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Musicians’ Complaints Policy 

We are committed to providing a high-quality service to all those who contact us. We welcome feedback from our musicians applying for our support and we take complaints and negative comments very seriously. We are always keen to hear how we can improve our services and of any situations where we have not provided the service beneficiaries deserve and expect. We will ask for feedback regularly from those who access our services at the time of communication around support or in an annual survey to beneficiaries. 

This beneficiary complaints policy and procedure principally covers people who have come to Help Musicians for advice, guidance or financial support through services provided by our Programme department.

Anyone else who comes into contact with Help Musicians in terms of wider relationships that the charity holds (i.e. donor, partner, service provider etc) will be dealt with under a separate complaints policy. Complaints regarding members of staff are also considered separately under the charity’s suite of HR policies and data / GDPR-related issues are also covered by specific policies. 

Making a complaint will not affect, in any way, the level of service you receive from us nor will it affect the chances of using our services or getting a grant from us in the future. 

If your complaint is not suitable for our process, we will still carefully consider the points you have raised. Our Director of Musicians’ Services will explain to you why your complaint may not be investigated under this policy.

How we review complaints

This policy and procedure sets out how we consider and review complaints from beneficiaries. We will treat people who feel the need to complain with respect and without prejudice

As part of a complaints policy and procedure, issues may arise which have a bearing on Help Musicians policies and procedures. Where this is the case, as well as dealing with the merits of the specific case, the issues raised will be considered so that policy or procedures can be reviewed and adjusted if deemed appropriate. 

Making a complaint 

If you want to make a complaint, we have a defined procedure. You should use this process if you think that:

  • we have unreasonably delayed, made mistakes or failed to follow our processes and this has caused a significantly detrimental impact on your wellbeing
  • we have failed to give you access to information or have given you incorrect advice or information
  • the way in which we dealt with your enquiry or support was inappropriate
  • we have unlawfully discriminated against you or not treated you fairly
  • you believe that we have made mistakes or failed to follow our eligibility criteria when handling your application for funding
  • you believe that a member of our charity has given you incorrect information (it could be this information has affected the outcome of your application)
  • you believe a member of our charity has treated you impolitely or unfairly

Can I use this process to appeal a decision?

We understand that you may be disappointed if our decision about our support services or funding is not what you would have liked. We will not accept complaints through this process that relate solely to the decision rather than the way we have taken it.

We can only reconsider any decisions we have made if we find we have made mistakes that have materially affected it. 

Can I use this process to make a complaint about your eligibility criteria or policies?

If your complaint is about the policy itself, rather than the way a decision has been taken or a problem with delivery of a service, we will not consider it under our complaints procedure. If you wish to make give feedback about our policies or eligibility criteria you can contact our Chief Executive by emailing chief.​executive@​helpmusicians.​org.​uk

How to make a complaint 

In order to help us consider your complaint effectively and have the best chance of resolving it, please tell us:

  • What happened
  • When it happened
  • Who dealt with you
  • What you would like us to do to put things right

Please include all information that you feel is necessary and relevant and include any correspondence that you have received. If you don’t have all the information please highlight this to us as we may be able to help fill in any gaps with you before we begin to investigate. 

Ideally you will be able to inform us of your complaint as soon as it happens but sometimes, we know that’s not possible. We will acknowledge and investigate complaints that have taken place within the last three months. However, if there are extenuating circumstances why you have not been able to submit a complaint within three months we will take these into account up to 12 months from the incident. 

You should send your complaint in writing or by e‑mail to: 

Director of Musicians’ Services
Help Musicians
7 – 11 Britannia Street
London WC1X 9JS


What happens after submitting a complaint 

After we have received your complaint, we will contact you by post or by e‑mail to acknowledge it. This will happen within 2 working days. If possible, we will aim to resolve the complaint at this point or as quickly as possible. 

If your concerns need further consideration, we will treat your complaint in the following stages:

Stage One

Our Director of Musicians’ Services will work with you to ensure we fully understand your complaint. We can do this by email, in person, on the phone or by Zoom. Once we agree that we fully understand your complaint we will investigate and respond in writing. The complaint will be reviewed by the Director of Musicians’ Services who may also choose to consult expert advice from a relevant third party sourced either through our Programme Advisory Boards or an appropriate independent consultant. 

Our response will include a copy of the investigation report and we aim to respond within 10 working days. If we are unable to do so, we will write explaining why and when you will expect our response. 

Stage Two

If you believe we have failed to investigate sufficiently, not fully addressed your concerns or not provided a fair resolution at Stage One, you can ask our Chief Executive to review your complaint at Stage Two. 

You should set out your complaint in writing addressed to:

Chief Executive
Help Musicians
7 – 11 Britannia Street
London WC1X 9JS


Please include as much information as possible so that we can understand why you don’t feel we have addressed your concerns or provided a fair resolution. It’s helpful to use the same structure of:

  • What happened
  • When it happened
  • Who dealt with you
  • What you would like us to do to put things right

After the Chief Executive has received your complaint, we will contact you by post or by e‑mail to acknowledge it. This will happen within 2 working days. The Chief Executive will also immediately inform the Chair and between them they will agree any external experts or members of the Board of Trustees that may be appropriate to advise or involve in the investigation. Anyone involved at the second stage will not have had prior involvement in Stage One. 

The Chief Executive will appoint an appropriate investigator to create the Terms of Reference for your complaint in order to address your concerns. The Chief Executive will use the investigator’s report to inform their opinion and write to you explaining their findings and conclusions. We aim to respond within ten working days of confirming the terms of reference. If we are unable to do so, we will write to you to explain why and when you can expect our response.

What kind of resolution can be expected?

For both Stages One and Two, in our formal response to a complaint we will detail the outcome of the investigation, the decision as to whether the complaint has been upheld and the reason for that decision. We will also include a summary of any actions that we have or will be taking to resolve the complaint. Each resolution is unique to the situation raised but typically we will offer an apology, re-enter an application or explain how we intend to learn from the complaint and what improvements we will make. 

We are unable to provide any financial compensation as a resolution through the complaints process. And once Stage Two is complete we are unable to enter into further correspondence should you still feel dissatisfied.

If having gone through this process, anyone is still dissatisfied with our decision, the way we have handled the complaint or has serious concerns about the charity, in certain circumstances these can be raised with the Charity Commission. Information about what can be raised and how to go about that can be found here.

Our Board of Trustees has legal responsibility for the charity’s management and administration and ensuring that the work of the charity is carried out effectively and appropriately. Our Trustees are listed on our website and can be contacted via secretariat@​helpmusicians.​org.​uk.

Your personal information 

Our privacy policy can be found here on our website.

Equal Opportunities 

Help Musicians is committed to equality and keen to reflect the diversity of the UK in all our funding programmes. We strongly encourage applications from all underrepresented groups, including all ethnic backgrounds, D/​deaf and disabled people; and those from lower socio-economic groups.