In the performance of their role as a leader, a volunteer may experience some difficulties or problems in attempting to carry out their role. This may cause the leader to become frustrated or upset, which if not addressed may lead to further difficulties or it may affect the smooth conduct of the program.

Volunteers have the right to make a complaint if they are not happy with something that has happened or with the level of support that they are getting from the organisation and/ or any of the staff. Most organisations have a procedure by which grievances and complaints can be addressed. It is worthwhile to find out about this procedure so that you know how to take action should you find yourself in a situation where you think you may need to.

Some grievances may be personal and affect you in adequately carrying out your role of a leader. Other grievances may involve incidents or actions that affect the quality of the program experience for all participants involved and therefore it is important for the organisation to be made aware of them.

Before you make a complaint

If you have identified a problem or difficulty that you feel others should be made aware of, it is important that you follow it through and report a complaint. What you have to say is important and will be listened to. You will not be considered a troublemaker but rather someone who is concerned about the quality of the organisation's program. If you have any ideas about how to improve things, the manager of an organisation will be pleased to listen to your ideas.

Think carefully about your complaint before you make it, so that you are clear in your own mind about the nature of your complaint. You may wish to discuss your concern with a colleague first and seek their assistance in making the complaint.

If you have a complaint to make, firstly you should discuss the complaint with the Coordinator or Program Manager. If the complaint involves the Coordinator you should talk to the organisation’s manager. Your complaint will be investigated and will involve further discussions with you and possibly other people. If the complaint is about another person you may be asked to talk to this person in the presence of the coordinator or program manager, who will help you in these discussions.

If you are not satisfied with the way that your complaint is being handled you may discuss your concerns with a director of the organisation.

Grievance procedure

  1. Think about the complaint and be clear about your concern before reporting it.
  2. Discuss your complaint with the Coordinator or Program Manager promptly.
  3. If you are not satisfied with the way in which your complaint is handled, discuss this with a more senior person in the organisation.
  4. Consider your reporting of complaint as a right and your contribution to the maintenance of a quality sport and recreation program for people with disabilities.