External Complaints Policy


The Neurological Foundation (NF) is dedicated to providing excellent services and maintaining a respectful relationship with all complainants, prospective donors, donors and the general public.

This policy is designed to provide guidance on the manner in which the NF receives and handles complaints made against the Foundation and its employees.

The objective of the Policy is to assist the NF and its employees in resolving complaints in an efficient, effective and professional manner.


The NF believes that if a person wishes to make a complaint or register a concern they should be able to with a timely response from the NF. It is the NF’s policy to welcome complaints and look upon them as an opportunity to learn, adapt, improve and provide better services with appropriateness This policy is intended to ensure that complaints are dealt with properly and that all complaints or comments by donors and the general public are taken seriously.

The policy is not designed to apportion blame, to consider the possibility of negligence or to provide compensation.


A complaint under this Policy is defined as follows:

•      an expression of dissatisfaction made to the NF, related to its services, or the complaints-handling process itself, where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected

•      any person or organisation (the complainant) who is dissatisfied with a service provided by the Foundation, for any reason, may contact the NF to complain, a complaint may be oral or written

•      at times, complaints can be by way of negative feedback, which may not require a resolution or formal follow-up. While this type of feedback is valuable, the policy does not apply to feedback of this nature but can be forwarded to info@neurological.org.nz


Receive and Classify

The NF will ensure that all potential issues are recorded, classified, reviewed and potential action taken. The steps below outline the actions to be taken by the NF and its employees:

•      any complaint, issue or negative donor interaction (that is raised by a donor or general public), must be recorded and classified for action

•      all complaints must be formally recorded with the employee’s Manager and must be prioritised as follows:

Priority 1 – urgent, potential high business impact. The NF requires a response to the donor or general public within 1 working day.

This should be used (sparingly) for major issues such as a high value donor complaining about an employee’s attitude and commenting they may not wish to support the NF.  Also, this could be used in a situation where the donor or complainant may be in a position to influence or make public statements that would impact upon the Foundation or its reputation.

Priority 2 - non-urgent, lower business impact. The NF requires a response to the customer within 3 working days.

This is the most common situation and would apply to a general complaint about service or staff interaction each complaint will be discussed with the employee’s Manager, and the CEO.

ᵒ    discretion and flexibility should be exercised in prioritising all complaints

ᵒ    the employee’s Manager will decide on the appropriate person(s) to carry out subsequent steps, including an investigation


When a complaint is received by an employee regarding them it is to be escalated to their Manager to acknowledge and action the complaint.

Every Priority 1 complaint will receive a formal written acknowledgement, containing the expectation of when the complainant will receive a response and the person who will be dealing with it. Generally, there will be prompt telephone contact from the appropriate senior staff member, usually the CE.

The majority of Priority 2 complaints will also receive a telephone call and written acknowledgement.


The NF will follow up all aspects of the complaint to ensure that the key facts are identified:

•      the priority of the complaint will drive the timescale for completion (1 day for urgent or 3 days for non-urgent)

•      all areas of interaction and communication should be established (who, what, where, when, why, etc.) and documented

•      where the complaint is regarding a specific employee, their Manager will carry out the investigation and the People and Performance Committee will carry it out if it is regarding the CEO

Resolve and Confirm

The NF will ensure that the final resolution is clear and fair. The NF will also confirm the proposed action with the related parties (employee, Manager, CEO, Council).

Response to Complainant

The NF will provide the complainant with the resolution within the agreed timescales. The details of the findings and proposed resolution will be clearly explained in written form to the complainant.

If for any reason the NF cannot meet the agreed timescales the donor will be contacted by telephone to request further time.

All complaints are notified to Council. Should an instance arise the complainant may contact Council direct via email as outlined below:

Neurological Foundation

Phone: 09 309 7749

Email: info@neurological.org.nz  (forwarded to CEO Neurological Foundation)

           chair@neurological.org.nz (direct to the Neurological Foundation Chair)


Approved PPC 22/6/17