Irish Sports Council Customer Charter

We at the Irish Sports Council (ISC) are committed to providing you, our clients with an excellent customer service. Our customer charter sets out the standards of service you can expect from us.

 

1. Mission Statement

The mission of the ISC is: "To plan, lead and coordinate the sustainable development of competitive and recreational sport in Ireland"

 

2. Roles / Services of the ISC

Our main role is to act as the development agency for sport in Ireland. In support of this role we carry out a variety of activities, including the following: -

  • Funding of sports bodies and individual sportspersons;

  • Advising the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, his Department and other government departments in relation to sports policy issues;

  • Providing information in relation to all aspects of sport;

  • Advocating for sport;

  • Developing programmes to support and assist sports organisations and their staff and volunteers;

  • Implementation of a comprehensive anti doping programme, including testing, education and research ensuring universal national compliance with the "World Anti Doping Code";

  • Facilitation and direct provision of training and support services to sports organisations, and

  • Creating partnerships and alliances among organisations involved in sports promotion, development and administration.

  • Promoting equality and diversity for all by implementing equality legislation and eliminating all barriers to service access fro those experiencing poverty, social exclusion, people with disabilities and those facing geographic barrier.

 

3. Main Clients, Stakeholders and Services of the ISC

Our main clients and stakeholders can be grouped as follows:

  • Sports Arena - National Governing Bodies, Local Sports Partnerships, National Coaching and Training Centre, Olympic Council of Ireland, Paralympic Council of Ireland, Campus Stadium Ireland Development, Individual Sportspersons; Morton Stadium

  • Public Bodies - Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism. Department of Education and Science, Department of Health and Children, etc.

  • Others - General Public, Media, Schools, Universities, interest groups, etc.; and

  • Service Providers

 

4. Delivering Quality Service

We are committed to providing an efficient and courteous service to all our clients. This document sets out clearly the type of service you can expect from the ISC. We do not envisage these standards as being permanently fixed as this charter will be subject to periodic review. Through this reviewing process, we will constantly strive to improve our services to the extent that our resources will permit.

 

5. Principles of Quality Customer Service

The ISC has adopted the following principles of quality service to help us deliver a quality service to our clients. We are committed to: -

  • Providing high quality standards of service by publishing a customer charter and displaying it prominently at all service delivery points

  • Promoting equality and diversity for all by implementing equality legislation and eliminating all barriers to service access for those experiencing poverty, social exclusion and those facing geographic barriers

  • Providing clean, accessible public offices by complying with occupational and safety standards, and by facilitating access for people with disabilities and other specific needs

  • Proactively providing information by ensuring that the potential offered by today's information and communications technology is fully availed of and is in keeping with the guidelines of web publications. We will also continue the drive for simplicity in all information available from the ISC

  • Delivering a service to the public in a timely and courteous way by providing contact names to ensure ease of communication, and by delivering a quality service to enable us to foster a climate of mutual respect between the ISC, the public and our clients

  • Dealing effectively with complaints by maintaining a simple to use complaints procedure

  • Dealing fairly and equitably with appeals by maintaining a simple to use appeals procedure

  • Ensuring that the needs of the public are met by providing a structured approach to consultation, participation and evaluation in which the public can participate; and by providing choices with regard to our service delivery times, location and language used

  • Providing choice, where feasible in service delivery by using available and emerging technologies to ensure maximum access and choice, along with quality of delivery

  • Providing quality services bilingually - Irish and English - where possible, and informing customers of their right to choose to be dealt with through one or other of the official languages - Irish or English being said languages

  • Fostering a coordinated and integrated approach to service delivery

  • Ensuring that our staff are recognised as internal customers, and in doing so ensure that they are properly supported and consulted with regard to service delivery issues

 

6. Telephone Enquiries

  • When you telephone us, we will be available where possible to answer your calls during normal office hours (9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday) with voicemail available outside these hours

  • Our aim is to process all telephone enquires within 24 hours

  • We will identify ourselves and our area of work when you contact us

  • We also aim to be courteous, helpful, and to provide you with clear and accurate information

  • If we cannot provide an immediate answer, we will take details and call you back within 24 hours or at an agreed time

  • If we need to transfer you to another staff member we will give you their name and /or contact details if they are unavailable to take your call

  • We will not put you on hold without explanation, nor keep you on hold without regular updates

  • We will only connect callers to voicemail when the person they wish to speak with is unavailable

  • We aim to respond to voicemail messages within one working day or on our return to the office

