ACL Customer Comments Compliments and Complaints Policy

Service:       Adult Community Learning (ACL) Essex

ACL Compliments, Comments and Complaints Policy


Control of Document:      ACL Senior Management Team

The latest version of the policy will be maintained by the Adult Community Learning Service (ACL) and updates sent to all Managers. It is important that only the latest version of the policy is used


Applies:       Whole Service


Policy Aims and Intention

To ensure that customer feedback is listened to, recorded, information acted on where necessary and appropriate feedback is provided.  Through this process, we seek to ensure that all concerns/compliments/comments are handled in a timely and professional manner.


Responsibility Group:   Senior Leadership Team


Date of acceptance:                        July 2014


Last review date:                             January 2023


Next review date:                            January 2024


Audience:  All learners and staff, stakeholders, volunteers, service users and other members of the public


The Policy

This policy operates at all Adult Community Learning Centres across Essex.


Adult Community Learning Essex takes all compliments, comments, and complaints seriously and we treat all feedback seriously.


As part of our commitment to high-quality service, we listen to, record, provide appropriate feedback and act on information received in a timely manner.  Through this process, we seek to ensure that all concerns/compliments/comments are dealt with efficiency and professionalism.


The policy has been developed to:

  • Be easily accessible
  • Be simple to understand and use
  • Address all the points raised and provide an effective response
  • Allow speedy handling with established time limits for action
  • Keep people informed of progress
  • Ensure a full and fair investigation
  • Respect people’s desire for confidentiality
  • Provide information to managers so that services can be improved and “lessons learned”.



Method of Implementation

All staff must be aware of this policy and act in accordance with this guidance.

ACL receives feedback via:

  • Phone: 0345 603 7635
  • Email:


ACL works hard to deliver a high-quality service to all learners. We regularly ask for feedback about the different services we offer in order that we can continue to develop as an organisation. However, we recognise that there will be occasions when we don’t get it right and therefore, we welcome complaints and suggestions in order that we can change and improve our service.

Comments and Compliments


Quality and excellence are our top priorities. ACL is committed to providing you with high-quality services including information, advice and guidance, engaging learning experiences and 1.2.1 support. As a result, we always want to hear what you have to say. We welcome compliments and any suggestions for improvements you might have. We record and monitor comments when we receive them to help us with the evaluation and development of our programmes.


ACL receives feedback via:

  • Phone: 0345 603 7635
  • Email:


Additionally, you can feedback to us at the end of your course using the ACL End of Course Evaluation form.



A complaint will usually be about something you think we have done the wrong way, something we should not have done, or something we have failed to do.


In the event of a complaint ACL will act promptly and with discretion and no-one will be treated differently as a result of making a complaint.


If you have a complaint about any aspect of the service you have received, or if you feel you have been treated unfairly, you should take the following action:


In the first instance it is hoped that a local discussion between you and a relevant member of ACL staff, for example your tutor or a customer services assistant will be able to resolve your resolve the situation.  However, where this is not possible the following process is to be followed.


ACL receives feedback via:

  • Phone: 0345 603 7635
  • Email:


  • When submitting your complaint, please provide robust and factual evidence and refer to any relevant documentation, witnesses etc.

Complaints received verbally, via email or by phone will be tracked using the ACL Feedback Log.   ACL records feedback from customers on a secure, online customer feedback log.

  • ACL Feedback Log to capture and track:
  • Details of the complaint
  • When the incident/situation occurred including dates and times
  • The name of the ACL staff member if relevant
  • The name of your employer and line manager if relevant
  • The name of any other people involved if relevant
  • Your feedback will be acknowledged within three working days from the date of receipt and responded to within 10 working days.
  • An appropriate member of the ACL management team will fully investigate the complaint and work with you and any other relevant ACL staff to resolve the issue. They will prepare a response that will include:
  • Full details of the outcome of the investigation
  • A recommendation whether they believe the complaint is: upheld/ partially upheld / not upheld.
  • Any actions proposed to deal with issues raised and if possible, how to avoid the situation happening again in the future.


The response will address all the points raised within the complaint and will attempt to provide effective and appropriate remedial actions where fault on the part of ACL has been Upheld or Partially Upheld.


Once you have been informed of the outcome, a copy of the final letter responding to the complaint will be sent, for information, to yourself, appropriate ACL managers and then recorded centrally in a secure area.


If you are not satisfied by the outcome of the complaint, you have the right to appeal. This should be directed to the ACL Vice-Principal for Quality & Compliance.


Any appeal must be made in writing and within 10 days of the outcome of the original complaint.

The letter of appeal must clearly state the grounds for appeal. An appeal can only
be considered on the following grounds:

  • there is new additional evidence which was not reasonably available at the time of the original investigation
  • proper procedures were not followed
  • the decision and outcome are deemed to be unreasonable given the evidence available.


The outcome of the appeal will either modify or uphold the outcome of the complaint.


Alternatively, if you are not satisfied with the outcome or wish to share your feedback direct to Essex County Council, you can use the ECC Complaints and Compliments process. Once your feedback has been submitted and received by the Central Customer Service Team, they will action and liaise with yourself and the relevant staff at ACL. They will act as an intermediary to ensure that your complaint is resolved satisfactorily.  Full details of this process can be found here Complaints and compliments – Essex County Council


If after following either of the above formal complaints processes, you are still unhappy with the outcome, you can complain to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) about how your complaint was handled.  You must contact the ESFA within 12 months after the issue happened.

Email or post your complaint to the ESFA complaints team.


Complaints Team
Education and Skills Funding Agency
Cheylesmore House
Quinton Road


The ESFA will reply to let you know what will happen next


  • We will treat all feedback seriously and according to our standard procedures
  • We will recognise and respond to compliments, ensuring that staff teams and individuals are recognised when excellent service is delivered.
  • The customer can expect to be treated with courtesy, respect, and fairness at all times. We expect that customers also treat ACL staff dealing with complaints with the same courtesy, respect, and fairness


Monitoring and Evaluation

  • ACL Feedback Log
  • Full details of feedback received is captured on the ACL Feedback Log (staff use only)
  • Feedback allocated to relevant manager for appropriate action ie following up of a complaint, cross service sharing
  • Log is monitored to ensure all communication is timely
  • Resolution/outcome is recorded
  • Reporting carried out on feedback relating to different service areas.
  • Identified areas of service improvement captured and followed up.
  • Customer feedback informs the Self – Assessment and Quality Improvement Planning Process
  • Report results inform performance against Matrix Standards


Associated Documents

  • Harassment and Bullying Policy
  • Qualification Appeals Policy
  • Exams Policy
  • Essex County Council Complaints, Comments, Compliments Policy
  • Confidentiality Statement
  • Apprentice Handbook
  • Employer Toolkit
  • Positive Behaviours Policy
  • Fitness to Learn Policy
  • ACL Learner Charter
  • Apprenticeship Complaints Compliments and Comments Policy



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