Complaints and compliments

How to make a complaint or record a compliment about our services, facilities and staff.

We welcome your compliments or complaints

BAOT/COT defines a compliment as an expression in writing of praise or congratulation from anyone who has dealings with the Association or College about any aspect of its services or facilities, which may include its members of staff or office bearers. A complaint is considered to be an expression in writing of dissatisfaction, or a grievance raised by anyone who has dealings with the Association or College about any aspect of its services or facilities, which may include its members of staff or office bearers.

It is important to us to receive your compliments about an aspect of the service we provide so that we know what we are doing well

Whilst complaints are worrying, we do not look on them as unwanted. In fact, they help us to see where our services or procedures might be improved. So do let us know where you feel we have or have not met the standard that you would expect of a professional association. Even if you do not think your particular concern amounts to a 'complaint', we would still like to know what you think. You may help us to deal with something we might otherwise overlook.

Flow chart showing the complaints and compliments procedure


How to record a compliment or make a complaint:


Step 1: Contacting us

Usually, the best staff member to talk to will be the person who dealt with the matter concerned. Please talk to the member of staff and make it clear whether you wish to record a compliment or make a complaint. This can be done informally or, alternatively, you may wish to write to us via an email or a letter, or to fill out the complaint form. Additionally, if the issue relates to the website, it is easiest to use the feedback section at the bottom of each webpage. Please remember to submit your compliments as these, alongside complaints, are recorded and are regularly reported to BAOT/COT Council.

If the relevant member of staff is not available, or you would prefer to approach someone else, then contact the manager or head of department.

  • Director of Finance
  • Assistant Director of Education and Research
  • Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing
  • Assistant Director of Professional Practice
  • Director of Human Resources 

If you have a complaint, the staff member concerned will try to resolve the problem immediately. If they cannot do this, for example because information they need is not to hand, then they will make a record of your concern and involve their head of department to arrange the best method and time for getting back to you. This will normally be within 5 working days or within a timescale acceptable to you. We aim to resolve all matters within 30 working days from receiving the complaint.


Step 2: Taking a complaint further

We hope you will only feel the need to take a complaint further as a last resort, and that you will have made the complaint to the person dealing with the matter first, or to their manager or head of department, to give them an opportunity to put things right. However, if you feel that the complaint has not been resolved, the next step is to put your complaint in writing to the Director of Professional Operations (DPO), setting out the reasons for your complaint, explaining what you think went wrong and what you feel we could do to put things right. If you are a member of the public with identified communication difficulties, you can ask a member of staff to take a note of your complaint. You should make sure you agree with what they have recorded and that they provide you with your own copy for reference. This record will be passed promptly to the DPO for him/her to deal with.

Once the DPO receives the complaint, they will arrange for it to be investigated. Your complaint will be acknowledged in writing within 5 working days of the DPO receiving it, and the letter will say when you can expect a full response. This should normally be within 30 working days unless the matter is very complicated, for example where other organisations are involved. When this is the case, the DPO will inform you what action is being taken and when you should expect a full response.


Step 3: Final stage

At this point, if your complaint has still not been resolved to your satisfaction, you can ask for the Secretary/Chief Executive of BAOT/COT to review the responses that you have received from the organisation in relation to your complaint. The Secretary/Chief Executive of BAOT/COT will provide an initial response within 5 working days, and a final response normally within 30 working days.

A complaint about UNISON member services

BAOT has a contractual agreement with UNISON which means that most BAOT members are also full members of UNISON. If you have a complaint about UNISON services you should first seek to resolve it with your UNISON branch. If you are not satisfied with the response from the branch, then you can activate UNISON's complaints procedure.

If you are not happy with the outcome, you can contact the head of membership and external affairs at BAOT. We need to be aware when UNISON is not meeting the standards expected and will monitor their response to you.