Complaints - Stage 4: The appeals process (FOD)

The appeals process can be initiated after a decision has been made by HSE on the future follow up of a complaint. For example:

  • A complainant has been told that HSE will not follow up the concern as it has been rated "green" or does not meet the definition of a complaint
  • A complainant is dissatisfied with the speed of the follow up process
  • HSE has completed its follow up and the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome.

The Appeals process described deals only with decisions made by the complaints handling team. Appeals against decisions made by FMU Band 2 are heard by the Band 2 and Band 1.

Step 4.1 - Initiation of the appeals process

For the Band 5 or FMU Inspector

  • Obtain as much information as possible about the reason why the caller is not satisfied. If necessary, the call may be transferred to an Inspector to obtain this information or to explain the decision if more technical advice is needed
  • If the complainant is not satisfied they should be advised that the issue will be passed to the independent complaints appeal manager (B2).
  • The appeals process should be explained to the caller by whoever is responding to the concerns raised.

Performance standard

Where the appeals process has been initiated the appeal should be:

  • Referred to the Appeals manager in writing, immediately, The date the appeal was received should be recorded.
  • The complainant informed on the same day that the matter has been referred to the Appeals manager


  • For Appeals concerning red or amber complaints, record on COIN that an appeal has been initiated and the date referred to the Appeals manager.

Step 4.2 - Carrying out the appeal

For the Appeals manager

The purpose of the appeal process is to identify:

  • Whether the complaints procedure has been followed
  • Whether a complaint has been correctly categorised based on the information supplied by the complaint.

The Appeals manager will:

  • Process appeals relating to issues where a decision was made not to follow up a complaint, or the complaint was followed up by the complaints team.
  • Not process appeals relating to complaints that have been referred to an operational band 2. These complaints will be dealt with by the FMU Band 2 themselves.
  • The appeals manager will carry out a paper based review of the complaint to identify whether the procedure has been followed.
  • Obtain additional information from the complaints handling team where this is identified as necessary.

Performance standards

  • The Appeals manager will carry out the appeal process and reach a decision within 10 working days of the appeal being raised.


  • A record of the outcome of the appeal into a red or amber complaint should be put on COIN by the Appeals manager and the details of any "Green" appeals held by the Appeals manager for monitoring purposes.

Step 4.3 - Actions resulting from the appeal

Where the appeal identifies that further action is needed the Appeals manager will:

  • Instruct the complaints officer where further lines of enquiry are identified

Where the appeal identifies that no further action is necessary the Appeals manager will:

  • Inform the complainant that no further action will be taken and the reasons for this decision
  • Advise the complainant if necessary that if they remain dissatisfied they can take the appeal to the next stage ie write to the Chief executive.


  • Record the outcome of the appeal on COIN

Performance Standards

The Appeals Manager will

  • Within 10 working days inform the complainant, in writing or by telephone, of the outcome of the appeal,
  • Inform the complaints handling team of the outcome of the appeal within 10 working days

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Updated 2020-12-14