Disciplinary, Complaints and Appeals Procedures
All memorial masonry businesses and registered fixers who participate in the City and Guilds RQMF must sign an undertaking to abide by the decisions of any independent Disciplinary Committee formed to rule on an alleged breach of fixing standards made against them (declaration on Business & Fixer Registration forms).
Burial Authorities are responsible for ensuring their burial grounds are properly maintained and that all the memorials erected/fixed are done so by persons with appropriate qualifications.
All Burial Authorities will be responsible for ‘policing’ the maintenance of fixing standards within their cemeteries. In the event of a memorial fixer being found to have breached the rules, normally not fixing strictly in accordance with the current NAMM Code of Working Practice and British Standard 8415, the Burial Authority will commence the following procedure:
- Confront the fixer with a request to acknowledge that a breach had occurred, the breach having been clearly explained.
- If an acknowledgement is received, the fixer will be invited to correct the breach and give a written undertaking that no further breaches will occur; any such undertaking will be recorded and copied to the RQMF Administration Committee and the business employing the fixer.
- In the event that the fixer and the business refuse to acknowledge that a breach has occurred and put matters right, the Burial Authority should clearly record the details of the offence including, where possible, photographic evidence. The Burial Authority can pass the file of evidence directly to the RQMF Administration Committee for further action.
- On receipt of a disciplinary action evidence file, the RQMF Administration Committee will log the complaint and pass the details to an independent disciplinary committee of technical experts; requesting an opinion. The review by the disciplinary committee may entail a meeting with the business/fixer or a request can be made that the quality of fixing be inspected. Any inspections will be carried out by City & Guild Qualified Assessors and the costs involved will be borne by the losing party.
- In the event that this opinion supports the complaint the RQMF Administration Committee will write directly to the business (copy to the Burial Authority) outlining the details of both the complaint and the independent findings. If the complaint from the Burial Authority is upheld this letter will also instruct the mason to put the matters right and provide a written undertaking that no further breaches of rules will occur. Confirmation will be required from the Burial Authority that satisfactory rectification has indeed taken place. The complaint will be held on record for a period of 12 months. In the event that the complaint from the Burial Authority is not upheld the RQMF Administration Committee will explain the situation in full to the Burial Authority.
- In the event that a fixer fails to comply with RQMF directives following the independent review of a complaint or if a further breach of rules is committed within a 12 month period of the first offence, permission will be gained from the grave owner by the RQMF Administration Committee for the mason to be instructed to re-fix the memorial in the presence of an RQMF appointed assessor, all costs to be borne by the business/ fixer. The assessor must satisfy himself that the fixer is working to and strictly understands the requirements of the NAMM Code of Working Practice and advise where the erection/fixing was at fault. At the discretion of the assessor the fixer can be instructed to undergo refresher fixer training at his own expense in order to maintain his listing on the Register. The assessors report will be copied to the Burial Authority and the business for their records.
- Should a fixer and business continue to ignore the directives of the RQMF assessor or commit a further breach of rules within any current 12 month period, they will be notified that all data relating to either or both the registered business and the offending fixer will be removed from the RQMF with immediate effect.
- An offending business and/or fixer will not be permitted to re-apply for registration to the RQMF for a minimum period of 6 months following removal after three upheld complaints. Any such masonry business/fixer wishing to be re-registered with the RQMF must first, entirely at their own expense, agree to undergo basic fixer training or have their employee undergo training and be assessed by a City & Guilds Assessor to determine their competence. Only following a successful assessment will a business be allowed to register the memorial erector/fixer.
Note. A complaint must be concluded within a 12 month period from investigation unless there is no continuity of communication. If communication is not maintained the case will be closed.
Complaint from Member of the Public
Any complaint from a member of the public regarding the erection/fixing of the memorial should be reported to the mason and the Burial Authority. The Burial Authority should then if necessary commence the above procedure. If for any reason the Burial Authority refuse to pass on the complaint to the RQMF Administration Committee the Member of the Public can then contact the RQMF Administration Committee with their concerns.
If a fixer is removed from the register; any appeals to the decision must be made in writing within fourteen days of the ruling. The written appeal must clearly state the reasons and the appellant may be requested to attend a hearing.
The appeal will be referred to an independent panel.
Once an appeal decision is made there will be no further right to appeal.
The Appeal Panel will not compromise of any members of the original review panel.