Policies

The following policies are published on this page:

  1. Data protection policy

  2. Complaints policy

  3. Quality standards policy

  4. Equal opportunities policy

  5. Fundraising policy

1.Data Protection Policy

Introduction

This policy outlines the way our website processes, stores and protects user data and sets out the obligations and requirements of Devon Communities Together and website users.

The website

Devon Communities Together will ensure that all necessary steps are taken to protect the privacy of users of our website. The website complies with all UK national privacy laws and requirements.

Use of cookies

A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer's hard drive. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.

We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about web page traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and then the data is removed from the system.

Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us. You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.

Personal information

Whilst using our website or services, you may be asked to provide personal information (name, address, email, bank details, etc.). We will ensure that all personal information supplied is held securely in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679, as adopted into UK law in the Data Protection Act 2018. You have the right at any time to request a copy of the personal information we hold on you. Should you wish to receive a copy of this, or would like to be removed from our database, please contact us by email: info@devoncommunities.org.uk , phone: 01392 248919 or post: Devon Communities Together, 3 & 4 Cranmere Court, Lustleigh Close, Matford Business Park, Exeter EX2 8PW

Information collection and use

Choosing how we use your data

With respect to your personal information that we may hold at any time, we commit to giving you the ability to:

  • Verify the information we hold by contacting our customer services team via info@devoncommunities.org.uk or 01392 248919 or by post to our office address.  Our security procedures mean that we may request proof of identity before we reveal information, including your e-mail address or your address.
  • Contact us (by the same method) to change, correct, or delete your personal information held by Devon Communities Together.
  • Unsubscribe from receiving marketing emails from us by clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of our emails. 
How long will we keep your data for?

Devon Communities Together will not retain your personal information longer than necessary. We will hold onto the information you provide either:

  • While you remain a member of DCT (including the Devon Oil Collective and Devon Senior Voice), or 
  • As specified in the permissions you give us in relation to other services we provide or,
  • Where we have a legal or regulatory requirement to retain the data.

Devon Communities Together will not give or sell your personal data to anyone without your prior agreement (other than to a General Data Protection Regulation compliant processor working on our behalf).

2.Complaints Policy

1. Introduction

The Community Council of Devon is committed to providing a high quality service to everyone we deal with. However, we recognise that there may be times when things go wrong. We value all types of feedback about our service and will use complaints to help us to learn and continuously improve our service. This policy tells you how to go about making a complaint about our service and what response you can expect from us.

2. About the Community Council of Devon

The Community Council of Devon is an independent charitable company founded in 1961. Its 240 members include the principal statutory bodies and voluntary organisations in the county, and many other local organisations.

We have a voluntary governing body, our Board of Trustees, in part elected by our full members at general meetings and in part appointed by bodies as designated in our company articles. The Community Council of Devon incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee in 1999.

For further information about The Community Council of Devon see www.devoncommunities.org.uk.

3. What kind of complaint can be considered?

Grounds for complaint include:

  • Dissatisfaction with standards of service (for example, the quality of information provided to you, either verbally or in written form, or the manner in which that information was provided).
  • Deficiencies in standards of service (which might include problems with accessibility or the provision of information in appropriate formats).
  • Discrimination, harassment, bullying and victimisation.
  • Other deficiencies in the quality of your experience with Community Council of Devon

4. What kind of complaint is excluded?

The nature of what we do means that we often work in partnership or in association with a large number of organisations, groups and individuals. However we cannot respond to complaints about the public involvement work of others. We therefore suggest that such complaints be addressed to the organisation, group or individual concerned. Complaints made to The Community Council of Devon need to relate to the actions of The Community Council of Devon staff or others working as representatives of The Community Council of Devon, such as volunteers.

5. How to make a complaint

Many concerns can be sorted out by discussing the problem with a member of staff, and we would encourage you to try this first by phoning 01392 248919.

If, however, this does not resolve the situation for you, you can make a formal complaint
through The Community Council of Devon’ s two-stage complaints procedure.

6. Making a complaint: Stage one

In the first instance, your complaint will be dealt with by The Community Council of Devon’s Director of Operations. Therefore please put your complaint in writing and address it to:

Greg Davies
Director of Operations
Devon Communties Together
1st Floor – 3&4 Cranmere Court
Lustleigh Close
Exeter EX2 8PW
Email: greg@devoncommunities.org.uk
Tel: 01392 248919 Ext: 181

It will help us if you can submit your complaint in writing with as much detail as possible, including any supporting documents or information. This helps us to understand the complaint more fully and to respond better to it. In addition, if you have any suggestions about how to resolve your complaint, please include them.

