Charity sector moves to improve complaint handling

CCA joins eleven leading national peak bodies working in the charity sector to launch a Model Policy to improve how charities handle and learn from complaints.

The Model Policy and Model Procedure are intended to provide guidance to organisations on the key principles and concepts of an effective complaint management system to help ensure that complaints are handled confidentially and safely, enhancing community trust and confidence in the work of charities. In this regard, the sector will also have access to complaint data which will ensure lessons learnt can be applied to their charitable activities.

Ensuring people in need – particularly those in vulnerable circumstances – have a safe and confidential avenue to raise complaints, is critical to good governance of the sector and minimisation of harm to the beneficiaries of charitable services and others engaged with charities. This work provides policy templates which charity boards can adapt and use to manage risk and improve service delivery.

The initiative has been driven by Sue-Anne Wallace AM, the former chair of the Australian Council for International Development Code of Conduct Committee. She began researching this area of charity activity in 2014 and is currently Chair of the Customer Owned Banking Code Compliance Committee, Deputy Chair of the Code Authority of the Fundraising Institute Australia and Vice-President of the Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative (Geneva).  

The 11 peak national bodies supporting this policy launch are The Australia Council for the Arts, Australian Council for International Development, Community Council for Australia, Public Fundraising Regulatory Authority, Governance Institute of Australia, Fundraising Institute Australia, Our Community, Volunteering Australia, Philanthropy Australia, National Roundtable of Nonprofit Organisations and Justice Connect.