Over the last five years, we have developed a comprehensive internal Quality Assurance Framework, and our approach was highly commended in this year’s Independent Review. Separate from the Investigations Team, our Quality Team undertakes in-depth, fair assessments of our complaint work including adherence to our complaint-handling and investigations procedures and policies.
Our focus is on continuous improvement and we understand and accept that from time to time we will receive complaints about our service. These complaints provide us with valuable feedback and an opportunity to review and improve our systems, communication and processes.
Step 1: Investigations Team
The quality assurance process begins well before complaints are finalised. During investigation, progress of the complaint may be:
- peer reviewed: Investigations Officers review complaints with their trained and experienced peers, Senior Investigations Officers and Case Specialists to ensure each complaint is handled appropriately.
- reviewed by an Investigations Manager
- presented to a Significant Matters Meeting for consideration by the Ombudsman
- subject to a No further Investigation assessment.
Step 2: Quality Team
Continuous improvement is the remit of the Quality Team. EWON’s quality assessments ensure that complaint handling processes are reviewed to make sure they are fair, efficient and up-to-date with the ever-changing industry.
The Quality Team is responsible for analysing the quality of complaint management once a complaint has been closed. Having a Quality Team that is at arms length from the Investigations Team allows us to provide independent assessment of our complaint-handling via:
Every month, the Quality Team undertakes a thorough integrity check of the data captured during our complaints management.
Complaint Management Reviews
The Quality Team also undertakes monthly reviews of a sample of randomly selected complaints to make sure we adhere to our complaints management policies and procedures.
Internal Reviews and complaints about EWON
Customers can request a review of the outcome of an investigation if they believe that EWON was biased or made an error, or if they provide relevant new information that was not available to them during the investigation.
Customers can also make complaints about the quality of EWON’s service. The Quality Team carries out internal reviews. Complaints about EWON are dealt with by the relevant manager with support and assistance from the Manager Quality. We take action to address any deficiencies or areas for improvement identified. This can include a change in a system, development of a new process or additional guidance to staff.
Step 3: Customer satisfaction surveys of referred and investigated complaints
The final step in our quality work is to ask customers about their experience of using our services. In 2019/2020, we began conducting customer satisfaction surveys in-house for both investigated and non-investigated complaints in order to survey customers closer to when their complaint was finalised. We conduct a survey each quarter, targeting particular groups of customers.
In October 2019 and April 2020, we surveyed all customers whose complaints we investigated between July-September 2019 and January-March 2020.
In January and July 2020, we surveyed a sample of customers whose complaints we referred to their provider’s specialist complaints team between October-December 2019 and April-June 2020.
Results of these surveys indicated a high satisfaction with EWON and our processes throughout 2019/2020. We use the results, including free text comments included in the survey, to monitor our performance and to inform our continuous improvement.
We will continue to undertake independent customer satisfaction surveys of investigated complaints every two years.