Aspire welcomes compliments, complaints and feedback from adults, children, young people and others who use or commission our service.

Any compliments, complaints or feedback about the support and services we provide will be used to enable Aspire to improve its services and to maintain quality across the organisation.

If you would like to leave us some feedback please contact us either by phone on 03335771214, or by email to

Complaints Policy and Procedure

Aspire Intermediary Services (AIS) is committed to providing a high quality, transparent and accessible service to everyone we deal with. We want to hear if we get things wrong, or about concerns regarding the service we provide. We want to help resolve any complaint as quickly as possible. We welcome all feedback and representations about the service we provide.

AIS handle any expression of dissatisfaction with our service, which calls for a response, as a complaint. We listen to complaints, treat them seriously, and learn from them so that we can continuously improve our service.

We have two routes for managing complaints; formal complaints, which relate to concerns about professional conduct of an AIS Intermediary, will be dealt with through our formal complaint procedure set out below. Complaints about other matters, unrelated to the conduct of an Intermediary, will be managed through our informal complaints process. AIS will determine which route to pursue, upon receipt of each complaint.


A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction or disquiet about the standard of service provided by AIS, including associated line management and the actions or lack of action by the service towards a service user.

A representation is comment or feedback from an individual or group about a service. It could be positive or negative. It requires some action, and this could involve making changes to how a service is delivered.

This policy sets out the process for responding to complaints and representations made by people, or on behalf of people, receiving a service provided by AIS.

Our Policy Covers Complaints About

  • The standard of service you should expect from us.
  • The behaviour of our Intermediaries in delivering that service. AIS has a Code of Ethics and Code of Practice, which outlines the standards and expectations by which all AIS Intermediaries must conduct themselves. We refer to these as ‘formal’ complaints.
  • Any other action which falls short of the high standards of customer service we adhere to, but which does not relate to the conduct of AIS Intermediaries. We refer to these complaints as “informal complaints”.

Our Complaints Policy Does Not Cover

  • Comments about our policies or policy decisions.
  • Dissatisfaction or complaints expressed with our policies or decisions about individual cases
  • Matters that have already been fully investigated through this complaints procedure.
  • Anonymous complaints.

Our Standards For Handling Complaints

  • Our complaints procedure is informed by the UK Central Government Complaint Standards, which sets out how all organisations providing government services should approach complaint handling (
  • We can receive complaints by letter, email, telephone or via our Website ( Please see our contact information below. We can also receive complaints written in languages, other than English, which will be appropriately translated. We treat all complaints seriously. You can always expect to be treated with courtesy, respect and fairness. We expect that our staff dealing with a complaint will be treated with the same courtesy, respect and fairness. We will treat a complaint in confidence. We will deal with a complaint promptly and in written format.
  • We will not treat anyone less favourably than anyone else because of their:
  • sex or legal marital or same-sex partnership status: this includes family status, responsibility for dependants, and gender (including gender reassignment, whether proposed, commenced or completed) sexual orientation colour or race: this includes ethnic or national origin or nationality, disability, religious or political beliefs, or trade union affiliation, any other unjustifiable factors, for example language difficulties, age, pregnancy and maternity.

Third Party Reporting

Complainants may wish to have a third-party act on their behalf. A third party is any person or organisation acting on behalf of or making enquiries for the complainant. For example, third parties may include:

  • advice organisations
  • professionals such as social workers, community psychiatric nurses, doctors or solicitors
  • family members or friends.

Where a third party is helping a complainant with a particular complaint, we need written consent to that effect. Where we have this authority, we will endeavour to take all possible steps to keep the third party informed of progress on the complaint.

We do not need written consent if a MP or elected Councillor is helping a constituent with a complaint, and we can disclose information to them in response to their enquiries.

Also, some lawyers and attorneys are legally empowered in certain circumstances to act on behalf of a complainant, and consent to disclose information is not required.

Training and Induction

AIS staff will be given information, guidance and learning opportunities about complaints and representation processes. This will be mandatory training for all AIS colleagues and will focus on the customer service principles and guidelines set out in the UK Central Government Complaint Standards ( 


All complaints received will be dealt with confidentially and in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998, subject to the need to disclose information as required by statutory authorities, and/or because of statutory, legal or parliamentary obligations.

Feedback, Compliments & Representations

If AIS receive communications from a service user or professional about our services, which appears to be a compliment or a representation. We will acknowledge receipt of this within one working day. The information will be managed and recorded in the appropriate manner and relevant staff member/s informed.

If it is unclear whether the individual wishes to make a complaint, we will offer them the opportunity to do so and provide them with further information about how to do this and the different methods of communication.

Feedback is sought by AIS at regular intervals throughout the involvement of an Intermediary, through a variety of means, including feedback forms, targeted online surveys and interviews.

