Complaints Policy and Procedure

Introduction

The National Army Museum (NAM) is committed to providing a level of service which meets the satisfaction of all visitors to the Museum and users of our services. One of the ways in which we can continue to improve our service is by listening and responding to the views of our visitors, users, customers and stakeholders, including responding positively to complaints and by putting mistakes right.

NAM is a member of the Museum’s Association and seeks to abide by the Code of Ethics for Museums, in particular with regard to upholding the highest levels of institutional integrity and personal conduct at all times.

NAM aims to ensure that:

  • making a complaint is as easy as possible;
  • all complaints are treated as a clear expression of dissatisfaction with our service which calls for an immediate response;
  • complaints are dealt with promptly, politely and, when appropriate, confidentially;
  • responses to complaints are handled correctly, for example, giving an apology or explanation where we have got things wrong, or information on action taken;
  • we learn from complaints and use them to improve our service.

NAM recognises that many concerns will be raised informally and dealt with quickly, and our aim is to resolve complaints informally where possible, by:

  • listening courteously to the complaint and arriving at as full an understanding of the problem as possible;
  • courteously explaining the situation;
  • taking action to put things right if appropriate;
  • escalating the complaint if the complainant is not satisfied.

However, if concerns cannot be satisfactorily resolved informally, the formal complaints should be followed.

Definition

NAM defines a complaint as ‘any expression of dissatisfaction that relates to the NAM’s work and that requires a formal response’.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the Museums Association’s Code of Ethics for Museums.

Responsibilities

NAM’s formal complaints procedure is intended to ensure that all complaints are handled fairly, consistently and wherever possible resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction.

NAM’s responsibility is 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 NAM’s attention within a month of the issue arising
  • Explain the problem as clearly as possible, including any action taken to date
  • Allow NAM a reasonable time to deal with the matter
  • Recognise that some circumstances may be beyond NAM’s control

All NAM staff are responsible for acknowledging any complaints received and managing them according to the procedure set out in this policy.

The Director of NAM is responsible for overseeing all complaints and ensuring that appropriate actions are taken to improve NAM’s service.

Privacy and confidentiality

Except in exceptional circumstances, every attempt will be made to ensure that both the complainant and NAM maintain confidentiality, although the circumstances giving rise to the complaint may be such that it may not be possible to maintain confidentiality. Complainants will be made aware of any situations which may make confidentiality impossible, which may include the Museum’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act (2000).

The personal data of complainants will be managed according to NAM’s Privacy Policy, and all data kept for no longer than 2 years from resolution of the concern. Data on complaints will be collated on an annual basis to satisfy NAM’s obligations for transparency as a Public Body.

Complaints procedure

NAM acknowledges that complaints may be received through a variety of channels:

  • Verbally from visitors to the Museum
  • Verbally over the telephone, mostly to the switchboard
  • Written on a feedback form during a visit to the Museum or an event
  • Written in email or letter to the info@nam.ac.uk account or direct to a named staff contact
  • Contact form submitted through the NAM website
  • Written post on social media

If the concern cannot be resolved informally through these channels, the complainant will be asked to make their concern known formally by email or letter, marked confidential, to the contact details below:

Complaints
National Army Museum
Royal Hospital Road
Chelsea
London SW3 4HT

info@nam.ac.uk

The complaint will be logged and acknowledged within 5 working days. A formal response will be issued within 20 working days.

If the complainant is not satisfied with the response to their concern, an internal review can be requested by contacting the Director of the National Army Museum, Justin Maciejewski, at the above address.

October 2019

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