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/or 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
Making a complaint
If you wish to lodge a complaint about Blue Knot or any of its services or staff members, we recommend you do so via our online webform via https://blueknot.org.au/about-us/compliments-feedback-complaints/ to support our ability to respond.
If you would rather speak to someone at Blue Knot about your complaint, you can call and ask to speak with a member of the Leadership Team to which your complaint relates. At times, a member of the relevant Leadership Team might not be available right away and will need to call you back. If you are comfortable to do so, please leave your contact details and the relevant person will make contact with you within five (5) business days to take your complaint.
The Leadership Team for each of our services can be contacted as follows:
- National Counselling and Referral Service – 1800 421 468
- Helpline and Redress Support Services – 1300 657 380
- For all other services and business areas – 02 8920 3611
Blue Knot endeavours to respond to all complaints fairly and in a timely manner.
Once you have made a complaint, a member of our team will aim to contact you within five (5) business days and advise you of information such as next steps, expected timelines, alternative resources and any other information related to your complaint or our complaints handling process.
We aim to investigate and, if possible, resolve all complaints within twenty (20) business days of receiving the complaint. If we can’t meet this timeframe, your contact will explain the reasons for the delay and an alternative timeframe for resolution.
Where it is possible and appropriate, we will try and address your complaint directly with you.
10. Records and reporting
All complaints received by Blue Knot are treated on a confidential basis unless we are required to make a mandatory notification by law.
Blue Knot will keep accurate and appropriate records of all formal complaints, their outcomes and any actions taken.
Employees will only be able to access the complaints register where it is necessary for an employee to discharge their duties.
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 Privacy, Health or Community Commissioner or Complaints Office in their State or Territory should they feel the complaint has not been dealt with appropriately.