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Complaints & Grievances


The organization has fair, accessible and accountable feedback, complaints and appeals processes.

What does this look like?

The organization has a documented complaints & grievance process that includes:

  • Identification of how complaints should be communicated and to whom
  • Timelines on expected responses to complaints
  • The opportunity for people to contact and gain assistance from an independent advocate.
  • Roles and responsibilities for board, management, staff, the person and their family throughout the process
  • Feedback on services is actively solicited from people served and their family to help improve services.
  • Feedback and complaints lead to improvements and outcomes that are communicated.
  • Retaliation for filing a grievance or appealing a decision is strictly prohibited.
  • Communication that can be expected when a complaint or grievance is shared.
  • The annual review of complaints received to identify trends, quality improvement opportunities and accomplishments.

Information on the complaints procedure is available and explained to people and their support network in an accessible and appropriate format. The organization shares this information at the beginning of service and periodically throughout.

People are informed of and enabled to make a complaint outside of the organization if they wish. 

Each person is encouraged and supported to express any concerns safely and is reassured that there are no adverse consequences for raising an issue of concern, whether informally or through the formal complaints procedure.

Staff are trained in how to recognize, support and enable people served (or their family) to submit a complaint or grievance and how to respond to concerns promptly, effectively, and objectively.

Staff are trained to understand behaviour that indicates an issue of concern or complaint that a person with a disability cannot communicate by other means. Such messages receive the same positive response as issues of concern and complaints raised by other means.

How would you know this is happening? (Evidence)

What you see in systems:

Comprehensive policy and procedure is documented and communicated.

Training content and completion records.

Tracking system of complaints/grievances and resolutions that is reviewed annually.

What you see in actions:

Concerns are addressed immediately at a local level and, where appropriate, without recourse to the formal complaints procedure, unless the person wishes otherwise.

Staff are knowledgeable about what to do when people or their families have a concern or complaint. Issue and concerns are dealt with in a timely fashion and if not resolved are forwarded respectfully and without retribution.

The complaints, appeals and feedback systems can be easily accessed by all people.

People are satisfied with the management of complaints and feedback.

There is a culture of openness and transparency that welcomes feedback, the raising of concerns and the making of suggestions and complaints. These are seen as a valuable source of information and are used to make improvements in the service provided.

Resources to support achieving guideline:

Sample Grievance Policy & Process [To be added soon]

Related Guidelines:

Rights Protection & Promotion

Rights Restriction & Due Process

Supporting Choice and Control

Quality Measurement & Improvement

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