Welcome to My RLSS UK, an online area dedicated to providing our qualification holders, members, stakeholders, and supporters with easy access to the latest industry safety guidance, policies, resources, and opportunities. As well as providing specialist information, the area signposts you to relevant services and features within your RLSS UK Account (powered by tahdah). 

Every individual, organisation, club, branch, and group in our community is invaluable to us, and we endeavour to provide solutions and added value wherever possible in the hope that you will become a lifelong ambassador of the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK). Together we can work towards the Charity's mission to be the leader in lifesaving and lifeguarding in the UK and Ireland. By sharing our combined expertise and knowledge, with as many people as possible, we can provide everyone with the potential to save lives and enjoy water safely. 

We hope you find the area useful, if you require further support please call 0300 323 0096 or email [email protected]. 

Introduction and Policy Aims

This policy sets out RLSS UK, RLSS UK Shop, RLSS UK Consultancy and RLSS UK Qualifications (all hereafter known as RLSS UK unless a specific process applies), approach to dealing with feedback, complaints, and/or concerns from all internal and external users of our services, qualifications, and awards.

RLSS UK strives for high standards and welcomes feedback from all our customers and those we interact with, in all aspects of our services, qualifications, and awards. Such feedback is invaluable in helping us evaluate and improve our work.

RLSS UK aims are to:

  • Provide a fair complaints procedure which is clear and easy to use for anyone wishing to make a complaint
  • To publicise the existence of our complaints procedure so that people know how to contact us to make a complaint
  • To make sure everyone at RLSS UK is aware of the complaints policy and what to do if a complaint is received
  • To make sure all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely way
  • To make sure that complaints are, wherever possible, resolved and that the relationship is repaired
  • To gather information that helps us to improve what we do
  • Only handle complaints received about RLSS UK
  • Not engage with frivolous, habitual, or vexatious complaints
  • To review all feedback received


It is important to establish the difference between a concern and a complaint. Taking informal concerns seriously at the earliest stage will reduce the likelihood of their developing into formal complaints.

A concern is defined as “an expression of worry or doubt over an issue considered to be important for which reassurance are sought”.

A complaint is defined as “an expression of dissatisfaction however made, about actions taken or a lack of action”.

Feedback can be defined as opinions, comments and expressions of interest or concern, made directly or indirectly, explicitly, or implicitly, to or about us, about our services or complaint handling where a response is not explicitly or implicitly expected or legally required.


RLSS UK is passionate about meeting and exceeding the expectations of our customers. We are keen to receive feedback to help inform any improvements and welcome comments, suggestions, compliments, and feedback about the service you have experienced including where you feel you have come across a level of service that is below your expectation. We also welcome our Approved Training Centres and Providers (ATC/Ps) to provide qualification specific feedback to us.

To provide feedback please click here.

If you are providing feedback, we will review all responses submitted within five working days however, we cannot promise to give a reply to all feedback provided.

Principles for Investigation

Any individual may make a complaint if they feel RLSS UK has:

  • Failed to provide a service or an unacceptable standard of service, made a mistake in the way the service was provided or provided an unfair service
  • Failed to act in a proper way

RLSS UK intends to resolve complaints informally where possible, at the earliest possible stage usually by the member of staff who provided the service(s). The complaint may be resolved quickly by way of an apology or by an acceptable explanation to the individual. where an apology will not suffice the complaint will be logged, allocated to a dedicated complaint manager who will investigate the complaint formally. Realistic and reasonable time scales will be set for each action once the necessary details of the complaint have been received. Where further investigations are necessary, new time limits will be set, and the complainant will be provided of the new deadlines with an explanation for the delay.

When investigating a complaint, we will try to clarify:

  • What has happened
  • Who was involved
  • Where this happened
  • When this happened
  • Names of witnesses (where possible)
  • What the complainant feels would put things right

When investigating a complaint, we will ensure that we:

  • Listen carefully to complaints and treat complaints as confidential, where possible
  • Record, store and manage all complaints accurately and in accordance with our GDPR regulations
  • Allocate a case manager to investigate the complaint fully, objectively and within the stated time frame
  • Notify the complainant of the outcome of the investigation and any right of appeal

Where a complaint is about an ATC/P or the unprofessional behaviour of the ATC/P, Trainer or Assessor, complainants must first go through the ATC/P’s own complaints or appeals procedure, prior to contacting us. As part of our agreement with ATC/P’s, they must all operate a complaint handling and appeals process for candidates.

We expect that complaints or concerns will be made as soon as possible after an incident arises and no later than 10 working days of occurrence, or within two weeks of an unsatisfactory outcome of a complaint to an ATC/P. We will consider exceptions to this timeframe in circumstances where there were valid reasons for not making a complaint at that time, and the complaint can still be investigated in a fair manner for all involved.

How to make a Complaint

For all complaints with the exception to safeguarding, elections, or our Annual General Meeting (AGM), we ask that you complete our complaints form by clicking here.

