Complaints Policy

Cancer Trials Ireland Complaints Policy

Cancer Trials Ireland is committed to providing a high-quality service to everyone we deal with. If you have any comments or complaints about our service, we would like to hear from you. We are committed to listening to your complaints and to treating them seriously so that we can learn from them and continuously improve. 

In the first instance, Cancer Trials Ireland hopes that complaints would be handled informally. In the event that a complaint cannot be handled informally, we advise individuals to follow the procedure set out in this policy. All complaints made are treated confidentially. Cancer Trials Ireland endeavours to fulfil the following values in all aspects of our work: Respectful partnership – Focus on the needs of those affected – Positive engagement – Openness – Professionalism and Efficiency 

How to make an informal complaint

In the first instance, Cancer Trials Ireland invites parties to make a complaint informally. This should ideally be done in person or by phone and can be a conversation with a senior / relevant member of staff. Where possible we endeavour to handle all complaints informally if possible. We aim to ensure making a complaint is as easy as possible and to deal with it promptly and politely. We aim to informally resolve a complaint as soon as possible but within a maximum of 5 working days. 

We endeavour to learn from complaints, use them to improve our work, and review annually our complaints policy and procedures. 

If your complaint cannot be dealt with informally, we will direct you to our formal complaints procedure. 

How to make an formal complaint

There are certain times when a complaint cannot be handled informally. In these circumstances we request complainants to make a formal complaint in writing following the below steps: 

  • E-mail: addressed to: To whom it may concern
  • Post: Eibhlin Mulroe, CEO, Cancer Trials Ireland, RCSI house, 121 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, D02 H903

If you have a difficulty with submitting a complaint in writing, please contact us by phone or in person and we can support you with making the complaint. Please include the following information when making a complaint: 

  • Name, address, a daytime telephone number and an email address if applicable, 
  • Full details of the complaint including relevant dates and times, 
  • Names of those involved (including staff) – Be clear about what you are hoping to achieve,
  • Copies of any relevant documentation, 
  • State your preferred method of communication, 
  • See form in the appendix of this policy to complete if you wish. 

Dealing with your formal complaint

  1. We will formally acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days.
  2. We will assess the complaint and escalate appropriately. 
  3. Cancer Trials Ireland will confirm that the issue raised in the complaint is within its control. If there is more than one issue raised in the complaint, Cancer Trials Ireland will determine whether each issue needs to be separately addressed. 
  4. Cancer Trials Ireland will look at addressing the complaint. We will let you know if this includes an investigation. If the complaint is straightforward, generally someone from the organisation will investigate. 
  5. If necessary, an investigation panel is formed to investigate the complaint. The persons investigating the complaint are in no way involved in the complaint, are not related to the complainant or any staff members involved in the complaint. Following investigation of the complaint, a separate HR procedure may need to be invoked. 
  6. A full response to the complaint will be issued within 30 working days of receipt of the complaint. 
  7. If there is a delay to the timeline of issuing a response, we will notify the person making the complaint as soon as possible. 
  8. The person making the complaint will be kept informed of the progress of the complaint. 


Depending on the nature of the complaint received, Cancer Trials Ireland will determine the type of investigation that will take place. All complaints will be thoroughly and objectively investigated. The investigation will be handled appropriately and sensitively. The person or panel investigating the complaint will aim first to establish the facts related to the case. In complex cases, an investigation plan will be drawn up outlining how the complaint will be investigated. When investigating a complaint, all relevant evidence will be looked at. In the process of the investigation, we may need to meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint further. Complainants can bring a person with them to any such meeting. 

Appropriate staff will participate in the investigation of a complaint. Any staff member involved in the complaint will be supported throughout the process. 

Outcome and Response

Following the formal investigation of a complaint, we will let the complainant know what we have found via the complainant’s preferred form of communication. We will explain how and why we came to our conclusions and outline any changes to policies/procedures, practice and risk management arising from the investigation. Where no grounds for the complaint are found, the complainant will be notified and information detailing the next stage will be provided. We will share any recommendations from our investigation with the complainant and also all relevant staff. We will outline the appeals process as part of the complaint response. 


If the complainant is dissatisfied with the response to the complaint, the complainant will have the opportunity to appeal it. The appeal must be submitted within 5 working days.

Record of Complaints and Confidentiality

An accurate and detailed record of each complaint is kept for a period of 2 years from the date the complaint has been dealt with. Complaint information is stored confidentially at Cancer Trials Ireland and is only accessed by appropriately assigned persons. 

Data Protection

All personal information received by Cancer Trials Ireland in relation to a complaint shall be stored in accordance with general Data Protection Legislation and EU regulations to include all regulations relating to the protection of personal data and privacy legislation including (without limitation) (EU)2016/679  (European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Irish Data Protection Act 2018,  the EC ( Electronic Communications Networks and Services) ( Privacy and Electronic Communications) Regulations 2011 and all other statutory instruments, industry guidelines (whether statutory or non-statutory) or codes of practice or guidance issued by the Data Protection Commission or The European Data Protection Board relating to the processing of personal data or privacy or any amendments and re-enactments thereof.

Complaint not within the scope of Cancer Trials Ireland’s operations / responsibilities

Any complaints not within the scope of Cancer Trials Ireland to investigate, will be referred appropriately. 

What we expect from complainants

We believe that all complainants have the right to be heard, understood, and respected. However, we also consider that our staff have the same rights. We, therefore, expect complainants to be polite and courteous in dealing with us. We will not tolerate aggressive or abusive behaviour, unreasonable demands, or unreasonable persistence. 

This policy was adopted by Cancer Trials Ireland on

Signed by:
On behalf of Management (Manager, Owner, Chairperson)

Review Date: 

Useful Links:

If you have exhausted all internal appeal mechanisms it may be useful to contact the Charities Regulator