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General principles for objectivity in the complaints handling process include:

(a) Openness:

The process must be clear and well publicised so that both staff and customersG can understand;
(b) Impartiality:
(i) Measures must be taken to protect the person the complaint is made against from bias;
(ii) Emphasis must be placed on resolution of the complaint not blame; and
(iii) The investigation must be carried out by a person independent of the person complained about;
(c) Accessibility:
(i) The licensee must allow customerG access to the process at any reasonable point in time; and
(ii) A joint response must be made when the complaint affects different participants;
(d) Completeness:

The complaints officer must find relevant facts, talk to both sides, establish common ground and verify explanations wherever possible;
(e) Equitability:

Give equal treatment to all parties;
(f) Sensitivity:

Each complaint must be treated on its merits and paying due care to individual circumstances;
(g) Objectivity for personnel — complaints handling procedures must ensure those complained about are treated fairly which implies:
(i) Informing them immediately and completely on complaints about performance;
(ii) Giving them an opportunity to explain and providing appropriate support;
(iii) Keeping them informed of the progress and result of the complaint investigation;
(iv) Full details of the complaint are given to those the complaint is made against prior to interview; and
(v) Personnel must be assured they are supported by the process and should be encouraged to learn from the experience and develop a better understanding of the complaints process;
(h) Confidentiality:
(i) In addition to customerG confidentiality, the process must ensure confidentiality for staff who have a complaint made against them and the details must only be known to those directly concerned;
(ii) CustomerG information must be protected and not disclosed, unless the customerG consents otherwise; and
(iii) Protect the customerG and customer'sG identity as far as is reasonable to avoid deterring complaints due to fear of inconvenience or discrimination;
(i) Objectivity monitoring:

LicenseesG must monitor responses to customersG to ensure objectivity which could include random monitoring of resolved complaints;
(j) Charges:

The process must be free of charge to customersG ;
(k) CustomerG Focused Approach:
(i) LicenseesG must have a customerG focused approach;
(ii) LicenseesG must be open to feedback; and
(iii) LicenseesG must show commitment to resolving problems;
(l) Accountability:

LicenseesG must ensure accountability for reporting actions and decisions with respect to complaints handling;
(m) Continual improvement:

Continual improvement of the complaints handling process and the quality of products and services must be a permanent objective of the licenseeG .
Added: December 2018
(1 Version)
Dec 1 2018 onwards
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