Should EPSRC Users deem that some part of the Solid-state NMR Service provided by Durham University has not been satisfactory in some way, then they have the right to activate the formal Complaints Procedure.
However, it is expected that, given good faith on both sides, such issues can be resolved quickly without recourse to a formal complaint.
- To make a formal complaint about the SSNMR service, users should contact Paul Hodgkinson who will investigate the complaint and attempt to provide a satisfactory resolution.
- If a user remains unhappy with the solution or intervention is required at a higher level, the complaint will come under the jurisdiction of the Head of the Durham Chemistry Department (currently Professor John Evans).
- Should the complaint remain unresolved, the final arbiter is the SSNMR Ombudsman (the Chair of the SSNMR Service Steering Committee).
The Complaint Procedure shall be initiated within 10 working days of the date of the complaint communication from the User.
The receipt of the complaint, and relevant details, will be recorded by Durham University and the User provided with an acknowledgement of the complaint.
Investigation of the complaint may be undertaken by a Durham University person who is independent of the day-to-day operation of the SSNMR Service, however, in more serious cases (or following a repeated complaint), this will be undertaken by the SSNMR Service Steering Committee.
A formal written communication of the complaint investigation and resolution shall be provided to the User (and if appropriate EPSRC), however, an interim or verbal communication will be provided at the earliest opportunity
Complaint investigation and resolution will be completed within 10 working days however, for more complex issues and provided that the User is informed, then this period may be extended up to a maximum of 30 working days.
Users may also use this mechanism to appeal a decision to refuse access to the Service made by the Manager. All complaints and all actions taken will be fully reported at the next Steering Committee meeting.
Should EPSRC Users deem that a major complaint, or a series of lesser complaints, on the SSNMR Service has not been satisfactorily resolved then they have the right to activate the formal Dispute Procedure.
The Dispute Procedure will be initiated within 10 working days of the date of the initial notice of dispute from the User and EPSRC shall be informed that such an investigation has been commenced.
Durham University and the User (including EPSRC if appropriate) shall attempt in good faith to negotiate a settlement to any dispute between them arising out of or in connection with the SSNMR Service within 30 working days of the initial notice of dispute.
This negotiation will be between Senior Management representatives of all parties who will have the authority to agree on an appropriate settlement to the dispute.
Formal records and minutes of meetings will be taken and copies of these documents will be retained.
If the dispute is resolved then the details will be documented and signed by authorised representatives of all parties and details of the findings and/or resolution will be communicated to the User and/or EPSRC at the earliest opportunity.