Complaints Procedure

What is this procedure for? Biggar Rugby Football Club (BRFC) takes complaints on Club matters seriously. We are proud of our strapline

Biggar RFC: One Club, One Family and wish that anyone involved with the club, regardless of age and experience, be they member, player, parent, coach, other club representative or visitor feels welcome, safe, secure and valued when at Biggar RFC.

As a club we encourage feedback and view complaints as an opportunity, where possible, to learn and improve the advice and support that we offer our members.
Our aims are to:

  • Provide a fair complaints procedure which is clear and easy to understand.
  • Be open about how we will deal with complaints.
  • Ensure that all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely way.
  • Gather information for BRFC to improve.

For the purpose of these procedures, a complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction about any aspect of Biggar RFC.

Our Club is proud of both its playing record and also its safety and complaints record. As a Club that promotes openness and honesty, and that has a desire to develop and improve, there must be an avenue for opinions and complaints to be heard (however serious). Therefore, the Club operates a procedure that allows Members (including Players, Parents and Coaches), Spectators or visitors to raise complaints about any perceived issue.

Types of Complaint

To help the complaints process, a number of potential complaints / issues have been listed below. This list is neither exhaustive or prescriptive nor in order of seriousness, and does not mean to undermine or belittle a complaint if categorised in the “minor issue” section. It is meant to serve as a reference and to assist with how to raise an issue or to make a complaint. All Types of complaint will be taken seriously, however some may be more serious than others.

Minor Issues

  • Differences of opinion
  • Complaints over coaching style
  • Poor communication from Coaches to other Coaches / Players / Parents
  • Coaches failing to advise colleagues that he / she is unable to attend that week
  • Parents failing to return to collect a player / child at a particular time (or in the younger age groups leaving a child at a session unattended)
  1. Major Issues
  • Repeated Minor Issues
  • The Safety of Club activities
  • Discrimination, harassment or bullying
  • Child abuse and child welfare
  • Poor standards of instructions or leadership (Coaching)
  • Poor standard of equipment used for Club activities
  • Poor Club administration
  • Lack of suitable activities for their level of participation
  • Behaviour contrary to the Codes of Conduct

Note: The Committee recommends that all issues should be addressed at the earliest possible opportunity so that they may be resolved as amicably as possible. It is important that all parties communicate regularly and honestly.

  1. Who Can Make a Complaint?

Anyone associated with the Club (whether a member or visitor) can make a complaint.

In the event that a Member (including Players, Parents, Coaches or other Club Representative), spectator or visitor feels that he or she has suffered abuse or discrimination in any way, or that the Club Policies, Rules or Codes of Conduct have been broken, or are not happy with coaching methods etc. should follow the procedure below.

  1. How to Make a Complaint

The complaint can be either a verbal complaint or a written complaint. Although a verbal complaint may be suitable for one-off minor issues, a written complaint or written report will be required for all serious issues or for repetition of minor issues after a Verbal Complaint has not rectified the matter. A serious complaint can still be made verbally to the relevant Club Representative, which in turn would trigger a written report.

In matters involving Youth rugby, complaints should in the first instance be made to the Convenor of the age group or Club Safeguarding Officer (CSO) – see below.

In matters involving Senior rugby, adult members, committee and/or Office Bearers, the complaint should be made to the section convenor or the most senior Club official. If the complaint involves a senior office-bearer or might lead to a conflict of interest within the committee, then recourse may be made to the Trustees. In this instance the complaint should be made to the Trustee responsible for Governance.

  1. Verbal Complaint

The complaint should be reported to the Convenor of the age group. If the complaint is about a coach and you feel that you cannot approach the Head Coach, then the complaint should be made to the CSO with details of what, when and where the occurrence took place. Please include names and contact details of any witnesses.

  1. Written Complaint

Although the written complaint can be given to the Convenor of that age group (especially if it involves one of the Coaches of that age group), a written complaint can be given directly to the CSO with details of what, when and where the occurrence took place. Please include names and contact details of any witnesses.

Note: Any issues or complaints regarding Child Protection, Safeguarding, Bullying or Neglect etc. should be immediately reported to the CSO. If the allegations are about the CSO then the matter should be reported immediately to the Club President.

  1. Club Reaction to a Complaint

Verbal Complaint to Coach, Convenor or CSO

Depending on the nature of the complaint (e.g. a difference of opinion on coaching or team selection) it may be possible to resolve these issues without needing to escalate matters. A brief report from the Coach should be sent to the CSO and Club President.

Should the matter be more serious, then a brief report (by the Coach or CSO) should be sent to the Club Playing Committee and, if particularly serious, the SRU Safeguarding Department and the Police.

  1. Taking Action

If the Committee considers the complaint to be unjustified then no further action will be taken. In such circumstances the Committee will consider how similar situations or misunderstandings might be avoided in the future.

The aim is that all parties to be informed of the outcome in writing within 30 days.

If the Committee considers the complaint to be justified then it will decide on the appropriate action to be taken. In doing so they will take account of past records, relevant disciplinary policies of the Club and if necessary the SRU.

In such circumstances the Committee will consider how similar situations or misunderstandings might be avoided in the future.

All parties are to be informed of the outcome in writing, however the time taken to respond will depend on the nature of the complaint and the investigations processes followed.

Note: The person to whom the complaint refers (until the complaint is proved or remedied) may, at the discretion of the Committee, be suspended (pending further investigations). This is not an admission of guilt or a fait accompli; it would just be served to protect all parties during the investigations.

  1. Written Response to a Complaint

Should the Committee decide that a written response is necessary and appropriate, a written response will be made after the Committee has heard from all parties. The written response will include the Committee’s decision and any action to be taken.

  1. Appeals

In the event of either party not being satisfied with the Committee’s response, an appeal may be made in writing to the Club President. If either party is still not satisfied a final appeal may be made in writing to the Trustees.

Contact details:

Please find e-mail addresses to the main section Convenors and club officials. If you would prefer to write a formal letter please name the appropriate contact and use the following clubhouse address.

Biggar RFC, Hartree Mill Sports Ground, Biggar, Lanarkshire, ML12 6JJ

Club Safeguarding Officer: Louise Storie –
Mini/Micro: Catriona Malone –
Boys Youth: Laura Watson –
Girls Youth: Lesa Forrest –
Boys U18: Graeme Watson –
Senior Men: Ian Notman – notman110@al5tewart
Senior Women: Laura Watson –
Director of Youth Rugby, Academy and Hypers –
Club Secretary: Mike Booth –
President: Rab Ramsay –