Complaints policy / procedure

This Policy has been introduced to protect the interest of all members and the Management Committee.

Values and Principles

The Committee believes:

  • Everyone has a right to complain, complaints should be taken seriously, and no complainant should be bullied or put at a disadvantage because of making a complaint.
  • Complaints should be dealt with fairly and openly with due regard to confidentiality.
  • All individuals are responsible for their own behaviour and wellbeing whilst on the site.

Where disputes occur between members or between a member and a Committee member or members, the Committee recognises their responsibility to resolve the dispute, if it cannot be mutually resolved between the different parties.

1. Verbal complaints will be recognised as informal and therefore will not be investigated by the Committee.

2. Formal complaints should be made in writing either by letter or email to the Secretary. 

2.1 Written complaints should have the Full Name of Complainant, Plot Number (if applicable) and current contact details.

2.2 All complaints will be recorded. An acknowledgement of the complaint will be sent within one week.

2.3 The complaint will be considered at the first committee after receipt where a decision will be taken if the complaint should be investigated or if more evidence is needed.

2.4 If it appears that an investigation is not warranted, the reasons for this will be communicated to the Complainant in writing.  If the complaint indicates a criminal offence may have been committed, the Complainant will be referred to the police and the complaint will be deferred until the police investigation is concluded. The Complainant will be informed of this.

2.5 In the case of an unresolved complaint leading to a dispute between two members, the Chairperson will follow the arbitration procedure set out in the Society’s rules (Rule 54) and put the complaint to an arbitration committee of three persons: One appointed by each of the parties concerned and the third agreed upon by the two persons appointed by the parties concerned. The adjudication and ruling of the arbitrators shall be final and the costs if any of such arbitration shall be borne by the disputing parties as determined by the arbitrators.

2.6 In the case where the complaint is from an External Organisation or individual the complaint will be dealt with as per 2.2 to 2.4

2.7 All complaint investigations will focus on obtaining relevant facts. These could include:

  • Interviews with relevant individuals
  • Review of any correspondence
  • Written Statements of Incident from all involved
  • Inspections of plots or equipment
  • Reference to SHAS rules or By-Laws
  • CCTV, video or photographic evidence.

Records of interviews and any action taken will be documented including time and date.

2.8 On completion of the Investigation, recommendations of action will be provided within 14 days in a written report, this should be dated and signed and sent to the Chairperson or in the instance of a complaint against the Chairperson, to the Vice Chair.

2.9 The Chairperson or Vice Chair will inform the Committee of the receipt of the report and recommendations made. The Complainant and those indicated in the complaint will be informed of the Investigation outcome in writing within 7 days of Committee approval.


If the Complainant or those involved believes the outcome / recommendations are unfair they may appeal against the decision within 14 days stating the reasons why. Appeals will only be considered on the basis of additional significant evidence or incorrect procedure during the investigation or decision process.

Issued June 2023