1. Policy Statement
Blue Knot Foundation is committed to the rights of all Blue Knot service users and other relevant stakeholders to complain, compliment or provide feedback.
This policy outlines our commitment and process for enabling the submission and resolution of complaints in a fair and timely manner.
Blue Knot values all complaints, compliments and feedback as they allow us to:
- Build relationships with our service users and stakeholders
- Evaluate and improve our programs and services
- Empower staff to resolve issues fairly and in a timely manner
- Seek to resolve disputes; and
- Promote a culture of fairness and professionalism.
Blue Knot Foundation will enhance access to the Complaints Policy for diverse stakeholders.
This policy applies to all Blue Knot employees, volunteers and placement students, contractors, subcontractors and consultants. For the purpose of this document, the term ‘staff’ is used to individually and collectively refer to the above terms.
As complaints related to Blue Knot’s counselling services require additional considerations, any employee working in a counselling role must read this policy in conjunction with the Service User Complaints Policy.
This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment or part of any contract for service.
4. Workplace Health and Safety
Blue Knot is committed to optimising the health and safety of our staff. If staff members are subjected to any behaviours that threaten their health and safety (for example, abusive language, threats of violence etc.), Blue Knot will take all reasonable and necessary steps to secure their health and safety.
Blue Knot will ensure that complaints are treated confidentially as required by law and process.
6. Use of pseudonym/anonymous complaints
Complaints may be made anonymously or using a pseudonym. However, we may not be able to respond fully and take the desired actions to such complaints.
7. Who can make a complaint?
Any service user or stakeholder can make a complaint. If possible, the complainant is encouraged to discuss the matter with the person who is the subject of the complaint (if applicable). Sometimes this will resolve the complaint without lodging a formal complaint.
Where this is not possible, the complainant may choose to lodge a formal complaint.
8. Formal Complaint Handling Process
Summary of the complaints process
Complaint is received => Complaint is acknowledged => Complaint is assessed => Investigate (where necessary) => Outcome => Complaint is closed
Complaint is received
Complaints can be received by counselling staff or the Complaints Officer via the following channels: –
- Online form on the Blue Knot community website
- Email: [email protected]Attention: Complaints Officer; or
- Letter: Attention: Complaints Officer, Blue Knot Foundation, PO Box 597, Milsons Point, NSW 1565; or
- Phone: 02 8920 3611 and ask for the Complaints Officer
- If the complaint is about one of our counselling services calling the relevant service:
- Blue Knot Helpline and Redress Service on 1300 657 380
- National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 461 428
Please also see additional policy: Counselling Service User Complaints Policy
- If you are making a complaint is about the Complaints Officer, please email [email protected] and include the following in the subject line:
Attention: President/ CEO or Deputy CEO
Complaint is acknowledged
Blue Knot will acknowledge all complaints within 5 business days and will seek to resolve all complaints within 20 business days of receiving the complaint subject to the complexity and nature of the complaint.
Complaint is assessed
The complaint will be assessed and allocated to the appropriate employee to assess and determine the most appropriate steps to resolve the complaint.
For complaints related to the counselling services please also see the Counselling Service Users Complaints Policy for process.
Where the complaint is about a staff member and their conduct, the employee must be given the opportunity to respond to the complaint. Where this occurs the Employee Complaints and Disputes Policy will need to be followed.
Complaints about the Deputy CEO will be escalated to the President/CEO. Complaints about the President/CEO will be escalated to the Chair of the board of directors.
If the complaint, assessment or investigation reveal possible misconduct, malpractice or breach of policy by an employee of Blue Knot, the President/CEO or Deputy CEO and a HR representative must be consulted.
When an investigation is required, the staff member managing the complaint will undertake a procedurally fair investigation, in consultation with the Complaints Officer as needed.
Where a complaint has been made about a staff member, the staff member will be given an opportunity to respond and provided with the support they need during and after the process.
Outcome of the complaint is notified
When the investigation or review is completed the outcome is communicated in writing to the complainant and relevant parties including reasons for the decision and ways of appealing the decision, including external avenues for redress.
The Complaints Officer will monitor and follow-up any actions that are required, as a result of the complaint.
Complaint is closed
Once a complainant has been advised of the outcome and any relevant actions have been taken, the complaint will be closed.
Some complainants may decide to lodge a complaint externally with another body such as the Health Care Complaints Commissioner in their state.
Blue Knot is committed to evaluating and assessing all complaints and outcomes to inform continual improvement processes.
A review of complaints on the complaints register is undertaken each quarter to identity any systemic issues, themes, or priorities to address.
The President/CEO, Deputy CEO and HR representative are responsible for reviewing all complaints, their process, resolution, and areas for improvement.
10. Records and reporting
Blue Knot will keep accurate and appropriate records of all formal complaints, their outcomes, any actions taken in a complaints’ register. These records will be stored securely, managed and maintained by the Complaints Officer.
Employees will only be able to access the complaints’ register where it is necessary for an employee to discharge their duties.
The Board will review the complaints’ register with de-identified data annually.
The system for managing complaints will ensure that all complaints are referred or notified to other bodies to meet all legislative obligations.
11. Alternative/External options
Complainants also have the right to lodge a complaint externally with the relevant Health Care Complaints Commissioner in their state should they feel the complaint has not been dealt with appropriately.
|ACT||ACT Human Rights Commission||Make a complaint here|
|NSW||NSW Health Care Complaints Commission||Make a complaint here|
|Northern Territory||Health and Community Services Complaint Commission||Make a complaint here|
|Queensland||Office of the Health Ombudsman||Make a complaint here|
|South Australia||Health and Community Services Commissioner||Make a complaint here|
|Victoria||Health Complaints Commissioner||Make a complaint here|
|Western Australia||Health and Disability Services Complaints Office||Make a complaint here|
|Tasmania||Health Complaints Commissioner Tasmania||Make a complaint here|