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HEE Complaints Principles


We will operate a credible complaints service, be confident to scrutinise our own performance and recognise where we could do better: 

  • Our complaints service will create an honest and open organisational culture that fosters the highest levels of transparency and probity
  • We will make decisions that are based on objective evidence, robust reasoning and in a consistent manner across the whole of HEE
  • Our complaints service will be regularly monitored and reviewed to ensure we are doing what we said we would, adhering to best practice and meeting our statutory requirements
  • HEE will make information publicly available on how the service works and how it is governed 


We will treat all complainants fairly, applying uniform standards to how and when we communicate with them:   

  • HEE’s complaints system will provide clear lines of communication between our external stakeholders and the staff of HEE
  • We will communicate in clear, easy to understand language with the aim of achieving a positive outcome for all parties involved
  • We will communicate in a way that upholds principles of mutual dignity, respect, trust and equality
  • We will answer complaints within a set timeframe in accordance with the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s good practice guidance. If there is an unavoidable reason for delaying our response, we will communicate this in a timely way 


We will provide an accessible and inclusive complaints service:

  • Our complaints service will have an accessible portal that is clear and easy to use for registering complaints
  • We will consider special needs and equality issues to recognise the diversity of our stakeholder community
  • We will treat each complaint fairly and in accordance with the rights of the individual in an unbiased and non-judgemental way
  • We will strive to ensure that no aspects of our complaints service directly or indirectly disadvantage anyone 


We take responsibility for the services we provide and recognise the need to use the complaints we receive as a way to review and improve our services:

  • We will hold ourselves to account for the actions we take and the decisions we make to foster a culture of learning and openness, rather than one of blame and fear
  • Our complaints service will focus on putting things right and achieving a positive outcome
  • We will seek to learn from the complaints we receive to improve the services that we provide
  • We will encourage HEE colleagues and stakeholders to identify where we’re getting it wrong to help us develop a culture of continual learning