Complaints Management

REGISTERED NDIS SERVICE PROVIDER

Complaints Management:

 

Beyond My Label is committed to ensuring that any person or organisation using Beyond My Label’s services or affected by its operations has the right to lodge a complaint or to appeal a decision of the organisation. All concerns that are raised will be addressed in ways that ensure access and equity, fairness, accountability and transparency.

 

The organisation will provide a complaints and appeals management procedure that:

  • allows any person to make a complaint or provide feedback
  • facilitates complaints by cultivating a supportive environment in which they can be made
  • is simple, accessible and easy to use
  • is effectively communicated and promoted to all clients and stakeholders
  • is proportionate to the size of the organisation and the services it provides
  • ensures complaints or appeals are fairly assessed and responded to promptly
  • is procedurally fair and follows principles of natural justice
  • complies with legislative requirements.

 

Record of policy development
Version Date approved Date for review
2020/1.1 23/02/2020 01/07/2020

 

Responsibilities and delegations
This policy applies to Owner/founder, staff and volunteers
Policy approval Owner/founder

 

Policy context – this policy relates to: 
Standards NDIS Practice Standards. National Disability Insurance Scheme (Quality Indicators) Guidelines 2018.
Legislation National Disability Insurance Scheme (Provider Registration and Practice Standards) Rules 2018

National Disability Insurance Scheme (Complaints Management and Resolution) Rules 2018

Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992

Mental Health Act, 2016.

NDIS Act 2013.

Contractual obligations
Organisation policies
Forms, record keeping, other documents  

Feedback and Complaints Form

Complaints register

Definitions

 

Complaint: is an expression of dissatisfaction made to or about an organisation regarding its staff, services or products that warrants response or resolution.

 

Complainant: is an employee, Participant, advocate, entity or member of the public who expresses their dissatisfaction about an organisation to either the organisation itself or an external body.

 

Escalation: is the process of reporting complaints to the Health Ombudsman if the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of their complaint.

 

 

Principles

Beyond My Label will:

  • ensure that all Participants, and their families, carers and advocates are encouraged and supported to raise any concerns they have about the service or organisation
  • consider all complaints it receives regardless of whether or not the complainant is a Participantt of the organisation
  • treat all complainants with respect, recognising that the issue of complaint is important to the complainant
  • maintain confidentiality of parties involved, keeping any information private to those directly involved in the complaint and its resolution. Information will only be disclosed if required by law, or if otherwise necessary
  • ensure support and advocacy is available to clients who make a complaint and require support
  • resolve complaints, where possible, to the satisfaction of the complainant
  • Participants, families and advocates have access to the organisation’s complaints management policy
  • deal with all complaints in a timely manner, and aim to provide a formal response to the complainant within five business days of the complaint being received
  • keep parties to the complaint appropriately involved and informed of progress of the complaint
  • ensure that staff and volunteers are given information about the complaints procedure as part of their induction and are aware of procedures for managing client feedback and complaints
  • ensure all service users, stakeholders and members are aware of the complaints policy and procedures
  • ensure that all complainants are aware of and understand how to escalate their complaint to the Health Ombudsman
  • ensure that a complainant is not penalised in any way or prevented from use of services during the progress of an issue
  • ensure that feedback data (both positive and negative) is considered in organisational reviews and in planning service improvements
  • review and evaluate the accessibility and effectiveness of the complaints management system and continually improve its processes

 

Procedures

Information for clients and stakeholders

Beyond My Label complaints and appeals procedure will be documented for Participants and stakeholders via www.beyondmylabel.com.au which is made available on the Internet. Participants with specific communication needs will be made aware via their chosen advocate or support person.

 

All Participants will be informed of their rights and responsibilities with regards to complaints and appeals at the earliest possible stage of their involvement with the organisation.

 

The Beyond My Label Complaints Management Procedure will contain information on the following:

  • how to make a complaint or lodge an appeal, including an anonymous complaint
  • contact person for lodging a complaint or appeal
  • how the organisation will deal with the complaint or appeal, the steps involved and the timelines
  • the rights of the complainant to an advocate, support person or interpreter
  • how the person will be informed about the outcome of their complaint or appeal
  • how to make a complaint to an external body including contact details

 

Training procedures

Staff will be trained on the complaints management procedures during their induction, and as part of ongoing refresher training.

Relevant staff will undergo training for complaints management and resolution to support clients to throughout the complaint process and appropriately respond to complaints in an empathetic manner. This will include open communication strategies such as acknowledging the grievance without being defensive and making apologies while accepting responsibility for what occurred.

