National Integrity Framework

If your organisation is affiliated with a National Sporting Organisation (NSO) that has adopted the National Integrity Framework, there will be a Complaints, Disputes and Discipline policy to follow.

Depending on your affiliation, please contact either your NSO, State Sporting Organisation (SSO) or Sport Integrity Australia for assistance.

Most SSOs and even some clubs will have a dedicated Member Protection Information Officer, who you can go to for further information about options to lodge or resolve a complaint.

Member Protection Information Officers play an important role in sport. They provide information and guidance on complaints procedures.

Dealing with a complaint or issue

Sport is driven by passion and emotion and it is therefore likely that issues will occur. How issues are managed can vary the impact on the organisation.

Nipping issues in the bud appropriately will assist with maintaining a happy environment. Too often they are ignored, hoping they will go away or correct procedures are not followed leading to dissatisfaction.

Therefore it is important that everyone involved is familiar with the organisation's grievance procedure as covered by the Member Protection Policy.

Advice on dealing with complaints is also available through the Play by the Rules website.

Whether making a complaint or managing a complaint, if you are unsure of your next step or your legal obligations, contact your governing body for support.

If the issue is relating to a child (under 18) you must consider your moral or legal obligation to make a report to the Child Abuse Report Line (13 14 78) if you are aware of, or have formed a suspicion that, a child is being, or at risk of being, abused or neglected.

When dealing with a complaint:

  • Treat all complaints seriously.
  • Deal with complaints promptly, sensitively and confidentially.
  • Maintain a calm attitude. Do not pre-judge the situation.
  • Ask the complainant if they will consent to you taking notes.
  • Write the description of the complaint /issue using the complainants own words.
  • Find out the nature of the relationship between the complainant and the person complained about (for example, coach/competitor, team members, etc.).
  • Ask the complainant whether they fear victimisation or other consequences.
  • Find out what outcome the complainant wants and if they need any support.
  • Ensure the complaint is dealt with according to the Member Protection Policy.
  • Keep the complaint confidential and do not disclose it to another person without the complainant's consent except if disclosure is required by law (for example, a report to police and/or government authorities) or if disclosure is necessary to effectively deal with the complaint.

Complaints handling training

Online training is available through Play by the Rules. This training can be completed in the participant's own time and does not need to be completed in one session. It is recommended for all people working in the organisation's administration or coaching and officiating.

Depending on the nature of the complaint or issue, in some circumstances it may be appropriate to seek external advice and support on how to resolve a dispute.