Since the introduction of the Complaint Handling Standards in June 2020, there has been widespread interest in how the standards work and their application.

The complaint handling standards replace the interim standards in Schedule 1 of the Health Complaints Act 2016 and apply to all health service providers in Victoria, including registered practitioners and general health service providers.

“The standards were developed in consultation with both the healthcare sector and the public and cover the key aspects of complaint handling,” Health Complaints Commissioner, Ms Karen Cusack said.

“The standards ensure complaints are being used to improve quality and safety in our healthcare system. They also provide a common benchmark that all health service providers must meet, offering consistency for consumers, complainants, health service providers and other stakeholders.”

Following the implementation of the standards, the Commissioner Ms Cusack has been conducting information and training sessions.

To watch a live presentation of a Complaint Handling Standards Information session, visit:

“Handling complaints well means people have a voice and feel heard. It can improve service quality through user feedback and prevent minor issues from becoming major problems. It can also help restore relationships between complainants and health service,” Ms Cusack said.

“It is important that we offer sufficient training and public information to enable all Victorian health service providers to better understand and implement the complaint handling standards.”

Each standard includes guiding principles for implementation that provides all health service providers with direction for the design of effective complaint handling processes. 

Health service providers should develop their own performance indicators to measure success. Some standards already have determined performance indicators, for example within three working days; and others will need to be developed by the health service provider.

For details of upcoming training and information sessions, visit complaint handling standards