The VCUKI Complaints Policy is for those that use our services. If your complaint is against a local Vineyard church, you should contact them in the first instance, before escalating your complaint.
1 Opening Statement
Vineyard Churches UK and Ireland (VCUKI) recognises that from time to time the quality of services provided by the charity may not meet up with the standards that individuals have come to expect. VCUKI views complaints as an opportunity to learn and improve for the future, as well as a chance to put things right for the person or organisation that has made the complaint.
2 What is the purpose of this policy?
- To provide a fair complaints procedure which is clear and easy to follow for anyone wishing to make a complaint.
- To make sure everyone at VCUKI knows what to do if a complaint is received.
- To make sure all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely manner.
- To make sure that complaints are, wherever possible, resolved and that relationships are repaired.
- To gather information which helps us to improve what we do.
We believe that it is best to follow the Scriptural principles of reconciling differences wherever possible before resorting to this formal complaint process. However, we recognise that, from time to time, there may be occasions when there will be no alternative but to resort to a formal complaint. This formal procedure should only be instigated when attempts to resolve the issue informally have failed or where, due to the nature of the complaint, it is not appropriate to address it with the person concerned.
3 Complaint Focus
The types of complaint that will fall under this policy will include:
- Conduct of our staff, volunteers and/or licensed senior pastors,
- The standard of service we provide as a national denominational body,
- Provision of inaccurate information,
- Poor administration including delays in responding to enquiries, or
- Financial mismanagement.
4 Complaints About Local Vineyard Churches
Complaints about licensed senior pastors and the churches that they lead, should in the first instance be directed to the church concerned. Any complaints received by VCUKI about a local Vineyard church will be referred back to the trustees of that church and the area leader notified of the nature of the complaint made.
If following an investigation by the local trustees, the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome, an application can be made to VCUKI to request a review in accordance with this policy.
5 Safeguarding Concerns
This policy is not intended to be used for raising safeguarding concerns regarding allegations of abuse against children and/or vulnerable adults at VCUKI events or by staff, volunteers or licensed senior pastors.
All safeguarding concerns should be directed to the Safeguarding Co-Ordinator at [email protected].
Any complaint received that contains a safeguarding concern will be dealt with in accordance with the VCUKI Safeguarding Policy.
6 Complaints Procedure
- Your complaint should be made in writing (or by email), marked “Private & Confidential”, and sent to the Complaints Manager at the Finance and Legal Office who will acknowledge it in writing (normally within 7 days). You should provide as much detail as possible about your complaint. If you have previously submitted your complaint to an affiliated church, please indicate this and explain your reasons for now bringing the complaint to VCUKI. Remember to keep a copy of your letter. However, should your complaint be against the Finance and Legal office please send it addressed to the VCUKI Chair of Trustees.
- The Complaints Manager will then assess your complaint and either a) arrange for your complaint to be investigated or b) contact you to explain why your complaint will not be investigated.
- The results of the investigation will be communicated to you within a reasonable time – normally 21 days.
- You have the right – if dissatisfied with the results of the investigation – to appeal by putting your case in writing to the VCUKI Board of Trustees.
- The trustees will appoint an appeal panel to review the complaint and ensure that no one previously involved in the complaint is a member of that panel.
- The result of any appeal will be communicated to you and any decision of the appeal panel shall be final.
- All formal complaints and responses made to VCUKI will be recorded and filed in a secure place in accordance with the VCUKI Data Protection Policy.
7 Monitoring and learning from complaints
Complaints are reviewed annually to identify any trends which may indicate a need to take further action.
8 External stage
The complainant can complain to the Charity Commission at any stage. Information about the kind of complaints the Commission can involve itself with can be found on their website at www.charitycommission.gov.uk/publications/cc47.aspx
9 Initial Contact
Complaints should be sent to Finance and Legal Office
Email address: [email protected]
Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland
K3 Business Park
200 Clough Road
Policy Added Sept 2020
Last updated 15/09/2022