Feedback and Complaints Policy

Change history

Version numberDate of releasePolicy ownerAuthorised by
2.008 September 2023Naomi da Silva, Head of Business AssuranceBoard of Trustees

Policy statement

At Central YMCA we aim to provide high quality services which meet your needs. We are committed to our values of Equity, Nurture, Brave, and Creative and hope to demonstrate these in all that we do.

However, we recognise that we may not always get things right and we welcome feedback to help us improve. This policy provides information on how to do this and the process we follow internally to manage feedback and complaints. 


This policy applies to any individual who would like to provide feedback or raise a complaint about Central YMCA.

Central YMCA (‘the Charity’) delivers a range of services to a broad range of individuals. This includes customers of our health and wellbeing services, students on our training programmes, learners within our education centres, apprentices, other businesses, and educational institutions.

We have individual complaints policies and procedures within each of the following Charity operations:

These policies and procedures provide specific guidance on how to provide feedback and complaints relevant to the service you have received. They refer to the different steps that need to be taken and who should be contacted. They also explain how you can escalate your complaint if you are not satisfied with how this has been managed and the different external organisations you can speak to for further support.

We therefore request that you follow these complaint policies and procedures in the first instance. This will help you to get a faster response as the teams involved in delivery of the service will be better placed to investigate your concerns. 

This policy does not cover complaints from staff, who should refer to the Charity’s internal policies and procedures on such matters.

Related Legislation and Guidance

  • CCEA Regulation (Northern Ireland)
  • Charity Commission
  • Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)
  • Ofqual (England)
  • Ofsted
  • Qualifications Wales (Wales)
  • The Fundraising Regulator
  • The Data Protection Act 2018 (UK GDPR)
  • Equality Act 2010

Related Policies, Procedures, and Templates

  • YMCA Awards Centre Feedback and Complaints Policy
  • YMCA Awards Learner Appeals Policy
  • YMCA Awards Malpractice and Maladministration Policy
  • YMCA Club and YMCA KX Complaints Procedure
  • YMCAfit Complaints Procedure (within Student Handbook) 
  • YMCA Training Complaints Procedure (Education & Skills)
  • Whistleblowing Policy
  • Data Protection, Records Retention and Privacy Policies


Board of Trustees
Overall responsibility for the policies and procedures that govern the work at Central YMCA.

Chief Executive
Overall responsibility for ensuring Central YMCA’s resources are used effectively and appropriately.

Policy Owner
Responsible for ensuring guidelines are in place and that policies and procedures reflect our charitable ethos and commitment to equality,  diversity and inclusion.

All Line Managers
Responsible for ensuring all employees are aware of and follow this policy.

All Employees and Volunteers

To follow policies and procedures, promoting best practice throughout the organisation.

All staff are responsible for identifying complaints and directing them as per operational complaints procedures.

Policy Review

Review of impact against the aims of policy:

This policy has been drafted for approval by Naomi da Silva, Head of Business assurance, and has been approved by the Board of Trustees. All related procedures have been designed to match the contents of this policy.

The policy has been communicated successfully to staff and Trustees and the policy has been made available on the Charity’s intranet and website.

Do there appear to be any patterns of equality related issues: No

If yes, please provide an Equalities Impact Assessment (if relevant): N/A

Reviewed by: Board of Trustees
Date: 06 January 2022

This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis by the Policy Owner, Human Resources, and signed off by the Board of Trustees if any changes are made.


Confirmation of policy approval:

Andrew Beal, Chair of the Board of Trustees 


1. Introduction

We welcome both positive and negative feedback about the Charity and the services we offer. This helps us to understand what we are doing well and where we can do better.

We consider a complaint to be any expression of dissatisfaction about any aspect of the Charity.

We listen to your complaints, treat them seriously, and learn from them so that we can continuously improve our service.

Feedback and complaints may be received by any member of staff and may arrive in many different ways – by letter or e-mail, by comments on a feedback form, in person or on the phone.

2. Complaints and feedback process

Feedback and complaints can be either informal or formal in nature and each will be managed differently.

Informal feedback includes positive comments about the service you have received, concerns, or considerations for improvement.

Complaints relating to a specific operation will be redirected in accordance with our operational complaints procedures.

We take a zero-tolerance approach against abuse of any form towards our staff and volunteers. This includes offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour. Any abuse received as part of a complaint will not be tolerated and will be dealt with in accordance with the terms and conditions of any contractual arrangements in place.

Informal feedback and complaints:

  • Any positive feedback received will be directed to members of staff, volunteers, or teams as appropriate and they will be thanked for their valuable contribution.
  • Any relevant member of staff can deal with a complaint informally. However, if the person who received the complaint is unfamiliar with the issue, they will pass it on to someone more appropriate.  
  • We will take into account all relevant facts and will use our discretion to resolve matters with due sensitivity.
  • Notes may be taken in relation to any informal discussions and stored in case of further investigation.
  • We will aim to respond to any informal complaints as soon as possible but within a month of the issue being raised. We will notify you if we are unable to respond in this period.
  • If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of this informal stage, you can raise a formal complaint.   

Formal complaints:

  • Formal complaints may be required if:
    • We are late in replying to you or you haven’t received a response.
    • You are unhappy with the way your informal complaint has been handled
    • The matter is so serious in nature that it is not appropriate to be managed informally

Formal complaints can be sent to:

Feedback and Complaints
Central YMCA
112 Great Russell Street

  • We will direct your complaint based on the information you have provided and, where necessary, we will contact you to discuss your comments.
  • After you have made your complaint, you will receive written acknowledgement within five working days.
  • Your complaint will be fully investigated. You will receive a written response within a month about how the complaint has or will be resolved. If we require more time to undertake the investigation, we will inform you.  
  • Each complaint is handled individually based on the information received and will be resolved accordingly.
  • You may make an anonymous complaint; however, it may not be possible to investigate fully, and we would be unable to respond personally.
  • Complaints may be escalated to our Chief Executive or Board of Trustees under some circumstances.

3. Confidentiality and data protection

All complaint information will be handled sensitively. We will only tell only those who need to know and we will record your complaints confidentially.

We will process any personal data collected in accordance with the Charity’s Data Protection Policy. Any personal data collected will be held securely and accessed by, and disclosed to, individuals only for the purposes of dealing with the complaint.

Any personal data collected will be retained in accordance with the Charity’s Records Retention and Disposal Policy and in line with legislation.

For information about what we do with personal data see our privacy notice.

4. Reasonable adjustments and alternative formats

Our aim is to make this policy easy to use and accessible for everyone. We will take steps to make any reasonable adjustments needed to access this policy, or any requests to provide responses in other formats.

If you are unable to contact us in writing because of a disability and need a reasonable adjustment, please call us on: 020 3994 9544.

5. Escalating to our regulators

If you’ve exhausted our complaints procedures and would still like to escalate your concerns further, you can get in touch with the following, as appropriate:

The Advertising Standards Authority

To make a complaint about advertisements or emails received

The Charity Commission

To make a complaint about a charity

CCEA Regulation (Northern Ireland)

To make a complaint about YMCA Awards in Northern Ireland

Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)

To make a complaint about post 16 education and training provision funded by ESFA (including Apprenticeships and Study Programmes)

ESFA Apprenticeship Service Support

08000 150 600

The Fundraising Regulator

To make a complaint about donations or fundraising activity

The Information Commissioner’s Office

To make a complaint about data protection.

Ofqual (England)

To make a complaint about YMCA Awards in England


To make a complaint about a provider Ofsted regulates.

Qualifications Wales (Wales)

To make a complaint about YMCA Awards in Wales

Some processes are for internal use only.