How the Independent Complaint Panel (ICP) works to help resolve complaints.
This page explains the role of the ICP in complaint resolution. The ICP is a joint project run in partnership with a number of housing providers.
The role of the ICP
The ICP was originally set up in response to the Government’s Localism Act, designed to increase the influence of local people when decisions are made. The Act introduced local complaints panels to look at cases that have exhausted an organisation's internal complaints processes. This role is termed the ‘designated person’.
The ICP has been set up by Places for People, Places for People Living Plus, and Tuntum Housing Association, and consists of customers from all these housing providers. The members are supported by the Tenant Participation Advisory Service to ensure that the process is fully independent and objective.
Customers join the panel to resolve complaints by helping to mediate an outcome between the housing provider and complainant. The members have both skills in complaint handling and experience as tenants and leaseholders. This adds a valuable layer to the complaint process and lessens dependence on the Ombudsman.
The ICP can resolve the complaint itself or refer it directly to the Ombudsman. However a complainant can go straight to the Ombudsman without taking it to the ICP.
How to become a member of the ICP
There are positions available for customers to join the ICP. We are looking for customers who:
- have experience or an interest in how customer complaints are handled
- are currently a customer or leaseholder
- are willing to take part in training to increase your skills and knowledge
- are available once a month to review cases either in person or online (You'll be eligible for travel expenses).
Full training is given to new members, all out of pocket expenses such as travel are provided and IT equipment can be loaned if it is needed to help get you involved.
Becoming a member of the Independent Complaints Panel is a great opportunity to make a real difference to tenants, residents and leaseholders who have issues with the service delivery they have received.
Panel Members from different landlords can pool together their experience and knowledge to make recommendations that help both sides reach a solution.
Panel members support, and engage with, each other to share their knowledge and with every case there is a new learning.
A warm welcome awaits new members and the unique support from Panel Members, old and new, means that every contribution is valued and every person is included.
Quotes from panel members
As one of the newest members of the panel, everyone has been so friendly, welcoming and supportive. I enjoy giving something back and you can see how much it means to people that you have volunteered your time to hear their complaint.
I find being on the ICP very rewarding albeit a lot of work! If you like reading and analysing it is definitely a job for you, and there is extensive training. I think that we do make a difference by helping resolve issues in a nonpartisan way and that other tenants feel greater transparency having tenants look at their issues.
I would say that I receive a great sense of belonging from ICP, plus it's wonderful to help people with face to face interaction often the first instance the customer has experienced in their dispute or problem, even though the past period has been Teams.
It's very rewarding being a member of the ICP as it really does make a difference. There's quite a bit to learn, but plenty of really good training and you can't help but learn a lot. If you want something to stretch your mind this is a good place to start.