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Complaints and Compliments Management

Having an effective compliment and complaint management process in place is good practice for any organisation. Neighbourhood Houses and Networks, along with other organisations funded by DHHS, are also required to have one in place to be compliant with their Funding and Service Agreement with the department.

If you are reviewing or establishing processes for receiving and responding to compliments and complaints or other forms of feedback these documents will assist you. The sample compliment and complaint management policy documents can be tailored to meet your specific needs.

Remember, it’s not enough to have a Compliments and Complaints policy in place. It also needs to be visible and accessible to your staff and visitors of your neighbourhood house.

Strategies to promote your Compliments and Complaints policy might include:

  • Posters in your entrance or reception area outlining your compliments and complaints policy and procedures.
  • Forms available in your entrance or reception area.
  • A clearly marked compliments and complaints 'post box' in your entrance or reception area.
  • Summary of your compliments and complaints policy on your enrolement forms, term brochures, newsletters, website etc
  • A link on the home page of your website to an online form or email address for submitting feedback or complaints.
  • All compliments and complaints materials to be translated into languages relevant in your community.

Mission and Vision

​The mission and/or purpose of an organisation shapes the nature of the organisation and the services, programs and activities provided. The mission and vision unite the focus and efforts of an organisation and define the outcomes to be achieved.

Organisation Structure

Clarity of roles and responsibilities for Committee of Governance Members and the Coordinator is vital to ensure a well functioning organisation. 

For more on the governance role of committees see Appendix 2 of the DHHS NH Coordination Program Guidelines on the DHHS website.

For a great summary of  key areas of responsibility for committees of governance see the Not For Profit Law information paper 'New to a board or committee'.


Strategic Planning

Effective strategic planning is the key to providing the framework and focus for the energy and resources of the organisation. 

The preparation of your strategic plan requires stakeholder consultation to ensure the plan reflects the needs of your community. Involvement of the Committee of Governance and key staff in the planning process can assist in buy in and increasing the effectiveness of your Committee through shared ownership of the strategic direction of the organisation and informed decision making.

Business Planning

Business planning is an important component of strategic planning. A good business plan details the expected income and expenditure for a given year that will be required to achieve the strategic goals of the organisation. A business plan will also identify a variety of factors that will influence financial outcomes for the organisation such as changing local demographics, new competitors, legislative and regulatory change.

Policies and Procedures

An effective organisation has relevant policies and procedures to embed and ensure compliance with statutory and legislative obligations. 

Policies and procedures also support the fair and equitable treatment of all staff and house participants and consistency in practice. Policies and procedures guide key personnel in acceptable work and behavioural practices and decision making.

Here is a range of sample policies in the key areas of Finance, Staffing and Volunteers, Governance and Operations.



Human Resources


Additional Policy Resources

For additional policy guidance, you can find detailed resources in the Institute of Community Directors' Policy Bank.

For more information on Occupational Health and Safety Policy, see these resources from WorkSafe Victoria.


Professional Development

Ongoing professional development for staff, volunteers and Committee of Governance members ensures key personnel have the skills, knowledge and experience to perform well in their roles.

NHVic runs a Professional Development Program specifically for Neighbourhood House committees and staff. Visit the NHVic website for details.

Risk and Insurance

The identification and management of risk is a key role of the governance of an organisation.

Risk Management

The Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA) has a range of resources on risk management. Visit their website for FAQs, templates and other materials.


Neighbourhood Houses that receive Neighbourhood House Coordination Program (NHCP) funding are provided a range of insurance policies by VMIA (Victorian Managed Insurance Authority). These include Public Liability cover.​ Visit the VMIA wesbite for further information on the Community Sector Organisation insurance program.

Some Neighbourhood Houses also need to organise building and contents insurance. If your building is leased or provided to you by another organisation such as local government or a church group, check with them first to see if you are already covered.


WorkCover insurance covers employers for the cost of benefits if employees are injured or become ill because of their work. It is compulsory for most Victorian employers including Neighbourhood House Committees of Governance.

Generally, you must have a WorkCover Insurance Policy if you employ workers and you expect to pay more than $7,500 a year in remuneration (this includes wages, benefits and superannuation).

For more information go to the WorkSafe website.

Rules or Constitution and Committee of Governance Meetings

The composition of the committee, meeting procedures, a definition of membership and other matters are prescribed in the organisation Constitution or Rules.

The organisation may also have other internal policies which guide the conduct of the committee. See below for examples of these documents including a sample constitution or set of rules specifically for neighbourhood houses. It is based on the Model Rules and fully compliant with all current requirements of the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012.

For more on constitutions or rules visit the Not For Profit Law/Justice Connect website.