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FOI reference - FOI 2015-06-10(a)
Date - 10/06/2015


Quality management system

Does The Pensions Regulator (TPR) have a quality management system?

Which of the following items is included in the system?

  1. Quality policy objectives and manual.
  2. Documented processes - including enquiries and advertising.
    • Is there a documented process for escalating enquiries, which the enquiry team are unable to answer, to management and then to the board?
  3. Continuous improvement including corrective and preventive action.
  4. Quality Manager, a member of the management team who has the role of quality manager included in his job description.
  5. A regular (at least quarterly) review of customer complaints by the management team.


  1. Does TPR have a documented procedure (in more detail than shown on the website) for handling the complaints it receives as a result of the information found on its website?
  2. If yes then please supply a copy of this procedure.
  3. Does TPR have a committee which reviews customer complaints?
  4. If it does not then who reviews customer complaints and reaches a decision on whether to accept them and what corrective action to take?


Duty to confirm or deny whether TPR holds the information requested

I can confirm that TPR does not have a quality management system as you have described in your request and therefore does not hold the information in respect this aspect of your request.

I can confirm that TPR holds some of the information you have requested.

Information we are able to supply

You have requested whether TPR holds a documented complaints procedure in addition to our published procedure. We do not currently hold a more detailed internal complaints procedure. I can confirm that the internal complaints procedure published on our intranet is the same as the one published externally.

We do however, have documented business rules for the customer support teams in respect of informal complaints and expression of dissatisfaction and I have provided an extract below:

Where a complaint is received by a team directly without being addressed to the Corporate Secretary they will manage the complaint, unless:

  • the body of the complaint states it is formal
  • the complainant has already been dealt with by the receiving team previously
  • the subject of the complaint has already been recently made by an unrelated customer; or
  • there is another reason why it should be handled through the formal process

Automatic Enrolment Customer Support inform the Corporate Governance team of all informal complaints dealt with locally.

Where an expression of dissatisfaction/informal complaint is dealt with at a team level the response will include details of the published formal complaints procedure.

If the complaint does not fall within the criteria listed, it is escalated to the Corporate Governance Team for the Corporate Secretary to respond.

TPR does not have a formal committee which reviews customer complaints. However the Corporate Governance Manager has monthly meetings with those who manage the customer support and case management teams to discuss trends and themes of complaints. This provides the opportunity to provide feedback on lessons learned and facilitates continuous improvement of processes.

The Corporate Governance Manager manages TPR’s complaints process including the investigations of formal complaints and reports directly to the Corporate Secretary. I have included a link to our organogram for your information.

As stated in our published procedure the Corporate Secretary reviews all the information gathered during the course of the complaints investigation and looks at:

  • whether staff have taken the right actions procedurally
  • whether staff have been courteous and fair
  • whether there has been any unreasonable delay or withholding of information

The Corporate Secretary will write to the complainant informing them of her findings. The response will include her decision to uphold/not uphold/partially uphold the complaint with an explanation as to why. Any corrective action required will be fed back to the relevant teams.

If a complainant is dissatisfied with the response they have received at stage 1, they can request a review of their complaint by TPR's Chairman. In these instances, the Corporate Governance team collate the information from stage 1 and investigate any new issues raised in the complaint and consult with the Chairman who will independently consider whether the outcome at stage 1 was appropriate.

The Corporate Secretary reports trends and themes of complaints every six months to TPR's Executive Committee and to the Regulator’s Board and also provides an annual summary in TPR’s annual report and accounts. Please find an extract below:


In 2013-2014, at stage 1 of TPR’s formal complaints process we received 16 new complaints. As at 31 March 2014, we had responded to all 16 complaints. By comparison, 18 new complaints were received in 2012-2013. Two thirds of the complaints related to the way regulatory investigations had been carried out in specific schemes. We also received complaints relating to automatic enrolment; changes to Exchange (TPR’s online service for inputting scheme information) and the scheme return process.

Of the 16 new stage 1 complaints responded to, one was upheld fully, two were partially upheld and 13 not upheld. In the complaint that was upheld no apology had been offered for an administrative error, and in each of the two complaints that were partially upheld there had been an administrative error. During the year, one complainant informed us of their intention to refer the matter to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. For more information go to Annual Report and Accounts 2013-2014 – Page 84.