Complaints Policy & Procedure

Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation (The Foundation) is a registered Canadian charity that is committed to high standards of conduct. We recognise that from time to time there may be concerns or complaints and we believe our public stakeholders have a right to provide them to us. We further believe that the process for resolving concerns and complaints should be timely, fair and respectful. Furthermore, complaints are a good source of data for continuous improvement.

Policy:
From time to time, The Foundation may receive complaints about the quality of service related to The Foundation’s policies and procedures, the application of those policies and procedures or the conduct of The Foundation or its representatives.

Purpose:
This purpose of this Policy is to create a transparent and fair method of receiving and responding to external complaints.

Scope and Application:
This policy applies to complaints from The Foundation’s public stakeholders, such as donors and community volunteers, who have complaints that The Foundation is not complying with its policies and procedures, including matters addressed in the Imagine Canada Standards.

This Policy is for external stakeholders of The Foundation. Internal, non-employment complaints should be reported through management or under The Foundation’s Whistleblower Policy, as appropriate. Employment-related concerns should continue to be reported through supervisors and the Human Resources department.

Important Points about the Policy:
The Foundation will respond to a complaint and make every reasonable effort to investigate it as soon as possible. Complaints will be addressed in a fair and consistent manner. However, some complaints may require more effort to address. Dissatisfaction with the outcome of a decision should not form the basis for a subsequent complaint under this policy.

Process for Raising a Concern:
Many problems can be resolved easily and quickly, often at the time they arise, by speaking with your Foundation representative or by contacting The Foundation’s general inquiries line. If a problem cannot be resolved in this way or if a member of the public wishes to make a complaint, the complaint should be submitted directly to our Chief ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Privacy Officer at foundationprivacy@hhsc.ca, or in writing to the address below:

Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation
PO Box 739, LCD 1
Hamilton, ON L8N 3M8

The Foundation will acknowledge the receipt of a complaint within 72 hours.

Although a complainant is not expected to prove the truth of an allegation, a complainant should be able to demonstrate that he or she has made a report in good faith.

Complaints made to Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation will initially be handled by Privacy Officer. As determined by The Foundation, another staff member, officer or Board member may be assigned to handle the complaint.

The Foundation shall investigate the complaint and may seek further information from any officer, director, employee, contractor, volunteer or stakeholder of The Foundation, as appropriate. The actions taken by The Foundation with respect to a particular allegation will depend on the nature of the reported violation.

Each case is unique, but The Foundation will handle any allegation reported pursuant to this Policy respectfully and with discretion. If the facts warrant it, The Foundation will take corrective action or disciplinary action equal to the severity of the complaint.

Reporting Back:
The Foundation will respond as soon as possible after the matter has been reviewed and a determination has been reached. The complainant will be advised of the results of the review.

Anonymous Allegations:
Thorough investigation often depends on an ability to gather additional information. The Foundation encourages complainants to put their names to their inquiries. The Foundation will explore anonymous inquiries to the extent possible, but will weigh the prudence of continuing an investigation against the likelihood of confirming the alleged facts or circumstances from attributable sources.

Continuous Improvement:
The Foundation will keep a database of complaints received. The data will be reviewed to determine whether there are frequently recurring complaints of a similar type. If there are, an investigation will be initiated to determine whether there are systemic process issues within The Foundation that need to be addressed to eliminate reoccurring incidences.

Report to the Board:
The Foundation shall inform its Audit Committee and Board of Directors at least annually of the number, type and disposition of complaints received.