Complaints Handling Improvement Program – at a glance

The Complaints Handling Improvement Program aims to improve how we respond to and manage complaints.

We are implementing a range of initiatives to improve how we manage complaints as part of the whole-of-government Complaints Handling Improvement Program.

Under this program, we have:

In 2017 and 2018, we are also introducing new systems to capture and report on information about complaints, so this information can be used to further strengthen our systems for complaint handling.

We will continue to develop resources to assist parents, carers and communities to provide feedback or make a complaint about our schools and other services.

For more information about our complaints handling processes, visit our complaints, compliments and suggestions page.

  • Term 2 2018 – We will be introducing a new system to capture information about consumer complaints.
  • 2017 and 2018 – We are establishing a specialist team to support these changes.
  • 10 October 2017 – Feedback Assist live on our main website.
  • January 2017 – We launched our new Complaints Policy, School Community and Consumer Complaint Procedure and Staff Complaints Procedure.

The NSW Ombudsman, the Customer Service Commissioner and the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation are coordinating the whole-of-government program to improve complaints handling as part of the Premier’s Priority: Improving government services.

The department is working to develop a customer complaint handling framework consistent with best practice and national standards, and in line with the whole-of-government approach to complaint handling. The department’s framework will be accessible, transparent and accountable.

The outcomes of the complaints handling improvement program will be:

  • Customers  are able to access a robust complaints management process via multiple pathways  and have their complaint handled by local staff and managers.
  • Complainants  have simple access and process to raise issues about services.
  • Complaints  are managed promptly, effectively and consistently, with regard to any  complaint history.

1 January 2017

The department launched the revised complaints handling policy and procedures as part of our complaints handling improvement program.

The Complaints Handling Improvement Program is a two-phase program that was endorsed by the Secretaries of all 10 principal departments in July 2016. A project team at the Employee Performance and Conduct Directorate has been coordinating the department’s participation in the program.

Stage one

Stage one involved cluster agencies adopting and implementing six ‘commitments to effective complaint handling’ through their policies, procedures and practices. We worked within this framework to revise our complaint management policies and procedures, which were implemented in January 2017.

Stage two

Stage two of the program involves the implementation of a whole-of-government system so customers can access a user-friendly and consistent way to lodge complaints online. This system, called Feedback Assist, is a widget that appears on government websites. Any feedback lodged through Feedback Assist is redirected to the right place for action.

The department's initiatives under the Complaints Handling Improvement Program are monitored by the Customer Service Council. This whole-of-government group meets quarterly to review each cluster’s progress against its commitments.

Contact details

Katharine Ovenden
Director, Feedback and Complaints
02 9266 8020
Katharine.Ovenden@det.nsw.edu.au

Return to top of page