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Complaints Policy


Effective Date: 22 February 2024

Purpose of Policy

The procedures outlined in this Complaint Policy (‘Policy’) aim to achieve consistent treatment in the handling of complaints and provide a process to follow in the event a complaint arises. We value complaints as they assist us to improve our service provision.

Commencement of Policy

This Policy will commence from Effective Date. It replaces all other complaint policies of Lifeworks Occupational Therapy (whether written or not).

Application of the Policy

This Policy applies to all health service consumers of Lifeworks Occupational Therapy. Lifeworks Occupational Therapy may at its sole discretion, on a case by case basis, alter the manner in which the process outlined in this Policy is conducted to ensure it suits the particular complaint.

What is a complaint?

A complaint can be based on any type of problem or concern related to the provision of a product or service. A complaint can be about any act, behaviour, omission, situation or decision impacting on a consumer, which the consumer believes is unfair or unjustified.

A complaint may relate to almost any aspect of a service, for example:

Submitting a Complaint

Complaints can be lodged:

We also welcome and will accept anonymous complaints, submitted via a third party to maintain confidentiality. In instances where a consumer is not satisfied with the resolution of their complaint, they may escalate the complaint to the NDIS Commission. The details for escalating complaints will be provided upon request or at the commencement of the formal complaints procedure.

Dealing with complaints

Lifeworks Occupational Therapy will endeavour to ensure that consumers have access to processes for the resolution of genuine complaints related to the goods or services they are receiving.

As such, Lifeworks Occupational Therapy will use its reasonable endeavours to:

Where a complaint arises, Lifeworks Occupational Therapy will endeavour, if appropriate, to resolve the complaint in line with the following procedure:

Summary of Lifeworks Occupational Therapy’s complaint procedure

Preliminary steps

Record the complaint

All complaints made, verbal or written must be recorded via the Complaints & Investigation Online Form (Google Forms) at the time the complaint is made, or as soon as practicable. When taking a complaint, the following details are recorded, if provided: Name and contact details of the complainant, and full details of the complaint including the date. Complaints may be made anonymously via an advocate or third party, or through submitting a de-identified correspondence or customer satisfaction survey. Any corrective actions and subsequent communications made will be recorded in both the LWOT Complaints Register and the consumer’s record in our Practice Management Software (if known).

Attempt to resolve the complaint yourself

If the consumer feels comfortable in doing so, they should attempt to address the issue directly with the person(s) involved in the complaint. The complainant may discover that the other person was not aware of their complaint and the matter may be able to be resolved directly.

Report the complaint to management (where applicable)

If the consumer does not feel comfortable talking to the person(s) involved, or they have attempted to and it was ineffective in resolving the complaint, or if there is no other person involved in the complaint, the consumer should report the complaint to a Lifeworks Occupational Therapy Contact Person. The Contact Persons include:

After a complaint is lodged, the Contact Person will acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 24 hours and then use reasonable endeavours to conduct an initial meeting with the consumer to:

Once the consumer (or an advocate/third party) has reported the matter to a Contact Person, that person may commence one of the procedures outlined below that is regarded as suitable for dealing with the complaint.

Step 1: Informal procedure

The informal procedure involves a range of informal actions to resolve the complaint. Such actions will depend on the individual circumstances of the complaint. Possible actions include, but are not limited to:

Many complaints are able to be resolved through the informal procedure. However, in circumstances where the Contact Person considers the informal procedure is not appropriate, and the complaint is sufficiently serious, the complaint may be escalated to the formal procedure.

Step 2: Formal procedure – Investigation

If the complaint is not able to be resolved through the informal procedure or the informal procedure is not appropriate, the formal procedure may be commenced.

The formal procedure involves a formal investigation of the complaint and a decision about appropriate actions and outcomes.

The investigation generally involves collecting information about the complaint and then making a finding based on the available information. Once a finding is made, the Contact Person or an external investigator will make recommendations about the complaint, where possible, within 3 weeks of the complaint being made.

Other Actions: Referral to external mediator

Where all parties to the complaint (including Lifeworks Occupational Therapy) agree that mediation may be appropriate in resolving the complaint, the complaint may be referred to an external mediator.

Other procedural issues

Service Provision to Continue

Service Provision will continue as normal (where appropriate) while a personal complaint is being dealt with under this Policy. All persons affected by the complaint are expected to cooperate with Lifeworks Occupational Therapy to ensure the efficient and fair resolution of the complaint.


Disciplinary action will be taken against any person who victimises or retaliates against a person who has lodged or is involved in a personal complaint issue under this Policy. Such action may include termination of employment.


The Contact Person(s) will endeavour to maintain confidentiality as far as possible.  However, it may be necessary to speak with other parties in order to determine what happened so as to afford fairness to those against whom the complaint has been made, and to resolve the complaint.

All consumers and workplace employees involved in the complaint must also maintain confidentiality, including the consumer who lodges the complaint. The complainant may discuss the complaint with a designated support person or representative (who is not an employee employed or engaged by Lifeworks Occupational Therapy). However, the support person or representative must also maintain confidentiality.


Where considered appropriate by Lifeworks Occupational Therapy, agreed resolutions of personal complaints arising from the informal procedure may be recorded and signed by all parties. A record of any action that is taken arising from the informal procedure or formal investigation will be placed on the file of any person who is involved.

Access to support and representation

The consumer can seek advice from a support person at any stage during the complaint process. The consumer can bring a support person to a complaint meeting if so desired.

Possible Outcomes

Lifeworks Occupational Therapy will in its sole discretion determine whether any outcomes are appropriate. The outcomes will depend on the nature of the complaint and the procedure followed to address the complaint.

Where an investigation results in a finding that a person has engaged in breach of a Lifeworks Occupational Therapy Policy, that person may be disciplined. The type and severity of disciplinary action will depend on the nature of the complaint and other relevant factors. Where the investigation results in a finding that the person complained against has engaged in serious misconduct, this may result in instant dismissal. Any disciplinary action is a confidential matter between the affected person(s) and Lifeworks Occupational Therapy.

Lifeworks Occupational Therapy may take a range of other non-disciplinary outcomes to resolve a complaint. Examples include, but are not limited to:

Further Action

If the Consumer is unhappy with our response or wish to take the matter to an external party, they can contact:

Further Assistance Available for Consumers

Consumers can elect to draw on the services of an advocate to help with this process, such as a family member, friend, or support worker. There are also advocacy services available to help consumers understand their options and support them to make a complaint. Consumers can find a support service near them through Ask Izzy’s Disability Advocacy Finder.

The End

If you are reading this, well done!  You got to the end of this Complaints Policy kudos to you.

Updates to our Privacy Policy

Please make sure to check in on our Complaints Policy periodically, as we may update this Complaints Policy from time to time in order to reflect, for example, changes to our practices or for other operational, legal or regulatory reasons.  We will always ensure that the current date of the Complaints Policy also known as the “Effective Date” is prominently displayed at the very top of this Complaints Policy so you know it’s the latest version.

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