As a Signatory to the Code, if you receive a complaint, you are required to be responsive and deal appropriately with clients and other consumers in a timely manner. You are also required to have a fair, efficient and transparent internal complaints handling procedure.
Internal Complaints Procedures
Your internal complaints handling procedures must be compliant with relevant legislation and standards on handling complains in organisations, e.g. AS/NZS 10002:2014: Guidelines for Complaint Management in Organizations. Information on how your organisation deals with complaints must be made available to your staff and clients.
Prospective Signatories are required to have their own complaints handling procedure in order to become a Signatory. The Administrator may request a copy of your complaints handling procedure in its auditing and annual reporting processes. Failure to have one may constitute a breach of the Code. For more information, see the Handling Complaints and Breaches Guidance for Signatories in the Resources section of this website.
Upon receiving a complaint, Signatories must respond in a timely manner; provide feedback as soon as possible; and provide any complainants with the Code Administrator’s contact details. Signatories must provide the complainant with feedback on the outcome within 21 days of receiving the complaint, and must complete their investigation and respond to the complainant of the outcome within 45 days.
If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the Signatory’s complaints handling, they may escalate this to the Code Administrator. The complainant may lodge a complaint with the Code Administrator by completing the Client Complaint Form available on the Resources page on this website. The complainant may also choose to contact a relevant consumer protection authority.
All Signatories are required to maintain appropriate documentation of the complaint investigation process undertaken. This may include evidence of communication between the parties (e.g. emails, letters, phone records), minutes of internal meetings undertaken, and other relevant documentation. Records must be kept in a manner that are easily accessible for Administrator audit or other purposes.