We treat all complaints seriously and you can expect to be treated with courtesy and fairness at all times. We will aim to resolve your complaint as quickly and as helpfully as possible.

We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within five working days and you will receive a response within 15 working days of the receipt of your complaint. If for some reason we are unable to respond within 15 working days, we will contact you to explain why.

The Director of Operations may discuss your complaint with any relevant parties (i.e. people directly involved in the complaint). However, we undertake to maintain full confidentiality beyond this and will not discuss you or your complaint with anyone outside The Community Council of Devon.

7. Making a complaint: Stage two

If you are not satisfied with our response at Stage One, then you can request that the complaint be taken to Stage Two. At Stage Two, your complaint will be reviewed and responded to by The Chief Executive, Elaine Cook. She may choose to review it with other Senior Managers of The Community Council of Devon.

You can expect to receive an acknowledgement of your request to proceed to Stage Two within five working days, and you will receive a response within 20 working days. Once again, if we are unable to do this we will contact you and let you know the reasons for the delay.

8. If you are not satisfied with our response

We do hope that we resolve your complaint in a satisfactory way. However, if, having followed our complaints procedure, you remain dissatisfied with our response you can ask to have your complaint reviewed by the Chair of The Community Council of Devon Board of Trustees, Teresa Butchers, c/o the address above.

If you need a copy of this policy in another format please contact us:

  • Email: info@devoncommunities.org.uk
  • Telephone: 01392 248919

This policy is also available to download here.

3.QUALITY STANDARDS POLICY (BS EN ISO 9001:2015)

Community Council of Devon operating as Devon Communities Together aims to provide defect free products and services to its customers on time and within budget.

The Organisation operates a Quality Management System that has gained BS EN ISO 9001:2015 certification, including aspects specific to the provision of local community services.

The management is committed to:

1. Develop and improve the Quality Management System

2. Continually improve the effectiveness of the Quality Management System

3. The enhancement of customer, trustee and partner satisfaction.

The management has a continuing commitment to:

1. Ensure that customer needs and expectations are determined and fulfilled with the aim of achieving customer satisfaction

2. Communicate throughout the Organisation the importance of meeting customer needs and all relevant statutory and regulatory requirements

3. Establish the Quality Policy and to set Quality Objectives at relevant functions, levels and processes

4. Ensure that the Management Reviews set and review the Quality Objectives, and report on the internal audit results as a means of monitoring and measuring the processes and the effectiveness of the Quality Management System

5. Ensure the availability of resources.

The Quality Manager, appointed by the Organisation’s Chief Executive Officer is responsible for the control of all matters relating to the implementation of this Policy.

4.EQUAL OPPORTUNITY & DIVERSITY POLICY

The Community Council of Devon is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in relation to employment and the services that it delivers.

The organisation believes that the diversity of its staff, volunteers, members and customers, as well as of all Devon’s rural communities, forms an essential part of The Community Council of Devon, known as Devon Communities Together values and enriches every aspect of its work.

Accordingly, the management team of The Community Council of Devon will ensure that recruitment, selection, training, development and promotion procedures results in no job applicant, employee, volunteer, member or customer receiving less favourable treatment because of a protected characteristic (i.e. race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, disability, trade union membership or non-membership, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnership, age, or on the basis of being a part- time or fixed term worker) or non –protected characteristic such as socio-economic status or role within The Community Council of Devon.

Furthermore, the organisation is committed to taking positive steps to actively challenge the discrimination and barriers that members of different disadvantaged groups face.

The Organisation’s objective is to ensure that all decisions made in relation to individuals or organisations are based solely on their relevant aptitudes, skills and abilities.

The Board of Trustees has ultimate responsibility for ensuring equality policies are fully implemented, with operational responsibility delegated to the Chief Executive.

5.FUNDRAISING POLICY

INTRODUCTION

Devon Communities Together (DCT) is committed to ensuring that fundraising activities are carried out in an ethical manner. We are committed to the highest standards of good practice throughout our fundraising activity to ensure we retain the trust and goodwill of the
community. Fundraising activity is regulated by charity law and other legislation including trading standards, taxation and gambling and DCT will ensure that all its fundraising activity complies with the relevant legislation, regulation and codes of practice. This policy applies to the Board, permanent and contract staff and volunteers.


