Complaints Policy

PUBLIC COMPLAINTS POLICY (March 2020)

The purpose of this policy is to describe Way Forward’s approach to complaint management. In identifying, monitoring, and resolving complaints, Way Forward works to the following guiding principles:

Objectivity

Listen to the concerns of our clients and find the right solution

Confidentiality

Recognise, promote, and protect the rights of our clients

Responsiveness

Proactively identify complaints

Respond and resolve complaints as quickly as possible

Actively identify and assist complainants who might need additional assistance

Transparency

Keep complainants informed throughout the process until the issue is resolved.

What is a complaint?

We treat any expression of dissatisfaction with Way Forward, its products, services, staff or processes as a complaint that will be dealt with under this policy.

How do you lodge a complaint with Way Forward?

Complaints do not need to be lodged in writing. Way Forward is happy to receive complaints via the following methods:

Phone: 1300 045 502

Mail:
Way Forward
Level 8, 350 Collins St
Melbourne VIC 3000

Options available to assist complainants who might need additional assistance to lodge a complaint:

To access the Australian Government’s free interpreting service please contact the National Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 1800 131 450 or for further information about phone and on-site services please visit the TIS website.

For people who are deaf, hard of hearing of have a speech impairment, the National Relay Service provides free assistance. 24-hour contact information can be found on the National Relay Service website.

For anyone requiring an Auslan interpreter, please access the National Auslan Interpreter Booking and Payment System or contact Way Forward and we can assist with making this booking.

Way Forward’s key steps for dealing with complaints

Step 1. Acknowledgment

All complaints will be acknowledged within 1 business day of receipt either by phone or in writing.

Step 2. Initial assessment

An initial assessment will be made to determine the nature of the complaint, its urgency and severity, and to help determine a solution. This assessment will include a Way Forward staff member who has not been involved in the issue calling the client.

When a staff member calls the client about a complaint they will:

  1. Identify themselves
  2. Confirm the details of the complaint and the desired outcome with the client
  3. Record the details in the Complaints Register
  4. Explain the proposed course of action and timing to the client

Step 3. Investigation

After understanding the nature of the complaint, the investigating staff member will undertake the following:

  1. Collate and document the facts and timing related to the event, including a review of call recordings
  2. Assess the basis of the complaint, ensuring a fair, reasonable and objective approach
  3. If appropriate, determine options for remediation of the complaint

Step 4. Final response

At the conclusion of the investigation Way Forward will:

  • Unless the complaint has been resolved to your satisfaction within 5 days we will provide a written response outlining the investigation outcome
  • If the complaint has been rejected, the reasons why the complaint has been rejected will be provided in simple and plain language
  • Explain that the complainant has the right to take their complaint to our external dispute resolution provider
  • Provide the name and contact details of our external dispute resolution provider.

The amount of detail provided in our written response will reflect the complexity of the complaint.

Response timeframes

Acknowledgement of receipt       Verbal or in writing         Within 1 business day

Respond to the complaint            Verbal or in writing         Within 21 calendar days

Should you not be happy with the outcome of your complaint

Way Forward is a member of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) who handles unresolved complaints and disputes in relation to Way Forward clients.

If we have been unable to resolve your complaint, you have the right to take the complaint to AFCA.

Contact details for AFCA are:

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority
Online: www.afca.org.au
Email:  info@afca.org.au
Phone: 1800 931 678
Mail:    Australian Financial Complaints Authority
GPO Box 3
Melbourne VIC 3001