Complaints & Disciplinary Procedure
- Introducing the GHR
- Our commitment to you
- Relationships with other Professional Organisations
- What is a complaint?
- How to make a complaint
- How will your complaint be investigated?
- How to appeal if you are not satisfied
- Important notes regarding the Complaints Procedure
1. Introducing the GHR
The General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR) is the Administrating Agency for The General Hypnotherapy Standards Council (GHSC). Its stated aims are: ‘The maintenance of good practice, the promotion of unity and the encouragement of continuing development within the profession of Hypnotherapy’. The GHR is comprised of Individual Practitioners and is open to any Hypnotherapist who is able to satisfy the criteria for ongoing Registration as determined from time to time by the GHSC.
2. Our commitment to you
The GHR is committed to providing high quality and responsive services at all times. However, we recognise that sometimes people may not be satisfied with those services. We have therefore set up a Complaints Procedure to enable people to tell us clearly when and why they are not satisfied with either our services or those of our Registrants.
3. Relationships with other Professional Organisations
The GHSC maintains links with a large number of professional hypnotherapy organisations, and contact details for most others. Where a complaint against a therapist on the GHR Register is upheld, notification of any action taken by the GHR may also be brought to the attention of other organisations to which that therapist is affiliated. In most cases it is a requirement of professional membership that an organisation be informed by the member immediately when that member has received notice of a complaint or becomes aware that a complaint is being brought against them.
N.B. If a complainant has already complained to another body with whom the practitioner is also registered, we will not be able to hear the complaint as well but will note that other body’s decision in any ruling we may make on the matter.
4. What is a complaint?
A complaint is either a verbal or written expression of dissatisfaction. This may relate either to how the GHR itself has carried out its work or how you have been treated by a therapist on the Register. (N.B. Whereas a verbal complaint may be acknowledged, only a written complaint may proceed further).
5. How to make a complaint
If you are unhappy with a service or the level of service provided by the GHR, you may wish to raise it first directly with either the person or the department concerned. At all times we will try to resolve any problems as quickly and as informally as possible.
If you are unhappy with a service or the level of service provided by a GHR registered therapist, you may wish to raise it first directly with the therapist concerned in order to try to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.
If you prefer, or if you wish to take the matter further, you may make a complaint by email, marked “Confidential”, directly to the GHSC at email@example.com
Please give full details of the issues you wish to raise and reference these issues to the specific Clause (or Clauses) within the GHR Code of Ethics. You should also include written confirmation that a copy of your complaint may be forwarded to the therapist concerned in order that they should have full opportunity to respond.
Please ask if you need any help in making your complaint and we will try to provide it.
The GHSC is committed to dealing with any complaint fully and in a fair and impartial manner. We will also try at all times to make the procedure for dealing with your complaint the least stressful as possible for you.
All complaints are dealt with in confidence, although we do use the evidence gathered from any complaint to help improve our services. Records are kept of all complaints and how they are handled and this is reviewed, on an annual basis, by members of the GHSC Advisory Board.
Complaints must be filed within 1 year of the alleged violation. Action will not be considered after that time. (N.B. In order that the process should not be unnecessarily protracted, replies by complainants to communications from the GHSC/GHR must be received within 28 days of the date of any such communication. It is also advisable to send all letters by recorded delivery in order to minimise the likelihood of disputes arising over non-receipt.)
6. How will your complaint be investigated?
In most cases, your complaint will be referred to the Complaints Officer. (N.B. The Registrar shall have initial responsibility for determining whether the issue/s raised represent a valid complaint within the parameters of the GHR Codes of Ethics). At no time will your complaint be investigated by anyone involved in the substance of the complaint.
Receipt of your complaint will normally be acknowledged within ten (10) working days. If the Registrar decides that your complaint is valid (as described above), you will be:
i) Provided with a copy of the GHR Code of Ethics
ii) Given the name and contact details of the person investigating your complaint
iii) Informed how long we expect to take to look into your complaint and when you can expect a reply. This will vary from case to case.
A written report of your complaint, outlining the investigations and any conclusions and recommendations, will be prepared by the Complaints Officer. These are then passed back to the GHR Registrar for action. This action (dependent on the circumstances of each case) may be decided solely by the Registrar or in consultation with a member or members of the GHSC Advisory Board. Such action may include but not necessarily be limited to:
- No further action
- An admonishment
- Temporary suspension from Registration. (The period will be specified)
- Removal from the GHR
You will be advised of any action that the GHR has taken as a result of the complaint.
7. How to appeal if you are not satisfied
If you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint, you can ask to have all of the evidence reviewed by a member of the GHSC Advisory Board who has had no previous involvement with the complaint. (N.B. This same Appeals Procedure is also available to any person against whom the complaint has been brought). They will be asked to prepare a report on their findings, namely that ‘on the basis of the evidence available to the Complaints Officer and the Registrar was the decision reached reasonable?’ An appeal against a decision must be made within 28 calendar days of the complaint being informed. It is very important to adhere to this timetable, as no appeal will be considered by the GHSC after this period has elapsed.
We will try to be as flexible as possible in dealing with your complaint in order to make the situation less stressful for you. In particular, we will endeavour to keep you fully informed throughout the course of the complaint and in all cases, attempt to bring about a just resolution as quickly as possible.
8. Important notes regarding the Complaints Procedure
i) The Advisory Board will only review complaints from the actual party claiming to have been wronged. The Board will not accept complaints from a third party (e.g. The therapist acted unethically with my friend / wife / husband etc. would not be accepted). Anonymous complaints will not be considered.
ii) It is the complainant’s responsibility to factually prove his or her case. The Advisory Board is not responsible for either researching or building a case for the complainant or to defend the accused. Furthermore, feelings or suspicions are not sufficient cause to bring a complaint and neither is a statement that someone did something unethical. Reputations can be easily tarnished and are difficult to repair; you must have proof of your claim. Complaints must be supported by facts or they will not be considered. A complaint will not be considered on the basis of hearsay.
iii) Complaints must be of an ethical nature. The Advisory Board is not mandated to resolve business, legal or personal disputes that fall outside of specific ethics violations as set out within our Code of Ethics.
iv) Advisory Board decisions are based upon both the GHR’s ethical policy and its internal discussions. As such they should not be regarded as legal opinions.