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Resolving complaints

We hope that everyone who comes into contact with Scouting will have a positive experience. However, it is inevitable that on occasion, concerns may arise that require investigation.

As the majority of Scouting activity takes place locally within a community, it is expected that most of these concerns will be dealt with quickly and courteously in an informal way by local volunteer leaders.

However, it is possible that a complaint may arise that requires a more formal investigation and response.

It is the policy of The Scout Association to have a fair and open process for dealing with concerns and complaints raised by members and non-members that directly affect them or their children in Scouting.

How do I make a complaint?

If your complaint is about a matter within a local Scout Group, please contact the Group Scout Leader. The Group Scout Leader is the manager of Scouting activities within the Scout Group. They will listen to the complaint and will do their best to answer your concerns.

If you feel you do not want to discuss the matter with the Group Scout Leader, or if they cannot deal with your concerns, or if your query is more serious, then the District Commissioner will assist you.

Their contact details are available from the Group Scout Leader. You can also email the Scout Information Centre or call them on 0345 300 1818.

What kind of complaints do you deal with?

We accept complaints about how you have been treated by Scouting or, if you are a parent or carer of a young person, how that young person has been treated by Scouting.

We have a few basic rules for the acceptance of complaints:

Who deals with complaints?

Your complaint will be dealt with by the local manager in Scouting or by someone asked by them to investigate the complaint. If your complaint is about the local manager then it will be dealt with by the next senior manager or by someone asked by them to investigate the complaint.

If your complaint is about your Beaver Scout Colony, Cub Scout Pack, Scout Troop or some other aspect of your local Scout Group then it will be dealt with by the Group Scout Leader.

If your complaint is about your Explorer Scout Unit then it will be dealt with by the District Explorer Scout Commissioner.

If your complaint is about some other aspect of Scouting in the District then it will be dealt with by the District Commissioner.

In all cases, if you are not sure then ask the Group Scout Leader or the District Commissioner or contact the Scout Information Centre who will help you to find the right person.

How will my complaint be dealt with?

Your complaint will be dealt with fairly and objectively. We handle complaints in a positive and pro-active manner and aim to resolve any issues as quickly as we can.

However, please bear in mind that adults in Scouting are volunteers and therefore it might sometimes take a little longer to sort out your complaint.

You will be kept informed of the progress of the complaint with an acknowledgement of a formal complaint. You should receive this within seven days from when the manager receives the complaint. Regular updates will be provided thereafter (typically at least every four weeks).

The investigator may need to speak to you and a number of other people to fully understand your complaint and the circumstances surrounding it.

The manager will make a decision about the complaint and will inform you whether your complaint is upheld or not and the actions that will be taken as a result.

What if I'm not happy with the outcome of my complaint?

If after receiving a response to your complaint you are concerned that it was not handled appropriately, or still consider that you have not had a satisfactory answer, you may appeal.

You must appeal within 28 days of being given the outcome of your complaint. Your appeal must be formally lodged with the next level of manager in Scouting. If you are not sure who this is, then the manager who dealt with your complaint will provide the details.

In your appeal, you must clearly explain the basis on which you are making the appeal and your preferred outcome to resolve the issue.

Your appeal will be investigated by the next senior manager or by someone asked to do this on the next senior manager's behalf. The investigator may need to speak to you and a number of other people to fully understand your appeal and the circumstances surrounding the investigation of your complaint.

The next senior manager will make a decision about the appeal and will inform you whether your appeal is upheld or not and the actions that will be taken as a result.

It is the policy of Scouting that the original response to a complaint may be reviewed just once. This means that once you have appealed against the initial consideration or outcome of your original complaint, and a review has been undertaken and a response made to you, the matter will be closed. No further appeal or review will be possible.

Further information

We hope you find this information valuable. If you require clarification or require advice on how to make a complaint, please contact the Scout Information Centre on 0845 300 1818 or info.centre@scouts.org.uk

 

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Charity Numbers 306101 (England and Wales) and SC038437 (Scotland).
Registered address: The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford, London, England E4 7QW