The following information provided is a summary of our process. Full details on the process and further information on the organisations available to help can be found in the Decisions, Reviews and Complaints Guide. A complaint must be made within six months of the event occurring or when you discover that you may have a reason to complain. However, NILGOSC may accept a complaint after the time limit in exceptional circumstances.
Complaints can be made verbally, in writing or in person. You can complain to any member of staff by a number of means such as Review and Complaints form, letter, email, phone call or in person. We might be able to resolve your query quicker if you raise it directly with the service team concerned and as soon as possible. You should include your full name and contact details, details about the complaint, what has gone wrong and the outcome you are seeking. We aim to resolve complaints as soon as possible and within 5 working days or less. This may be by way of an on the spot apology and an explanation of why the issue occurred. If you are not satisfied with the Stage 1 response, you can escalate the complaint to a Stage 2 Investigation. This must be done within 20 working days however in some exceptional circumstances we may consider accepting complaints outside the timescale. Some complaints will automatically escalate to Stage 2 if it is clear the complaint warrants a more detailed investigation.
A complaint will not normally escalate to Stage 2 without your agreement and the staff member handling your complaint will discuss this with you. We will acknowledge the complaint within 3 working days and should respond within 20 working days. If it will take longer than 20 working days, NILGOSC will notify you of the reason for the delay and keep you informed on progress and revised timeframes.
What if I am still dissatisfied?
You have the right to contact the Northern Ireland Public Service Ombudsman (NIPSO) if you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of the Stage 2 investigation.
NIPSO investigates unresolved complaints about public bodies in Northern Ireland. It is a free service, independent of government. It is not an advocacy or support service.
NIPSO generally expect complaints to be brought to it within 6 months since the complainant received correspondence from NILGOSC informing the complainant the complaints handling procedure is complete. NIPSO will generally ask a complainant to provide details of the complaint and a copy of NILGOSC’s response. NIPSO’s contact details are:
The Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman
Belfast BT1 6HN
Telephone: 028 9023 3821
Freephone: 0800 343424