Complaints procedures

Providing feedback or making a complaint

In the first instance, we recommend that you discuss any issues directly with your counsellor if you feel comfortable doing so - we welcome any feedback or comments about our service. If you do not think the particular counsellor you are seeing is a good match for you, or does not have a style that suits your needs, you can request to see another counsellor on the team. Please see the information below for the formal complaints procedure for the centre. 

The management of complaints

The Counselling Centre has a responsibility to ensure fair and reasonable procedures for the resolution of complaints and disputes raised by clients.

In fairness to the client and staff members, steps in managing complaints against all staff members including the Adviser to Staff, are as follows:

  1. The staff member concerned attempts to resolve the problem if complaint is made directly to them about their own actions. 
  2. Where the complaint is about another staff member, the possibility of the client talking directly with the counsellor or staff member concerned should be explored. 
  3. Where the client is unable or unwilling to discuss the complaint with the relevant counsellor or staff member, or the complaint is about the service generally, and the client is keen to have the issue fully addressed within the Counselling Centre, the Head (or Senior Counsellor in the absence of the Head) should assume responsibility for the management of the client's complaint. If the complaint is about the Head of the Centre then the complainant should follow the procedures set out in (5) below.
  4. If internal resolution within the Counselling Centre is inappropriate or not possible, complainants should be advised of their right to take a complaint to a higher authority within University or elsewhere.
  5. The higher authority within the University is the Deputy Director, Access, Inclusion & Wellbeing in the first instance. Complainants may also utilise the services of the Dean of Students if it is a student matter. Outside the University, complainants can contact the ACT Human Rights Office Health Services Commissioner. A poster containing information about contacting the Health Services Commissioner is displayed in the Counselling Centre's waiting room.

In general, reception staff should not attempt to deal directly with complaints about the service but refer the complainant to the Head (or Senior Counsellor in the absence of the Head).