ISCO PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIP – COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
These procedures are applicable in situations where a member of the public, a client or customer submits a complaint to ISCO in regard to the behaviour or any act or omission made by a Professional Member of ISCO. It should be noted that Professional Members have agreed to comply with the organisation’s Rules of Professional Membership and Code of Conduct upon joining, and that, if a third party believes a Member has breached one or more of the provisions of the Rules and/or Code, they can complain to ISCO who will investigate the potential breach.
1. ISCO is prepared to investigate complaints relating to matters covered in its Code of Conduct and Rules of Professional Membership only and cannot respond to complaints of a commercial nature.
2. Under no circumstances can ISCO become involved in any proceedings or disputes relating to complaints received.
3. In order to deal with complaints, the ISCO Executive Committee shall delegate the Professional Standards Committee to review and decide the outcome of complaints.
4. Complaints will be dealt with in confidence, with information about each case being revealed only to parties that are directly involved (members of the Professional Standards Committee, ISCO staff and the individual who is the subject of the complaint).
5. In order for it to be considered any complaint must be received in writing in the form of a letter or email communication.
6. Persons making a complaint should include their contact details, details of their relationship/dealings with the Member, whether they have complained directly to the Member, details of any fees paid to the Member, and other information that will be necessary for the proper investigation of the complaint.
7. ISCO will normally acknowledge receipt of a complaint within 5 working days and under most circumstances ISCO will expect to be able to inform the complainant and the Member of a final decision within 4 weeks. Information provided will include details of actions being taken and a report giving reasons for decisions taken.
8. During the period of investigations the Professional Standards Committee shall have discretion to suspend the Professional Membership status of the Member. Other options may include dismissing the complaint, placing the complaint on hold pending any criminal or civil proceedings if appropriate (and reconsidering it once a court decision has been made), withdrawing the membership of the Member with immediate effect, or downgrading the Member’s grade of membership.
9. In all such cases the Member will be contacted for further information, will be informed of the complaint and any decisions taken or pending, and will be entitled to submit evidence in defence, and may appeal any decisions in accordance with ISCO’s Appeal Procedures.
10. The Professional Standards Committee also has discretion to give the Member an opportunity to rectify its compliance with Professional Membership Rules and Code of Conduct and to take remedial action to prevent its membership being revoked, suspended or downgraded. If this discretion is exercised the Professional Standards Committee will determine and advise a time frame for completion of remedial action.
11. In the event that the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint made or the way in which the complaints process was handled, the complainant may raise the matter by writing to the President of ISCO as Chairman of the Executive Committee.
12. The Executive Committee will decide on what, if any, further action should be taken and advise the complainant accordingly. Further re-consideration of the complaint may be instructed by the Executive Committee particularly if significant additional evidence can be provided in support of the complaint.