ALLEGATIONS/ MISCONDUCT POLICY
Valley Education Services Ltd (VES) follow strict standards in order to ensure that all candidates that we supply to our candidates are of the highest professional and personal calibre. To adhere to these standards, we undertake a continuous process of quality control involving both clients and candidates. Candidates that have been found to exhibit unacceptable conduct or practice, will not be placed on our register and will not be placed with any of our clients.
However, despite our rigorous quality procedures, sensitive situations and issues can arise. It is, therefore, critical for us to have a procedure that makes it possible for clients and candidates to give us feedback, which in turn makes it possible for us to improve our service. Consultants will speak openly and honestly to both clients and candidates when giving feedback.
Complaints and Allegations
The details of any allegation or complaint against a candidate or a client is processed in a central incident file and in the respective electronic file on our system. In this file, the staff can record and review any actions taken or any investigation carried out as a result of an allegation. When we receive a complaint or a report of an incident, we explain our procedures for handling incidents and ask the candidates or client in question if they would like for us to commence a process accordingly. In deciding how far to pursue the investigation, we are usually guided by the complainant’s attitude towards the incident.
Minor complaints concerning candidates will be brought to the attention of the candidate by their Account Managers, together they will discuss the misdemeanour and the consultants will give warnings where necessary. The details of the discussion and any warnings will be documented on the candidates record. Candidates will be told that If the behaviour is repeated or any further complaints are received, it will result in further warning and ultimately could lead to the removal from the VES register. Examples of minor complaints include the following:
Complaints and allegations of a more serious nature, that are in breach of VES’ Terms of Engagement, are dealt with by VES’ Director in collaboration with the VES Account Manager, the client and any other relevant authorities. Example of serious complaints and allegations include:
Account Managers will encourage candidates to speak openly about their experience with the role and the workplace in which they have been placed. Candidate comments will be treated in confidence unless it is agreed with the candidate to raise the issue with the client. The Account Manager will act on behalf of the candidate to help resolve any issues causing difficulty for them.
Complaints of a serious nature regarding the behaviour of client staff will be communicated to the Account Manager in charge of the client and/or relevant governing body.
Internal Investigation Procedure
Where appropriate, VES will undertake an internal investigation into the allegation or complaint. The course of action is carried out when the allegation or complaint is not serious enough to be dealt with by the police or any other third party but where the compliant and VES are concerned about the complainer’s professional conduct.
An internal investigation will only take place once all procedures for serious complaints or allegations of professional misconduct have been completed.
The complaint or allegation should be communicated to VES by phone, in writing or by email to explain the nature of the allegation and how it has arisen.
If the complaint is a client, the client will be asked the following questions:
If the complainant is a candidate, the candidate will be asked the following questions:
VES Director must be informed immediately of all serious allegations made against candidates or clients.
VES will inform the complainant that we conduct our own investigation. We will also explain the process of that investigation. A written statement will be requested from the complainant, together with any supporting documentation of the incident or incidents.
If the complaint is aimed towards a candidate. VES will build up a profile of the candidate based on their original clearance checks, references and feedback from previous clients since working for VES in order to assess the nature of the incident.
The complainee is notified about the complaint or allegation and is asked for their version of the events. Confidentiality is maintained on a need-to-know basis.
If the complainee is a client, they will be asked to discuss the matter over the phone or in person. If the complainee is a candidate, they are asked to attend a face-to-face review meeting. During this meeting the alleged incident will be discussed in detail so Sharon Green can evaluate the candidate’s ability to continue working for VES.
If the matter is of a highly serious nature, the complainee should only be informed of the nature of the allegation if there is now way in which the investigation could be prejudiced, or evidence could be lost. The complainee will, in that case, be notified of the allegations by the police directly.
VES informs the complainant of the steps that have been taken and of the outcome of the investigation. The complainant is advised that if the matter cannot be resolved and that the seriousness of the allegation warrants further action, to adopt whatever measures would normally come into force to meet legal requirements.
If the issue needs to be resolved through any authority involvement, VES will be guided by the authority’s decision when considering working with the complainant subsequently.
If the complainee is a candidate with an unblemished record and where a genuine error in professional practice has been made, VES will go through the Terms of Engagement with the candidate and require the candidate and require the candidate to resign the terms. If required, additional training will be given. In the event of repetitive minor misdemeanours and where complaints are continually being made (by the same or different clients), we will take action and make a decision to remove the candidate from VES register.
All candidates returning to work for VES after a review meeting are closely monitored on returning and relevant notes are kept on their file.
If VES is still concerned about a candidate’s ability to return to work after their practice review meeting, the matter will be referred to Sharon Green. For issues defined as professional incompetence or serious misconduct which have been the subject of an investigation and which have been proven to the satisfaction of the Director of VES, a candidate will be immediately removed from the VES register. If a candidate is removed from the VES register, the candidate and the relevant authorities will be informed, for example the disclosure and barring service. Affected clients will be informed.
Complaints against VES
It is our utmost priority that incidents and complaints are dealt with in a fair manner. If a complaint were to be made against VES by either a candidate or client, the matter would be referred to Sharon Green who would decide which course of action would be most appropriate to follow in accordance with the VES grieve policy. To ensure the compliant is kept informed at all stages of the process, reports are issued either verbally or in writing. Support is given to both parties until a satisfactory conclusion is reached.
Updated: 1st October 2019
Review date: 1st October 2020
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