Ethics Committee Complaints Procedure
This document explains:
- how you can make a complaint about Dr Foster Intelligence Limited;
- how your complaint will be handled.
Dr Foster Intelligence Limited is (“Dr Foster”).
The Ethics Committee Limited is a company independent of Dr Foster Intelligence Limited but contracted to provide review and dispute resolution services pursuant to a Deed of Covenant (“the Ethics Committee”).
Aims of the complaints procedure
This procedure aims to:
- be uncomplicated and clear in its terms;
- allow you an opportunity to make your complaint;
- allow for any complaints to be handled in a thorough, fair and timely manner;
- keep you informed about the process of your complaint;
- notify you of the outcome of your complaint and the reasons for it;
- explain to you what further action if any you may take.
In attempting to resolve your complaint, the possible options open to us include but are not limited to:
- making an apology to you in writing or in person;
- giving you a full explanation of what happened and why;
- where appropriate, taking the necessary action to demand that Dr Foster put matters right and informing you of that fact;
- the Ethics Committee may make a recommendation to Dr Foster to act or refrain from acting or publishing in a particular way;
- the Ethics Committee may make a recommendation to Dr Foster to alter or amend material published by it and/or alter its processes or conduct. In the event of Dr Foster’s failure to adopt or perform such recommendations, the Ethics Committee may publicly announce or publish the recommendations of the Ethics Committee, as the case may require.
What complaints are covered by this procedure?
- any aspect of Dr Foster’s work;
- Dr Foster’s conduct;
- the content of Dr Foster’s publications.
How to complain
There are two stages to the complaints procedure:
In order to deal with your complaint, we may need to process your personal data in accordance with principles of data protection prescribed by the Data Protection Act 1998 and you consent to us doing so. [see below].
In order to promote transparency and accuracy of information published by Dr Foster, it is intended that the decisions of the Ethics Committee regarding any formal complaint be published and accessible for view by the general public on Dr Foster’s website. If you do not wish to be identified in such publications, you have the right to request anonymity, stating your reasons for this. It will be for the Ethics Committee to consider such a request and to decide accordingly. Members of the public would normally have such a request granted.
We would encourage you to take up any concerns you have with Dr Foster directly.
Making the complaint
Please address any complaints you have to The Secretary to the Ethics Committee at Dr Foster.
Dr Foster will attempt to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction where possible and appropriate.
If you are not satisfied with the response from Dr Foster you may refer the matter to the Ethics Committee.
If your complaint is serious or where Dr Foster considers it appropriate, Dr Foster may refer your complaint to the Committee directly to be handled formally.
Making the complaint
Please address any complaints you have to the Secretary to the Committee.
The Committee normally meets once a month and where possible your complaint will be considered by the Committee [or a sub-Committee of at least two Committee members in addition to the Chairman] at the meeting subsequent to your complaint.
If necessary you will be invited to a complaints meeting to discuss your complaint; such a meeting would be convened by a member of the Committee with the assistance of other members.
Following either or both of the Committee, or a sub-Committee, considering your complaint and you being invited to a complaints meeting your complaint will be considered and a decision will be reached by the Committee.
You will be notified of the decision and the reasons for it in writing.
The complainant makes a complaint in writing and addresses it to the appropriate individual depending on whether the informal or formal procedure is being used.
The Secretary to the Ethics Committee at Dr Foster will acknowledge your complaint within 7 days of receipt.
An Investigating Officer will be appointed and your complaint will be investigated.
The Investigating Officer will aim to write to you with at least preliminary findings within 10 working days of receipt of your complaint and will aim to notify you of the outcome of your complaint, or the process of the investigation, within 28 working days.
If necessary, your complaint will be referred to the Ethics Committee or you may make your complaint directly to the Ethics Committee.
The Secretary to the Committee will acknowledge your complaint in writing, normally within 10 working days of receipt from Dr Foster or you.
A Lead Committee Member will be appointed and your complaint will be investigated.
Your complaint will be considered where possible at the next Committee meeting.
If the Ethics Committee, or a sub-committee, considers that further investigations are necessary they will be undertaken.
If the Committee, or a sub-Committee, considers that a meeting would be helpful you will be invited to a complaints meeting.
The Lead Committee Member will aim to let you have at least preliminary findings within 28 working days of receipt of your complaint and the Chairman of the Committee will aim to notify you of the outcome of your complaint normally within 14 working days of receipt of the determination meeting. He/she will also inform you how the decision is to be notified to other interested parties and/or to the public.
Please note: you are required to make any complaint promptly and in any event within one calendar month of the facts of which you complain coming to your attention. Failure to do so may prejudice your right to use this Complaints Procedure and/or our ability to handle your complaint properly.
Data protection and freedom of information
Under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 you have the right to see certain information which we hold and which is about you.
You acknowledge that if you engage the Complaints Procedure Dr Foster and/or the Ethics Committee will from time to time hold personal data about you on file and will use it for legitimate purposes.
You agree that Dr Foster and/or the Committee may process, including hold, transfer and use personal data about you as is necessary during the conduct of any part of this Complaints Procedure.
The Secretary to the Ethics Committee
Dr Foster Intelligence Limited
12 Smithfield Street
London EC1A 9LA
The Secretary of the Ethics Committee
Ethics Committee Limited
12 Smithfield Street
London EC1A 9LA