Complaint options and steps
A national sporting organisation’s Member Protection Policy describes options and procedures for dealing with complaints.
Where possible, less serious complaints should be resolved informally at the level they occur (e.g. club). An example of a less serious complaint is a coach showing favouritism towards their own child in team selection. However, the circumstances of some complaints may require more formal processes, such as a player missing out on team selection because of race or religious beliefs. Referral to an external agency may be required for very serious issues like suspicion of harm against a child.
There are occasions when a club would benefit from the support of their regional or state sporting organisation to deal with a complaint, for example if a fair process can't beguaranteed because the person being complained about is also responsible for dealing with compalints at the club. Whether such support is available or necessary depends on your sport's constitution and policies.
Want to know more about escalating a complaint?
Escalating a complaint to an external agency is a good option when your sport's policies or constitution directs that this type of complaint be dealt with at the state or national level, and;
- There is a possible conflict of interest (or close relationship) between the people on the management committee and anyof the parties to the complaint
- It is beyond the skills of the committee and specific expertise or experience may be required to manage the complaint
- The complaint has not been able to be resolved at the club level
- The issue is more serious than first thought
Understand that the person complaining can contact an external authority (e.g. an anti-discrimination agency) at any stage in a sports complaint process.
This section provides information on steps to deal with complaints about:
- Discrimination and harassment (and other unfair decisions or inappropriate behaviour)
- Suspicions of harm against a child
The Complaint Handling Tool can assist you in making informed decisions when responding to and handling complaints. Click here to go to the tool.
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