If your complaint is around our election process or AGM please email [email protected].

To raise a concern or make a complaint around safeguarding please click here.

To prevent any delays in our response to your complaint, you should try to detail:

  • A full description of the complaint (including dates, times, venue and, context where appropriate)
  • Names of others involved
  • Copies of any evidence, e.g., letters, completed forms, witness testimony
  • Contact details (in accordance with GDPR Regulations. e.g., name and contact email or phone number)
  • The complainant should also state what they feel would resolve the complaint

If the complaint is excessively long or complex, we may ask you to provide a summary so that we are clear what the issues are.

When responding to complaints, we aim to:

  • Be impartial and non-adversarial
  • Facilitate a full and fair investigation by an independent person or panel, where necessary
  • Address all the points at issue and provide an effective and prompt response
  • Respect complainants’ desire for confidentiality
  • Treat complainants with respect
  • Keep complainants informed of the progress of the complaints process
  • Record all complaints

What will happen to my complaint?

Where possible, we would like to deal with your complaint informally and may do so over the telephone or via email. The complaint may be resolved quickly by way of a written or verbal apology or by an acceptable written or verbal explanation to the complainant.

Sometimes a more formal approach is required, and in these cases, the complainant must complete the complaints form by clicking here.

If the complainant is not able to complete the complaints form and wishes to discuss the complaint via telephone, a member of staff will relay any verbal conversation via email, to ensure the details around the complaint have been understood.

All complaints:

  • Will be logged
    • Retained in line with our retention schedule
    • Reviewed annually to identify any trends which may indicate issues that require us to take further action
  • Will be acknowledged within three working days
  • If the complaint is not resolved informally, it will be escalated to a formal complaint.
  • Formal complaints will be assigned a case manager who will investigate and provide regular updates where necessary, subject to the requirements of confidentiality. All case managers will strive to resolve the complaint in full and provide a written response within 28 working days advising of any actions we purpose to take
  • If the complaint is excessively complex, times scales may need to be revised. Any changes to the published times scales will be communicated in writing at the earliest possible chance and no later than 28 days of the complaint being received
  • If your complaint is not upheld, we will explain why
  • If the complaint is from a candidate who has exhausted the ATC/P’s own complaints procedure, we will contact the ATC/P Co-Ordinator for the outcome of the complaint.
  • Complaints received anonymously will be recorded and considered, but action may be limited if further information is required to ensure a full and fair investigation.

If you are not happy with the way your complaint has been handled, you can refer your grievance to [email protected]. In such cases, this must be put in writing within 10 working days of receipt of our decision.

Only the original complaint and your dissatisfaction with how it was handled will be reviewed

Further consideration of your complaint will only be made if the review considers the complaint was not handled according to our procedures or failed to consider critical evidence.

Complainants who have launched a well-founded complaint and who are unsatisfied with the organisation’s response to their complaint have the right to appeal, and will need to follow the process set out within the said policy.

Withdrawal of Complaint

At any time during the process, a complainant may withdraw a complaint, by notice in writing to the responsible person handling their complaint. Upon such withdrawal, consideration of the complaint will normally be discontinued, unless the consequences of not following the procedure may result in harm to the individual or the organisation.

Confidentiality and Whistleblowing

To enable a full investigation to take place, it will be necessary for complainants to provide their name and contact details. However, in some instances, a complainant may wish to remain anonymous.

We always aim to keep a whistle-blower’s identity confidential where asked to do so, although this cannot be guaranteed. There may be situations where we have a duty to disclose identity for example to:

• The police, fraud prevention agencies, or other law enforcement agencies (to investigate or prevent crime, including fraud)
• The courts (court proceedings)
• Relevant authorities where there are safeguarding concerns
• RLSS UK as part of any investigations into issues around qualification delivery
• Other third parties, e.g., Regulators

Data Protection

To process a complaint, RLSS UK will hold personal data about the complainant, which the individual provides, and which other people give in response to the complaint. We will hold this data securely in line with our current retention policy, and only use it to address the complaint. The identity of the person making the complaint will only be known to those who need to consider the complaint and will not be revealed to other people or made public. However, it may not be possible to preserve confidentiality in some circumstances, for example, where relevant legislation is applied, or allegations are made which involve the conduct of third parties.

Complaints brought to our attention by Regulators

Where regulators notify us about failures that have been discovered in the assessment process or other activities of another awarding organisation, these will be reviewed in the same manner as other external complaints to ascertain if the same issue could affect RLSS UK Qualifications or awards.

How to contact the Regulators

Click the links for the complaints procedure for the specific regulators:


    Qualification Wales    


How to contact the Charity Commissioner

Click the link below for details on how to contact The Charity Commission for England and Wales: 

The Charity Commission

Policy Exclusions

If your complaint is related to a Safeguarding concern please click here.

If your complaint is related to an Appeal please click here.

If your complaint is related to Malpractice or Maladministration please click here.

Contact Details

Contact Details

Last updated: November 2022