Complaint Handling Guide

is a publication created by the Ombudsperson of British Columbia.

In December 2020, British Columbia Ombudsperson, Jay Chalke released an educational guide to help public organizations improve. The advice presented stems from the Ombudsperson’s 41 years of experience responding to complaints in British Columbia’s public sector.

Public organizations in Alberta may also find good value in applying these techniques. The Alberta Ombudsman supports organizations in their effort to improve complaint-handling mechanisms including the application of principles found in this guide. While the resource provides general guidance, it also offers public entities the room apply the principles within their own operating context.

Ombuds agree an authority should value complaints as opportunities to remedy mistakes, build relationships, repair weakness and improve program development.

The guide includes two practical tools for public bodies:

  1. A Complaints Process Self-assessment Checklist: provides a quick reference guide for organizations to conduct a self-assessment of their current complaint process and identify areas for improvement.
  1. Model Complaints Policy: provides general guidance to assist public organizations in developing an effective complaints resolution process.


To download a copy, please visit the Ombudsperson’s website here.

The BC office also offers online training sessions and webinars for those wishing to learn more about administrative fairness. The Essentials of Fair Complaint Handling  webinar which covers some of the highlights from this Complaints Handling Guide can be found here.