Tennis Scotland strives to deliver an effective and efficient service to a high standard at all times.
We understand that you may not always be happy with Tennis Scotland. For that reason Tennis Scotland has a Complaints Procedure.
The best way to resolve problems is usually on a personal basis and / or at local level by talking to the people involved. You should normally try this before contacting Tennis Scotland. This might take the form of contacting the club, tournament organiser, referee, or coach.
Complaints such as:
- 'The courts at my club have not been maintained for months'
- 'The rules about access for different members are unfair'
- 'I have not been refunded for lessons that the tennis centre cancelled'
- 'My son attended a tournament that was badly organised'
can often be dealt with quickly and efficiently in this way and we would encourage you to do that.
However you should bear in mind that if the complaint cannot be resolved quickly in this way that Tennis Scotland does have a time limit of four weeks for accepting and managing complaints within this Complaints Procedure - see below.
How to contact Tennis Scotland
If complaining locally does not resolve the issue or if the matter relates to a serious issue such as unsafe, unprofessional, offensive, intimidating or discriminatory conduct you may wish to complain to Tennis Scotland. You can do this by writing to Tennis Scotland at 177 Colinton Road, Edinburgh, EH14 1BZ or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. It would assist greatly if you would head up any letter or email with the word "COMPLAINT" so that we know that you wish us to deal with this in accordance with this Complaints Procedure.
We will accept telephone complaints if the matter is both urgent and serious. See under "Complaints Format" below.
Values and Principles
There are some important values and principles that Tennis Scotland applies to its complaints process. We also encourage other organisations and persons in Scottish tennis to apply these values and principles.
Right to complain: You have a right to complain. Complaints should be taken seriously. You should not be bullied, harassed or disadvantaged for making a complaint.
Equality: You should receive a proper response to your complaint, regardless of your age, gender, disability, race, religion, nationality, social status or sexual orientation. Tennis Scotland has an Equality and Diversity Policy to protect your rights in this area.
Fairness: Complaints should be dealt with fairly and openly. Unless it would put other people at risk, those affected by a complaint should have a chance to contribute and respond to any investigation.
Confidentiality: complaints should be treated as confidentially as possible, and should only be discussed with those involved in the investigation or decision-making process. Sometimes, advice or intervention might be needed from organisations such as the Lawn Tennis Association, social services departments, Police, or Children 1st. Tennis Scotland and other tennis organisations reserve the right to speak to these or other authorities if advice or intervention might be needed.
Safety and welfare are our priorities: concerns that affect the safety or welfare of a person or the public will be given the highest priority.
In many cases, we can help to resolve problems informally. This might include:
- An explanation or apology
- Clarifications to responsibilities or roles
- Changes in local arrangements
- An agreement between those involved to act or communicate differently in future
Sometimes, our involvement might lead to formal action at local level. Examples of this include:
- Disciplinary action against staff or members by a club or other organisation
- Disqualification or exclusion from an event
Your complaint could lead to formal action by Tennis Scotland. This might include:
- Formal disciplinary or child protection proceedings against a Licensed coach, an official or a player
- Formal disciplinary action against a Tennis Scotland employee
- Action to enforce contracts or agreements with Tennis Scotland
- A decision to refer the case to another organisation such as the Lawn Tennis Association, Children 1st, Police or social services
If Tennis Scotland begins formal proceedings, further investigation and correspondence may form part of these.
Tennis Scotland may decide to close your complaint without taking further action. If this happens, you will be given the reasons for our decision. This could happen if, for example, it is decided that your complaint is ill founded or if Tennis Scotland has no jurisdiction to act in the matter.
Complaint formats: Telephone, email or letter
We will accept a telephone complaint if the matter is both urgent and serious. A matter will be regarded as serious if it relates to a matter which endangers the safety or welfare of an individual.
Unless the matter is both urgent and serious we ask that you send to us an email or letter detailing the nature of your complaint. This helps to ensure accuracy and that we understand fully the concerns which you have.
