Feedback (Compliment & Complaint) Policy


Introduction

ACSO welcomes feedback from clients, families and stakeholders, about how we are operating. With this information we make plans to tackle any issues or concerns, fix any mistakes and improve the way we do things. Feedback doesn’t just have to be a complaint. We want to hear about the positive things too, so we can continue to do the things that work.

Definitions:

Feedback is any comment/suggestion, compliment or complaint made by a client, external agencies, government agencies and visitors.

Complaints are communication from a person who is unhappy with something an organisation is doing or has done.

A complaint can be made by a client, parent, partner or other agency about an ACSO service or a staff member. Complaints can be made in writing, in person or over the phone.

Complaints may be made about:

  • inappropriate physical contact including physical or sexual assault;
  • verbal abuse (e.g. swearing);
  • performance of a program by a funding body;
  • what the organisation is doing, has done or is about to do, or;
  • anything a person may be unhappy about.

Policy Statement

ACSO wants to hear how we are going. We will make sure that there are processes in place so that we can receive feedback from people in a way they want to provide it e.g. printed and online forms are available, and that feedback is responded to as quickly as possible.

Policy Implementation Guidelines

This policy applies to the whole of ACSO, for receiving and responding to positive feedback and complaints made by clients and/or their representatives, external agencies, individuals or the general public.

Privacy and confidentiality

When handling feedback, ACSO will only collect, use and disclose information where it is necessary to do so. Any personal information will be stored in a secure database so we can make sure information is not lost, misused or inappropriately accessed or disclosed.

ACSO treats all feedback as confidential unless permission is provided to disclose or discuss details with other persons. We can’t guarantee that people who make a complaint won’t be identified when investigating as certain details of the complaint may make it obvious who has complained. In these cases, ACSO will let the person know that they may be identified and they will have a choice to either continue or withdraw their complaint.

There are some limitations to privacy and confidentiality. ACSO and its staff are required by law to report any criminal activity and suspicion of physical, sexual or other abuse especially when it involves children under the age of 16 years. ACSO may also be required to disclose personal information in reduce or prevent serious or imminent threat to a person’s life, health, safety or welfare.

Record keeping

All feedback received will be stored in our secure database so that feedback can be reviewed and we can identify trends or issues, look at opportunities for improvement and for auditing by funding and accreditation bodies.

Fair and transparent processes

Any and all feedback received will be treated fairly with the same process being followed. When feedback is provided, we will make sure people know about the process, how long an investigation might take and the outcomes of any investigation.

Information about the provision of feedback and process for investigating complaints will be made available on ACSO’s website, at each of our office/hub locations, in client service agreements and at residential services.

Complaint investigation

All complaints will first be assessed to make sure the right person and processes are used to investigate. Depending on the seriousness of the feedback, an investigation may be undertaken by an ACSO manager or senior manager or there may be a decision made to ask an external agency to do the investigation. People that provide feedback will be told who is investigating. Investigations will continue even when a person has retracted or dropped their complaint.

Timely Responses

ACSO will respond to all feedback received in a timely manner. It is hoped that all investigations will be completed within 20 working days unless there are delays. Where delays occur, the person that provided feedback will be told and a new timeframe outlined.

Reporting

ACSO are required to report summaries of all feedback to:

  • ACSO Board and sub committees (every 3 months)
  • Mental Health Complaints Commissioner (annually)
  • Disability Services Commissioner (annually)

Key Responsibilities

The ACSO Board is responsible for making sure there is an appropriate feedback system and has delegated this to the Chief Executive Officer.

The Feedback Response Officer is responsible for monitoring and reviewing all feedback about ACSO services and:

  • Consulting with investigators about the feedback process and expected timeframes.
  • Assessing the seriousness of any feedback, in conjunction with senior managers, to make sure the right person and processes are used to investigate.
  • Leading any investigation where appropriate.

ACSO’s Executive team and senior management are responsible for:

  • Using feedback to identify opportunities to improve services.
  • Making sure that all staff are aware of and use feedback processes.
  • Providing information to the Board and Board sub-committees
  • Reviewing reports from regional managers on trends and ongoing issues

ACSO’s Leadership Team is responsible for:

  • Promoting the rights of clients and/or their representative to provide feedback.
  • Ensuring stakeholders are informed of feedback processes and how to access them.
  • In consultation with the Feedback Response Officer, lead any investigation where appropriate
  • Where appropriate, supporting the person providing feedback through any investigation and resolution process
  • Ensuring that clients and stakeholders who raise feedback can continue to receive the same services they did prior to feedback being provided.
  • Ensuring that all feedback is acknowledged and recorded in the secure database.
  • Identify and act upon opportunities for service improvements
  • Follow processes including sticking to timeframes where possible.

All Staff are responsible for:

  • Ensuring that clients are aware of their right to provide feedback and make a complaint and how to do this
  • Ensuring that complaints are reported and recorded in the secure database promptly
  • If necessary and appropriate, assisting a client to provide feedback or assisting an independent third party to assist.
  • Ensuring that the privacy, confidentiality and dignity of the person providing feedback are maintained
  • Attempting to resolve any feedback locally and advising Regional or Senior Managers if the issue cannot be resolved immediately

 Last updated: 27 Mar 2017