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Section C

Disputes and Complaints

C.1  The HGI complaints and discipline process aims to be transparent, fair, proportionate and swift. It is focused on restoring confidence, making amends, promoting learning and protecting service users. For the constitution and current membership of the HGI Registration and Professional Standards Committee (RPSC) see here. For details of the HGI complaints procedure, please see How the HGI deals with complaints.

C.2  The HGI should be notified of complaints at the earliest opportunity. The HGI will not normally consider complaints about events that took place more than two years before notification.

C.3  If the situation is urgent, especially if it involves the protection of children, vulnerable adults or the public, this should be stated clearly in your letter or e-mail. Where there is evidence indicating that someone is at risk of immediate harm, an appropriate authority should be informed, for example the vulnerable person’s GP, the local social services department, and, if deemed necessary in the circumstances, the police.

C.4  Complainants should complete and return the downloadable HGI Complaints Form. The HGI complaints procedure is outlined in How the HGI deals with complaints.

C.5  Complaints will be considered immediately on receipt. If they are considered to fall within HGI’s ‘Urgent Protection Policy’ they will be prioritised accordingly. Receipt of complaints will be acknowledged in writing. If no acknowledgement has arrived within 7 working days, please contact the HGI office (see C.4 above).

C.6  Two or more members of the HGI Registration and Professional Standards Committee (RPSC) will investigate the complaint. They may wish to interview those involved in person or by phone, and/or ask them for written statements.

On completion of their investigation, they will present their findings to an adjudication panel consisting of three or more members (including lay member involvement), who will then decide on the matter. Members who are the subject of a complaint, and those making such a complaint, will be treated with respect. Practitioners are expected to be honest and to take responsibility for any mistakes that may have been made, as appropriate.

C.7  The decision of the RPSC will be communicated to the complainant by letter (via the Royal Mail ‘Recorded Signed For’ service) within 20 working days of the receipt of the complaint if possible. If it is not possible to come to a decision within 20 working days, complainants will be informed in writing of the progress of their complaint.

C.8  While HGI will always strive to protect its members against unjustified complaints, its supreme duty must be the protection of the public. For that reason, therapists who substantially fail to meet HGI’s standards of personal behaviour, and/or technical competence, and/or business practice will be suspended from the HGI Register or removed from membership of HGI.

C.9  If therapists fail to co-operate with the investigation of complaints without sound reasons for doing so, their membership of HGI will be withdrawn, whether or not they resign.

C.10  Decisions to remove therapists from membership of the HGI Professional Register of qualified therapists will be clearly and publicly displayed on the HGI website for a period of five years. Details of any sanctions, including suspensions from practice, arising from upheld complaints against Registrants or Trainee Status Therapists will be displayed for an appropriate period. For details of available sanctions, please see the HGI Indicative Sanctions Guidance.

C.11  If it comes to the notice of the HGI that a Registrant or Trainee Status Therapist has been struck off a statutory register or a register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (i.e. where professional misconduct has been proved by another body), the HGI will remove the therapist concerned from the Register, or withdraw their trainee status, as appropriate. Their membership of the HGI will be terminated.

C.12  Information about substantial concerns will be shared with employers/ local arbitrators and regulators within the relevant legal frameworks. This includes referring any apparent criminal offences to the police.

C.13  If the complainant, or the member complained about, is not satisfied with the R&PSC’s adjudication, they have the right to appeal to a specially convened independent panel consisting of members of the Human Givens Institute. This panel will consider their appeal and inform them in writing of its decision within 30 working days of the date of the email or letter of appeal.

If it is not possible to come to a decision within 30 working days, they will be informed in writing of the progress of the appeal.

C.14  The complaints process should allow those involved to take responsibility for their part in any disputed situation, and to make amends, either individually or collectively, for any injury suffered if necessary.

C.15  It should also provide opportunities for learning, both for individual practitioners and for HGI. Such learning will be shared with other members in an appropriate way.

C.16  Please note that the HGI will consider complaints from concerned third parties, where for example, a client is unable to complain directly for reasons of age or infirmity, or where the third party is aware of a situation that gives cause for concern. Wherever possible, though, it is preferable that clients communicate directly with the HGI. In addition, the RPSC will consider any concerns raised by third parties such as the Press or insurance companies in relation to HGI Registrants or Trainee Status therapists.

C.17  Complaint hearings: If it is clear from the receipt of the initial complaint that the matter involves allegations of serious misconduct (abuse of trust, breach of professional boundaries or manipulative or predatory behaviour), or professional incompetence, the Chair or Deputy Chair of the HGI Registration and Professional Standards Committee (RPSC) will require the adjudication panel to hold a hearing in addition to collecting written evidence. For full details of how complaint hearings are conducted, please see How the HGI Deals with Complaints.

The guide, How the HGI deals with complaints, which outlines the above procedure for complaints against HGI registrants and Trainee Status Therapists, can be downloaded here.

Also see – How to make a complaint

Continue to:  Section D

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