About this policy
The IAA is committed to providing a high standard of service to everyone we deal with. For this reason, we welcome any comments about our service, including when we get things wrong. We want to resolve your complaint as quickly as possible. We will listen to complaints, treat them seriously, respond to them swiftly and learn from them so we can improve our service.
If you have any comments or feedback that does not constitute a complaint, we would still like to hear from you so we can improve our service and the way we do things. You can find contact details on the contact us section of our website.
What is a complaint?
This policy applies to complaints about:
- the level of service we give
- our staff's behavior
- any action or lack of action by our staff impacting a person or group
- any unfair treatment of stakeholders by members of our staff
- the administration of choices we've made and the process we've followed (except where the process is separately set out in legislation)
Our policy does not cover:
- matters where legal action is contemplated or has already commenced against us. In such circumstances, the communication will be forwarded to the IAA’s Legal Counsel.
- matters that have already been fully investigated through this complaints procedure
- complaints about access to information under the Access to Information on the Environment Regulations 2007
- consultations or proposals where we have not yet reached or published a decision
- decisions made about, or outcomes of, consumer complaints
- complaints that are considered to be vexatious or attempt to raise the same or materially similar issues to those already dealt with (please see the Unacceptable or Unreasonable behaviour section below for more details)
Making a complaint
Before making a complaint, customers are encouraged to get in touch with the relevant business area to let them know about their concern. It may be the issue can be resolved quickly without using the Complaints Policy.
Once a complaint is raised any communication with the business area should cease whilst investigations are undertaken to allow the team the time to carry out a full review, avoid confusion and duplication of work.
Complaints should be made via our online form. If you need any support or assistance in making a complaint, please let us know so that we can support you, or if you prefer, we can provide you with the details of other organisations that can help. We will make all reasonable adjustments to the complaints process to ensure that you are not disadvantaged in making your complaint.
You may submit a complaint anonymously and confidentiality will be observed, where appropriate. We will carefully consider any requests for a complaint to be handled confidentially. In deciding how to proceed we would consider the nature of the complaint made, whether it would be possible to investigate it fully on a confidential basis, and any protective measures that could be put in place.
If you raise a complaint with the IAA, your ability to corresponded with us on regulatory matters will not be impaired.
Complaints should be made within a reasonable timeframe. We will not normally accept a complaint about a matter which occurred over 3 months ago, however there may be exceptions and each case will be assessed accordingly. If the problem is a recurring issue, we will consider any older reports as background to the complaint.
Complaint handling standards
Our standards for handling complaints:
- A complaint can be made through our online form.
- We will make all reasonable adjustments to the complaints process to ensure that you are not disadvantaged in making your complaint.
- We will treat all complaints seriously.
- We will treat you fairly and courteously.
- We will deal with your complaint within a reasonable time frame, also taking into consideration the nature of the complaint.
- We will acknowledge initial receipt of a complaint within 5 working days of receipt.
- We will send you a full reply within 20 working days of receipt of the complaint unless you are notified otherwise and reasons behind our delay will be explained.
- We will use our complaints as an opportunity to learn from your experiences to develop and improve our services.
- We will handle your personal information in accordance with the requirements of the EU General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018.
Upon receiving a complaint we will aim to acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days of receipt.
Your complaint will be logged onto a complaint database. All complaints are allocated to the relevant business area, who will review and make a decision about your case. On occasions, depending on the nature of the complaint, the business area manager may respond directly. The complaint handler may request a telephone call, face-to-face or teams meeting to assist in their review of your complaint.
Our aim is to provide you with a response within 20 working days. If this is not possible, we will notify you as soon as possible, explain why and provide a revised timescale as to when you can expect a full response. This should not exceed a further 10 working days.
We recognise that complaints can be resolved in several different ways and as part of our response to your complaint we will offer a remedy that reflects the extent of any service failure(s) and the level of detriment this may have caused, considering all the circumstances. This may include acknowledging where things have gone wrong, providing an explanation, apologising, taking action to correct the issue, offering refunds of monies paid to the IAA, and using the feedback to inform improvements or changes to our services.
If there are further actions that we need to take as part of the remedy to your complaint we will inform you of these within the formal response. The complaint investigation case will be closed but the proposed remedies will be monitored as part of the action plan.
We aim to ensure that our complaint handling process is accessible to all customers / stakeholders. If you do require support or assistance in making a complaint do please let us know.
Unacceptable or Unreasonable behaviour
If a complainant becomes unreasonably persistent or demanding, we may exercise our discretion to minimise or control our dealings with complainants. The complainant will be given clear advice and reasons why.