HOW DO I JOIN?
JUST FOUR EASY STEPS TO BECOMING A MEMBER OF COMMUNICATION MATTERS
DOWNLOAD AND PRINT
CM Organisational (Types A, B & C)
All members automatically receive the Communication Matters Journal, published three times a year, as part of their membership subscription. You may also want to subscribe to some additional ISAAC journals and newsletters:
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication Journal
- AGOSCI In Focus
- ISAAC-Israel Newsletter.
See the application form for costs.
SEND APPLICATION FORM
You can pay your joining fee by bank transfer online – our bank details are on the form. You can also send us a purchase order or cheque made payable to Communication Matters.
Please note: Annual membership runs from 1 January to 31 December. Even if you join part-way through the year, you will still receive all copies of the Communication Matters Journal and any other journals you subscribe to for the calendar year.
If you have any questions, please ring 0113 343 1533 or email us.
TYPES OF MEMBERSHIP
CODE OF CONDUCT
Organisational and ISAAC Corporate/Institutional members agree to abide by a Code of Conduct
Organisational and ISAAC Corporate/Institutional members agree, when joining us, to abide by our Code of Conduct. It is not legally binding, but guidance for best practice. You must adhere to it when attending an event organised by Communication Matters or when using the name Communication Matters to endorse the member’s work.
Best Practice No. BP21 (version 2.0, March 2021)
1.1 This policy outlines how Communication Matters will respond to complaints and feedback in a timely, appropriate, and fair manner.
1.2 Feedback both positive and negative is important in helping Communication Matters to improve.
1.3 Communication Matters believe that all complaints need to be taken seriously.
2. Who does this policy apply to?
Your feedback or complaint may be about:
2.1 The Board of Trustees: Trustees are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day running of Communication Matters, and ensuring it meet its aims and objectives. Trustees’ activities include organising the annual International AAC Conference and Study Days and vetting and administering grant applications.
Trustees follow Best Practice guidelines in all their activities for the charity. These include BP02: Being a Trustee; BP12: Trustee Code of Conduct; and BP14: Trustee Conflict of Interest. These documents can be downloaded from the Communication Matters website: communicationmatters.org.uk/about-us/trustees-and-staff
2.2 Staff: The Communication Matters Charity Manager and Administrator handle the day-to-day running of the organisation, such as membership renewals, conference registration, organising events, communications, and book-keeping.
2.3 Organisational, Corporate and Institutional Associate Members of Communication Matters: These members include businesses selling AAC equipment or services and not-for-profit organisations involved in AAC.
When joining Communication Matters these organisations agree to follow the Communication Matters Code of Conduct. It is not a legal document but provides guidance on conduct when attending a Communication Matters event or when using the name Communication Matters to endorse the member’s work. The Code of Conduct for Organisational, Corporate and Institutional Associate Members of Communication Matters can be found at: communicationmatters.org.uk/about-us/join-us/
Commercial and corporate organisations are regulated by the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA). The BHTA have their own Code of Practice and complaints procedure.
If your complaint refers to an organisational member it may be appropriate for Communication Matters to refer you onto the BHTA: bhta.com
2.4 Individual Associate Members of Communication Matters: These members include AAC users, family members and professionals who have an interest in AAC.
Professional members will be regulated by their own professional regulatory body. If your complaint refers to a professional member it may be appropriate for Communication Matters to refer you onto the relevant Professional Regulatory Body.
For healthcare professionals: hcpc-uk.org
For education professionals in:
– England: www.gtce.org.uk
– Scotland: www.gtcs.org.uk
– Wales: www.ewc.wales/site/index.php/en/
– Northern Ireland: www.gtcni.org.uk
2.5 Communication Matters will only handle complaints that are directly related to a Communication Matters activity or event. If your complaint is about the professional conduct of an associate member you will be directed to the appropriate regulatory body. If the complaint is about a private individual who is not covered by any of the above, the complainant should be advised that their only recourse is through the statutory legal process.
3.1 Feedback: Can be positive and negative. It may highlight areas for improvement, but it is not an expression of dissatisfaction. Feedback should be acknowledged, considered, and does not need to be logged as a complaint.
3.2 Complaint: An expression of dissatisfaction that requires a formal response. A complaint could be about the standard of service, actions or inaction, policy or position of Communication Matters, its Trustees, Staff or Associate Members.
3.3 Serious Complaint: A serious complaint is severe in nature and may indicate a safeguarding issue, or a serious incident. These complaints will be reportable to an outside body or regulator.
4. How to make a complaint or give feedback
4.1 Communication Matters wants to address any issues quickly and hope concerns can be resolved by talking to one of our Trustees or staff members.
4.2 If you want to make a formal complaint, please put this in writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org or Communication Matters, 3rd Floor, University House, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT.
5. How Communication Matters will handle your complaint
5.1 Stage 1: Communication Matters will let you know they have received your complaint within 3-5 working days and provide you with the name of the Trustee dealing with your complaint.
If they cannot resolve a complaint straight away, they will investigate and respond fully to complaints within 20 working days of receipt. Communication Matters will involve you, where possible, in decisions about how your complaint is handled.
Communication Matters will keep accurate records of complaints, investigations, and outcomes.
5.2 Stage 2: If you are not happy with how your complaint has been handled or resolved, you can ask for a second review.
This will be taken to the Board of Trustees for consideration and a second written response will be provided within 20 working days.
5.3 Stage 3: If a complaint is not resolved after a second investigation, then the complaint will be referred to the Charity Commission. More information can be found at: gov.uk/complain-about-charity
Communication Matters is committed to learning from its mistakes and strives to actively listen to all feedback. Communication Matters will undertake an annual review of complaints received. Communication Matters will review root causes and reoccurring themes which will highlight areas for improvement.
6. Breach of Code of Conduct by an Organisational, Corporate or Institutional Associate Member of Communication Matters
The Code of Conduct for Organisational, Corporate and Institutional Associate Members of Communication Matters can be found at: www.communicationmatters.org.uk/about-us/join-us/
6.1 Step 1: Before bringing the complaint to Communication Matters, please attempt to resolve the matter directly with the other party. This should be done in writing (letter or email) and any correspondence should be kept as evidence.
6.2 Step 2: If the matter is not resolved, you should make a written complaint to Communication Matters enclosing all relevant correspondence and any other documentary evidence. You should directly state that a breach of the Code of Conduct has been made.
An Investigative Trustee (IT) will be appointed by the Board of Trustees. The IT will have no conflict of interest with either party. The IT will review all submitted evidence.
If the IT concludes a breach has taken place the IT will contact the other party requesting resolution. If a resolution is not reached, please see Step 3.
If the IT concludes no breach has taken place you will be contacted and advised of this decision. You will have 30 days to appeal against this decision. Your appeal will be reviewed by the full Board of Trustees who will make the final decision as to whether to pursue the complaint.
6.3 Step 3: If a satisfactory outcome is not achieved the IT will refer the matter to the full Board of Trustees for consideration. Breach of the Code of Conduct will result in one of the following actions:
A warning letter advising that a repeat of the breach may lead to membership suspension or cancellation. This letter may be used even if a resolution has been reached but the Board feels the seriousness of the complaint justifies a formal warning.
Membership suspension until action taken to resolve breach.
Membership cancellation if the Board consider the breach serious enough to warrant such action.