JRCPTB Complaints Procedure

This page explains the the JRCPTB complaints policy in detail and the process for submitting and dealing with complaints.  The specialty recruitment office has specific policies for formal complaints and appeals relating to CT1 and ST3 recruitment.  Please visit the following links for further details:

1 Introduction

1.1 The Joint Royal College of Physicians Training Board (JRCPTB) is committed to delivering a high quality service. As part of this commitment it is recognised that on occasion customers may be dissatisfied with the way in which something has been done, and that complaints arising from this should be handled in a clear, fair and consistent way.

1.2 These Procedures apply to all trainees who consider that they have grounds for complaint regarding the provision of a service by the JRCPTB. These procedures may also be used to consider complaints by prospective trainees or any other party, if deemed appropriate by the JRCPTB Medical Director.

1.3 Complaints will not be considered if they are submitted anonymously or on behalf of another party, without that party's explicit consent in writing.

1.4 Any dispute as to the interpretation of these Regulations shall be referred to the Medical Director, whose decision in the matter shall be final.

2 Definitions

2.1 A ‘complaint' is defined as an expression of a specific concern about the provision or quality of a service by the JRCPTB, including issues such as staff conduct, disputes about the policies, other procedures or the application thereof.

2.2 These procedures are not applicable in the following circumstances:

(i) If the complaint concerns a person or activity not subject to the jurisdiction of the JRCPTB;

(ii) If the complaint would be more appropriately handled by one of the Royal Colleges (in which case complainants will be referred to that Colleges' Complaints Procedure)

(iii) If the complaint amounts to an allegation of criminal activity (which will be referred to the Police for separate consideration);

(iv) If the complaint appears to be intended to delay or prevent the consideration of an allegation of misconduct.

(v) If the complaint appears to be intended to delay or prevent discussions about unsatisfactory progress in training.

(vi) If the complaint is related to formal disciplinary action being taken against any member(s) of staff, as disciplinary procedures take precedence over this procedure.

3 Procedure

3.1 It is expected that complaints will be raised as quickly as possible, and no more than three months from the date in which the incident occurred.

3.2 All complaints should (i) be raised initially with the individual directly involved. The vast majority of complaints can and should be resolved in this way. If this does not resolve the matter, or this step is for any reason not possible or appropriate; (ii) the complaint is referred to the next relevant authority, usually the original individual's Line-Manager; and then if necessary (iii) referred on to the Head of JRCPTB.

3.3 It is a principle of this procedure that an informal and flexible approach to resolution of complaints will be adopted wherever possible.

3.4 Only once all attempts to resolve the complaint in accordance with paragraph 3.2 have been exhausted may a formal complaint be submitted to the Head of JRCPTB, who will reach a conclusion on the complaint and determine a course of action.

3.5 Formal complaints must be submitted in writing, stating (i) the nature of the complaint, (ii) what has / has not been done to resolve it, (iii) why the complainant is not satisfied with what has / has not been done, and (iv) what the complainant would like to be done to resolve the matter to their satisfaction. Complainants must make clear in the letter that it is a formal complaint they are submitting, and make clear to all other JRCPTB staff they may continue to have contact with that they have submitted a formal complaint.

3.6 All complaints will be acknowledged within five working days of receipt. Wherever possible a full response will be made within twenty working days of the date of the letter of receipt, unless extenuating circumstances exist in which case the complainant shall be informed of this and notified of the revised deadline for the response. Full reasons shall be given for the decision reached.

3.7 Trainees are assured that they have the opportunity to raise matters of legitimate concern through these Complaint Procedures without risk of disadvantage or criticism. Towards this end, the JRCPTB recognises the importance of confidentiality when handling complaints, and will maintain this as far as is possible during any investigation. However, it will occasionally be necessary to disclose a complainant's identity to progress an investigation. Trainees who are not willing for their identity to be disclosed in this way should make this clear in their letter of formal complaint.

3.8 The JRCPTB will take all necessary steps to support all parties involved in a complaint, and undertake all investigations sensitively and expeditiously.

3.9 All complaints will be considered on their individual merits, and all complainants will be treated equally.

4 Appeals about the outcomes of complaints

4.1 If a complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of their formal complaint, they may appeal in writing to the JRCPTB Medical Director.

4.2 All appeals about complaints will be acknowledged within five working days of receipt. Wherever possible a full response will be made within twenty working days of the date of the letter of receipt, unless extenuating circumstances exist in which case the complainant shall be informed of this and notified of the revised deadline for the response.

4.3 The decision of the JRCPTB Medical Director is final, and trainees will be notified of this in their letter and that the complaints procedure is at an end.

April 2014