Complaints procedure

IChemE complaints process

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) aims to provide efficient and effective services and whilst every care is taken to ensure that our services are of good quality, IChemE accepts that, on occasions, complaints will be made.

This page sets out our complaints process. It explains what we consider to be a complaint, how the process works and what you need to do if you'd like to make a complaint.

What is a complaint?

We consider a complaint to be an expression of dissatisfaction about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by IChemE, or our staff.

IChemE will treat complaints positively and recognises that they present opportunities to identify improvements which can be made to our service delivery standards. We will deal with complaints quickly, taking prompt action to resolve the complaint, and taking steps to ensure that complaints of a similar nature do not arise in the future.

We will always try to resolve problems informally, if possible, in the first instance. Our staff will:

  • identify themselves to you
  • listen to your complaint and take details
  • offer an explanation if they are able to
  • offer a resolution if possible
  • if a resolution is not possible, inform you of the action they will be taking
  • inform you of the further options available if you are unhappy with the resolution.

Please note: This process is not to be used to make a complaint about an IChemE member.  In this case, please read our code of professional conduct, preliminary steps and disciplinary regulations.  If you wish to appeal against the result of a membership application, then our appeals guidance can be sent upon request.

When to raise a formal complaint

We will always try to deal with and resolve complaints at the point they were received. If you are unhappy with the initial explanation and resolution offered to you, you can register a formal complaint with our complaints co-ordinator. Your complaint should be made within two months.

There are several ways in which you can register your complaint:

  • call Beverley Garratt on + 44 01788 578214
  • email
  • write to the Complaints Co-ordinator at:

    Davis Building
    165 - 189 Railway Terrace
    CV21 3HQ

If you have made a complaint verbally (either face-to-face or over the phone) we would ask you to put it in writing.

What you need to provide

We will ask you to send as much information as possible so we can investigate your complaint effectively. You should include:

  • your name and a valid email or home address to enable us to reply to you
  • a clear description of your complaint
  • copies of earlier associated correspondence between yourself and IChemE.

Next steps

Acknowledging your complaint

If you send a complaint by email, we will send an automatic acknowledgement on the same day. This will let you know that we aim to respond to the complaint within 20 working days. If we then find that we are unable to reply within this time, we will let you know within the 20 working day period and give a realistic estimate of when you can expect a reply.

Investigating the complaint

The complaints co-ordinator will appoint a senior member of staff as complaints manager. They will investigate the complaint and let you know the outcome. The investigation will involve a thorough review of all the related and relevant correspondence between IChemE and yourself in relation to the complaint.   

The complaints manager will then decide whether:

  • the complaint has been handled correctly, and as effectively as possible
  • the complainant's questions have been answered
  • the complaint should be upheld and, if it is, what should be done to remedy it.

Taking your complaint further

If you are not content with the complaints manager's reply, the next step would be to take your complaint to the IChemE Chief Executive. The Chief Executive will conduct a full investigation of how your complaint has been previously handled and any resolution offered before informing you of their findings. The Chief Executive's decision is final.

After the decision has been made the Chief Executive will acknowledge any correspondence from you but, unless any new issues are raised that they consider significant, no further replies will be sent.

Whatever decision  is made, we'll make sure we learn from the process and use any issues raised to improve our services.