Complaints Procedure

If you have a welfare issue to report please contact: [email protected]

Daventry Dolphins Swimming Club believes that swimmers and parents/carers are entitled to expect courtesy and prompt, careful attention to their needs and expectations.  We welcome suggestions on how to improve our swimming club and will give careful consideration to any concerns raised. We anticipate that most concerns will be resolved quickly by an informal approach to the appropriate person.  If this does not have the desired result, we have a procedure for dealing with concerns.

The procedure follows Swim England guidelines and all complaints and disciplinary action will observe the following key principles:

  • All parties will be fairly treated.
  • The complainant has the opportunity to present their case.
  • The person against whom a complaint has been made has an opportunity to respond or call witnesses.
  • The Swim England Law conforms to the law of the land, in so much that an individual is innocent until proven guilty.

Any concerns of a child protection nature will be referred to the Welfare Officer and the Swim England as per the Safeguarding and Protecting Children Policy.

It must be noted that the Club only has the power to legislate for a breach of its own rules. The Club does not have the power to handle a dispute relating to a member of another club or to deal with an offence against Swim England law.

This document explains the rules on how concerns, disputes and complaints will be addressed and resolved within Daventry Dolphins Swimming Club.

The Procedure:

The following procedure should be followed if any swimmer, parent or guardian associated with the club has a concern, dispute or complaint regarding their treatment during any club activity. They should;

Stage 1: Raise the issue with the Squad Coach or the club Welfare Officer in the first instance. Swimmers should be encouraged to voice their concerns informally to the Coach as soon as possible, and should expect a mature response from the Coach. The coach concerned must complete an Incident Report Log for information only.

Stage 2: If dissatisfied with the outcome, or if the issue is still occurring, the complaint should then be raised with the Head Coach or Welfare Officer. Swimmers should feel able to have these conversations without intervention from others, but if they wish to be accompanied then this should be respected. The club encourages and will ask that you use informal discussion to resolve issues in the first instance.

On receipt of the complaint (either in writing or verbally) every effort will be made to resolve the matter by informal discussion. If after talking the issue through then stage 3 should be the next course of action.

Stage 3: The swimmer or parent/guardian should put their concerns, complaint or dispute in writing to the Club Chairman within 14 days of the incident arising, stating the following;

  • The nature of the issue
  • The action that was taken by the Coach or the Welfare Officer
  • The reasons why the action is disputed or complaint raised
  • The date and time of the incident
  • The names of any witnesses to the incident.

The Chairman will acknowledge the Dispute or Complaint by reply using the same method as received. The Chairman will appoint an independent Investigator (Normally a member of the DDSC Committee unconnected with the incident). If the club can’t find an independent investigator then the club may refer the matter to the Swim England.

The investigator has seven days, from date of acknowledgement, to provide a detailed email or written response to committee with the findings and recommendation of any actions that need to be taken.

The Chairman and at least one other member of the Committee will then meet with the complainant to discuss the outcome of the findings and what action will be taken. A record of this meeting, including the decision on the action to be taken, must be made with everyone present at the meeting signing the record and receiving a copy of it. This signed record signifies that the procedure has concluded.

If either party to the dispute is dissatisfied with the outcome, they have the right to make a complaint to the Judicial Administrator at Swim England Head Office.

If the nature of the complaint has regards to a child’s welfare, reference must be made to Daventry Dolphins Swimming Clubs Child Protection Policy.

Complaints by Parents Regarding Club Issues

Complaints by Parents regarding Club issues can be raised informally with any member of the Executive Committee. A decision will be made between both parties as to whether this requires discussion at an Executive Committee, and in what format. Formal complaints should be made in writing to the Chairperson of the Executive Committee.

Complaints by Coaches

Coaches like Swimmers and Parents, have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.

Where Coaches feel a Swimmer is not acting in accordance with the Club Code of Conduct, they will have the right to suspend the Swimmer for a specified period. The duration of this will be clearly stated. Where the Swimmer continues to misbehave, a formal record of this will be sent to their parents. If this does not improve behaviour, the Head Coach will undertake a formal meeting with the Swimmer and Parents at which a formal Contract of Behaviour will be agreed. The Welfare Officer of a member of the Committee may be requested to attend the meeting. Any further problems which arise during the time defined in the Contract will be directed to the Committee as Stage 3 of the procedure.

Disciplinary Action

The Committee has the ability to:

1. Issue a verbal or written warning

2. Suspend a member for a specified period of time, with immediate effect

3. Require a member to resign if, in its opinion, the interests of the club have been compromised by the member. If expulsion is proposed, the individual will cease to be a member of the club. Such action may be subject to any overriding Swim England Complaints Procedure.

Any written correspondence received from either the complainant or the defendant, such as a letter of resignation, must be acknowledged within 48 hours of receipt.