Complaints about the FRC

Published: 25 September 2023

4 minute read

Find out about our processes and how to make a complaint about the FRC.

How can I complain about the FRC?

We are committed to providing a high quality service to everyone we deal with.

If you think we have not met these standards, please tell us so we can continuously improve.

Complete our complaints form selecting Complain about the FRC

What will the FRC review?

Complaints about:

  • our standard of service
  • behaviour of our staff
  • any action or lack of action by staff affecting an individual or group when exercising or failing to exercise the FRC’s functions.

What will the FRC not review?

  • Complaints already investigated through this process
  • Anonymous complaints (although you may make protected disclosures under our Whistleblowing Procedures)
  • Requests for or regarding access to information or complaints about such requests where procedures and remedies are set out in legislation e.g. Freedom of Information Act, Data Protection Act
  • Complaints where you disagree with the decision by the FRC or a body or entity we oversee, where the decision has been reached fairly and in line with any appropriate processes. We are not an avenue for appeal
  • Complaints about our relationship with employees or other staff or contractual or commercial matters or disputes.

What might the FRC decline to review or defer any review?

  • Complaints that would more appropriately be dealt with in another way e.g. by referral to another body, or at a Tribunal or through the courts.
  • Matters which we consider in our sole discretion may be more appropriately considered by a member of the Board or their nominee.
  • Complaints arising from any form of continuing action (such as an investigation or review by a FRC team or by another body which is still in progress).

Is there a time limit for complaining?

Complaints should be submitted within 12 months of the conduct or matter that you wish to be reviewed, or within 12 months of you reasonably becoming aware of it.

If 12 months have passed, we will ask you to explain why we should look into it and why you did not complain earlier.

What happens to my complaint about the FRC?

Once we receive your complaint, there is a two stage process:

  • Internal Review of your complaint by the FRC’s Central Complaints Manager. Their decision on the substance of the complaint will be final and cannot be appealed.
  • External Review by our Independent Complaints Reviewer (ICR) of complaints about the process or service provided by the Internal Review. They will not overturn the decision but may make recommendations to improve processes. They may ask the FRC to reconsider their prior review.

What and when will I hear back from the FRC?

We will acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days telling you who will be dealing with it.

We will fully respond within 6 weeks, however, this may vary depending on the complexity and urgency of your complaint. We will tell you if it may take longer than this.

What will the FRC’s outcome letter contain?

  • An explanation of how your complaint has been considered
  • Our conclusions on your complaints with reasons
  • Acknowledgement of any mistakes and the action we intend to take

What if I disagree with the FRC’s outcome letter?

There is no appeal if you disagree with the Internal Review. The complaint is considered closed and further correspondence will be acknowledged but unless significant new issues are raised, further replies will not be sent.

However, if you have a complaint about how the matter has been handled you can ask for an external review by the Independent Complaints Reviewer.

Who is the Independent Complaints Reviewer and what is their role?

The ICR is an external appointee with experience of complaint systems and of the consumer standards that can reasonably be expected of public bodies. The ICR is an independent contractor with no other connection to the FRC.

How can I ask for a review by the Independent Complaints Reviewer?

By emailing [email protected].

Is there a time limit for requesting the Independent Complaints Reviewer look at your complaint?

Yes, within 1 month of the date of the Internal Review response.

What types of complaint does the Independent Complaints Reviewer review?

  • Poor service – including failure to follow policies or comply with standards related to speed and accuracy
  • The way the FRC has investigated the complaint
  • A decision by the FRC not to investigate a complaint
  • The behaviour of our staff in relation to the review of your complaint

In requesting an ICR review you should outline in what way you think the Internal Review has been mishandled or failed to follow process so that the ICR can direct their review to address the issues you see as important.

What complaints will the Independent Complaints Reviewer not review?

The Independent Complaints Reviewer will not review complaints which have not had an Internal Complaints Review.

What complaints may the Independent Complaints Reviewer decline to review or defer review of?

The Independent Complaints Reviewer will not usually review the following types of complaints:

  • Complaints about an ongoing Internal Review until it is complete, unless there has been an unreasonable delay.
  • Complaints where you have failed to provide information or clarification requested.

What and when will I hear back from the ICR?

We will acknowledge your complaint in 5 working days and may ask for further information.

The ICR will aim to complete a report within 6 weeks of having received the FRC file. The time taken to respond may vary depending on complexity of your complaint and volume of documentation to be considered. If the ICR is unable to respond within 6 weeks the ICR will explain why and update you regularly as to when you may expect their report.

What will the Independent Complaint Reviewers outcome letter do?

  • It will consider whether the FRC has acted appropriately and in accordance with its policies in connection with the Internal Review;
  • It may make recommendations where appropriate regarding how complaints should be dealt with or Internal Reviews conducted in future cases;
  • It will not act as an appeal against the substance of the underlying Internal Review outcome (e.g. overturn the decision).

If the ICR considers that the relevant decision was not reached reasonably or in accordance with due process the ICR may remit the matter to the FRC and ask the FRC to undertake the Internal Review again (or other action that the ICR considers appropriate).

What if I disagree with the Independent Complaint Reviewer’s response?

The ICR’s report represents the final stage in the FRC’s process. There is no route of appeal or avenue of further engagement.