How to Make a Complaint

What is a complaint?

At ARK, we are committed to providing a high standard of service to our tenants and service users. However, we accept that despite our best efforts, there may be occasions where you are not fully satisfied with the service that we have provided. If this is the case, then we want to know about it.

If you tell us that you are unhappy with the service provided by (or on behalf of) ARK, this is a complaint. Anyone who receives, requests or is affected by our services is entitled to make a complaint. You might be a service user, a tenant, a relative of someone receiving support, a day service provider, a health professional, an advocate, a neighbour or a member of the public.

How do I complain?

You can make a complaint in any way that you choose:

What help is available?

We will ensure that you have the help you need to make a complaint, should you wish to do so. We have shared copies of our Complaints Policy (PDF, 613KB) with the tenants and service users that we support, in a format which is accessible. We can provide copies of this policy in Easy Read (PDF, 1.7MB) , audio, braille, and many languages other than English. If you would like us to send you a copy of our Complaints Policy in any of these formats, please let us know.

The Scottish Housing Regulator has also published an information leaflet for tenants about Complaints and Significant Performance Failures.

We understand that sometimes people can feel quite worried about complaining and might not feel able to make a complaint by themselves. Where this is the case, you might choose to ask a friend, family member or advocate to make a complaint on your behalf. Another option you might choose is to make an anonymous complaint. This would mean that ARK are still able to look at the issues that you have raised, but you would not receive any further contact or information about your complaint.

The most important thing is that we always encourage you to let us know if you are not happy, as this means that we can do something to address your concerns.

What happens after I’ve made a complaint?

We believe that it is better to resolve complaints at our frontline stage, where we can. In these cases, we will speak to you about your complaint within 5 working days. Occasionally, it is not possible to deal with a complaint at the frontline stage due to the nature of the concerns that we have received. In these cases, and in cases where you are not happy with our frontline response, we will write to you to let you know that we have received your complaint and to let you know who will be dealing with it. We will then fully investigate your complaint and respond to you in writing within 20 working days. We will explain our findings to you and let you know what we have put in place to address your concerns.

We produce a 3-monthly report about the recent complaints that we have received at ARK, including details of how we have improved our services as a result of the complaints we have received. Read the latest update.

What if I’m still unhappy?

You may also choose to make a complaint about ARK to the following organisations:

  • The Care Inspectorate, Compass House, 11 Riverside Drive, Dundee DD1 4NY (Telephone: 0345 600 9527). The Care Inspectorate regulates and inspects care services in Scotland to make sure that they meet the right standards.
  • If your complaint relates to a care service we provide, which was commissioned by a Local Authority, you can also choose to complain to that particular Local Authority. Please contact your local ARK office if you would like support to do this.
  • If you remain dissatisfied after you have received our final response to your complaint, you can speak to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO). You can speak to them in person: SPSO, 4 Melville Street, Edinburgh EH3 7NS, by post: Freepost SPSO (this is all you need to write on the envelope, and you don't need to use a stamp), or by telephone: 0800 377 7330. The SPSO is the final stage for complaints about housing associations such as ARK. Further details about this can be found in ARK’s Complaints Policy (see above).