Complaints Policy & Procedure


EMMA Live is committed to providing a quality service and working in an open and accountable way that builds trust and respect. We view 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.

Our policy is:

  • To provide a fair complaints procedure which is clear and easy to use for anyone wishing to make a complaint
  • To publicise the existence of our complaints procedure so that people know how to contact us to make a complaint
  • To make sure everyone at EMMA Live knows what to do if a complaint is received
  • To make sure all complaints are investigated fairly, politely, and in a timely way
  • 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, and review annually our complaints policy and procedures

Definition of a Complaint

A complaint is defined as any expression of dissatisfaction, however it is expressed and whether justified or not, about any aspect of EMMA Live. All staff should have sufficient knowledge to be able to identify an "expression of dissatisfaction" even when the word "complain" or "complaint" is not used.

Who Can Complain

Complaints may come from any individual, volunteer or organisation who has a legitimate interest in EMMA Live, including the general public if something is perceived to be improper. A complaint can be received verbally, by phone, by email or in writing.

We understand that in some cases complainants may contact us who are distressed and need support. If complainants are abusive or unreasonable we may restrict our contact with the complainant. In some cases, unreasonable behaviour may mean we are unable to proceed with our consideration of the complaint.


All complaint information will be handled sensitively and with confidentiality, telling only those who need to know and following any relevant data protection requirements.


Overall responsibility for this policy and its implementation lies with EMMA Live.

EMMA Live responsibility will be to:

  • Acknowledge the formal complaint in writing
  • Respond within a stated period of time
  • Deal reasonably and sensitively with the complaint
  • Take action where appropriate

A complainant's responsibility is to:

  • Bring their complaint, in writing, to EMMA Live's attention normally within 8 weeks of the issue arising
  • Raise concerns promptly and directly with a member of staff in EMMA Live
  • Explain the problem as clearly and as fully as possible, including any action taken to date
  • Allow EMMA Live a reasonable time to deal with the matter
  • Recognise that some circumstances may be beyond EMMA Live's control


This policy is reviewed regularly and updated as required.

Complaints Procedure

Publicised Contact Details for Complaints

Written complaints may be sent to EMMA Live at 2, Television Centre, 101 Wood Ln, Shepherd's Bush, London, W12 7FR or by e-mail at Verbal complaints may be made by phone to 020 4534 1769 or in person to any of EMMA Live's staff at any of our events.

Receiving Complaints

Complaints may arrive through channels publicised for that purpose or through any other contact details or opportunities the complainant may have, such as social media. Complaints received by telephone or in person need to be recorded.

The person who receives a phone or in person complaint should:

  • Write down the facts of the complaint
  • Take the complainant's name, address and telephone number
  • Note down the relationship of the complainant to EMMA Live, e.g. client, volunteer, member of public at our events
  • Tell the complainant that we have a complaints procedure
  • Tell the complainant what will happen next and how long it will take
  • Where appropriate, ask the complainant to send a written account by post or by email so that the complaint is recorded in the complainant's own words

Resolving Complaints

Written records must be made by EMMA Live at each stage of the procedure.

Stage 1

In the first instance, staff member(s) must establish the seriousness of the complaint. An informal approach is appropriate when it can be achieved. But if concerns cannot be satisfactorily resolved informally, then the formal complaints procedure should be followed. In many cases, a complaint is best resolved by the person responsible for the issue being complained about. If the complaint has been received by that person, they may be able to resolve it swiftly and should do so if possible and appropriate. Whether or not the complaint has been resolved, the complaint information should be passed to the EMMA Live Director within five business days. On receiving the complaint, the Director records it in the complaints Logbook.

Stage 2

If the complaint cannot be resolved informally, the complainant should be advised that a formal complaint may be made and the following procedure should be explained to them. EMMA Live will delegate an appropriate person to investigate it and to take appropriate action. If the complaint relates to a specific person, they should be informed and given a fair opportunity to respond.

  • A formal complaint can be made either verbally or in writing. If in writing, the attached form should be used. If verbally, a statement should be taken by a member of the Management Team, staff member or a supervisor.
  • Depending on the nature of the complaint, the person handling the complaint must acknowledge the complaint in writing within one week of receiving it. The acknowledgement should say who is dealing with the complaint and when the person complaining can expect a reply. A copy of this complaints procedure should be attached.
  • Any conclusions reached should be discussed with the staff member involved and their Line Manager.
  • Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within a week. If this is not possible because for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.
  • Whether the complaint is justified or not, the reply to the complainant should describe the action taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation, and any action taken as a result of the complaint.

Stage 3

  • If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision, they may request the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of EMMA Live to review it.
  • The CEO will examine the complaint and may wish to carry out further interviews, examine files/notes. They will respond within two weeks in writing. Their decision will be final, unless the CEO decides it is appropriate to seek external assistance with resolution.

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