Client of an AQS Advice Service?
Assurance for clients
Not every advice service provider will hold a quality standard and if they do, not all will hold the AQS. Ask your advice service what standard they hold. Examples of other standards include PQASSO, Lexcel and the Specialist Quality Mark (SQM).
If you are a client of a service that holds the Advice Quality Standard, then you can rest assured that they will have been rigorously assessed by an external, independent AQS assessor who would have visited no more than 2 years ago.
But, occasionally things may not go according to plan. If you are not happy with any aspect of the service you received from an AQS holder, you should contact the advice service as soon as possible and ask about their complaints policy. This will tell you how to make a complaint and should resolve any issues. We do not give the AQS to organisations unless they have a good procedure for dealing with complaints.
You should always give the organisation concerned the chance to resolve your complaint before considering the next steps.
If you are unable to resolve your issue or feel that your concerns are very serious and have not been handled adequately, you can then contact us for our advice. We may be able to give you further guidance on resolving the matter or who to go to next to sort out the problem.
We have no direct authority over any advice service, ultimately the service themselves have to resolve any complaint.
When an advice service holding the Advice Quality Standard has shown behaviours which are extreme or contrary to the good practice, we would want to raise this the organisation concerned. Whilst we have no direct authority over organisations holding the AQS, we do have the power to suspend or withdraw the AQS where there is evidence that the behaviour is so poor, the organisation will no longer meet the Advice Quality Standard. If you have such a concern, please email email@example.com and mark your email ‘AQS Complaint’.