Encouraging people who access your services to give feedback, and when necessary complain, about the supports you provide, not only empowers those individuals but also provides an opportunity to improve the overall quality of the services you provide.
This ‘Complaints Systems & Practice Self-Audit – Quick checklist’ is designed to give you a snapshot of the progress your organisation has made in relation to the development of a positive complaints culture. The checklist will assist you to identify and prioritise areas of your complaints management system that you may want or need to develop further. It covers key components of the Disability Services Act 2011 and the Disability Services Regulations 2015 (in relation to complaints) to help you determine your progress in relation to your legislative and regulatory compliance obligations and assist in your preparations for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
We suggest that you have a small group of people from your organisation (preferably from different areas of the organisation, e.g. people in receipt of services, families, direct support staff and management) and work through each item marking them in relation to whether the statement reflects your existing practices. There is space available to list any quality improvement initiatives to be undertaken, whether this is to build on good work you are already doing or to address areas you may need to improve further. As outlined in more detail in the Good Practice Guide and Self Audit Tool (pages 36-37) the steps we recommend are:
- Step 1 - Map what is happening now.
- Step 2 - Work out what is missing.
- Step 3 - Agree on the priority areas for work.
- Step 4 - Develop action plans for the agreed priority areas.
- Step 5 - Evaluate the outcomes to inform future plans.
A more in depth review of your organisation’s complaints culture and complaints handling systems can be achieved by complementing the use of this checklist with the following resources that are available from the Disability and Community Services website:
- Good Practice Guide and Self-Audit Tool 2017 – a comprehensive guide to developing an effective person centred complaints resolution culture and process
- Everything you wanted to know about complaints…. A booklet that provides tips for providers on successfully managing complaints
Any feedback should be directed to the Senior Program Officer, Disability and Community Services - Phone (03) 6166 3575 or email firstname.lastname@example.org