Complaints Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to staff in dealing with external complaints about The Gathering Place staff, volunteers, programs, services or other activities.

General Principles

The Gathering Place is committed to dealing with all complaints in a fair, impartial, respectful, and expeditious manner.

Complaints are seen as opportunities to learn about how we can improve our programs, communications, and other activities.

It is suggested that the first step for voicing a complaint about staff, volunteers, services or other activities, is for the complainant to speak directly about their concerns to a member of staff.

Complaint Documentation and Handling

The recipient of the complaint will:

  • record name, phone number, and email address of the complainant;
  • record a summary of the complaint;
  • either resolve the complaint or transfer it to the appropriate person;
  • if the complaint is resolved, the recipient will document the nature of the resolution;
  • if the complaint is transferred to another staff person, that individual must acknowledge their receipt of the complaint, and provide a timeline during which they will respond.

Complaint Resolution

  • Staff receiving a verbal complaint may attempt to resolve it immediately.
  • If a complaint cannot be resolved immediately, the complainant(s) will be provided with a clear timeframe during which they can expect a response about their complaint.
  • Every effort will be made to acknowledge complaints received in writing within two (2) business days, and to resolve them within 10 business days, unless otherwise escalated as per below.
  • More complex complaints will be referred to the Executive Director. If the Executive Director cannot resolve the complaint, or if the complaint is about the Executive Director, it will be escalated to the Executive Committee of the Board. Every effort will be made to resolve referred complaints within an additional 10 business days.
  • If a complaint cannot be resolved within the original timeframe provided to the complainant, the complainant will be provided with an updated timeframe.

Report to Board

  • A summary of substantive complaints received, including number and type, will be reported to The Gathering Place Board of Directors annually.
  • For issues related to programs, staff or service, please refer your complaint directly to Dennis Chippa, Executive Director or Joanne Beaulieu, Office Manager/ Volunteer Coordinator.