The Canadian Wildlife Federation (“CWF”) expects staff at all levels to be committed to fair, effective and efficient complaint handling. Our complaint management system is intended to enable us to respond to issues raised by individuals making complaints directly to us in a timely and cost-effective way, boost public confidence in our administrative process, and provide information that can be used by us to deliver quality improvements in our programs, services, staff and complaint handling.
This policy is intended to ensure that CWF handles complaints fairly, efficiently and effectively. This policy provides guidance to our staff and individuals who wish to make a complaint on the key principles and concepts of CWF’s complaint management system.
This policy applies to all staff receiving or managing complaints from the public made to or about the organization, regarding CWF’s programs, services, staff and complaint handling.
1.1 A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about the service, actions, or lack of action by CWF as an organization or a staff member or volunteer acting on behalf of CWF. Examples include but are not limited to:
• Perceived failure to do something agreed upon;
• Failure to observe policy or procedures;
• Error made by a staff member/volunteer; or
• Unfair or discourteous actions/statements by a staff member/volunteer.
1.2 Anyone personally affected can complain to the organization and their complaint will be reviewed in accordance with this procedure.
2.0 Complaint Receipt and Handling
2.1 A complaint may be received verbally (by phone or in person) or in writing (by mail, fax, email, website). Upon receipt of a complaint, basic contact information including name, phone number and email address should be immediately recorded.
2.2 An employee or volunteer who receives a complaint should first determine the proper person to handle it. This will generally be the person who has the primary relationship with the complainant or has the specific knowledge that is needed to resolve the issue. It is the responsibility of the person who receives the complaint to either resolve it or transfer it to another person who can resolve it. If the complaint is transferred, the recipient must acknowledge to the transferor that they have received it and will act on it.
2.3 The employee or volunteer who initially receives the complaint should acknowledge to the complainant that the complaint has been received and will be acted upon in a timely manner. If a timeframe for action can be determined, this should be included in the acknowledgement.
2.4 We work diligently to maintain a professional and respectful relationship among staff, volunteers, donors and all supporters. In that spirit, staff and volunteers do not accept abusive behaviour when dealing with complaints and will cease communicating with anyone observed to be acting in that way.
3.0 Resolving the Complaint
3.1 Every effort shall be made to resolve complaints in a timely manner. When receiving a verbal complaint, staff should listen and seek to understand the basis of the complaint, and where possible, attempt to resolve it immediately. Complaints received in writing should be acknowledged within 5 business days and staff should attempt to resolve the matter within 14 business days.
3.2 Where a complaint cannot be easily resolved, it should be escalated to the relevant Manager. If the Manager cannot resolve the complaint, it will be escalated to the appropriate Director. Every attempt shall be made to resolve escalated complaints within an additional 10 business days and shall be resolved no later than 30 days after being received.
3.3 Complainants should be kept informed of the status of their complaint and will be provided an answer when the complaint is resolved.
4.0 Documenting the Complaint
4.1 It is necessary to keep a record of all complaints received by the organization. Information recorded must include a description of the complaint, who handled it, what was done to resolve the complaint, a description of the resolution and date of completion.
4.2 A summary of the complaints received will be shared with CWF’s Board of Directors annually.