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Complaints Procedure


Complaints Process for Externally Advertised Competitions

HRConnect manage all recruitment competitions on behalf of the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS).  Should you have a complaint about a recruitment competition please refer to section 2.  If your complaint is in relation to recruitment policy please refer to section 3.


1.  HRConnect Standards


1.1 What can you expect from HRConnect?

HRConnect will carry out all our work entirely in line with NICS HR policies and procedures, as defined in the Recruitment Policy and Procedures Manual.  Our aim is to ensure that the treatment you receive meets the customer service standards you would expect of the NICS.


1.2 Feedback

We welcome any comments on any aspect of our service.  If you want to comment you can contact us be phone, email or in writing, using the following contact details:


Address:    HRConnect

                    PO Box 1089

                    2nd Floor Metro Building

                    6-9 Donegall Square South


                    BT1 9EW


Telephone:0800 1300 330

If you wish to submit a complaint you can find out more on how to register a complaint and what you can expect in this guide to the Complaints Process.


1.3 Our Commitment to Customers


We are committed to providing the highest standard of service to all our customers.  Our aim is to get things right first time.  However, if something goes wrong or you are dissatisfied with our service, please let us know so we can put things right as soon as possible.

We want to:

  • Make it easy for you to raise your complaint
  • Listen to your concerns
  • Treat complaints seriously and deal with them efficiently
  • Apologise when we have got it wrong
  • Make sure you are satisfied with how your complaint was handled
  • Learn from complaints and take action to improve our service

We guarantee that any comment or complaint will not prejudice any services we provide to you in the future.


2.  Making a Complaint


2.1 When should you complain?


You can make a complaint when you are dissatisfied with any aspect of the service you have received from HRConnect.


2.2 How to raise your complaint


By email - contact HRConnect at placing 'Complaint' in the subject of your email.


In writing - contact HRConnect at the following address, addressing your letter to the 'Complaints Administrator'.


                       PO Box 1089

                       2nd Floor Metro Building

                       6-9 Donegall Square South


                       BT1 9EW


By phone - contact HRConnect on 0800 1300 330, between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday and talk to an advisor.


2.3 When can you expect a response?


If you contact us by phone we will normally try to resolve any issue during the phone call and offer you a verbal response.  If you wish to log a complaint we will record the details of your complaint and confirm your preferred method of response.

If you email or write to us we will provide you with an immediate acknowledgement to tell you we have received your complaint.  If you contact us by email an auto acknowledgement will be sent immediately and a further acknowledgement from the complaints administrator will be sent within 24 hours.  If you write to us we will acknowledge receipt within 1 working day.

We will investigate the issues you raise and provide a response to you within 5 working days.  If the investigation required is complex or we require further time to provide you with a complete response we will reply to you by the 5th working day to update you on the progress of your complaint and tell you how much longer we expect it will take.


2.4 What if you are not happy with our response?


Our aim is that your concern should be resolved as quickly as possible by staff who have the right experience and knowledge.  If you are not satisfied with our action or explanation you can ask for your complaint to be reviewed by a higher level manager by noting your unique Service Request Number (SR) which will be on your acknowledgement receipt and contacting HRConnect by the following methods:-


By email- contact HRConnect, placing 'Escalated Complaint' and the associated SR number in the subject of your email.


In writing- contact HRConnect, addressing your letter to the 'Complaints Administrator' and referring to the associated SR number.


By phone - contact HRConnect, between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday and talk to an advisor.


2.5 What happens if you are not satisfied with our final response?


If you are not satisfied with the final response to your complaint provided by HRConnect you can contact the NICS Service Management Office using the following contact details who will review the response given:





7th Floor Goodwood House

44-58 May Street

Belfast   BT1 4NN


028 90256674


The Service Management Office will expect that you have exhausted the internal HRConnect complaints process before reviewing your complaint.


2.6 Step by Step Guide to the Complaints Process


Step 1

Initial complaint - email, write or phone HRConnect to raise your complaint.  You will receive an acknowledgement within 1 working day and a detailed response within 5 working days.

Step 2

Your complaint has been investigated but you are not satisfied - ask for your complaint to be reviewed by a higher level manager within HRConnect.  This will take up to 5 working days.

Step 3

If your complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction by HRConnect you can contact NICS Service Management Office who will review the response given by HRConnect.  You can expect to receive a response within 10 working days.


3. DOF Standards


3.1 How to raise a complaint in relation to Recruitment Policy


HRConnect manage and administer recruitment competitions in line with NICS policy and procedures.  The Department of Finance is responsible for NICS recruitment policy.  Should you have a complaint in relation to recruitment policy please put your complaint in writing to:





3rd Floor Orchard House

40 Foyle Street

Londonderry   BT48 6AT


All complaints will be acknowledged and you can expect a full response within 10 working days from the date of receipt.  If a full reply cannot be issued within this time, (e.g. if further information is required) an interim reply should be issued which will include an indication as to when a final reply can be expected. 



3.2 What if you are not happy with our response?


Stage 1:  If you are not satisfied with the initial response you should ask for your complaint to be referred to the Head of Vacancy Management Policy Branch for further investigation.  We take all complaints about the quality of our services seriously and will endeavour to provide a full and fair investigation of your complaint, respecting your right to confidentiality.


Stage 2:  If you are still not satisfied with our explanation you can write to the Director of NICS HR as detailed below.  You will receive a full response within a further 15 working days.




Strategic Director of HR



Bruce Street

2-4  Bruce Street




3.3 If you continue to be dissatisfied


You may ask a Member of the Assembly (MLA) to refer your complaint to the Office of the Northern Ireland Ombudsman for investigation.  You will be expected to have already been through our formal complaints process before requesting your MLA to take the matter up with the Ombudsman.  In such circumstances the Office of the Ombudsman will consider the facts of each case and decide if the complaint falls within the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman.

The website for the Northern Ireland Ombudsman is  Should you wish to make a complaint of unlawful discrimination, you may also contact the Equality Commission.  The website for the Equality Commission is