Complaints Policy

Our practice is committed to continuous improvement and seeks client feedback to assist in identifying ways to improve the practice’s processes and client experience. Changes made based on feedback are communicated to clients and others to demonstrate the value of their feedback.


Complaints are inevitable in an allied health practice, and we handle them with courtesy and empathy. We consider client complaints a valuable source of feedback on our services, and we understand that ensuring client satisfaction impacts their health outcomes.

To that end, we remind clients on our website, in brochures and posters how they may express compliments, complaints or suggestions about our service. This information covers:

  • how responding to client feedback is part of our commitment to quality care
  • ways for clients to provide feedback/complaints and our methods of response
  • external avenues for complaints, such as: Health Quality and Complaints and the NDIS (Australian list available on Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care website), the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and the NDIS Commission

Verbal complaints are handled either by a senior client support team member, the practitioner or the practice manager, who takes the client to a quiet area to discuss their problem.

Written complaints are discussed with the practice manager and practice principal/s and a response, written or verbal will be prepared.

Our complaints handling process aims to minimise client anxiety or hostility, which may lead to litigation. We follow these steps:

  • Inform the team member responsible for the complaint.
  • For verbal complaints, escort the client to a private area to discuss.
  • Listen attentively, take notes and repeat key concerns to reassure the client you understand their complaint.
  • Assure the client we will take their complaint seriously and thoroughly investigate it.
  • Document the complaint in a memorandum and record details in the complaints register.
  • Notify the client’s practitioner.
  • Contact the client as soon as possible and within one working day after they lodge a complaint, and continue to update them during the investigation so they know we care.
  • Decide on an appropriate resolution, and notify the client.
  • Document all communication with the client, including written responses.
  • Review the complaint at our next team meeting to discuss how it could have been prevented.

Purpose of Policy

The procedures outlined in this Complaint Policy (‘Policy’) aim to achieve consistent treatment in the handling of complaints and provide a process to follow in the event a complaint arises. We value complaints as they assist us to improve our service provision.

A complaint can be based on any type of problem or concern related to the provision of a product or service. A complaint can be about any act, behaviour, omission, situation or decision impacting on a consumer, which the consumer believes is unfair or unjustified.

A complaint may relate to almost any aspect of a service.

Application of the Policy

This Policy applies to all health service consumers of ‘Eat, Speak, Learn’.
Eat, Speak, Learn’ may at its sole discretion, on a case by case basis, alter the manner in which the process outlined in this Policy is conducted to ensure it suits the particular complaint.

What is a complaint?

A complaint can be based on any type of problem or concern related to the provision of a product or service. A complaint can be about any act, behaviour, omission, situation or decision impacting on a consumer, which the consumer believes is unfair or unjustified.

A complaint may relate to almost any aspect of a service, for example;

  • Suitability of product or service provision to their needs
  • Cost of product or service
  • Manner in which product or service is delivered
  • Provision of adequate information regarding a product or service
  • Timeliness of product or service provision

Dealing with complaints

‘Eat, Speak, Learn’ will endeavour to ensure that clients have access to processes for the resolution of genuine complaints related to the goods or services they are receiving.

As such, ‘Eat, Speak, Learn’ will use its reasonable endeavours to:

  • encourage clients to come forward with complaints;
  • deal with complaints in a supportive way, without victimisation or intimidation of any person
  • connected with the complaint;
  • encourage fairness, impartiality and the resolution of complaints as reasonably promptly and as
  • close as possible to the source of the complaint; and
  • have team members (where applicable) seek to prevent and resolve complaints
  • resolve all complaints within seven (7) days
  • ensure the complainant is informed on the progress of their complaint regularly, especially if
  • there are any delays or changes to what has been agreed.
  • Other procedural issues

Service Provision to Continue

Service Provision will continue as normal (where appropriate) while a personal complaint is being dealt with under this Policy. All persons affected by the complaint are expected to co-operate with ‘Eat, Speak, Learn’ to ensure the efficient and fair resolution of the complaint.


Disciplinary action will be taken against any person who victimises or retaliates against a person who has lodged or is involved in a personal complaint issue under this Policy. Such action may include termination of employment.


The Complaints Manager(s) will endeavour to maintain confidentiality as far as possible. However, it may be necessary to speak with other parties in order to determine what happened so as to afford fairness to those against whom the complaint has been made, and to resolve the complaint.

All clients and workplace employees involved in the complaint must also maintain confidentiality, including the complainant who lodges the complaint. The complainant may discuss the complaint with a designated support person or representative (who is not an employee employed or engaged by ‘Eat, Speak, Learn’). However, the support person or representative must also maintain confidentiality.


Where considered appropriate by ‘Eat, Speak, Learn’, agreed resolutions of personal complaints arising from the informal procedure may be recorded and signed by all parties. A record of any action that is taken arising from the informal procedure or formal investigation will be placed on the file of any person who is involved.

Access to support and representation

The complainant can seek advice from a support person at any stage during the complaint process. The consumer can bring a support person to a complaint meeting if so desired.

Possible Outcomes

‘Eat, Speak, Learn’ will in its sole discretion determine whether any outcomes are appropriate. The outcomes will depend on the nature of the complaint and the procedure followed to address the complaint.

Where an investigation results in a finding that a person has engaged conduct in breach of a ‘Eat, Speak, Learn’ Policy, that person may be disciplined. The type and severity of disciplinary action will depend on the nature of the complaint and other relevant factors. Where the investigation results in a finding that the person complained against has engaged in serious misconduct, this may result in instant dismissal. Any disciplinary action is a confidential matter between the affected person(s) and ‘Eat, Speak, Learn’

‘Eat, Speak, Learn’ may take a range of other non-disciplinary outcomes to resolve a complaint. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • training to assist in addressing the problems underpinning the complaint;
  • monitoring to ensure that there are no further problems;
  • implementing a new policy;
  • requiring an apology or an undertaking that certain behaviour stop; and/or
  • changing work arrangements.

Making a Complaint

To make a complaint, you can write to our Complaints Officer at practicemanager@eatspeaklearn.com.au or address it to 203/8 Chandler St, Belconnen, ACT 2617.

If you would prefer to make your complaint in a different way, you can do so:

  • by talking with us face-to-face;
  • by calling us on the phone; or
  • through your preferred Augmentative or Alternative Communication device or method.

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