PURPOSE


The purpose of this policy is to make explicit DCT’s position on fundraising and to document the standards expected in raising funds from the community.


FUNDRAISING STANDARDS


At all times DCT will adhere to the following standards:

  • Fundraising activities carried out by DCT will comply with all relevant legislation and regulation and will adhere to the standards of the Institute of Fundraising.
  • Any communications to the public, made in the course of carrying out a fundraising activity, shall be truthful, open and transparent, particularly in relation to the costs of any fundraising activity. A record of all such communications will be maintained by DCT.
  • All monies raised via fundraising activities will be for the purpose stated and will comply with the organisation’s mission and purpose. A reasonable administration fee may be deducted from monies raised and where such fees are deducted these will be published in all relevant communications.
  • All personal information collected by DCT complies with the Data Protection Act, is treated as confidential and is not for sale or to be given away or disclosed to any third party without the consent of the individual concerned.
  • Nobody directly or indirectly employed by or volunteering for DCT shall accept commissions, bonuses or payments from external parties for fundraising activities on behalf of the organisation.
  • DCT will not solicit funds by ‘cold calling’ either by telephone or door‐to‐door.
  • Fundraising activities will not be undertaken if they may be detrimental to the good name or community standing of DCT.
  • The Board reserves the right to refuse donations where the Board believes the donation may not be an appropriate fit with the mission, charitable objectives and values of the organisation.

AUTHORISATION


All fundraising programmes, (appeals, legacies, Friends and Membership campaigns, On-line Fundraising, arrangements with professional fundraisers and commercial partners) will require the approval of the Board, on the recommendation of the Enterprise, Marketing and
Communications Committee.

The Board in making its decision will consider the fit with DCT mission and charitable objectives, the financial and reputational risks.
The Board delegates to the Chief Executive authority to approve small-scale fundraising which meet all legal requirements and the requirements of this policy e.g. a member of staff or volunteer who offers to raise money for DCT through a sponsored event. All such
fundraising activity will be reported to the Enterprise Marketing and Communications Committee.


PROFESSIONAL FUNDRAISERS AND COMMERCIAL PARTNERS


DCT may from time to time choose to appoint a professional fundraiser or to work with a commercial partner (known as a commercial participator) having satisfied themselves that DCT is receiving a full and fair return from any such arrangement. 

Where the Board enters into any such arrangement the following will apply:

  • A written agreement in place signed by all parties
  • Disclosure of all fees etc.
  • For commercial partnerships the percentage or precise amount that will be paid by the commercial participator to DCT

ACCOUNTING AND DISCLOSURE


All monies raised will be paid in to a DCT bank account before deduction of expenses and shown in the accounts as a gross amount, with deductions of costs and fees shown as separate expenditure.

Where appropriate the opportunity to maximise donations should be undertaken e.g. via the Gift Aid scheme. 

Where a significant donation is received from a donor not known to DCT or in circumstances which raise concerns DCT reserves the right to make further enquiries before accepting the donation or may refuse the donations if satisfactory replies are not received to enquiries.
In the event that there is a suspicion that the donation may be facilitating money laundering or criminal activity DCT is obligated under the Charity Commission’s guidance ‘Reporting Serious Incidents’ to contact the Police and the Charity Commission and disclose the
donation.



ACCEPTING DONATIONS WITH CONDITIONS ATTACHED


From time to time a donor may offer a donation with conditions attached. Before accepting any such donation DCT will consider whether the condition(s) are compatible with the purposes, priorities and activities of DCT. At all times DCT’s policy is that the condition(s)
of any donation should not undermine the independence of the organisation. DCT therefore reserves the right to refuse any donation whose condition(s) is not compatible with the ethos of the organisation or would undermine the independence of the board or the organisation.


COMPLAINTS


DCT has a robust complaints process, which is overseen by the Operations Director. DCT is committed to investigating all complaints thoroughly. Where we have fallen short we will apologise and seek to put matters right as quickly as possible. We recognise that not every complainant will be satisfied with our response and may wish to seek an independent body to investigate their complaint. DCT may therefore refer the complaint to the Fundraising Standards Board which is able to make an independent determination.

The Charity Commission may become involved in a complaint about fundraising where it perceives that public trust and confidence is being damaged through the fundraising activities. The focus for such activity is limited to ensuring that the funds raised are used for charitable purposes and have not been misappropriated.

This policy is also available to download here.