Complaints Policy and Procedure

Complaints Policy and Procedure

Pathways to Education Canada will respond promptly to any complaint made by an external stakeholder.

Guiding Principles

  • All complaints regarding fundraising and financial accountability will be handled with the utmost sensitivity and respect. A complaint will in no way impact the quality or quantity of Pathways programs available to the complainant.
  • It is in the interest of all parties that complaints are dealt with promptly and resolved as quickly as possible.
  • Review of complaints is fair, impartial and respectful to all parties.
  • Complainants are advised of their options to escalate their complaint to a more senior staff person if they are dissatisfied with treatment or outcome.
  • Complainants are provided clear and understandable reasons for decisions relating to complaints.
  • Complaints are used to assist in improving services, policies and procedures.

Complaint Receipt and Handling

A complaint may be received verbally (by phone or in person) or in writing (by mail, fax, email). 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 problem. 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 he/she has received it and will act on it.

The person who initially receives the complaint will acknowledge to the complainant that the complaint has been received and will be acted on either by him/herself or another employee. If a timeframe for action can be determined, that should be included in the acknowledgement. Basic contact information including name, phone number and email address should immediately be recorded.

Resolving the Complaint

Every effort should be made to resolve complaints received in a timely fashion. Where a complaint cannot be easily resolved, it should be escalated to the relevant member of the leadership team. Complainants should be kept informed of the status of their complaint. Every attempt should be made to resolve escalated complaints within an additional 10 business days so that all complaints are resolved within a month of having been received.

Documenting the Complaint

It is necessary to keep a record of any serious complaint that cannot be resolved immediately (within a day of being received). Information about such complaints must be recorded on the complaints tracking worksheet, managed by Resource Development. A summary of the complaints received including number and type will be reported to the Pathways Canada Board of Directors annually.

Conflict of Interest

Where a complaint puts the person handling the complaint in a conflict or perceived conflict of interest, it will be escalated to the Pathways Leadership Team, the President & CEO, or to the Chair of the Board.