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Top tips for service providers: Managing complaints fact sheet


Top tips for service providers:

Managing Complaints

  • Make it easy to complain. Tell people from the outset how to do it.
  • Listen carefully and acknowledge someone’s concerns. Repeat these back to check you’ve understood.
  • Ask what they want to achieve. Note this down.
  • See the complaint as an opportunity to improve care. Complaints are part of providing a good service. It’s how you respond that matters.
  • Nominate someone senior, like a service manager, to handle the complaint. Pass on their contact details.
  • Actively involve the consumer in the process. Their needs and preferences must always be put first. If appropriate, also speak with their nominated representative.
  • Seek permission to refer someone to an advocate if they want support.
  • Work towards a resolution straight away. Your initial response will have the greatest impact on the outcome.
  • Be clear about what you will do to resolve the concerns and provide time frames for actions
  • Give regular updates even when there is little to report. This shows the concern is being taken seriously and hasn’t been forgotten.
  • Use all of the resolution tools available to you. Holding a meeting to discuss the issues and agree on actions is very effective.
  • Provide a clear outcome at the end of the process, including any findings and actions taken. Ask for feedback about your handling of the complaint.
  • Apologise if things have gone wrong. It can help resolve matters quickly and improve your relationship with the people involved.

Next steps

  • For advocacy support, you can refer someone to the Older Persons Advocacy Network on 1800 700 600.
  • If someone tells you they’re not satisfied with the outcome or how you handled their complaint, offer an internal review by someone more senior.
  • If they remain unsatisfied, tell them that the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission can help and ask them to call us on 1800 951 822.
  • For more information about our complaints processes, you can find resources on our website

All information in this publication is correct as of January 2020.


Friday, 3 January 2020 - 2:22pm