WorldShare Complaints Handling Policy

Purpose

WorldShare is committed to being accountable for its actions and takes complaints seriously. WorldShare values all types of feedback, including complaints, they are an important way that Worldshare can identify and address issues, engage in ongoing learning, improve our processes and make sure that we operate as excellently as possible.

The purpose of this policy is to outline the principles and procedures to ensure that complaints are dealt with appropriately, sensitively and promptly. This policy is communicated on the WorldShare website: www.worldshare.org.au.

In this policy, “our” and “we” is a reference to WorldShare.

Scope

This policy relates to complaints, which are defined as an expression of dissatisfaction concerning WorldShare (our employees, volunteers, Board Members, contractors, partners or anyone else) in relation to our work, partners or services. This includes but is not limited to its standards of services, actions (or lack of actions), application of values, missions and/or objectives, behaviour of WorldShare staff, criticism of a fundraising campaign/action, concerns over inappropriate use of funds, breaches related to ACNC regulatory obligations or organisational practices, policies or procedures, threats of legal action, and complaints about international programs and supported by WorldShare.

Complaints applying to child protection matters should be made in accordance with WorldShare’s child protection policy.

This policy applies to external complaints and is distinct from the grievance process for internal complaints.

A complaint is not a general query about WorldShare’s work, a request for information, a contractual dispute, a request to amend personal records, for example, to correct an address, or cancel a donation, or a request to unsubscribe from regular WorldShare communication, for example, a newsletter or email.

Principles

The following principles will inform the development and review of all of WorldShare’s complaints-handling procedures:

1. Awareness and accessibility

WorldShare will make stakeholders (including our ministry partners beneficiaries overseas) aware of their right to make a complaint, including by publicising this policy on our website, and including references to it in our partnership agreements and other publications as relevant. WorldShare will also inform ministry partners of their rights and the process to make complaints. The importance of the policy is also reinforced throughout the partnership during visits by WorldShare staff, and ministry partners have regular meetings with project beneficiaries and stakeholders to encourage feedback and reporting of complaints.

WorldShare recognises its duty to care for the vulnerable communities with whom we work and also the autonomy of our overseas ministry partners. Accordingly, Worldshare will support the development of complaints processes for use by the beneficiaries of the work of WorldShare-supported overseas ministry partners.

All staff and volunteers will be provided with this policy as part of their induction to WorldShare so that they understand the importance and scope of the policy.

2. Promptness, fairness and confidentiality

WorldShare will take all reasonable steps for our complaint handling process to be dealt with appropriately and confidentially.

Complaints will be treated with respect in a fair and equitable way and we will ensure that all parties have reasonable opportunity to provide any information they believe will assist in the resolution of the issue.

3. Responsiveness

If applicable, WorldShare will keep the complainant informed as to progress of consideration of the complaint.  Responses to complaints will be provided clearly and in a timely way, in consideration of the appropriate degree of urgency warranted by the nature of the complaint.

4. Continuous improvement

WorldShare will commit to accountability and ongoing improvement, seeking to learn from complaints made and develop our processes wherever possible. This will be balanced against the limited resources available to WorldShare.

Process

1. How to make a complaint

A complaint may be made through any of the following ways:

1. By telephoning our office on (02) 9712 8222 during business hours;

2. By sending an email to worldshare@worldshare.org.au;

3. By sending a letter to our office at PO Box 84, Chatswood NSW 2057; or

4. By making a complaint in person to our office.

A complaint should be addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of WorldShare.

To ensure no disadvantages or barriers to making a complaint, where necessary, language interpreters may be required to help establish the nature of the complaint. In addition, WorldShare and its partners are committed to ensuring that complaint processes are accessible to children, and additional support may be provided should a complaint be made by a child (being an individual less than 18 years old).

2. Complaints handling procedure

WorldShare will receive and respond to all complaints irrespective of who makes them or the nature of the complaint. WorldShare’s Leadership Team is responsible for ensuring that WorldShare responds to complaints in accordance with this policy, and the Chief Executive Officer is ultimately responsible for complaints which cannot be resolved by the Leadership Team.

In respect of verbal complaints, WorldShare will listen to what the complainant has to say, clarify the issues, and make a brief and accurate written summary of the complaint.

The employee receiving the complaint will record the following details:

a) The name of the person/s making the complaint;

b) The date, time and location the complaint is received;

c) A brief description of the complaint and the expectations of the complainant; and

d) Any other information considered to be relevant to the complaint being made.

In some instances, a complainant may make an anonymous complaint, however it should be noted that this may restrict the resolution of the complaint.

WorldShare will determine whether a formal investigation is required. If so, WorldShare will establish the facts and gather the necessary information, including through interviews. WorldShare will then assess if any remedy, systems improvement or other course of action is warranted, and advise the complainant of the outcome. 

When a formal complaint is received, an initial letter of acknowledgement will be sent to the complainant within five days. Similarly, the subject of the complaint (if an individual) will also be advised that a complaint has been lodged against them. In normal circumstances, the complaints process should have commenced and been completed within 30 days after receipt of the complaint, including a formal written response to the complainant, as well as the subject of the complaint.

If the complainant is unhappy about the responses received from WorldShare, they may appeal to the next management level or the WorldShare Board.

Policy Change History

Date

Modification

February 2020

Policy created.

 

Click here for a printable copy of WorldShare's Complaints Handling Policy.