Appeals & Complaints Policy

Symmons Madge Associates (SMA) believes that if a user of our services wishes to make a complaint or register a concern they should find it easy to do so. It is SMA’s policy to welcome complaints and look upon them as an opportunity to learn, adapt, improve and provide better services. This policy is intended to ensure that complaints are dealt with properly and that all complaints or comments by users of our services are taken seriously. The policy is not designed to apportion blame.

SMA believes that failure to listen to or acknowledge complaints will lead to an aggravation of problems, client dissatisfaction and possible damage to its reputation. SMA supports the concept that most complaints, if dealt with early, openly and honestly, can be sorted out between just the complainant and the relevant member of staff. If this fails and the client is dissatisfied with the result, the complaint would then be referred to a Director.

The aim of this policy is to ensure that its complaints procedure is properly and effectively implemented, and that clients feel confident that their complaints and worries are listened to and acted upon promptly and fairly.



  • To ensure Clients/Associates and all Staff are aware of how to complain, and provide easy to use opportunities for them to register their complaints
  • A named person will be responsible for the administration of the procedure
  • Every written complaint is acknowledged within five working days
  • Investigations into written complaints are held within 28 working days
  • Complaints are dealt with promptly, fairly and sensitively


After the initial complaint report decision has been reached and documented, the complainant has 10 working days to take this to an Appeal which will be dealt with by an independent Arbitrator (sleeping partner), after which time the complaint will be deemed as concluded.


The named complaints manager with responsibility for following through complaints is the Office Manager.


Tutors/ Clients

If you are unhappy about any aspect of the services of Symmons Madge Associates Ltd which is not covered by the Tutor Feedback form, please raise your concerns with the Office Manager.  If you feel it is not appropriate to discuss your complaint with the Office Manager please contact the SMA Director.

When a complaint is received, a dissatisfaction report shall be completed and the relevant member of staff shall liaise with the Office Manager to resolve the complaint or problem to reach a speedy conclusion within the time framework detailed above.

The Director shall sign off all Dissatisfaction Reports to confirm they have been satisfactorily resolved.



If you are unhappy about any aspect of the services of Symmons Madge Associates Ltd, or any of its tutors, initially please notify us on the Delegate Feedback form or raise your concerns directly with the SMA Office Manager.

If your complaint is about a tutor and you feel it inappropriate to discuss the matter with them, or to make a comment on the evaluation form handed in at the end of the course, please submit an evaluation on-line via SMA’s website.  Please note that comments made on the on-line evaluation will always take priority over those handed in at the course end. Any complaints should be made within 28 days of occurrence.

If it is a more serious complaint, please contact SMA’s Office Manager immediately. SMA will fully investigate your concerns and address accordingly within the timescales detailed above.

Feedback from delegates is taken very seriously and only when concerns have been satisfactorily dealt with will the Director sign off the Dissatisfaction report



In the interest of SMA and its staff it is important that satisfactory standards of conduct are maintained. 

It is the policy of SMA that staff should be given a fair hearing by the Director concerning any complaints that they may wish to raise. Our aim is to settle the complaint as near as possible to its point of origin.

The main stages through which a complaint may be raised are as follows:

Staff member should initially raise the issue with the Office Manager within 28 days of the occurrence of any dissatisfaction.  Should however they feel it inappropriate to discuss with the Office Manager, or be unsatisfied with the response, they should raise the matter directly with the Director. This complaint should be put in writing and this will be acknowledged within 5 working days. 

The Director will investigate the complaint and come to a decision within 28 working days. If the staff member is not satisfied, he/she may request an additional meeting within 10 working days, attended by the Director, staff member appealing against the decision and an accompanying person if desired.

The Director records the results of the meeting in writing and issues copies to all concerned.

After the initial complaint report decision has been reached and documented, the complainant has 10 working days to take this to an Appeal/Independent Arbitrator. 


Summary of the Code of Conduct

SMA expects all of its employees and Tutor/Associates to:-

  • Treat each other with respect
  • Work with colleagues to achieve goals
  • Maintain high standards of work and behaviour
  • Promote and demonstrate SMAs values and adhere to the relevant organisational policies