Complaints Policy

One of our core values as an organisation is that we are responsive. The aim of our Complaints Policy is to ensure that our complaints handling process reflects the importance we place on listening and responding to concerns and complaints from our supporters, partners and the communities we serve.

We will address all complaints in an equitable, fair and unbiased manner using evidence submitted by both the person making the complaint and our staff and volunteers. We will observe strict confidentiality in complaint handling and ensure that the process is as accessible as possible to all complainants.


You can make a complaint in the following ways:

  • Use this form
  • Call us on 13 32 40 (9am-5pm AEST Monday-Friday)
  • Speak to one of our team members at our stands in shopping centres or at public events
  • Visit our Contact us page for other ways you can make a complaint
  • Complaints relating to a breach of either the ACFID Fundraising Charter or ACFID Code of Conduct can be made to the ACFID Code of Conduct Committee
We are also able to receive complaints via other World Vision offices around the world. The World Vision International website includes a link to a confidential telephone hotline and online reporting tool facilitated by a third-party provider of ethical reporting services, EthicsPoint.
We will take special care to facilitate complaints from vulnerable people, including children and marginalised groups.
We aim to ensure that making a complaint is as easy as possible. We will do our very best to assist you to put your complaint in writing or to write it down ourselves as faithfully as we can.
Complaints can be made by a friend or advocate of the complainant on their behalf. We recognise that in some circumstances complainants may wish to remain anonymous. Because such complaints can alert us to problems that need fixing we will accept them, though clearly it may not be possible to provide a remedy to the individual concerned.

Anyone representing World Vision Australia, both in a paid or volunteer capacity, can receive a complaint. All complaints received will be directed immediately to the World Vision Australia Contact Centre and referred to the appropriate team for handling.

Our Complaints Policy has been distributed to all our paid staff, volunteers, partners, contracted service providers and all others acting on our behalf. We require all those who may be involved in any way with a complaint to formally signify their commitment to this policy.

Staff directly involved in complaint handling are fully trained in all aspects of our policy and its implementation. We take special care to train our field staff to encourage, receive and handle complaints taking account of language issues and cultural sensitivities.

When we take an oral complaint, we will:

  • identify ourselves, listen, record details and determine what the complainant wants;
  • confirm that we have understood and received the details; and
  • remain impartial and not attempt to take sides or lay blame.

For all complaints we will:

  • determine what outcome the complainant is expecting; 
  • make an initial assessment of the severity of the complaint and its urgency;
  • clearly explain to the complainant what will happen next; and 
  • given an estimated timeframe for a response to the complaint or, if that is not possible, a date by which we will contact them again.

We will ensure that you don’t have to make your complaint to anyone implicated in the complaint itself and that any World Vision representative implicated in your complaint is not involved in any way in its handling.

If you make a complaint we will not reveal your name or personal details without your permission to anyone inside or outside our organisation, other than to the staff involved in handling your complaint.

We will make every reasonable effort to investigate all the relevant circumstances and information surrounding your complaint. The level of investigation will be determined by the seriousness and frequency of the complaint.

Our Chief of Retail and Supporter Experience or a senior manager delegated by him/her will normally make the decision on a complaint that has required investigation (that is not a minor complaint). Decisions on serious complaints may be referred to our Board.

We will communicate our decision on your complaint as soon as practical and in writing. However, where appropriate, such as in the case of a complaint from a community member in the field, we will also communicate our decision orally in their local language.

We will encourage you to respond and advise whether you are satisfied with our decision. If you are not satisfied, we are prepared to consider any additional information you can provide and to review our decision.

If we are unable to address your complaint, we will refer it to the Code Committee of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), the peak body for Australian non-government organisations involved in international development, of which we are a member.

We will acknowledge written complaints within two days of receiving them and will acknowledge oral complaints immediately.

We aim to resolve complaints as quickly as possible and within 30 days unless there are exceptional circumstances. If a complaint is not resolved within 30 days, we will inform the complainant of progress and keep them informed every two weeks.


We will ensure that all relevant staff and volunteers are informed of the outcomes of complaints and the implications these may have on our work, procedures and processes.

We will take all remedial action required, including making changes to the way we operate and providing staff and volunteers with further training. Where needed, we will counsel or discipline staff or volunteers.

Where appropriate we will consult and take advice from ACFID and/or other regulatory authorities.