The current Complaints Committee, correct at May 2103, is made up of the following:
- Anthony Sharp – Chair, Money Advice Liaison Group
- Andrew Smith – Managing & External affairs Director, ClearDebt Group plc
- David Mond – Chairman, Debt Resolution Forum and CEO, ClearDebt Group plc
- David Hawkes – National Money Advice Co-ordinator, AdviceUK
David Hawkes acts as the Chairman of the Complaints Committee.
Terms of reference
The Debt Resolution Forum (the DRF) is a trade association for debt resolution companies. Its purpose is to establish and promote professional standards amongst its members (the DRF Standards). Members of the DRF have to adhere to the DRF Standards as a condition of their membership. Any Customer, creditor or third party such as independent advice agencies has a right to make a complaint to the DRF about a DRF member who, it is alleged, has failed to abide by the DRF Standards.
DRF Complaints Committee (the Committee) has been formed to deal with complaints against DRF members and assist the DRF in achieving its purpose by ensuring that the DRF has a robust and independent complaints procedure in place. The Committee shall monitor and review complaints on a regular basis.
These Terms of Reference should be read alongside the DRF Standards and DRF Complaints Policy.
The aims of the Committee are to ensure that the DRF operates a robust and independent complaints procedure and to monitor and review complaints about DRF members on a regular basis.
The Committee is set up with following main objects:
3.1 ensuring that complaints about DRF members are dealt with fairly and appropriately;
3.2 recommending a complaint policy to the DRF board;
3.3 acting as the final stage of dealing with complaints against DRF members;
3.4 monitoring and reviewing complaints received about DRF members;
3.5 recommending changes to the DRF complaints policy and procedures as appropriate;
3.6 recommending the Terms of Reference of the Committee to the DRF Board;
3.7 reviewing the effectiveness of the Terms of Reference of the Committee and recommending changes to the DRF Board as appropriate; and
3.8 undertaking any other activities as appropriate and as agreed by the DRF Board.
- Membership & Structure of the Complaints Committee
4.1 The Committee will consist of five members, three of whom must be independent members not connected to any member of the DRF and one of whom would be the DRF Board Complaints Officer. The Committee will include the Chair, who must be independent.
4.2 A member will be appointed for a term of three years. At least one third of members must stand for re-election each year to ensure that there is a continuity of membership of the Committee.
4.3 A member will be eligible to be appointed for a maximum of two consecutive terms.
4.4 Termination of membership of the Committee: A member’s period of tenure will automatically end in the event that she or he fails to attend two consecutive meetings of the Committee, unless the Committee determines otherwise.
4.3 The Committee will critically review its membership on an annual basis.
- Duties and Responsibilities for Committee Members
5.1 Committee members are responsible for attending meetings of the Committee (see 6 below).
5.2 Committee members will act with integrity at all times and ensure that the proceedings of the Committee remain confidential unless the DRF Board decides otherwise.
- Meetings and Processes for the Complaints Committee
6.1 The Committee will meet twice a year (usually in May and November each year) to move forward the objectives of the Committee. This will include monitoring and reviewing the number, type and outcomes of complaints received since the previous meeting and making any recommendations that it considers appropriate to the DRF Board. It may include reviewing these Terms of Reference (see 9.1 below) and any other matters relevant to the objectives of the Committee.
6.2 The Committee will also meet as and when required to consider complaints when these have not been resolved at the first stage of the DRF complaints procedure. These meetings may take place by email or teleconference as deemed appropriate.
6.3 At least three members of the Committee, two of whom must be independent members, must be present at a meeting of the Committee to form a quorum.
6.4 Each Committee Member is entitled to one vote. A matter can be put to vote by the Chair at request of a member or at the discretion of the Chair. Any matter put to vote will be decided by a simple majority of those present and entitled to vote. In the case of an equality of votes, the Chair will have a casting vote.
6.5 The Committee will have the right of censure for any Committee member who brings the Committee into disrepute or who fails to act with integrity or who breaches the confidentiality of the proceedings of the Committee.
7.1 A Chair will be elected from within the Committee, and will serve a term of three years. Nominations for Chair will be requested from the Committee. To ensure the independence of the Committee, only independent members will be eligible to be nominated as Chair. In the event of there being more than one nomination, a secret ballot will be held of those Committee Members present at the next available Committee meeting. The outgoing Chair holds the deciding vote.
7.2 The Chair will be eligible to be appointed for a maximum of two consecutive terms.
- Administration and Expenses
8.1 The DRF will provide secretariat support to the Committee, contributing to the agenda of meetings in liaison with members and, where required, facilitating discussion.
8.2 Minutes will be taken of all meetings and circulated to all Committee Members, and once approved, will be circulated to the DRF Board.
8.3 Committee Members will be paid an honorarium of £500 per day for attendance at Committee meetings. The Chair may also be paid an honorarium of £500 per day for work conducted on behalf of the Committee with the prior approval of the DRF Board.
8.4 Out of pocket expenses will also be reimbursed upon the production of an expenses claim form and supporting receipts where appropriate.
- Alterations to these Terms of Reference
9.1 There will be an annual review of these Terms of Reference. Any proposed alterations must be given in writing to the Chair of the Committee for consideration at its annual review.
9.2 Any alterations to these Terms of Reference will need to be approved by at least two thirds of the Committee Members present at that particular meeting, followed by ratification by the DRF Board at its next meeting.
Concilliation, Complaints & Disciplinary Committee
Updated on 2015-08-09T02:12:39+00:00, by .