Level of information
Provide as much information as you can. It can be difficult for us to deal with a complaint if we do not have very much information. Remember that we might not be familiar with your local area. Try to include information such as names, contact details and job titles.
The more information you are able to provide with your initial complaint, the easier it will be for us to investigate.
If you are unsure of what to include with a complaint, call us for advice on 0131 444 1984.
We will consider anonymous complaints, but it is often very difficult to investigate these properly. Often we have no choice but to close them without action.
Tennis Scotland is more likely to progress an investigation into an anonymous complaint if it relates to a matter of safety or welfare of an individual.
Tennis Scotland's response to complaints
We try to give an initial response to complaints within five working days. If the matter is urgent, we will respond more quickly.
We will investigate your complaint fairly. This means that we will gather information from the relevant people or organisations. In many cases this may require only a few telephone calls.
Normally our investigation will include talking to you and to the person or organisation who is the subject of the complaint. Sometimes we will ask for permission to show copies of information or reports to other people. This is because we believe in being fair and open.
We will not share information if we think that this could endanger someone's safety or welfare.
We will not share information if this could affect a possible enquiry by the Police, social services or other authority.
We will take reasonable steps to conduct a thorough investigation, but will always give priority to cases where there may be a risk to someone's safety or welfare, and we always reserve the right to end an investigation at any time.
We will not divulge your identity without your permission but you should remember that the nature of your complaint may be such that investigation will result in accurate speculation about your identity. We will assume that you understand and accept that this could happen.
Staying informed of progress
The Tennis Scotland employee dealing with your complaint will act as a point of contact. You will be given the name and contact details of the person responsible for your complaint. That person will make sure that you understand the process, and will help to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.
Sometimes we might agree that someone more local will act as your point of contact. You can, of course, still contact Tennis Scotland with any questions about your complaint.
You will be given updates on the progress of your complaint. We hope to resolve complaints quickly but in the event of a complicated and lengthy complaint we will update you on a three monthly basis.
If your complaint leads to formal disciplinary action, you will normally be informed of the outcome of this action. Some cases require a higher level of confidentiality than normal. In these cases, we may not be able to inform you of the detailed outcome. We will still try to give you information about how it will affect you.
Disputes and arguments
Tennis Scotland does not offer an arbitration, dispute-resolution or independent enquiry service. We will not usually become involved in arguments or disputes involving individuals or organisations unless we decide that:-
- The dispute is important to the whole of Scottish tennis and all parties involved are content that we should be involved or
- The dispute is important to the whole of Scottish tennis and involves misconduct by someone who is subject to the Rules of Tennis Scotland.
Advice from the Police, social services or other authorities
Sometimes Tennis Scotland receives complaints that we need to discuss with other authorities. These might include Children 1st, the Police, social services departments, or other government or local authority departments. Often this is because:
- A criminal offence may have been committed, or
- There could be a risk to the public, or
- There could be a risk to the safety or welfare of an individual
Like any person or organisation, Tennis Scotland does not need evidence of a crime or of a serious hazard before consulting with these statutory authorities. If we believe that their input could be relevant, we will consult at the earliest opportunity.
Sometimes this consultation will lead to the direct involvement of statutory authorities.
It is important to us that all complaints are made within a reasonable timescale so that matters can be investigated while events are fresh in people's minds. It is also for the best that you should decide within a reasonable timescale either to complain or to put the matter behind you.
For that reason Tennis Scotland will regard a complaint as falling within this Complaints Procedure only if it is made within four weeks of the event complained of.
If a complaint is made outwith that period then Tennis Scotland may still investigate and take action; however you will receive a letter acknowledging receipt of the complaint and advising that it will be considered and dealt with as a late complaint. That will mean that you will not be told of the outcome and will receive no further contact from Tennis Scotland in relation to the complaint unless we decide to investigate and request further information from you.
Tennis Scotland is more likely to progress an investigation into a late complaint if it relates to a matter of safety or welfare of an individual.