the complaint should be upheld fully, partially or not at all.

6.4 The outcome of any investigation will be given to the complainant and Intermediary within 10 working days, giving appropriate details of appeals/escalation routes available if they are not happy with the response provided. If an appeal has not been lodged within 10 working days of receipt of the outcome, TIC will formally close the complaint.

  1. Upheld Complaints

7.1 If a complaint is upheld, TIC will take appropriate action and/or make appropriate changes to their policies and procedures where needed.

7.2 TIC will respond to the complainant, Intermediary and HMCTS with a full account of decisions and any corrective actions where applicable, as outlined in the Management Information Schedule.

7.3 TIC will log, review and implement where relevant any:

  • lessons learned
  • recommendations
  • findings

7.4 The complainant and Intermediary have the right to appeal/escalate any decision (see Sections 10 & 11 for further information)

  1. Not upheld complaints

8.1 If the complaint is not upheld, TIC will provide full reasons why, to the complainant, Intermediary and HMCTS as outlined in the Management Information Schedule.

8.2 The complainant and Intermediary have the right to appeal/escalate any decision (see Sections 10 & 11 for further information)

  1. Fitness to Practise

9.1 When a concern or complaint raises a TIC Intermediaries’ fitness to practise, the TIC Leadership Committee will refer the matter internally to the Proficiency Standards Board (PSB).

9.2 The PSB will be required to investigate and review the Intermediaries’ continued membership of TIC. This may be due to the seriousness of the complaint or concern or the number of concerns or complaints directed towards one TIC Intermediary.

9.3 Where there are safeguarding risks or fitness to practise implications, TIC will provide an immediate response to the complainant and notify the Service Users legal representative. The Witness Intermediary Team will also be notified, where a TIC Intermediary also works as a Registered Intermediary under the Witness Intermediary Scheme.  The fitness to practise review process is available in the Fitness to Practise Policy.

9.4 At all stages of a fitness to practise review, TIC may temporarily suspend a TIC Intermediary[1] or place conditions on their practice.

  1. Appealing the Complaint

10.1 TIC has an internal Appeals Process in place in the event that a complaint cannot be resolved.

10.2 The Appeal must be initiated within 10 Days of receipt of the outcome of the initial complaint.

10.3 If either the complainant or the TIC Intermediary is not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint and wishes to appeal the decision, TIC will instigate a new investigation.

10.4 The new investigation will be completed by an Appeals Team which comprises of two TIC members who have experience of dealing with complaints. The Appeals Team, not previously involved in the initial complaint investigation, will re-examine the complaint, how it was dealt with and whether the decision should be upheld (partially or wholly) or not upheld.

10.5 At the conclusion of the Appeals Process, a Completion of Procedures letter that details the outcome of the appeal will be sent to the complainant, Intermediary and HMCTS.

10.6 If following internal re-investigation, the complaint cannot be resolved or the complainant or Intermediary is dissatisfied with the outcome or the way TIC dealt with the complaint/appeal TIC will escalate the matter to HMCTS.

10.7 The request for Escalation must be initiated within 10 Days of receipt of the Completion of Procedures letter.

  1. The Escalation Process

11.1 On request for Escalation, TIC will refer the complaint to HMCTS.

11.2 HMCTS may refer cases to the Quality Assurance Board (QAB) at the Witness Intermediary Scheme for investigation/resolution.

The process for investigating concerns and complaints is outlined here

The Appeals / Escalation Process

[1] Any suspension will be without pay as there is no employment relationship between TIC and the Intermediary

Complaints Procedure