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Complaints Policy

1. EAST LINDSEY ADVICE PROJECT aims to provide services of quality to its members and to other organisations and individuals. ELAP acknowledges that there may be occasions when a service user feels the quality of service provided is inadequate. A separate grievance procedure is in place for staff and volunteers of ELAP


2. If a member, organisation or individual is concerned with the standard of advice provided, please do not be afraid to approach the Client Services Officer, or Advice Manager, in the first instance with your concerns.


3. Should this informal route not resolve your issues and you wish to make a formal complaint; it must be made in writing to the CEO, unless the complaint implicates said Chief Executive in which case the complaint shall be made to the Chair of the Board of Trustees. (Where the complainant needs assistance in formalising a written complaint, it will be provided by ELAP staff) The Chief Executive/ Chair shall acknowledge, in writing, the receipt of a complaint within seven days.


* ftao The Chief Officer/Chairman of Trustees (as applicable)
East Lindsey Advice Project
c/o 1 Little South Street
LN11 9JR

Tel: 01507 606002



4. ELAP will always endeavour to ensure that complaints are resolved informally. To that end the CEO, or one of the Senior Officers to whom the complaint is delegated, will attempt to resolve any complaint received within 28 days. Where this is not possible, or the complainant is not satisfied with the results of the investigation, he/she/they may make direct representations to a specially convened sub-committee of the Board of Trustees, (comprising three members of the Board) and may be accompanied by a friend, advocate or representative.


5. The CEO or Chair (as appropriate) will communicate the results of the investigation to the complainant as soon as possible but normally within twenty-eight days after written acknowledgement of the complaint.


6. A written register of all complaints received by the CEO’s Office shall be maintained, and includes details of the nature of the complaint, a record of who dealt with the complaint, the actions taken to resolve the complaint and the outcomes. The register will be reviewed by the Personnel and Policy sub-committee at its regular meetings and it will be responsible for reporting on trends and serious incidences to the full Board.


7. If the result of the investigation into the complaint determines that there has been a lapse in the quality of service provided, ELAP shall issue a written apology to the complainant, signed by the CEO or Chair of the Board of Trustees as appropriate. ELAP shall also, at such times, undertake a procedural review to ensure that there is positive action to improve services to prevent a similar lapse in future.


8. If the complainant is ultimately not satisfied with the outcomes, and his/her/their complaint relates to the Equality Act 2010, which encompasses the following three acts:

a) The Sex Discrimination Act 1976
b) The Race Relations Act 2000
c) The Disability Discrimination Act 1995

Then the complaint may be taken to:
The Equality Advisory & Support Service

Freephone Telephone 0808 800 0082

Text phone 0808 800 0084


Financial Ombudsman Service
The Financial Ombudsman Service provides a free, independent service for clients to solve disputes with not for profit debt advice providers.

The Financial Ombudsman Service will only step in once ELAP has had the opportunity to investigate matters, so please contact ELAP first.

If your complaint is about debt advice or if you were seeking advice about your credit record and you are not satisfied with ELAP’s final response or if eight weeks have passed since you first let the service know about your concerns, you can ask the Financial Ombudsman to review your complaint.

It is frequently the case that ELAP will refer Debt Casework, beyond assessment stage, to other trusted colleague agencies. In this case the client will have been made aware of that particular organisation’s Complaints Procedure, and this should be the course pursued in the matter of such complaints.


Contact the Financial Ombudsman Service

By post:
Financial Ombudsman Service
South Quay Plaza
183 Marsh Wall
E14 9SR

By phone:
0800 0 234 567 – free for people phoning from a ‘fixed’ line (eg a landline at home)
0300 123 9 123 – free for mobile phone users who pay a monthly charge for calls to numbers starting 01 and 02.

By email:



Immigration casework complaints
The Immigration Services Commissioner who looks after the standards of immigration advice will investigate complaints about immigration casework. You can make a complaint instead of approaching ELAP or can do so at any stage during ELAP complaint procedure.

NB: - It is usually the case that ELAP will refer Immigration Casework, beyond assessment stage, to other trusted colleagues. In this case a client will have been made aware of that particular organisation’s Complaints Procedure, and this should be the course pursued in the matter of such complaints.


Contact the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner

By post:
Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner
Complaints Team
5th Floor 21 Bloomsbury Street

By phone:
0207 211 1500
0345 000 0046

By email:



9. It is the policy of East Lindsey Advice Project to deal with all complaints speedily and courteously. Where it is found that complaints relating to ELAP are fully justified, we will take prompt & appropriate action to ensure there is no repetition of such an occurrence.


10. Copies of this policy will be provided in alternate formats or languages on request