Complaints Policy

(Updated: September 2017)


FEBC-New Zealand is committed to offering exemplary service in representing the worldwide FEBC ministry. We acknowledge that from time to time things go wrong and negative feedback from consumers, donors, or staff may arise. The trustees and staff acknowledge that our legal obligations are the minimum requirement, and we are committed to conducting all relationships, internal and external, in an excellent manner, and in compliance with all relevant industry codes of practice.


  • To establish a framework of values and actions for the fairest management of allegations and complaints, from both inside and outside the organisation.

The Policy

FEBC New Zealand is committed to:

  1. Fairness. The process should be fair to all parties.
  2. Accessibility. Make the lodging of a complaint an accessible and simple process. Whether complaints are received via the website, email, telephone, or in person.  We will listen carefully, read, and respond promptly.
  3. Efficiency and Improvement.  We will keep records and monitor complaints for learning and improvement. We will providing options to resolve issues as soon as possible and preferably at the first point of contact, unless the problem is complicated and requires in-depth management and review. This will involve training our staff and maintaining readiness to respond well, as well as evaluating the complaints process and improving procedures, and goods and service delivery as issues are identified.
  4. Transparency and Accountability. We will explain the organisations actions clearly; apologising humbly; rectifying quickly; and generally remedying all complaints as appropriate.
  5. Professional Integrity. We will adequately resource this process, and comply with all relevant legislation.

Procedure for Allegations and Complaints

  • Who Receives Allegations and Complaints?

      1. In the first instance the Executive Director will serve as the Complaints Officer. Where they are unavailable or it is inappropriate, the board chairperson will act.
  • Receiving an Allegation or Complaint.

      1. Complaints may be made verbally or in writing. If a verbal complaint can be resolved quickly and easily by the Complaints Officer, this should be done, and details logged for records.
      2. If a verbal allegation is assessed serious, a written version should be requested. The Complaints Officer should offer assistance to put it in writing if necessary. An unsigned allegation remains an allegation. If unsigned the Executive Director has discretion whether to investigate.
      3. A record is to be made of the complaint in the Complaints Register.
  • Assess an Allegation or Complaint.

Negative feedback should be resolved at the earliest opportunity. Much can be resolved informally with a gentle explanation and/or an apology.

      1. An allegation is an unproven complaint. Until proven otherwise, an allegation remains an allegation.
      2. We will assess by topic, seriousness, urgency, indication of systemic issue, risk to FEBC NZ / FEBC International, what resolution is the complainant seeking.
      3. We will then decide whether:
        1. it can be resolved quickly and informally;
        2. further action is required. If none then an explanation will be given to the complainant. If action is required a review of the matter may be actioned.
      4. If a complaint needs no review then the complainant should be advised appropriately, and the matter recorded in the register.
  • Planning and Conducting a Review.

      1. The action in question must be clearly and briefly described.
      2. The Complaints Officer will conduct the review. In the event that they are unavailable, the board chairperson will decide.
      3. The board chairperson should be advised of the complaint only if it is assessed to be of sufficient seriousness.
      4. The complaint must be assessed in priority, from 1-5. 1 being low priority.
      5. A deadline will be assigned for resolution that is both prompt and allows fair consideration.
      6. Gather all relevant information including:  comments from other people, site inspection, file records, relevant policies and procedures etc.
      7. The Complaints Officer will act independently and with an open mind, taking steps to address any perceived or actual conflicts of interest. They must carefully consider all the information, and keep details confidential as far as possible. Any disclosure should only be for the proper and fair resolution of the complaint.
      8. All people involved must be given a fair chance to present their position. They must be advised of any adverse findings against them, and allowed fair chance to respond to the findings before a final decision is made.
      9. Once sufficient information is gathered the matters are to be assessed and a report written.
  • Reporting on the Review.

      1. The review report length should reflect the seriousness of the nature of the complaint.
      2. If it is assessed that “Something went wrong”, the report will include resolution actions including: remedy for the complainant, and/or internal changes to policies, practices, or procedures.
      3. If it is assessed that “nothing went wrong” reasons must be set out for why the organisation or person acted in the way they did / why they are considered fair and reasonable.
  • Communicating the Review Outcome.

      1. The complainant will be advised of the outcome and the reasons for the decisions made. Also any remedy that is offered, and information about any other remedy available including an appeal, or further complaint to a higher authority.
      2. Communications with the complainant should focus on the organisations actions rather than the actions of individuals.
      3. The board will be informed of the review outcome.
  • Resolving Complaints.

Mistakes should be admitted and put right. Action will be required when it is found that there were unreasonable delays; inadequate advice was given; organisation policies or procedures were not followed correctly; there was inadequate or unfair process; there was factual or legal error; there was unprofessional behaviour or misconduct by a person.

      1. When resolving a complaint any remedy must be fair and reasonable and aim to restore the complainant to their original position.
      2. When implementing resolution the following will be considered:
        1. acknowledgement of events.
        2. explanation and reasons.
        3. apology.  
        4. quick action when delay was the problem.
        5. the reversal or reconsideration of a decision.
        6. amendment of records.
        7. providing a financial remedy for loss.
        8. changing policies, procedures or practices.
  • Legal Liability.

      1. Serious complaints will be assessed for legal liability. If the organisation is liable a resolution should still be offered as this may remove the need for litigation.
      2. It may be that a resolution is offered with an explicit statement that there is no admission of liability. We will seek legal advice, especially for wording of such a statement.
  • Record Keeping.

      1. We will keep full records of complaints, reviews, and outcomes.
      2. Records will include the original complaint, details of communications with all parties, and any reports prepared.
      3. Records will be stored securely on our Google Drive system, available only to the Complaints Officer and the Board Chairperson.
  • Learning from Complaints.

      1. Once a year the Trust Board will review the Complaints register and records. This forms part of our reporting and planning processes. Any systemic issues, serious risks, or areas for improvement will be identified for appropriate action.
  • Managing Unreasonable Complainant Conduct.

    1. Most people are well behaved, but occasionally a complainant’s conduct is challenging because of: unreasonable persistence; unreasonable demands; unreasonable arguments; unreasonable language and behaviour; unreasonable lack of cooperation.  We will remember that even in such difficult circumstances there could be a valid complaint and it should be handled appropriately. We will ensure the safety of our staff and volunteers, and give fair consideration to the complaint.


Click here to open and download our Feedback / Complaint form »

On completion, please mark “Confidential” and send with any supporting documents to:

The Executive Director, FEBC-NZ, PO Box 21-010, Rototuna, Hamilton 3256.

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