Comments & Complaints

Ways to make a comment or complaint.

At all times we aim to treat you with respect and courtesy, but there may be times when you are unhappy with the standard of our service.  For example, if you feel that we have treated you unfairly, have failed to explain things clearly or follow office procedures, or that we have caused unreasonable delay with a process. 

It may be that you wish to make a comment to express your praise or appreciation for the work of a staff member or support of an EA Service.  You can make a comment or complaint using the form below.

For the purposes of the EA’s Complaints Handling Procedure, a complaint is defined as ‘An expression of dissatisfaction by one or more members of the public about EA’s action, lack of action or about the standard of Service provided by or on behalf of the EA’.

How do I make a comment or complaint?

There are several ways to make a complaint or comment:

  • Online:  Fill in our Complaints Form below
  • By email: feedback@eani.org.uk
  • By phone: Call our Complaints office on 028 8241 1472
  • By post: Complaints Office, 1 Hospital Road, Omagh, Co Tyrone, BT79 0AW
     

When complaining, please tell us:

  • Your full name and contact details;
  • As much as you can about the complaint;
  • What has gone wrong; and
  • What outcome you are seeking.

Who can complain?

Anyone who receives, requests or is directly affected by our services can make a complaint to us. This includes the representative of someone who is dissatisfied with our service (for example, a relative, friend, advocate or adviser). If you are making a complaint on someone else’s behalf, you will need their written consent.   

Normally, you must make your complaint within six months of:

  • The event you want to complain about; or
  • Finding out that you have a reason to complain.

In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to accept a complaint after the time limit.  If you feel that the time limit should not apply to your complaint, please tell us why.

What happens when I have complained?

We will always tell you who is dealing with your complaint.  Our complaints procedure has two stages.

Stage 1: Frontline response
We will always try to respond to your complaint quickly, within five working days if we can. If you are dissatisfied with our response, you can ask us to consider your complaint at Stage 2.
 

Stage 2: Investigation
We will look at your complaints at this stage if you are dissatisfied with our response at Stage 1. We also look at complaints immediately at this stage, if it is clear that they need investigation.

We will acknowledge your complaint within five working days.

We will confirm the points of complaint to be investigated and what you want to achieve. We will investigate the complaint and give you our decision as soon as possible. This will be after no more than 25 working days unless there is clearly a good reason for needing more time.

What if I’m still dissatisfied?

After we have given you our final decision, if you are still dissatisfied with our decision or the way we dealt with your complaint, you can ask the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO) to look at it.

The Ombudsman will consider your complaint to determine whether it needs investigation. Although you have the right to approach the Ombudsman at any time, she will not usually take on a case which has not first been through our Complaints Procedure.

Complainants must bring their complaint to the Ombudsman within 6 months of completion of the EA’s internal complaints process; however the Ombudsman may investigate a complaint outside the time limit if there are special circumstances that would make it proper to do so.

NIPSO’s contact details are:

The Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman

33 Wellington Place

Belfast

BT1 6HN

Tel: 028 9023 3821

Email: [email protected]  

Web: www.nipso.org.uk 

Twitter: @NIPSO_Comms

How the EA supports the Customer

It is our Policy that all members of the community have the right to equal access to our complaints procedure. We have legal duties to make our complaints service accessible under equalities and mental health legislation.

  • The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 – this gives people with a disability the right to reasonable adjustments to access our services (such as large print or BSL translations of information); and
  • The Northern Ireland Act 1998 places an obligation on public authorities to ensure that their service users have ‘equality of opportunity’ in accessing services.

We will meet our legal duties by:

  • Proactively checking whether members of the public who contact us require additional support to access our services;
  • Providing interpretation and/or translation services for Sign Language Users. We will seek to ensure that we support vulnerable groups in accessing our complaints procedure by:
  • Helping vulnerable customers identify when they might wish to make a complaint;
  • Helping customer’s access independent support or advocacy to help them understand their rights and communicate their complaints.
  • The Corporate Complaints Service can be a neutral point of contact for complaints (where the relationship between customers and frontline staff is significant and ongoing).

Schools have their own separate complaints procedure therefore the EA is unable to investigate complaints about a school.  School complaints should be raised directly with the school.

Resources

Read our Complaints Handling Procedure for more information on how we deal with complaints.

Online Complaints Form

Address