Complaints & Feedback Policy
This policy deals with how we approach complaints or negative feedback about us. It is open for use by members of the public, volunteers or staff and involves five key elements:
- Culture. Our aim is to serve our God and our community to the best of our ability. We accept that we are not perfect. We value complaints and feedback as a means of identifying and understanding how we can do things better.
- Principles. Our complaints and feedback system is modelled on biblical principles, including humility, fairness, accessibility, responsiveness, efficiency and integration.
- People. Our people who handle complaints will be skilled and professional.
- Process. Our complaints handling process involves seven stages – acknowledgment, assessment, planning, investigation, response, review, and consideration of systemic issues.
- Analysis. We review information about complaints as part of a continuous process of review and improvement.
Element 1 – Culture
We are committed to achieving our Mission and Vision. We are equally committed to doing so in accordance with our Values, and without concern or hurt for any of the people we deal with. We know that despite our best efforts, we are not perfect and that we can always do better. Accordingly, we value complaints and feedback and recognise that effective complaint handling will benefit those we serve, our reputation and our administration.
We affirm that complaints can highlight weaknesses in our programs, policies and the way we do things, and can stimulate us to improve our operations. We also affirm that good complaint handling will reassure those we contact, that we are committed to resolving problems, improving relations, and to improving our accountability and transparency.
Element 2 – Principles
Our complaint and feedback handling system is based on biblical principles, modelled on principles of fairness, accessibility, responsiveness and efficiency. Complaint handling has the same priority as our main activities. All complaints will be investigated with complete impartiality by a Gateway person who is not personally involved in the issues, or by an external consultant or adviser.
Each complaint will be assessed on its own merits. As far as possible confidentiality and privacy will be maintained and we will be transparent in reporting back results to the person making the complaint as quickly as reasonably possible. It is our aim to resolve all complaints as quickly and efficiently as possible. For example, if they can be resolved over the phone at the time they are made, we will do so.
We will not victimise or treat any person adversely because they have made a complaint. There is no financial charge for making a complaint. If the person making the complaint has special needs (eg non English speaking background or a physical impairment), and makes us aware of that, we will do our best to assist.
A person may initiate a complaint or feedback by email, letter or telephone call – see the contact details below. If someone wishes to make a complaint or provide feedback anonymously, it will still receive our genuine attention, although of course we will be unable to report back or seek further information which may be able to assist us in dealing with any issue. We are happy to deal directly with a person making a complaint, or through a parent, guardian, friend or adviser.
Element 3 – People
We take complaints and feedback seriously. All complaints will be handled by a senior member of staff or a member of the Board of Elders. In matters of great significance, we may outsource the handling of a complaint to an external adviser or consultant, to whom we will give complete co-operation.
Element 4 – Process
Our standard complaint handling procedure is as follows (although we reserve the right to approach a complaint more flexibly if we think it will achieve a more just and efficient outcome):
- We will acknowledge each complaint promptly and give the person making the complaint, the contact details of the person handling the complaint, ideally within 2 business days. If we have not finalised the complaint within 14 days after that, we will contact you to report our progress.
- We will assess the complaint and assign it priority.
- If investigation is required, we will plan how the investigation is to be carried out.
- We will investigate all relevant factual issues and then review the complaint in light of those facts. We will then consider options for complaint resolution.
- We will contact the person making the complaint to discuss the complaint. In doing so we will inform them of the relevant facts we have identified and ask them to comment and/or give us any other relevant information they may have. We will then discuss with them how we propose to resolve the complaint. If we were wrong or have acted inappropriately, we will apologise.
- If the person making the complaint is not satisfied with the proposed resolution, our Senior Pastor or Chair will review the position, and we will contact the person making the complaint appropriately. If they are still not satisfied, and we believe that there are genuine issues involved, we may suggest an externally facilitated mediation via PeaceWise (peacewise.org.au) or similar. Alternatively, the person may pursue any other action which they believe is appropriate.
- We will act on any systemic issues that are identified as a result of the complaint or feedback.
(Note – if we reasonably believe that a complaint is vexatious, trivial or not genuine we will inform the person making the complaint accordingly as soon as we form that view. If they wish to take matters further, they may pursue any other action which they believe is appropriate.)
Element 5 – Analysis
We appreciate that complaints and feedback can provide an insight into our programs and activities, and may show that they are not working as well as they might. We will use information brought to light by any complaints and feedback to improve our activities by:
- highlighting failings that need to be remedied; and
- revealing problems and trends that can be acted on by management.
We will address any significant issues which are revealed by our complaints handling and feedback procedures.
- Telephone: (07) 3291 5900
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Postal: Feedback at Gateway Baptist Church
1052 Mt Gravatt-Capalaba Road
Mackenzie. QLD 4156