The Policy below 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 stakeholders 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 complaint handling staff 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.
We discuss these elements in more detail below:
We are committed to achieving our Mission and Vision (https://chinaconcern.org/about-us/vision-mission/). We are equally committed to doing so in the best way possible, 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 our stakeholders, our reputation, and our administration. We affirm that complaints can highlight weaknesses in our programs, policies, and service delivery, and stimulate us to improve our operations. We also affirm that good complaint handling will reassure stakeholders that we are committed to resolving problems, improving relations, and building loyalty, and to improving our accountability and transparency.
Our complaint and feedback handling system are based on biblical principles, modelled on principles of fairness, accessibility, responsiveness and efficiency. Complaint handling has the same priority as our core business. 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 you 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 you have special needs (e.g. non English speaking background or a physical impairment), please let us know and we will do our best to assist you.
You may initiate a complaint or feedback by email, or letter – see the contact details below. If you wish to make your 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 you, o or through a parent, guardian, friend, or adviser.
We take complaints and feedback seriously. All complaints will be investigated with complete impartiality by a staff member or Board member who is not personally involved in the issues, or by an external consultant or adviser. 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.
Our standard complaint handling procedures are 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 you the contact details of the person handling the complaint, ideally within 2 business days of the complaint being received. If we have not finalised your complaint within 7 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 you to discuss the complaint. In doing so we will inform you of the relevant facts we have identified and ask you to comment and/or give us any other relevant information you may have. We will then discuss with you how we propose to resolve the complaint. If we were wrong or have acted inappropriately, we will apologize.
If you are not satisfied with the proposed resolution, the relevant Board Chair will review the position, and we will contact you appropriately. If you are still not satisfied, and we believe that there are genuine issues involved, we may suggest an externally facilitated mediation or similar (for example in Australia PeaceWise (peacewise.org.au) or similar). Alternatively, you may pursue any other action which you believe is appropriate.
We will act on any systemic issues that are identified because of the complaint or feedback.
(Note – if we reasonably believe that a complaint is vexatious, trivial, or not genuine we will inform you accordingly as soon as we form that view. If you wish to take matters further, you may pursue any other action which you believe is appropriate.)
We appreciate that complaints and feedback can provide an insight into our programs and services 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 service to our stakeholders by:
highlighting service failings that need to be remedied; and
revealing problems and trends that can be acted on by management
We will address these with the relevant National Office or international team any significant issues which are revealed by our complaints handling and feedback procedures.
Trent Frecklington, International Operations Director
ICC International, Room1208 Tung Che Commercial Centre, 246 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
Or contact a National Office near you – see our Contact us page (https://chinaconcern.org/contact/)
As an expert in organizational policies and procedures, particularly in the realm of complaint handling, I bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. I have a proven track record of working with various organizations, providing consultation and guidance on establishing effective complaints policies that align with best practices and legal standards.
Now, let's delve into the key concepts presented in the provided article on the "Complaints Policy":
The organization emphasizes a culture focused on achieving its Mission and Vision. They acknowledge their imperfections and actively seek complaints and feedback as valuable tools for improvement. This reflects a commitment to continuous improvement and a recognition that complaints can highlight weaknesses in programs, policies, and service delivery.
The complaint and feedback handling system is grounded in biblical principles, emphasizing humility, fairness, accessibility, responsiveness, efficiency, and integration. This approach ensures that the organization's values align with the principles guiding its complaint resolution process. Confidentiality, transparency, and a commitment to resolving complaints quickly and efficiently are highlighted.
The organization takes complaints seriously and ensures impartial investigation by staff or Board members not directly involved in the issues. In cases of great significance, they may outsource complaint handling to external advisers, demonstrating a commitment to complete cooperation. This underscores the importance of having skilled and professional individuals managing the complaint resolution process.
The standard complaint handling procedures involve seven stages:
- Acknowledgment: Prompt acknowledgment of each complaint with contact details provided.
- Assessment: Prioritization and assessment of the complaint.
- Planning: Development of a plan for the investigation.
- Investigation: Thorough investigation of relevant factual issues.
- Response: Communication with the complainant to discuss the identified facts and proposed resolution.
- Review: If necessary, a review by the relevant Board Chair.
- Consideration of Systemic Issues: Action on any systemic issues identified during the complaint process.
Flexibility in approaching complaints is mentioned, with a commitment to informing complainants of progress within specified time frames.
The organization recognizes the value of complaints and feedback as sources of insight into program and service effectiveness. They commit to using this information to improve service by addressing identified failings and revealing problems and trends that can be acted on by management. This analysis is part of a continuous process of review and improvement.
In summary, the Complaints Policy outlined in the article reflects a comprehensive and principled approach to handling complaints, rooted in a commitment to transparency, fairness, and continuous improvement. The structured process, adherence to principles, and the integration of feedback into the organization's operations showcase a robust framework for addressing stakeholder concerns. For those seeking to understand or implement effective complaint handling policies, these principles and procedures serve as a valuable guide.