Complaints Policy:


1.0 Purpose 

This policy and procedure apply to complaints received by staff or board members of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Grey, Bruce & West Simcoe concerning our activities, programs, services, staff, Board of Director volunteers, or mentor volunteers. 


2.0 Definitions  

Organization: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Grey, Bruce, and West Simcoe (BBBSGBWS) 

Complaint: A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about the service, actions, or lack of action(s) by BBBSGBWS as an organizationstaff memberBoard member or volunteer acting on behalf of BBBSGBWS. Examples include but are not limited to: 

  1. perceived failure to do something agreed upon; 
  2. failure to observe policies or procedures; 
  3. error made by a staff member/mentor volunteer/ Board volunteer; or 
  4. unfair or discourteous actions/statements by staff member/mentor volunteer/ Board volunteer. 


3.0 Policy  


  1. All parties must ensure that complaints are dealt with promptly and resolved as quickly as possible. 
  1. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the receipt of, handling, and resolution process.   
  2. All complaints will be handled in accordance with applicable federal and provincial laws.  
  3. Review of complaints is fair, impartial and respectful to all parties. 
  4. Complainants are advised of their options to escalate their complaint to a more senior staff person if they are dissatisfied with treatment or outcome. 
  5. Complainants are provided with clear and understandable reasons for decisions relating to complaints. 
  1. Updates are provided to complainants during review processes. 
  2. Complaints are used to assist in improving services, policies and procedures. 



Anyone personally affected can complain and their complaint will be reviewed in accordance with this procedure. 


  1. A complaint may be received verbally (by phone or in person) or in writing (by mail, email). The main office telephone number is (519) 376-4449 and the two senior points of contact for complaints are: 

Executive Director – 

Board President – 

  1. An employee or volunteer who receives a complaint must immediately notify their direct point of contact in the organization per the table below: 
  1. The Receiver and Point of Contact will jointly determine the proper person to handle the complaint. This will generally be the person who has the primary relationship with the complainant or has the specific knowledge that is needed to resolve the problem.  
  2. If the subject of the complaint concernthe direct point of contact, the complaint will be directed and handled by the Executive Director.  
  3. If the subject of the complaint concerns the Executive Director, the complaint will be directed and handled by the Board President  
  4. If the subject of the complaint is the President, it shall be directed and handled by the Executive Director and the Co-Vice Presidents. 
  5. If the subject of the complaint is a volunteer Board of Directors member (not already previously stated) it shall be directed and handled by the President and Executive Director.
  6. Additionally, the complaint will be recorded in the complaint’s worksheemaintained by the organization.  
  1. It is the responsibility of the person who receives the complaint to either resolve it or transfer it to another person who can resolve it. If the complaint is transferred, the recipient must acknowledge to the transferor that they have received it and will act on it. 
  2. The person who initially receives the complaint should acknowledge to the complainant that the complaint has been received and will be acted on either by him/herself or another employee. If a timeframe for action can be determined, that should be included in the acknowledgement. Basic contact information including name, phone number and email address should immediately be recorded. 
    1. Any personal information collected will be done in accordance with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and will be destroyed once its purpose has been fulfilled. Until it has been destroyed, it will be secured so that others cannot access the information.  



Every effort should be made to resolve complaints received in a timely fashion. When receiving a verbal complaint, staff should listen and seek to understand the complaint, and may attempt to resolve it immediately. Complaints received in writing shall be acknowledged within two business days and the appropriate points of contact shall work to resolve the matter within ten business days. 

Where a complaint cannot be easily resolved, it shall be escalated to the Co-Vice Presidents. If the Vice President cannot resolve the complaint, it shall be escalated to the President. Complainants should be kept informed of the status of their complaint. Every attempt should be made to resolve an escalated complaint within an additional ten business days, such that the complaint is resolved within a month of having been received. 


It is necessary to keep a record of any complaint that involves a monetary dispute as well as any complaint that cannot be resolved on the same day that it is received. Information about such complaints must be recorded on the complaints tracking worksheet. Information recorded on the worksheet is to include a description of the complaint, who handled it, what was done to resolve the complaint, timeframe, and a description of the resolution. The worksheet will be established and maintained by the Executive Director. A summary of the complaints received, including number and type, shall be reported to the Board of Directors annually. 


NOTE: Any complaints that involve violence, harassment, or accessibility will be handled through the procedures in those different policies. Should a complaint involve someone’s immediate health and wellness, the authorities may be contacted as needed.