Please find below the RNA complaints policy. If you wish to make a formal complaint about one of our members or wish to appeal a complaint, please follow the links below.
RNA complaints policy
|Date of Review
The Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) Complaints Policy applies to RNA members, volunteers who are members and volunteers who are not members. RNA employees should use the RNA’s Grievance Procedure for dealing with complaints and grievances.
1.1 The RNA recognises the need to continually improve and develop as an organisation. We are committed to using knowledge and learning from feedback and complaints to improve the RNA. This is a two way process where we encourage RNA members and volunteers to feel invested in the organisation
and support them to raise any concerns or complaints.
1.2 We take a holistic approach to issues and complaints raised, focusing on the circumstances leading to the problem and any relevant factors in terms of wider context.
1.3 We work to create communication routes that suit a wide range of members and volunteers to ensure everyone feels able to raise concerns or make a complaint. Many issues can be addressed more effectively with a less formal approach and we support members and volunteers to use this if preferred.
1.4 The RNA belongs to its members and we wish to make use of our organisational memory to learn and improve how we work for our members and volunteers and their interests.
1.5 The RNA has published a Code of Conduct which applies to all members and volunteers. If a member or volunteer believes that this has been breached and they do not feel able to resolve the issue directly and informally, we encourage the member or volunteer to raise the issue as follows:
2. For issues within RNA Chapter groups
2.1 These can often be resolved informally between members or volunteers. If an issue cannot be resolved informally, it should be raised in the first instance with the local Chapter Co-ordinator.
2.2 If the Chapter Co-ordinator cannot resolve the issue within the Chapter, they may wish to seek advice from the Chapter Liaison Officer or another officer of the organisation. This will only be undertaken once the Chapter Co-ordinator has requested and gained the permission of the complainant to do so, unless the matter involves a serious matter such as a breach of the law, safeguarding, or potential harm.
3. For issues involving equality, diversity, and inclusion
3.1 The RNA is committed to upholding the requirements of the Equality Act 2010, and has an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy which details this commitment.
3.2 We appreciate that issues involving these matters can sometimes be difficult to raise. If a member or volunteer has an issue in this area and does not feel comfortable raising a direct complaint, they can contact the Diversity and Inclusion officer by emailing email@example.com. The Diversity and Inclusion officer will discuss the situation and offer support in resolving the issue or in taking your complaint further.
4. Formal Complaints
4.1 If an informal resolution to a complaint cannot be achieved, or if the complainant believes that the complaint needs to be dealt with on a formal basis, then a formal complaint can be submitted as follows:
4.2 Formal complaints should be made to the Chair of the Board using the RNA Online Complaints Form.
4.3 If a complaint concerns the conduct of the Chair of the association this should be specified in the complaint form so that the matter can be dealt with by another Director.
4.4 Complaints will normally be considered in the first instance by two Directors other than the Chair and Vice Chair. These Directors will be formally appointed as the Investigating Officers to take the lead in conducting the investigation. Other Directors, volunteers, or members may be consulted if needed for the purposes of seeking evidence and relevant supporting information and this will be undertaken in strictest confidence.
4.5 The complainant will receive an initial acknowledgement of their complaint within ten working days of receipt of the complaint, and will be kept up to date with the progress of any investigation, and informed directly of the outcomes of their complaint in writing by the Investigating Officers.
4.6 Outcomes of investigations into complaints will be dependent on the nature of the complaint raised and the evidence considered but can include:
- Complaint not upheld
- No further action taken
- Complaint upheld
- Asking the full Board to approve a formal change in policy or procedure
- Invoking the RNA Disciplinary policy in respect of a named member/members, employee/s or volunteer/s.
4.7 If, following investigation, the complaint is found to be an unsubstantiated allegation made with malicious or vexatious intent, the RNA reserves the right to take disciplinary action against the complainant.
4.8 If a complainant is unhappy with the outcome of the investigation into their complaint they can appeal to the Chair of the Board using the Complaints Appeal Form. Any appeal will be considered only by members of the Board who did not investigate the original complaint.
4.9 The Complaints Appeal form should be submitted online via the electronic form or emailed to the RNA Board Secretary.
5. Data Protection
5.1 All documentation used at any stage of the complaints process will be retained by the RNA Board Secretary.
5.2 All documentation will be securely stored in accordance with the provisions of the UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018.
5.3 The RNA reserves the right to retain documentation for five years after which time it will be confidentially destroyed.