ACFID releases guidance for the development of a Complaints Handling Policy

04 Dec, 2019

ACFID has released new guidance for the development of a Complaints Handling Policy. The guidance is freely available to ACFID members and the wider sector via the online Good Practice Toolkit, and can be downloaded as a PDF.

The new guidance has been revised to support ACFID’s members in applying the changes to the Quality Assurance Framework that take effect later this month, on 31 December 2019. These changes are designed to strengthen member practice and response in the prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment. The Guidance replaces a previous version.

The complaints handling policy guidance now includes three key new requirements of ACFID’s members. ACFID’s members should be aware that these new requirements mean your organisation’s complaints handling policy must: 

  • Outline a triage system for escalating serious incidents; 
  • Outline a referral process for complaints that do not fall within the scope of the policy (e.g. complaints that do not fall within the scope of the policy would include, for example, complaints against an employee of another organisation or government department);  
  • Commit to providing appropriate assistance and referrals to survivors (e.g. providing assistance to complainants might include medical, social, legal and financial assistance, or referrals to such services).  

The guidance has been developed to guide ACFID’s members in the development, implementation and review of organisational complaints handling policies and procedures. The guidelines are based on AS ISO 10002-2006 Consumer/client satisfaction, and also informed by Commitment 5 of the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS), and the IASC Task Force on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (UNHCR).

Commenting on the new Guidelines, ACFID’s Director of Development Effectiveness Jocelyn Condon said;

“We know that all ACFID’s members are committed to building and maintaining trust with stakeholders at every level, and through every interaction. Fostering public trust has never been more important to our organisations’ work. A core part of holding ourselves to account for the work we undertake is developing and implementing comprehensive policies for the handling of complaints, and we’re really pleased to be able to share this new guidance with all our members.”

ACFID is committed to supporting our members to collectively improve their practice, culture and leadership on PSEA, and we are accountable to our commitment to leadership for change. This guidance is part of this work, which can be seen on the ACFID website

If you have any feedback or questions, please contact the ACFID Standards & Code team via [email protected].