IPR plans to give clients a voice on complaints panel

The IPR is planning to draft in board members of FTSE 100 companies and local councillors to its complaints panel.

The IPR is planning to draft in board members of FTSE 100 companies

and local councillors to its complaints panel.



The move to recruit six well-respected senior lay people to the panel is

aimed at increasing the credibility of the IPR complaints process and at

giving clients a voice within the institute. The move is part of a wider

bid by the IPR to emphasise its professional status and ethics.



The complaints panel currently consists of nine senior IPR fellows,

headed by chairman Robert Hodges. To qualify for the panel, members must

have been IPR members for at least ten years and must have achieved some

form of distinction in the industry.



’We want to ensure that we have representatives from across as wide a

range of PR clients as possible, from the public sector to commerce,’

said IPR director general Colin Farrington.



The IPR is also to tighten up its complaints procedure. Under the new

procedure, complainants will be informed of any specific action the

disciplinary panel has taken, be it a letter of warning, a reprimand or

expulsion from the IPR.



Previously, a complainant was only told that the panel was investigating

a complaint and that due action had been taken. Specific information was

not given. This often led to a feeling of frustration among complainants

that their concerns were not being given due consideration.



The changes are to be put up for consultation by IPR members before

being implemented.



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