This policy deals with both general complaints, and an appeals process with respect to applications for funding.
North East Screen is committed to providing a high standard of customer service. We welcome constructive comments and recommendations about our services and will respond openly to complaints about the organisation.
If you are dissatisfied with the service you have received from North East Screen or wish to appeal against a funding/investment decision we have taken, the guidance set out below aims to offer a process detailing how you should proceed with your complaint or appeal.
What to do if you want to make a complaint:
We are committed to providing good quality services. We recognise however that we sometimes may get things wrong or make mistakes. To deal with this we have a complaints procedure.
If your complaint relates to an application for an award or investment please refer to the appeals later in this document. Please note that appeals against award decisions are admitted on procedural grounds, not in terms of the decision itself.
We will deal with your complaint
We do not look on complaints as unwanted. In fact, they may help us to see where our services or procedures might be improved. So do let us know where you feel we have made a mistake or done something which you found unsatisfactory or unacceptable.
How to complain:
Step 1-Contacting us
The first step is to talk to a member of our staff. This can be done quite informally, either by arranging a meeting or by telephone.
Usually the best staff member to talk to will be the person who dealt with the matter you are concerned about, as they will be in the best position to help you quickly and to put things right. If they are not available or you would prefer to approach someone else then please ask for their line manager. You can email them directly or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will try to resolve the problem on the spot if we can. If we can’t do this then we will take a record of your concern and arrange the best way and time for getting back to you. This will normally be within five working days or we will make some other arrangement acceptable to you.
Step 2-Taking your complaint further
We hope you will only feel the need to make a formal complaint as a last resort and that you will complain to the person dealing with the matter first to give them a chance to put things right.
Once the Chief Executive receives a written complaint, they will arrange for it to be fully investigated. We will acknowledge your complaint in writing within five working days of receiving it and the letter will say when you may expect a full response. This should normally be within three weeks unless the matter is very complicated. When this is the case, we will still let you know what action is being taken and tell you when we expect to provide you with a full response.
Step 3 –the next stage
If you are not satisfied with the Chief Executive’s investigation and reply you can take your complaint to the North East Screen board. North East Screen is a company limited by guarantee and as such is governed by a Board of Directors. All materials relating to your complaint and to the Chief Executive’s investigation will be sent to the Chair of the Board. They will let you know within seven working days that they have received your complaint and advise you when to expect a full response from them.
Appeals – applies to funding applications
North East Screen deals with hundreds of applications every year and every application is processed through an existing set of procedures for assessment and decision-making.
An appeal against a funding/investment decision can ONLY be considered if you believe we have not followed these procedures.
For example, you cannot complain about a decision on the grounds that you do not agree with it.
If you disagree with a decision, it is best to talk to the member of staff that dealt with the application who will explain exactly why it was turned down.
What to do if you want to appeal against a decision we have made?
If you have received a decision on funding or investment that you do not understand you should initially speak with the member of staff who dealt with your application. They will explain the reason for the decision and the process that was undertaken to reach it.
It is important to remember that appeals can only be considered if you believe we have not followed our processes. You cannot appeal a decision on the grounds that you do not agree with it.
If you feel you have legitimate grounds to appeal against a decision, you must inform us in writing within one month of receiving your notification letter.
North East Screen will then set up an appeal panel involving one member of its board, the Chief Executive plus an Executive Director
All appeals will be dealt with within four weeks and a letter giving a full reply will be sent to you.
If we find that we have not followed our procedures, the appeal panel will reassess the application and a recommendation for funding or rejection will be made. The panel have the discretion to engage with an external expert/consultant if deemed appropriate.
If you are still unhappy with the original decision, you can take your appeal to the North East Screen Chair who will consider it again. Their decision is final.