AHBRA is committed to delivering a quality Customer Service in line with the Guiding Principles of Quality Customer Service for public bodies. This action plan sets out the steps AHBRA will take to ensure a high level of compliance with each of the 12 principles.
Quality Service Standards
Publish a statement that outlines the nature and quality of service which customers can expect and display it prominently at the point of service delivery.
- Publish a Customer Charter on our website setting out the standard of customer service that customers can expect from AHBRA.
- Regularly review our customer service activities to ensure they meet the standard set out in the Charter.
Ensure the rights to equal treatment established by equality legislation, and accommodate diversity, so as to contribute to equality for the groups covered by the equality legislation (under the grounds of gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religious belief, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller Community). Identify and work to eliminate barriers to access to services for people experiencing poverty and social exclusion, and for those facing geographic barriers to services.
- Ensure that all of our information and guidance is published in an easily accessible way, taking into account the diverse needs of our customers.
- Regularly review the accessibility and legibility of our website and publications.
- Ensure that staff are familiar with The Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty
Provide clean, accessible public offices that ensure privacy, comply with occupational and safety standards and, as part of this, facilitate access for people with disabilities and others with specific needs.
- Ensure an Access Officer is in place to address any difficulties in accessing our office.
- Ensure that our offices are kept in a clean and tidy condition, in accordance with health and safety standards.
- Ensure a Health and Safety Officer is in place.
- Ensure a Fire Warden is in place.
Take a proactive approach in providing information that is clear, timely and accurate, is available at all points of contact, and meets the requirements of people with specific needs. Ensure that the potential offered by Information Technology is fully availed of and that the information available on public service websites follows the guidelines on web publication. Continue the drive for simplification of rules, regulations, forms, information leaflets and procedures.
- Regularly review our website and guidance documents to ensure ease of access and timeliness of information.
- Ensure that our website is compliant with accessibility standards as set out in our accessibility statement
- Make best use of Information Technology to provide a streamlined and easy to use service for our customers
- Continue to promote the use of Plain English in our website and written communications
Timeliness and Courtesy
Deliver quality services with courtesy, sensitivity and the minimum delay, fostering a climate of mutual respect between provider and customer.
- Ensure that all staff have the appropriate training to handle customer queries in a helpful and courteous manner.
- Regularly review our customer service activities to ensure that the standards set out in our Customer Charter are being met.
- Meet our statutory requirements regarding FOI and AIE requests.
Maintain a well-publicised, accessible, transparent and simple-to-use system of dealing with complaints about the quality of service provided.
- Ensure that our customer complaints procedure is easily accessible on our website and that customers wishing to make a complaint are directed to this procedure.
- Deal with all complaints fairly and impartially, in line with our complaints policy.
- Review our policies and procedures in light of complaints received to ensure customers receive the optimal service.
Similarly, maintain a formalised, well-publicised, accessible, transparent and simple-to-use system of appeal/review for customers who are dissatisfied with decisions in relation to services.
- Ensure details regarding how to appeal a statutory decision are included in the relevant notice of the decision.
Consultation and Evaluation
Provide a structured approach to meaningful consultation with, and participation by, the customer in relation to the development, delivery and review of services. Ensure meaningful evaluation of service delivery.
- Continue to consult with the sector on key aspects of our services, reflecting feedback in our standards and policies as appropriate.
- Encourage feedback on our services and review our policies and procedures in light of feedback received.
- Seek feedback and evaluate suggestions from our customers on ways in which we can enhance our customer service.
Provide choice, where feasible, in-service delivery including payment methods, location of contact points, opening hours and delivery times. Use available and emerging technologies to ensure maximum access and choice, and quality of delivery.
- Make a range of contact options available, including publicly available phone and email contacts.
- Ensure phones and email inboxes are staffed during office hours.
- Facilitate face to face meetings as appropriate.
Official Languages Equality
Provide quality services through Irish and/or bilingually and inform customers of their right to choose to be dealt with through one or other of the official languages.
- Ensure that all key publications are published simultaneously in English and in Irish.
- Ensure that all correspondence received in Irish receives a prompt response in Irish.
Foster a more coordinated and integrated approach to delivery of public services.
- Collaborate with other regulatory bodies to endeavour to ensure a coordinated approach to regulation.
- Engage proactively with the AHB sector to endeavour to ensure optimal service delivery.
- Contribute to the development of initiatives with other public bodies.
Ensure staff are recognised as internal customers and that they are properly supported and consulted with regard to service delivery issues.
- Recognise the importance of our staff in our organisation’s success.
- Renew internal communication channels and methods to ensure effectiveness
- Promote open, collaborative communication across the channel.
- Provide training to all staff to ensure a complete understanding of AHBRA’s strategic objectives and the latest developments in the wider AHB sector.