Complaints Step-by-Step Process:

  1. AIS receives a complaint.

Once AIS have received a complaint, we will acknowledge receipt of the correspondence within one working day, either via email or by letter. Please address all complaints to, via our website, by calling 0333 5771214 or in writing to:

Aspire Intermediary Services Ltd.
PO Box 839
EX3 9BT.

Informal Complaints

Once we have determined if the correspondence is the subject of an informal complaint, the matter will be brought to the attention of the Quality Assurance & Compliance Manager. They will contact the complainant to arrange a meeting to discuss the complaint and hopefully resolve the matter as quickly as possible.

We aim to deal with all informal complaints within a minimum of three working days and a maximum of ten working days. However, should more time be required to satisfactorily investigate the matter, AIS will inform the complainant of this in writing, providing a realistic timescale for resolving the matter.

AIS will send a written response to the complainant, detailing the outcome of the complaint in one of the following three ways; providing a resolution, detailing the need for further investigation and providing timescales or advising of no further action and providing details of how to Appeal the decision.

If an Appeal is not received within ten working days, the matter will be formally closed by AIS.

Formal Complaints

In the case of a formal complaint being made, please include all relevant details, including the name of the person you wish to complain about, your own name and contact details. Please keep a copy of all documentation relating to the complaint you are making.

Once a formal complaint is received, which relates to matters of professional misconduct, negligence, or incompetence of an AIS Intermediary; AIS will acknowledge receipt of the correspondence within one working day.

The matter will be brought to the immediate attention of the Quality Assurance & Compliance Manager. The Intermediary concerned will be informed of any complaint made against them within three working days. Any immediate action necessary, in response to the complaint, will be taken by AIS, to safeguard Service Users and maintain the high quality of Intermediary service delivery required. His Majesties Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) will be immediately informed of any safeguarding issues or fitness to practise implications. At any point in the investigation, AIS may deem it appropriate to suspend an Intermediary, pending the outcome of the investigation.

The Quality Assurance & Compliance Manager will make an initial investigation into the matter, seeking the views of the parties concerned and gathering information in an impartial manner. A report will be produced, providing recommendations about whether the complaint is upheld, an explanation of the decision-making process and outlining any action required to address identified issues. This report will be sent out to the complainant and the Intermediary within ten Working Days.


If the complainant or Intermediary is not satisfied with the outcome of the original complaint, they may make an Appeal within ten Working Days of receipt of the report. The Appeal can be sent in the following ways, via email to, via our website, by calling 0333 5771214 or in writing to:

Chair of the AIS Quality Assurance Board,
Aspire Intermediary Services Ltd.,
PO Box 839,
EX3 9BT.

The Chair of the AIS Quality Assurance Board (AISQAB) will acknowledge receipt of the Appeal within one working day.

The purpose of the AISQAB, is to provide independent oversight of AIS’s operations and service provision. Therefore, as part of this role, the Chair will make an independent review of the initial complaint investigation and decide whether there are grounds to re-investigate the matter. If the Chair decides that that matter does not require re-investigation, they will provide a rationale for this decision in writing to the complainant.

If the Chair of the AISQAB finds grounds to warrant a new investigation into the complaint, then they will undertake this, alongside a member of the AIS senior leadership team, who were not involved in the initial complaint investigation. The re-investigation will consider the nature of the complaint, how it was dealt with and whether the decision should be upheld (partially of wholly) or not upheld.

Following completion of this process an Appeals Completion letter will be sent to the complainant, Intermediary and HMCTS, within ten working days of completion of the Appeals process.

The Escalation Process

If the complainant or Intermediary is unsatisfied with the outcome of AIS’s internal Appeals process, AIS will automatically refer the matter to HMCTS. The notice of Appeal must be received from the complainant or Intermediary within ten working days of receiving the Appeals Completion letter. This request can be sent in the following ways, via email to, via our website, by calling 0333 5771214 or in writing to:

Chair of the AIS Quality Assurance Board,
Aspire Intermediary Services Ltd.,
PO Box 839,
EX3 9BT.

The Chair of the AIS Quality Assurance Board (AISQAB) will acknowledge receipt of the Appeal within one working day.

AIS will escalate the matter to HMCTS. HMCTS may refer cases to the Quality Assurance Board (QAB) at the Witness Intermediary Scheme for investigation.

AIS Quality Assurance Board

One of the main functions of the AISQAB will be to consider any complaints and feedback of AIS’s services. Any recommendations for change or amendment to service delivery will be subject to audit to ensure that they are effectively embedded into practice in a timely manner.

Updates and Changes

AIS have a review programme for all our policies. We may make changes to this policy to ensure that it is up to date with current legislation and guidance. Our website will always display our most recent version this policy.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding this policy, please get in touch with us on our website or via any of our contact details above.

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