  • We will update our voicemail on a daily basis

  • We will give alternative contact details if staff members are away from the office for more than a day

  • We will update our internal directories quarterly

  • We will make every effort to accommodate you if you wish to conduct your business through Irish

 

7. Written Communications

  • We aim to acknowledge all written communications - emails, faxes and letters - within five working days, and provide a definitive reply or answer within ten working days. Where an "out of office" reply is received we will give alternative contact details for written communications

  • If correspondence is received by us which is meant for another Department, Agency, etc. we will forward this correspondence onto them immediately and request that they contact you directly

 

8. Client Calls

  • We will be available to meet you punctually and by appointment during our normal office hours

  • We will endeavour to be flexible in our arrangement for meeting you outside our office hours

  • We will receive you courteously, be helpful and fair in our dealings with you, and attempt to deal with your enquiry as soon as possible

  • We will provide appropriate facilities for meetings and ensure that our offices are clean, accessible and safe for all our clients

  • We will continuously review access to our offices for all our clients in accordance with the National Disability Association guidelines

 

9. The Provision of Information

  • We will ensure that all our generally available information is accessible to all our clients

  • We will provide accurate information, using clear and simple language that is relevant to your query

 

10. The Provision of Grant Information

One of the main services of the Council is the provision of core and programme funding to sports bodies and performance based funding to individual sportspersons. Core funding is used primarily to assist and support the organisational structures and systems essential for the effective administration and development of sport. Programme funding is used to promote specific and targeted initiatives aimed, for example at increasing participation or developing excellence in sporting performance. Funding is provided to individual sportspersons through the Council's International Carding Scheme and the Team Ireland Golf Trust scheme.


To ensure that all relevant bodies and individuals receive the information they require to apply for this funding, the ISC will aim to: -

  • Supply all prospective grant applicants with eligibility criteria, terms, conditions and other relevant information in advance

  • Explain exactly what is required in application forms and ask only relevant questions

  • Process all applications including making a final decision within six weeks of receipt of the application

  • We will also aim to use technology to facilitate a more efficient grant process

  • Communicate the decision to the grant applicants within two weeks following the date of decision

  • Issue payments under grant schemes within two weeks of the receipt of confirmation that grant scheme conditions have been met

 

11. The Provision of Anti Doping Information

The ISC plays a key role in protecting athletes' health and reputations, and in maintaining the integrity of sport through the implementation of its anti doping programme. One of the critical factors in achieving this is the provision of information, and the ISC has developed various materials which assist with the provision of appropriate information targeted at a number of our key stakeholders in this area by aiming to: -

  • Respond to drug enquiries immediately or where this is not possible within two working days

  • Provide accurate, up to date information on programmes and prohibited substances targeted at specific stakeholders

  • Issue test results within two working days of receipt from the lab

 

12. Appeals

The ISC operates an Appeals Procedure in respect of all its schemes. The following are the main details


What does our Appeals Procedure cover?

The appeals procedure applies to appeals from athletes under the International Carding Scheme. Any other appeals will be dealt with by the relevant appeals' panels or alternatively by the relevant department in the ISC


How do I appeal?

You can appeal by making a submission in writing to the ISC through your NGB to the address found under contacts in section 20.


Principals of our appeals procedure

  • We will treat your appeal properly, fairly and impartially

  • We promise that lodging an appeal will have no implications for your dealings with the ISC

  • The Appeals Process will involve a reconsideration of the issue under appeal by a committee of persons not involved in the original decision making process

  • Appeals will be considered and a decision made and notified to you within eight weeks of receipt of your appeal. Where it is not possible to meet this target, we will inform you and continue to do so until the matter is resolved

  • You will have the opportunity to present your case, in person, accompanied by individual (s) of choice before the appeals panel

 

13. Help Us to Help You

  • To assist us in reaching our service standards, we would appreciate it if you could ensure that all application forms are fully, accurately and legibly completed by the specified deadline (where applicable)

  • If you wish to meet with a member of our staff, you should make an appointment in advance

  • If we need to amend your details, please fill in and send back the "Amendment of Details form" (see Appendix A) either by post to the Irish Sports Council, Top Floor, Block A, West End Office Park, Snugborough Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15, by email to reception@irishsportscouncil.ie or by fax to 01 8608880. We will ensure that your new or amended details are passed on to all departments within the ISC

 

14. Our Website

  • We will ensure that our website is kept up to date, complies with disability access requirements and contains information relevant to our client base

  • We welcome your views on the quality of our website which you can provide through an online feedback facility

  • Our website address is www.irishsportscouncil.ie

 

15. Complaints

The ISC is committed to providing all its clients with a high quality service. While we work hard to achieve this, we are aware that sometimes you may feel that you did not receive as good a service as you expected. As a result and in keeping with our Action Plan, we have introduced a Customer Complaints Procedure.


