Complaint Handling Policy
Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia (draft for discussion)
The Wesleyan Methodist Church’s complaint handling policy and procedure is informed by the Standard Guidelines AS/NZS 10002:2014.
Complaints are defined as “expressions of dissatisfaction made to or about an organisation related to its products, services, staff or the handling of a complaint, where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected or legally required.”
The objective and purpose of this policy is to maintain our focus as a Christian principled organisation that loves and serves individuals in our community. Our commitment is to the people who participate in our programs and to their safety, welfare and spiritual growth.
Our complaint policy includes:
a. making a complaint
b. responding to a complaint
c. investigating a complaint
d. providing support and assistance
e. achieving systemic improvements following a complaint.
Scope of this policy
This policy applies to
- All ministries and activities of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia in all States and Territories
- Any organisations or services that are managed by a Board or Committee of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia
- Each level of the denominational structure – Local Church, District and National Church
- All people who lead, participate or are impacted by our ministries
- This policy applies in addition to a complaint policy of a Denominational Service – at National, District or the Local Church. If an inconsistency occurs between this policy and any other body within the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia, this policy prevails.
Making a complaint
The Wesleyan Methodist Church values complaints as an opportunity for development and improvement.
The appropriate person to receive the complaint needs to confirm that the person is making a complaint rather than giving negative feedback or advice.
A complaint and supporting documentation must be recorded. Details included are:
- the date the complaint is made
- the contact information for the complainant
- the issues being raised
- the outcome that the person seeks
- relevant information provided
- any support that the complainant needs
The Wesleyan Methodist Church is committed to handling the complaint in an efficient and effective manner. There will always be a considered and respectful response.
An acknowledgement of the receipt of the complaint will be made by:
- email, or
Investigating a complaint
The Wesleyan Methodist Church is committed to the effective handling of complaints.
An initial assessment will be made to determine whether the issue is:
- in our control
- multifaceted and needs to be addressed as several separate issues
- serious, complicated or urgent
- a health and safety concern
- affecting the complainant
- time sensitive
- dependent upon other organisations to achieve resolution
A consideration of which is the best management response includes:
- providing information or an explanation to the complainant
- gathering additional information
- investigating claims
- determining whether the complaint requires a statutory response
Providing support and assistance
The Wesleyan Methodist Church accepts the right of a person to complain.
In communicating with the complainant, applicable privacy obligations under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 regarding any adverse findings against a particular person will be respected.
The complainant will be supported and assisted by:
- keeping them up to date especially if there is a delay
- communicating the outcome and any action taken by the appropriate medium
- providing the reason for the decision
- explaining the remedy or resolution that is planned or implemented
- advising of appeal options
Achieving systemic improvements following a complaint
The Wesleyan Methodist Church is committed to continuous improvement and a service focus.
We will keep records about:
- how the complaint was managed
- the resolution – closed or complainant’s degree of satisfaction
- the outcomes – aspects substantiated, recommendations for future processes, changes implemented, outstanding aspects to be addressed
The outcome will be communicated to the appropriate internal people/groups which may include:
- National or District leaders
- The National or District Boards
- a pastor
- staff members
- the Local Board of Administration / Local Advisory Council
A serious allegation against a person within the Wesleyan Methodist Church that does not require a Statutory response should follow the Church Discipline Process as defined in the Handbook and supported by 13.6 Judicial Review in the “Policies and Procedures for the Local Church” document.