May 2016

In the perfect world there would never be any complaints and we wouldn't need to understand anything about complaint handling. Unfortunately we don't live in a perfect world. Things can go wrong and people have a right to complain and have their concerns listened to and dealt with.

Did you know there's a network of Member Protection Information Officers (MPIOs) across the country who play an important and distinct role in sport. Their role is to help ensure that people understand the complaint handling process. They do not handle the complaint. This is an important distinction for MPIOs against the role of the complaint handler. An MPIO can be described as:

A person who has satisfied their state's or territory's requirements for an MPIO. The MPIO is responsible for providing information about a person's rights, responsibilities and options to an individual making a complaint or raising a concern, as well as support during the process. They may reside within the club, the state sports association or national sports organisation.

They can also be freelance (not linked directly to the sport). They are NOT a person who investigates matters, advises, or advocates for the complainant.

A complaint handler can be described as:

Any person in authority in the club or organisation who may be required to deal with complaints or concerns in the normal course of their duties. Includes committee officers (President, Secretary, ordinary committee members etc), coaches, and officials (referees and umpires).

Listen to some existing MPIOs who talk about their role:

You can see that it's an important role. If you are interested in training as an MPIO then you'll need to complete both a face-to-face workshop and Play by the Rules online training. You can find out about MPIO workshops here (link to PBTR_WP_017_MPIO_online_course). And register for online training here