Either about a member or the club itself? What needs to be in place? What do you need to know?
STEP ONE: Complaints don’t belong ‘under the carpet’
Don’t ever be tempted to ignore the issue or pretend it didn’t happen. Treat all matters seriously and with sensitivity. Act promptly and according to club policy as outlined in your member protection policy, club constitution or code of behaviour.
STEP TWO: Determine the nature of the complaint
There are many different types of complaints - each will determine the process you choose. Is it an issue that can be dealt with at club level or does it need to be referred to a state or national body? Does it involve allegations of harassment or child abuse?
STEP THREE: Use the Play by the Rules Complaint Handling Tool
Play by the Rules has developed an interactive online tool to help you determine the correct course of action when presented with a complaint. It offers advice relevant to your situation and contacts for organisations that can provide assistance or further information.
STEP FOUR: Choose a course of action
Your next step will be determined by the nature of the complaint; something you should have already settled on in steps two and three. Here are some examples of the options based on a range of different scenarios:
- Mediation between the parties may be all that is required to resolve the matter.
- Your state/territory or national sporting body may need to be involved in some cases and a tribunal panel convened to hear the complaint. They can also provide access to a Member Protection Information Officer.
- If the issue involves harassment or abuse, especially of children, the police or another external agency may be required.
- Complaints regarding discrimination, victimisation or harassment could be serious enough to be referred to the police, but should be reported to external agencies such as the Australian Human Rights Commission or a state/territory anti-discrimination agency. Have a look at this Play by the Rules Flowchart.
- If the complaint focuses on the club itself it may be time to seek legal advice.
STEP FIVE: Resolve the complaint
Once all the necessary information has been gathered, the facts of the matter determined and the parties involved have all been given a fair hearing, the matter should be resolved.
More information can be found in the ‘About complaints’ section of the Play by the Rules website.
Play by the Rules offers free online training, information and resources for clubs and sporting organisations to ensure everyone involved in sport can do so in enjoyable, safe environments, free from discrimination or harassment.