Complaint Handling Policy

Complaint Handling Policy


1. Objective of the Complaints Policy

International Humanitarian Organisation (IHO Global) seeks to enhance our reputation and promote high ethical standards commensurate with the philanthropic sector of Australia.

We value complaints as they seek to throw light on avenues of improvement and assist us in   building strong lasting relationships with people who have a genuine heart to be involved in worthy philanthropic causes. In order to improve the services that IHO Global provides, we acknowledge   the importance and the value of listening and responding to your concerns and complaints. Client feedback is an important way of learning and gives public companies valuable information about how they may improve.

We are fully committed to working above and beyond the standard required by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) and the code of conduct of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID).

This policy provides guidance to all our people, board members, employees, staff, consultants, contractors, supporters, donors, partners, beneficiaries and the public on the way IHO Global receives and manages a complaint. We are committed to being consistent, fair   and impartial with the handling of complaints.

The primary objective of this policy is to ensure:

  • That you are made aware of our complaint lodgement and handling procedures,
  • Both you and our board understand our complaints handling processes,
  • Your complaint is investigated with impartiality and a balanced view of all supporting information and evidence,
  • We take reasonable steps to adequately protect your personal information,
  • Your complaint is given consideration on its merits taking into consideration your personal, circumstances and needs.

2. Scope of the Policy

This Policy is intended to apply to any complaint regardless of who makes the complaint.

We will accept complaints relating to our staff, our board members, our volunteers, our partners, our contracted service providers or anyone else acting on our behalf.

A complaint may be made by a person to whom we deliver services or goods or who is affected by our services or goods; a partner, a local organisation with whom we work, our staff, volunteers, donors or a member of the public.

Anonymous complaints can be made, but obviously, our ability to investigate such complaints may be limited because of its anonymity.

3. Guiding Principles

We have adopted the following principles for our complaint handling policy and procedures: 

  1. Visibility

We clearly publicise information about where and how to make a complaint.

  1. Accessibility

Our Complaints Handling Policy is readily accessible to all our people, board members, employees, staff, consultants, contractors, supporters, donors, partners, beneficiaries and to the public. The Policy is easy to understand and includes details on making and resolving complaints.

  1. Responsiveness 

The complainant will receive a receipt acknowledgement of their complaint in accordance with article 10 of this Policy. Complaints will be handled in an efficient and effective manner. Complainants will be treated in a courteous manner and kept informed of the progress of their complaint throughout the complaint-handling process.

  1. Objectivity

Each complaint is addressed in an equitable, objective and unbiased manner through the complaints-handling process.

  1. Charges 

There will be no charge to the Complainant for making a complaint.

  1. Confidentiality

 Personal identifiable information regarding the Complainant will be actively protected from disclosure throughout the process unless the Complainant expressly gives their consent to the disclosure.

  1. Consumer/Client-focused approach

The CEO, executive team, board members, employees, staff and partners are committed to efficient and fair resolution of complaints. We actively solicit feedback and acknowledge an individual’s right to make a complaint.

  1. Accountability

All board members, employees, partner and staff accept responsibility for effective complaints handling. The assigned complaints officer will ensure that issues raised in the complaints handling process are reflected in the IHO Global personnel performance evaluation.

  1. Continual improvement

Our complaint handling process will be reviewed periodically, at least annually, with the aim to enhance its efficient delivery of outcomes.

4. Definitions

Complaint: A complaint in this policy means a written ‘expression of dissatisfaction’. This   definition is taken from the International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard on complaint handling.  When all the criteria for an official complaint as outlined in this policy have been met the complaint should be lodged with the Complaints Committee of IHO Global.
Complainant: A Complainant in this Policy means a person, organisation or its representative who is making a complaint.
Feed back: Feedback in this Policy means opinions, comments, suggestions and expressions of interest in the goods, services, or the complaint handling process.
Personnel: Personnel are employed by IHO Global, whether full-time, part-time, casual or on a voluntary basis.


5. Educating and Training Relevant Personnel

Our Complaints Policy has been distributed to all our personnel, our volunteers, our partners, our contracted service providers and all others acting on our behalf. We require all those who may be involved in any way with a complaint to formally signify their commitment to this Policy.

To familiarise them with this Policy we run induction programs for our governing board members and all relevant personnel. Personnel directly involved in complaint handling are fully trained in      all aspects of this Policy and its implementation.

We take special care to educate our field personnel to encourage, receive and handle complaints taking account of language issues and cultural sensitivities.

6. Publicising Our Complaints Handling Policy

 We make clear the value we place on receiving concerns and complaints in all relevant communications. We use the word “complaint” or its equivalent in relevant languages other than English. Our website opening page has a prominent tab with the word “complaint” linking to this   policy and information on how to make a complaint.

Where literacy is a constraint, we invite oral expressions of concern and complaint as a routine procedure. This invitation will be given in a way that is culturally appropriate. We recognise that in some cultures people may require greater encouragement to make a complaint. We take special care to facilitate complaints from vulnerable populations, including children and the marginalised groups. If required, we will make use of pictorial means of communication.

