How We Treat Complaints

The National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) is committed to managing complaints in a way that:

  • Is timely and efficient, to facilitate a speedy resolution.
  • Is accessible, fair and transparent to all parties.
  • Promotes informal conciliation such as mediation, where appropriate.
  • Promotes feedback and best practice to inform the betterment of the Association and its services.

All complaints are taken seriously and no individual is penalised for making a genuine complaint.

The complaints procedure operates on the principles of natural justice:

  • There are two sides to every dispute.
  • All parties are given the opportunity to provide evidence to substantiate their version of the issue.
  • Full disclosure of any allegations or evidence will be made to those parties involved in the complaint.

All information provided regarding the complaint will remain confidential for use within the complaints process (with the exception of exemptions made for the Whistleblowing Policy, where there is reason to believe that, for example, a criminal offence has been committed) and is subject to the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), 2018. Only individuals directly involved with the complaint will be given access to confidential information.

Anonymous or third-party complaints will not be accepted.

Stage 1
Local Resolution

Individuals making a complaint are strongly encouraged to try to speak to the person you have been dealing with, who should be able to help you to resolve the issue. Alternatively you may seek the support of the Operational Head at the earliest opportunity. NAJ will make every reasonable effort to help remedy these issues before they become a significant problem.

  • All issues or concerns should normally be made, in writing, to the relevant staff member. Complaints should be made within 10 working days of the alleged incident, matter or concern. The staff member should normally respond within 10 working days or where this is not possible, s/he will advise of the anticipated timescale.
  • Complainants should keep a record of their action taken to resolve the complaint and keep copies of any relevant correspondence and documentation.
  • If it is not possible to resolve the complaint locally, then the individual can submit their complaint under Stage 2 of the complaints procedure.
Stage 2
Formal Resolution

Where the complaint has not been resolved or satisfactorily dealt with locally, then an individual can submit a formal complaint. They will be expected to provide details of their attempt to resolve the matter locally.

  • All formal complaints should be made to the Principal Officer within 10 working days of the last verifiable attempt at local resolution. Where it is not appropriate for a complaint to be submitted for local resolution a formal complaint should normally be made within 10 working days of the alleged incident, matter or concern.
  • If a complaint is submitted outside the advertised deadlines then the complaint will be deemed out of time and NAJ reserves the right not to progress the complaint.
  • Individuals should provide appropriate evidence to support any allegations they make. Evidence may include names, dates, details of the complaint (including relevant correspondence), signed witness statements, progression of your complaint thus far, and any other relevant information. Where an individual fails to provide reasonable evidence to substantiate their allegations, NAJ reserves the right not to progress the complaint further.
  • Individuals are required to specify the remedy they seek and/or the desired outcome to their complaint. NAJ will take such wishes into consideration in the resolution of the issue. This information is, nevertheless, given without prejudice to the final remedy determined.
  • Written complaints should be marked NAJ Complaint For the Attention of the Principal Officer, and sent to Federation House, 10, Vyse street, Birmingham, B18 6LT. For email complaints please do refer to the table below.
  • Complainants will receive a formal acknowledgement within five working days of submitting a complaint to the NAJ and a formal investigation will be undertaken.
  • Investigation of a complaint will normally be undertaken by the Operational Head of the respective NAJ Service, unless the complaint pertains to the individual Operational Head, in which case the investigation will be undertaken by the Principal Officer, or the Chair of the Association or nominated member of the National Committee if the complaint pertains the respective individual.

The investigator will:

  • Establish the full facts and circumstances relating to the complaint, through discussion with the complainant, NAJ staff members and appropriate independent third parties;
  • Immediately pass the complaint on for investigation by an alternative member of the National Committee if s/he is found to be implicated in the complaint;
  • Ensure that NAJ staff and third party representatives co-operate fully with a complaint investigation;
  • Take action to quickly resolve any issues upheld by the investigation;
  • Report all complaints and investigation outcomes to external agencies, as required.

Wherever possible, NAJ will seek to facilitate an early resolution of the complaint and will aim to provide a response within 10 working days of submission of the complaint. Should this not be the case, then the complainant will be kept informed of any likely delay and the reasons for the delay, at the earliest opportunity.

Report and Outcomes 

We are committed to being a fair, consistent and accessible Association for everyone who engages with us, including NAJ members, non-members, students and the general public. We believe that everyone who contacts us has the right to be heard, understood and respected. We believe that our staff have the same rights, and we must provide a safe working environment for our staff. We must also ensure the efficient and effective operation of our Association, so that we can provide a good service to everyone who is engaging with us.

We may decide to restrict access to our service where we consider someone’s actions or behaviour are likely to have a negative effect on our staff or our work.

This policy sets out the kinds of actions and behaviour that may have a negative effect, and what we will do in these circumstances. This policy applies to everyone who interacts or communicates with us, including NAJ members, non-members, students and the general public.

We recognise that some people may have difficulties in expressing themselves or communicating clearly, especially when anxious or upset. We also understand that some people may find it difficult to identify what impact their behaviour might have on other people. We will always consider making reasonable adjustments for a disabled person if we are asked to do so – but we may still use the policy if there are actions or behaviours which are having a negative effect on our staff or our work.

Individuals will receive written notification of the outcome of their complaint from the Association. This will include whether the complaint is upheld or not and any further action to be taken.

The investigator will submit a full written report of the investigation and identified remedial action to NAJ as appropriate. A copy of the report will also be sent to the complainant. Implementation of the required actions will be monitored by Executive Committee.


Where an individual believes the complaint procedures has not been followed correctly or their complaint has not been appropriately addressed or the decision regarding the outcome of their complaint is unreasonable, they have the right to appeal to the Chair of the Association within 10 working days of the date of notification.

The grounds of the appeal should be clearly stated in writing and sent with full supporting evidence to NAJ Chair, Federation House, 10 Vyse Street, Birmingham, B18 6LT.

  • The appeal will not consider new evidence.
  • The NAJ Chair decision is final.
  • The individual will be formally notified in writing of the decision normally within 10 working days.
Appropriate Contacts

The following table presents who you should address your formal complaint to if you are unable to reach a local resolution (stage 1).

Complaint Against Heard By Contact Via
The Association or Association Employee NAJ Principal Officer

The Principal Officer NAJ Chair

An NAJ volunteer (while acting in a voluntary capacity on behalf of NAJ) NAJ President

The Chair and Senior Officers of the Association NAJ President

The President of the NAJ NAJ Chair

Results of Complaints

The National Committee will receive a report at least once a year showing how many complaints have been received, the general nature of the matters complained about and a list of remedial actions that have been taken.