Policy The organisation is committed to handling and resolving client complaints in a confidential, fair and timely manner.
Types of Complaints
There are many factors that influence a client’s decision to make a complaint. There is also a range in the types of complaints that can be made. Examples of factors and types of complaints include:
Service delivery complaints
- dissatisfaction with service provision
- accuracy and timeliness of information
- communication breakdown
- cultural issues
- stress and fatigue
- incidents of conflict
- inappropriate behaviour of staff and volunteers
- poor maintenance of facilities and equipment
- client abuse, harassment, discrimination and neglect
- breach in client confidentiality.
- financial mismanagement
- procedures followed not in accordance with the organisation’s constitution or organisational policies.
Complaints of potentially criminal nature:
- If the complaint has criminal implications, such as fraud or abuse, then the Police should be notified immediately.
Methods of complaint
There are two ways clients may chose to make a complaint to the organisation:
- verbal – face to face or by phone
- written – formal letter, e-mail, fax.
- Some clients may wish to remain anonymous in making their complaint. This should be respected and the complaint investigated.
Responding to complaints
- All client complaints should aim to handle and resolve every complaint immediately, wherever possible, using the following process:
- It is suggested that employees:
- listen carefully and respond to the client in a polite and respectful manner
- clarify your understanding of the complaint and ask the client how they would like the complaint resolved. Wherever possible, try to resolve the complaint at the time.
- If the circumstances do not allow the complaint to be resolved immediately, direct the complaint to the Manager.
- If the Manager is unavailable, the complaint should be directed to the staff member with the most appropriate skills to handle the matter, e.g. Workplace Health and Safety Officer (WHSO).
- If the client wishes only to speak with the Manager, arrange a meeting between the Manager and the client at a time that is mutually convenient.
- Advise the client that they may submit the complaint in writing. See Client Complaint Form.
- Follow the process for written complaints below.
- Record complaint in the Client Complaint Log. For guidance refer to the Client Complaint Log (sample).
- All complaints of a serious nature, e.g. corruption, fraud, harassment, etc. should be submitted in writing and referred to the Manager for investigation. If the complaint involves the Manager or the client feels that the Manager is not the appropriate person to handle the complaint, refer the matter to the Chair of the Management Committee.
- Upon receiving a written complaint, the Manager or Management Committee should aim to provide a response within ten (10) working days.
- The response may include the following:
- confirmation that the complaint has been received and the matter is being investigated
- an understanding of the complaint
- suggested actions for resolving the complaint
- complaint process, including the estimated timeframe for resolution
- client satisfaction and right to appeal
- contact name and number