We ensure that making a complaint to us is as easy as possible. Where illiteracy is a constraint, we will take oral complaints in person, over the phone and by any written means. We will do our very best to assist a complainant to put their complaint in writing or to write it down ourselves as faithfully as we can.

7. Continuous Learning and Improvement

Commensurate with our commitment to continuous learning and improvement are important    ways for IHO Global to increase our performance and accountability to our donors and to the public.

All complaints received in the manner outlined in this policy will be referred to our Complaints Committee. IHO Global will ensure that any complaints or alleged breaches in our code of conduct will be acknowledged and resolved, or referred to the Complaints Committee of IHO Global for evaluation and review of our policy and practise.

8. Lodging a Complaint

This policy applies to any correctly lodged complaint. Complaints may initially be made by any of the following methods: via email, through our website, on the phone, by post, or in person. However, before any complaint against International Humanitarian Organisation (IHO Global) is considered to   be an official, formal complaint, it must:

  • Be in writing;
  • Be addressed to the Complaints Committee of IHO Global;
  • Include the name, your title (Dr, Rev, Mr, Mrs, Miss etc., address, post code, date, phone and or mobile number of the complainant;
  • State the name of the IHO Global person that you have been dealing with personally, if any;
  • Set out the basis of the complaint – (cause/reason/incident of the complaint);
  • Contain details of any steps that you have already taken to resolve your complaint;
  • Include ‘all’ the available evidence and enclose any available documentation that may be relevant, together with your complaint;
  • State in your complaint that ‘a photocopy of this complaint, complete with photocopies of supporting documentation, has been retained by myself for future discussion if required’;
  • Be signed by the Complainant.
  • Where literacy is a constraint, or vulnerable populations including children and marginalised groups are the complainant(s), the policy outlined in article 6 (above) will apply.

9. Recording of a Complaint

When IHO Global receives a complaint, any action taken and any outcome achieved throughout the investigation will be recorded and will be kept on file. IHO Global will also record any dates and times that any action has been taken to resolve the complaint.

All complaints will be recorded in a Register of Complaints.

As part of our ongoing learning and improvement plan, complaints will be monitored for any identifying trends and remedial action to mitigate any identifying causes.

We will keep the esoteric interests of the complainants foremost in the handling of the complaint.

The personal details of the Complainant will be protected from disclosure, unless the Complainant expressly gives consent to its disclosure. IHO Global is committed to protecting your right to privacy and will observe strict confidentiality and discretion in the handling of complaints.

Where a third party is involved in a complaint, we may be required to speak with them to fully investigate their involvement. If this is needed, records will be kept of those proceedings.

Our Complaints Committee will give priority to the urgency of the complaint.

We value honesty and IHO Global will view all genuine complaints in a positive light as a process through which learning and ongoing improvement of our services, goods and practises can be made.

10. Response to Complainant

We are committed to resolving complaints quickly, fairly, efficiently and courteously.

We will acknowledge receipt of a complaint lodged in accordance with the criteria in article 2 (above) of this policy within a period of three to five (3 – 5) business days, albeit, as practicable. Upon reception of your complaint, the Complaints Committee of IHO Global will undertake an initial review of your complaint.

In due course, you will be contacted and asked to provide any requested information that IHO   Global deems necessary to assess the validity of your complaint. If your complaint does not meet the criteria in article 8 (above) your complaint may be dismissed.

During the initial review and investigation of your complaint, please be aware that there may           be circumstances about which we may need further clarification. We may call for additional information and documentation of certain aspects outlined in your complaint. As this scenario, may arise, we will advise you of the status at that time and the on-going progress that is being made.

If the Complaints Committee of IHO Global determines that a breach has occurred, the board of directors will be notified. The board of directors will take the appropriate action to rectify the   breach to improve the standards to minimise potential for reoccurrence.

11. A Notifiable Complaint

A notifiable complaint is a complaint that alleges a breach of the Charities Act, Corporations Act of 2001 or IHO Global regulations may have been compromised. You are advised that any complaint   of this nature should be reported, in the first instance, to the respective authority.

You are advised to consider taking matters related to alleged breaches of Australian laws such as fundraising, tax matters, staff employment, to the appropriate government entity through their respective complaints mechanisms.

12. Deciding if you would like to make a complaint

IHO Global have their own formal procedures for handling complaints.

Your complaint should be first raised with IHO Global and lodged in compliance with the terms of this policy.

  • International Humanitarian Organisation Ltd (IHO Global),

Web:  http://www.ihoglobal.org/
Ph: 1800 316 345

Complaints should be marked ‘confidential’ and emailed to:

IHO Global Complaints Committee,

Email to iho.global@bigpond.com

Or posted to:

IHO Global Complaints Committee,
PO Box 361
Western Australia 6065.

If you are not satisfied with the response from IHO Global, or you believe that a Notifiable Complaint (see article 11) has been committed, you can then lodge a complaint with –

  • Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC),


ph: +61 13 22 62.

Complete ‘Form 6A: Raise a concern about a charity’ and email it to charityconcern@acnc.gov.au

Or posted to:

Advice Services
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission
GPO Box 5108, Melbourne VIC 3001.