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Celebrating our 140th Anniversary

Our Complaints Policy

The Boys’ Brigade is committed to dealing with any complaints fairly, effectively and in a timely fashion. This policy is aimed at BB leaders, parents and carers, children and young people, Church members and members of the public. Employed staff should use the Grievance Policy published in the staff handbook.

Any complaints/disputes should initially be dealt with at local level without recourse to the Complaints Policy. If you are unhappy about how something has been handled within a Company, please speak or write to the Company Captain or Chaplain before approaching BB Headquarters. If it relates to a Battalion or Area Group please contact one of the local Office Bearers before approaching BB Headquarters.

What constitutes a complaint?

The list below sets out several issues that could be considered as complaints. Please note that the Brigade does make a distinction between complaints and safeguarding issues. Any safeguarding issues/concerns should immediately be referred to the Safeguarding Manager (safeguarding@boys-brigade.org.uk)

Examples of issues defined as complaints:

  • Conflict between leaders
  • Poor practice or misconduct (non-safeguarding)
  • Non-compliance with BB regulations/guidance
  • Discrimination or harassment experienced by a leader or parent/carer
  • Parents/carers complaining of their child receiving unfair treatment (in gaining awards, for example)
  • Members of the public complaining about noise/vandalism caused by BB
  • Church officials and BB leaders in conflict
  • Any breach of the Brigade’s Leaders Code of Conduct
  • Financial irregularities

Should the Brigade deem the issue not to be a complaint, the case will be returned to the complainant advising them that it should be dealt with locally. The Brigade will inform the complainant within 14 days should this be the case.

How to register a complaint

If the complaint cannot be resolved at Company, Battalion or Area Group level and you wish to raise a complaint, please contact us in the first instance via email or post to:

Email: complaints@boys-brigade.org.uk
Post: The Boys’ Brigade, Felden Lodge, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, HP3 0BL

Complaints process

Complaints should be sent in writing or via email.

Complaints will be acknowledged and a record kept of the date and nature of the complaint, the name and contact details of the complainant and the relationship of that person to the leader/Company involved.

Complainants will be asked what steps they have taken to resolve the issue locally before escalating to the Brigade nationally, and if not will be encouraged to do so.

If a complainant is unwilling to identify themselves, it may not be possible to process their complaint. We will maintain the confidentiality of all personal information and will not disclose without permission unless legally obliged to.

We will notify any BB member/leader and their Company Captain if a complaint has been made against them. Where it relates to a Battalion or Area Group, the appropriate office bearer will be notified. A copy of the complaints policy will be provided to the complainant and those the complaint relates to.

If a complaint is made against a Director it will be handled by the Chief Executive. If a complaint is made against the Chief Executive it will be handled by the Chair of Trustees.

Consideration will be given by the Senior Management Team (or Chair of Trustees) as to whether to carry out a formal investigation or whether it is best to resolve the matter informally without resorting to formal investigation.

If an investigation is deemed necessary, we will report back to the complainant within 28 days. If this timescale is extended for whatever reason, the complainant will be contacted with an explanation and a revised estimate of when the matter will be concluded.

The investigation will be conducted by an appropriate member of staff as designated by a member of the Senior Management Team (Chair of Trustees).

A record will be kept of the complaint. Any actions taken and any good practice recommendations arising from the case will be passed to the Chief Executive. This will enable audit trails to be established if there are patterns emerging in relation to individuals, Companies, Battalions or Area Groups. BB Headquarters will maintain a log of all complaints to enable the Brigade to establish trends and any need for policy development or training. All personal information will be retained in line with our Data Protection Policy.


In the event of a complaint being upheld, the following actions will be available to the Brigade (this list is non-exhaustive).

  • A written warning may be issued to the leader involved.
  • The leader will be required to undertake appropriate training and development within an agreed timescale.
  • Certain restrictions may be placed on the leader’s registration – i.e. not to attend residentials etc
  • The leader’s registration may be suspended for a given period.
  • The leader’s appointment may be withdrawn.
  • The outcome of a complaint will be referred to in dealing with subsequent complaints.

What if the complainant is not satisfied?

In some cases, it may be possible for the complainant to request leave to appeal. Any request for an appeal should be made in writing to the Chief Executive, unless the complaint or the process involves the Chief Executive, in which case it should be made to the Chair of Trustees. Any request for an appeal should be submitted within 28 days of receiving the outcome of an investigation.

The complainant will need to demonstrate one of the following grounds if an application to appeal is to be granted:

  • Correct procedure was not followed
  • Certain facts were ignored or not considered in resolving the complaint
  • The outcome is not proportionate to the matter under consideration

If an appeal is granted, this will be considered by an appeal panel appointed by the Chief Executive or the Chair of Trustees.

Last Updated: April 2024