What does our Complaints Procedure cover?

The Complaints procedure covers complaints about issues such as delays, mistakes and poor customer service provided by the ISC

The Complaints procedure does not cover any of the following: -

  • Matters of policy

  • Matters that are the subject of litigation

  • Matters that have been referred to the Ombudsman or Information Commissioner


How do I complain?

  • If you are dissatisfied by some aspect of our service and you feel able to, please express this to the person with whom you are dealing who will try to help

  • If you prefer, please ask to speak to a manager who will try to help as we aim to resolve all difficulties at "local" level where possible

  • If you remain dissatisfied and wish to make a complaint, you can contact our Complaints Officer, who will arrange for your complaint to be formally investigated

  • Complaints may be made in writing to the address under contacts in section 20.


What information do I need to provide when making a complaint?

  • By providing the following information, you can help to speed up the investigation of your complaint: -

  • Your name, address and telephone number

  • Exactly what it is you are dissatisfied with

  • The name of the staff members or sections that dealt with you

  • Remember also to forward us copies of any relevant documentation/correspondence you may have

  • If the ISC needs to make any reasonable adjustments to its environment to accommodate your complaint, please let us know as soon as possible


How does our complaints procedure work?

  • We will treat your complaint properly, fairly and impartially

  • We promise that making a complaint will have no implications for your dealings with the ISC

  • A staff member other than those originally involved in the initial issue, will examine your complaint

  • We will examine and review your complaint, and send a reply to you within ten days or as soon as possible following receipt of your complaint. Where it is not possible to meet this target, we will inform you and continue to do so until the matter is resolved

  • We will apologise for any mistake, explain what happened and put it right wherever possible

  • We will change the way we do things to avoid making the same mistake in future

 

16. Feedback

  • We regard feedback as the key to understanding the needs and expectations of our clients

  • To ensure that your views - both negative and positive - are communicated to us we provide free post comment cards (see Appendix C) and an online feedback facility (see Appendix B) on our website to express your opinions

 

17. Equal Status Policy

  • We are fully committed to providing a service that is accessible and relevant to all our clients

  • We are fully committed to providing a service that accommodates the specific needs and aspirations of particular client groups, and that seeks an equality of outcome

  • We will consult with our clients to ensure that their access needs are addressed

  • We will provide appropriate staff training to support the equal status policy

 

18. Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Acts (FOI Acts) 1997 and 2003 confer on the general public the right to seek access to records held by public bodies (subject to certain exemptions), to seek reasons for decisions affecting oneself, and to have personal information about oneself corrected

How can an FOI request be made? Should you wish to make a request under FPI for access to records which you believe are held by this Council, you should make the request as follows: -

  • In writing, by fax or email, and addressed to the FOI Officer

  • State clearly that the request is being made under the FOI Acts

  • Identify clearly the records/information sought

  • Specify the manner of access sought

  • Proof of identity will be sought before access to personnel information is granted

  • Assistance for members of the public with special needs can be provided on request


How do I contact the FOI Officer? The contact details for our FOI officer can be found under contacts in section 20.

 

19. Séirbhís Trí Ghaeilge

  • The Irish Sports Council (ISC) aims to provide a quality service through English, Irish, or English and Irish

  • Customers have the right to choose which language they prefer to be dealt with in

  • A limited amount of information issued by the ISC will be in both English and Irish

  • We also hope to ensure that a sufficient number of our staff are proficient in the Irish language

  • Tabharfar freagra as gaeilge ar chomhfreagas a gheofar i ngaeilge

  • Déanfar gach iarracht freastal ar fhiafraithe teileafóin i ngaeilge agus freastal ar dhaoine a thagann i láthair ar mian leo a ngnó a dhéanamh trí ghaeilge

 

20. Contacts

Further Information on our customer services may be obtained from: -


Appeals

  • Address - Appeals Section, Irish Sports Council, Top Floor, Block A, West End Office Park, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15

  • Telephone - 01 8608800 Fax - 01 8608880

  • Email - reception@irishsportscouncil.ie


Freedom of Information:

  • Address - FOI Officer, Irish Sports Council, Top Floor, Block A, West End Office Park, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15

  • Telephone - 01 8608809

 

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