 

Making a complaint

A person wishing to make a complaint may do so in writing or verbally to:

  • the staff member they were dealing with at the time
  • the manager/supervisor of that staff member  or
  • the owner/founder

 

 

Complaints may be made by:

  • Written complaints may be sent topaul@beyondmylabel.com.au. The owner/founder will be responsible for receiving this correspondence and directing it to the appropriate person.  
  • Anonymous complaints may be made by the contact for on www.beyondmylabel.com.au

 

If the complaint is about:

  • a staff member or volunteer, the complaint will normally be dealt with by the owner/founder

 

Lodging an appeal

Participants or their advocates may lodge an appeal if they disagree with a decision made by the organisation, or by a staff member, related to refusal of service provision or service provided. An appeal should be made in writing and submitted to the owner/founder.

 

Procedure for complaints and appeals management

Any staff member may be a recipient of a complaint, and is responsible for:

 

  1. Receiving the complaint:
  • listening to the complainant, acknowledging the concern raised, and explaining the next steps to the complainant
  • Depending on the type and severity of the complaint, either discussing with the complainant an agreed upon resolution (for smaller matters), or referring the complaint on to the owner/founderfor further investigation and action.

 

The person managing the complaint will be responsible for:

 

  1. Processing the complaint or appeal:
  • registering the complaint or appeal in Beyond My Label’s data base
  • informing the complainant that their complaint has been received and providing them with information about the process and time frame

 

  1. Investigating the complaint or appeal:
  • examining the complaint within five business days of the complaint being received
  • investigating the complaint and deciding how to respond
  • informing the complainant by letter within ten business days of the complaint being received of what is being done to investigate and resolve it, and the expected time frame for resolution

As far as possible, complaints or appeals will be investigated and resolved within thirty business days of being received. If this time frame cannot be met, the complainant will be informed of the reasons why and of the alternative time frame for resolution.

 

  1. Responding to and resolving the complaint:
  • making a decision or referring to the appropriate people for a decision within  thirty business days of the complaint being received
  • informing the complainant of the outcome and the reasons for any decisions made
  • upheld (and if so what will be done to resolve it)
  • resolved (and how this has been achieved); or
  • if no further action can be taken, the reasons for this
  • informing the complainant of any options for further action if required
  • if an apology is in order, ensuring that the appropriate person makes the apology and informs the complainant what the organisation intends to do to avoid further grievance

 

  1. Reviewing the complaint:

If the complainant is not satisfied with the investigation and proposed resolution of their complaint or appeal they can seek a further review of the matter by contacting the owner/founder.

 

  1. Referral to external procedure:

A formal external complaints procedure may follow Step 4 if the complainant is still not satisfied with the outcome.  The complainant will be referred to an external reviewer of the client’s choice and provided information and support to make the complaint externally if necessary.

 

 

Complaints involving specific staff members [or volunteers]

The owner/founder has delegated responsibility for resolving complaints or disputes involving staff members or volunteers.

 

Internal complaints, where a staff member or volunteer makes a complaint concerning another staff member or volunteer, will be dealt with in accordance with Beyond My Label’s grievance, complaints and disputes policy.

 

External complaints by clients or stakeholders made against a staff member or volunteer will be managed by the owner/founder who will:

  • notify the staff member or volunteerof the complaint and its nature
  • investigate the complaint and provide the staff memberor volunteer with an opportunity to respond to any issues raised
  • attempt to mediate the dispute (if appropriate) and/or attempt to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the outside party
  • take any other action necessary to resolve the issue

 

Any disciplinary action against a staff member or volunteer arising from a complaint will be taken in accordance with the procedures contained in Beyond My Label’s disciplinary procedures.

 

Complaints involving organisation members

Complaints made against a member will be referred to the owner/founder. The owner/founder will:

  • notify the person about whom a complaint is being made of the complaint and its nature
  • investigate the complaint and provide the member with an opportunity to respond to any issues raised
  • attempt to mediate the dispute (if appropriate) and/or attempt to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the outside party

 

Cooperation in external investigations

If any person makes a complaint about Beyond My Label to an external body (including police, Ombudsman), the owner/founder will be responsible for liaising with the body responsible for investigating the issue. Beyond My Label will fully cooperate in any investigation which may take place, This includes participating in early resolution, conciliation, and/or reporting to the body about resolution and corrective actions if required.

 

Record keeping

A register of complaints and appeals will be kept in Beyond My Label’s data base stored on a password protected computer for a minimum of seven years after the complaint has been made. The register will be maintained by the owner/founder and will record the following for each complaint or appeal:

  • Details of the complainant and the nature of the complaint
  • Date lodged
  • Action taken
  • Date of resolution and reason for decision
  • Indication of complainant being notified of outcome
  • Complainant response and any further action

 

Copies of all correspondence will be kept on a password protected computer.

 

The complaints register and files will be confidential and access is restricted to the owner/founder.

 

 

Continuous improvement of the complaints management system

The complaints management system will be reviewed and evaluated annually. This will include:

  • review of all complaint and feedback policies and procedures
  • Participantand staff feedback about the accessibility and effectiveness of the complaints management system
  • implementation of a continuous improvement plan based on the review and feedback received

 

 

End of document