Complaints Policy Statement

OCCS is committed to providing a quality counselling service.

The service we offer can only cover issues which correspond to the expertise reflected in the counsellors currently working for OCCS. Where the client’s presenting issue appears to be outside this expertise we will endeavour to refer the client on to a more appropriate source of counselling or help. This will normally be talked through at the first telephone contact or after the initial assessment interview with the appointed counsellor. This will of course depend on when an issue for referral becomes evident.

Whilst every effort is taken to provide this quality customer service, occasionally mistakes might be made. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.

A complaints procedure has been set up for people who feel dissatisfied with the service.

You have a right to complain and have it investigated. OCCS aims to learn from any mistakes and the complaints procedure is seen as very important in the continuous improvement of the service.

How to Complain

Firstly, raise your complaint with the member of OCCS responsible for the service about which you are complaining.  If the matter is not resolved, promptly or fully by them, the following person will become involved to assist the counsellor, tutor, student or team member about whom the complaint concerns in order to reach a satisfactory resolution with you.

·         The supervisor re the counsellor

·         The Director or Assistant Director re a member of OCCS

·         The Tutor or Course co-ordinator re a student or tutor.

Every reasonable effort will be made to resolve the matter informally with the person(s) concerned before using this formal complaints procedure. If you are not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled you may begin the formal complaint procedure. Details of this are set out below.

Click here to open the complaints form which will open in Microsoft WORD, then complete the form. Alternatively, please contact us with the details, initially the complaint should be sent to the Director of the Counselling Service.

What will happen next?

1. OCCS will send you a letter or email acknowledging receipt of your complaint within three working days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.

2. OCCS will then investigate your complaint. This will normally involve passing your complaint to the most appropriate person (aforementioned or a panel) who will review your complaint.

3. The Director/Assistant Director will send you a detailed written reply to your complaint, including his/her suggestions for resolving the matter, within 21 working days of sending you the acknowledgement letter. 

4. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for a panel of Trustees or CPCAB tutors, as appropriate, to review the decision.

5. OCCS will write to you within 14 working days of receiving your request for a review, confirming the final decision on your complaint and explaining our reasons.

6. If you are still not satisfied, you can then contact the Association of Christian Counsellors or CPCAB about your complaint.

If OCCS has to change any of the timescales above, we will let you know and explain why.

The complainant may either contact OCCS to request a complaints form, email or write to OCCS giving the following information under the title “formal letter of complaint”:

·         the name(s), position(s) and contact details of the person(s) bringing the complaint;

·         the name(s), position(s) and contact details of the person(s) who are the subject of the complaint;

·         a precise statement of the nature of the complaint;

·         what informal steps have already been taken to resolve the issue;

·         a clear summary of the facts surrounding the complaint, including a timeline and giving unit/qualification titles and Candidate Learner Number(s) where appropriate;

·         any supporting documents relevant to the complaint;

a clear statement of what remedy might be acceptable if the complaint were upheld.