Complaints and suggestions for improvement policy

Governance Policy
Policy No: 27
Date: August 2006

Introduction

Vision Australia (“the Organisation”) is committed to being open and responsive to any complaints or suggestions for improvement made by its service recipients (clients) or other members of the community. The Organisation will at all times seek an outcome to a complaint which is satisfactory to all parties and will endeavour to incorporate suggestions for improvement into service development and business improvement programs.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is:

  1. To establish the principles which are to govern the Organisation’s response to complaints and suggestions for improvement.
  2. To ensure the existence of procedures through which clients and members of the community can communicate complaints and suggestions for improvement regarding any aspect of the Organisation’s services, functioning or operations.
  3. To enable the Organisation to address all complaints through ensuring that they are recorded, considered, resolved and monitored.
  4. To ensure that suggestions for improvement are actively encouraged, received, considered and if appropriate, delegated with their implementation monitored and recorded.
  5. To ensure that both staff and clients are aware of the content of this policy and its associated related procedures.

Policy

  1. The Organisation shall implement and maintain a formal complaints procedure to ensure that all complaints are responded to in a timely and impartial fashion.
  2. The Organisation shall ensure that all suggestions for improvement and complaints are recorded, considered and retained for process improvement purposes.
  3. The Organisation encourages clients and members of the community who have a suggestion for improvement or complaint in relation to any aspect of the Organisation or to the actions of a volunteer or staff member to express this through the formal relevant procedures.
  4. The Organisation shall ensure that all parties are informed of his or her right to have a support person or advocate present to assist or represent them during the formal complaints procedure. Formal complaints can be written or verbal. If verbal, the assisting staff member will document the complaint. Access to interpreters will be available if required.
  5. The Organisation shall address all complaints in a confidential manner. Only the people directly involved in making, investigating or resolving a complaint will have access to information about it.
  6. The Organisation shall ensure that the complaint investigation process is impartial. No assumptions will be made nor any action taken until all relevant information has been collected and considered.
  7. The Organisation shall ensure that any complaint is free of repercussions for the complainant. The Organisation will take all necessary steps to ensure that no victimisation occurs against anyone who makes a complaint.
  8. The General Manager, Advocacy and Engagement will be responsible for managing the complaints procedure and will ensure that complaints are forwarded to the relevant General Manager for consideration and resolution. The Organisation shall ensure that clients as well as other members of the community are able to directly contact the General Manager, Advocacy and Engagement if it be their wish.
  9. All information relating to a complaint will be kept on a Complaints Register and no documentation will be kept on an individual’s client or staff file.
  10. The Organisation shall ensure that all staff is aware of this policy and its related procedures.
  11. The Organisation shall ensure that all clients are informed of the existence of this policy and its related procedures at the commencement of receiving services. A copy of this policy and the relevant procedure must be made available to clients in their preferred format as required.
  12. The Organisation recognises the right of individuals to approach an external agency if the formal complaints procedure has not resolved the issue to their satisfaction.
  13. The Chief Executive Officer has overall responsibility for this policy.

Definitions

Complaint - Any issue of a negative nature which is formally brought to the notice of the Organisation in order to bring about a change or resolution.

Suggestion for improvement - Any issue which is brought to the attention of the Organisation in order to improve the operations of the Organisation.

Client - An adult, or parent/guardian of a child, who is blind, vision impaired, deafblind or print disabled and who is currently receiving services or has received services from the Organisation or any of its pre merged organisations.

Member of the community - Any person who is not a client and who is representing themselves, a community organisation or company. Member of the community includes volunteers and donors.

Cross references

  • Complaints Procedure
  • Complaints Form

Authorised by

Ron Hooton
Chief Executive Officer

Document control

Effective date: December 2012
Prepared by: Vision Australia ISR
Authorised by: Vision Australia Executive Management
Approved by: Vision Australia Executive Management
Document identifier: Vision Australia - Complaints and Suggestions for Improvement Policy
Next review: December 2017

Version control

Author: ISR
Date: Dec12
Version No.: 2.0
Changes made (minor or major)*:Review conducted
* Minor = eg spelling, formatting, slight change in wording etc
Major = eg context, structure

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