External Stakeholder Complaint Process

Muscular Dystrophy Canada (MDC) is committed to providing a fair, respectful and timely response and resolution to complaints from external stakeholders. MDC values external stakeholder feedback and uses the complaint process to assist in improving services, policies and procedures.

The intent of this policy is to create a clear process by which external stakeholders, including donors, partners, supporters and members of the general public can make a complaint about MDC’s activities, staff or volunteers.

Guiding Principles:
MDC will make every effort to resolve complaints as quickly as possible based on the following guiding principles:

  • We will ensure that all complaints are reviewed in a manner that is fair, impartial and respectful to all parties;
  • Complainants will always be advised of their option to escalate their complaint to a more senior staff person if they are dissatisfied with their treatment or outcome,
  • Complainants are provided with clear and understandable reasons for decisions relating to complaints;
  • Complainants shall be provided with updates during the review process; and,
    Our complaint process will be accessible to all persons and every effort will be made to alleviate barriers to access.

Types of Complaints:
For the purposes of this policy, a complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about the service, actions, or lack of action by MDC as an organization or a staff member or volunteer acting on behalf of MDC.

Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Failure to observe a policy or procedure
  • Error made by a staff member of volunteer
  • Perceived failure to do something that was agreed upon
  • Unfair or unprofessional/discourteous actions by a staff member or volunteer

Any external stakeholder affected can complain and their complaint will be reviewed in accordance with this policy and procedure.

MDC requests that the complainant include their name and a means of contacting them: a phone number, email address or mailing address.

Please note: that although all complaints are taken seriously it may not be possible for MDC to respond or act on a complaint if it is made anonymously or does not include contact information.

Receiving and Handling a Complaint:
A complaint can be received verbally (by phone or in person) or in writing (by mail, fax or email). The employee who initially receives the complaint will complete the External Complaint Tracking Form.

The employee initially receiving the complaint will determine the proper person to handle it. This will generally be the person who has the primary relationship with the complainant or has the specific knowledge needed to resolve the problem. It’s the responsibility of the person who receives the complaint to either resolve or transfer to another person who can resolve it. If the complaint is transferred, the recipient must acknowledge to the transferor that they have received it and will act on it.

The employee who initially receives the complaint will also acknowledge to the complainant that the complaint has been received and will be acted on either by them personally or by another staff member. If a timeframe for action can be determined, that will also be included in the acknowledgement.

Complainants will be reassured that their information will be handled sensitively. Only persons directly involved in the resolution or recording of the complaint will have access to the complainant’s information.

Resolving the Complaint:
Every effort will be made to resolve a complaint in a timely fashion.
Verbal Complaints: staff will seek to understand the complaint and will attempt to resolve immediately if possible.

Written complaints: staff will acknowledge receipt of the complaint within two (2) business days if a telephone number or email is provided. Otherwise, efforts will be made to resolve and communicate the matter in writing within ten (10) business days.

Where a complaint cannot easily be resolved, it will be escalated to the next level of authority. It will continue its escalation up to the CEO, if a resolution still remains to be found. Complainants will be kept informed of the status of their complaint. Every attempt will be made to resolve escalated complaints within 10 business days so that all complaints are resolved within a month of having been received.

If the written decision of the CEO is unsatisfactory, or the complaint is about the CEO, the complainant may submit their issue to the MDC Board of Directors. The submission must be in writing and directed to the Board Chair at:

Muscular Dystrophy Canada
Attn: Chair, Board of Directors
40 Eglinton E, Suite 500
Toronto, ON M4P 3A2

The Board of Directors will issue a written decision within 60 days of receiving the complaint.

Reporting of Complaints:
Any complaint that cannot be resolved immediately or is related to money/donation/fundraising campaign will be logged with the External Complaint Tracking Form and tracked in Raiser’s Edge (RE). Information collected includes: date of complaint, name of staff receiving complaint, description of complaint, a description of the response and whether the complainant was satisfied with the response.

A summary of the number and type of complaints received will be reported to the Board of Directors on an annual basis.