Our complaints procedure.

HAC Design’s reputation is underpinned by our commitment to delivering an excellent, frank, and honest service to our clients.

If you have a complaint to make, this document sets out the procedure to be followed to ensure that your complaint is handled in a fair and responsible manner in accordance with our professional codes of conduct.

The complaints procedure has several stages which ensure that the nature of your complaint is made clear, and you are directed to the appropriate member of staff or professional body.

Stage 1: Informal Stage

The first stage is to raise your concerns in writing with the member of staff that you are dealing with to see if the matter can be resolved without the need for a formal complaint.

Often complaints are misunderstandings which in many cases can simply be resolved. It is therefore important that you clearly set out the nature of your complaint; why you think the service provided by HAC Designs has fallen below the standard which you expect and how you consider your complaint might be resolved e.g., what outcome do you seek.

If this does not resolve your complaint and your concerns remain, you may need to make a formal complaint to the Managing Director of the practice.

Stage 2: Formal Complaint Submission

All formal complaints should be directed to the Managing Director: Hayden Cooper and presented in writing marked ‘Private and Confidential’ to Mr H Cooper, HAC Designs, 100 Berkshire Pl, Winnersh, Wokingham RG41 5RD or via email to complaints@hac-designs.co.uk.

You should clearly outline the nature of your complaint, clearly identifying the member(s) of staff against whom the allegation is made, describe the nature of the allegation with sufficient detail of the events and circumstances that gave rise to the complaint in order that the managing director may be able to understand the allegation.

You will need to provide credible evidence in respect of the allegation together with a coherent, logical, and reasonable explanation based on a factual description of the events in question and give a precise description of how you consider the actions of the member or members of staff fell below an acceptable professional standard.

Please do not assume that if the managing director was involved in your project, they will be aware of all what you consider being relevant events and circumstances.

It is important to deal with matters comprehensively, you should avoid using harassing, defamatory, threatening, obscene, abusive, racist, sexist, offensive or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate language within your complaint and stick to the facts of the case, supported by evidence submitted with your allegation.

Formal Complaint Review

When the managing director receives your complaint, they will acknowledge receipt and give you a timetable for their investigation including an estimate of the time taken to provide a written response.

If you have not received an acknowledgement and time estimate for the investigation within 14 days of submitting your written formal complaint to the managing director, please contact the practice by phone 01276 402444 or email info@hac-designs.co.uk to ensure your complaint was received.

Once your complaint has been received, the managing director will need to investigate the matter and evidence you have provided and may contact you to request further information or explanation about the nature of your complaint or any evidence you have provided.

The managing director may also request to meet with you to discuss your complaint.

When the managing director has reviewed and investigated your complaint, they will provide a formal response to you in writing/ via email at the address you have provided in your complaint.

If you remain dissatisfied with the results of the review or any aspect of the handling of the complaint, you may consider the following options.

Stage 3a: Alternative Dispute Resolution

In the unlikely event that you remain dissatisfied with any aspect of the handling of your complaint or the performance of a member of staff you may then consider the following options:


Independent mediation through a third party, where an independent mediator would act as a gobetween to discuss the problem and try to reach a conclusion with the consent of all parties involved.


Adjudication is a method of resolving contractual disputes, where the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 provides a statutory right to adjudication in most building contracts and contracts for architect’s services, intended as a more cost effective and faster process that arbitration or litigation.


Many building contracts and contracts for architects’ services contain a provision for disputes to be resolved by arbitration where the President of the RIBA is specified as the appointer of the arbitrator.

lf there is no such provision in your contract, you may nevertheless still agree with the other party to resolve your dispute through arbitration and make a joint request to the President of the RIBA to appoint an arbitrator.

Further information and potential costs on all of the above options can be found on the RIBA’s website here:

Stage 3b: Formal Complaint to a Professional Body

In the unlikely event that you remain dissatisfied and your complaint is about the professional conduct of a member of staff of the HAC Designs Ltd., you may make a complaint to the relevant professional body as follows:

RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects):

If your complaint is about the professional conduct or competence of a Chartered Architect who is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA}, details of how to file a complaint are on the RIBA website:

ARB (Architects Registration Board):

If your complaint is about the professional conduct or competence of a registered ‘Architect’ or the use of the title of ‘Architect’, details of how to file a complaint are on the Architect’s Registration Board (ARB) website: