Guidance for members

Responding to a complaint about your agency 

The REC’s Code of Professional Practice (REC Code) applies to all corporate members of the REC and any breach of this Code will be dealt with under the REC’s Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure. The REC Code establishes higher ethical standards than the minimum required, so that REC members are able to differentiate themselves through good practice. 

When the Consultancy & Compliance team has received a complaint, it is reviewed to see whether a potential breach of the REC Code of Professional Practice may have occurred.

If it is considered that your agency needs to investigate a complaint, there are two ways in which the REC can request that you do this.

The first is that the REC writes to you enclosing the complaint asking you to put in place your company complaints procedure, which every member must have in place as a condition of membership. You would then respond directly to the complainant, ensuring they are fully aware of your complaints procedure.

The second is that the REC will instigate its formal complaints procedure, whereupon a Complaints' Officer is appointed who case-manages that complaint. The Complaints' Officer will write to you enclosing the complaint asking you to respond to the REC. All stages of the REC complaints procedure require correspondence in writing, enabling us to exchange information between complainant and agency and to operate our complaints procedure as fairly and promptly as possible. 

The aim of a REC complaints' investigation is to determine whether a breach of the REC Code has taken place and to improve standards of practice in the recruitment industry. 

A formal investigation carried out by a REC Complaints' Officer is a neutral process and the Complaints' Officer will make no findings until both parties have the opportunity to respond. The Complaints' Officer will provide advice and guidance to you as required and as appropriate during the course of, or following, an investigation. A complaints' investigation often provides opportunity for further learning and development in relation to your working practices, or offers a check to demonstrate that an agency is applying the right processes and procedures.

When you are informed that the REC has received a complaint involving your company you should consider how you want to organise your response and conduct your internal investigation. The guidance flowchart overleaf has been designed to help you in responding to a formal process but can also be used as a guide alongside your internal complaints' process. In addition, it will enable you to meet the requirements of the REC Code and co-operate promptly with any REC investigation instigated under the Complaints Procedure. This guidance reflects the key stages of the REC Complaints & Disciplinary Procedure and is the definitive authority on how investigations are carried out. 

If you have any questions about the Complaints' procedure or responding to a complaint please email the REC or call us on 020 7009 2100.

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