Charities 'must improve complaints procedures'

Charities need to improve and formalise their complaints procedures to ensure public confidence in the sector, according to Acevo.

Catherine Deakin, policy officer at the chief executives body, said: "Proper infrastructure must be in place within the third sector to ensure service users do not lose an important point of contact."

Deakin was speaking in response to the Charity Commission's new guidance for people who wish to make complaints about charities, which is launched today. The guidance will emphasise that the commission will investigate complaints only when it judges that a charity's assets, beneficiaries, reputation or independence are under serious threat. The document signposts people to other statutory bodies that might be able to respond to complaints beyond the commission's remit.

A spokeswoman said the commission still received many complaints about relatively trivial disputes. "This is not about us doing less work," she said. "It is not for us to take over the responsibilities of trustees. Having a complaints procedure is about being accountable in a meaningful way."


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