Make a complaint

This guide explains how to complain about a service, how we deal with complaints, and what to do if you’re not happy with the outcome.

We value your complaints

STEP welcomes all constructive feedback on its activities, whether positive or negative and understands that, from time to time, individuals or organisations external to STEP may feel that their expectations have not been met by STEP or STEP employees.

This procedure aims to provide a mechanism that will deal with any such complaints in a timely and open manner.

Who can raise a complaint using this procedure?

  • Anyone affected by the activities of STEP, including those receiving or seeking a service, STEP clients, STEP tenants, the general public, and the wider business community.
  • Staff may not use this procedure and are directed, in the first instance, to the relevant STEP staff grievance procedure.
  • Complaints related to the recruitment or selection of staff are excluded from this procedure and are covered by the STEP Recruitment and Selection procedure.

What information should the complaint contain?

  • The background to the complaint, including dates and times of any specific incidents, and the names of individuals against whom you are complaining or who can provide evidence in support of your complaint.
  • Any specific issues that you would like to be addressed.
  • The desired outcome(s) you hope to achieve from the complaints process.
  • Complaints should not contain offensive or abusive language. Vexatious and malicious complaints (i.e., repeated or persistent complaints that are trivial or untrue, made purposely to abuse this complaints procedure) or those accompanied by abusive or aggressive behaviour will not be dealt with under this procedure.

What you can expect from STEP

We will:

  • Deal impartially with your complaint within the time frames set out above and in a polite and straightforward manner.
  • Maintain confidentiality throughout the complaints process, revealing information to others only to the extent necessary to complete a proper investigation and make a considered response, keeping the record of your complaint separate from other records.
  • Ensure that no complaint made in good faith will be used to your disadvantage in the future.

Complaint Process

  1. To initiate a complaint, you must complete a complaint form available form the STEP offices or via our online form located at the bottom of this page.

    Complaints must be submitted within one month of the event.

  2. Completed forms can be submitted online, emailed to step@stepscotland.co.uk or be delivered to the Complaints Officer, STEP, Stirling Enterprise Park, Stirling, FK7 7RP.
  3. The Complaints Officer will acknowledge receipt (and, if possible, make an initial response) within seven working days. A full investigation will then be undertaken by the relevant manager supported by the Complaints Officer.
  4. A full and considered response will usually be made within 30 working days of receipt of your complaint. If the investigation cannot be completed in that time for a good reason (such as staff unavailability due to holidays) or the matter is complex, you will be advised of a revised timescale.
  5. If the complaint relates to the conduct of a member of staff, this will be investigated by the HR team in accordance with the staff disciplinary procedure. You will receive a response in accordance with the timescale of that procedure. STEP reserves the right to maintain confidentiality in relation to staff disciplinary matters. This will signal the conclusion of the matter.

    Note – No Appeal process is available for staff disciplinary matters.

Appeal Process

If you are dissatisfied with the decision, you may submit an appeal to the Complaints Officer. The appeal should be made in writing within 14 working days of the date of the letter notifying you of the outcome of your initial complaint.

The Complaints Officer will forward the appeal to the Managing Director for an impartial review. The Managing Director will handle the appeal process independently and provide a final decision within 30 working days of receiving the appeal. This decision is final, and there will be no further avenue of review within STEP.

If there is an external review body to which the matter can be referred, we will advise you of this when we report the outcome of the appeal.