Complaints process in 5 steps (includes flowchart)
Complaints process: step by step
Sport Integrity Australia’s independent complaints process is set up to keep Australian sport safe and fair. This document outlines the five steps in the complaints process under the Complaints, Disputes and Discipline Policy.
STEP 1 – Making a Complaint
To make a Complaint you can fill in our online form. If you need assistance you can call us on 13 000 27232 and select option 3.
STEP 2 – Initial Evaluation
Sport Integrity Australia will evaluate Complaints to make sure they are eligible to be assessed under the independent complaint handling process. To be eligible, a Complaint must meet the following criteria:
- The alleged conduct meets the definition of Prohibited Conduct under any of the following policies:
- Child Safeguarding Policy
- Competition Manipulation and Sports Wagering Policy
- Improper Use of Drugs and Medicines Policy
- Member Protection Policy
- National Integrity Framework.
- The alleged Prohibited Conduct occurred in sport.
- The alleged Prohibited Conduct occurred after the sport commenced the National Integrity Framework.
- The person or organisation accused of wrongdoing is currently bound by the sport’s policies.
If a Complaint does not meet all the above criteria, Sport Integrity Australia will advise that it cannot be assessed through the independent complaints handling process. Sport Integrity Australia may also provide a recommendation on who the Complaint should be directed to. For example – if it is an employment matter, Sport Integrity Australia might recommend the Complaint be submitted to the Sporting Organisation.
During this step, or others, Sport Integrity Australia may also determine that a Complaint should be referred to another organisation such as police or a regulatory body.
STEP 3 – Assessment
At this step, Sport Integrity Australia will seek further information so an informed decision can be made about what may have happened.
This could mean contacting the complainant for more information, contacting any witnesses, contacting the person or organisation the allegations have been made against (the respondent) for information, and seeking other evidence. In more serious and complex matters, the complainant, respondent and other witnesses may be required to participate in formal recorded interviews.
Due to the complex nature of assessment, it is often the longest step in the complaints process. Sport Integrity Australia will contact the complainant at the start of the assessment to let them know the next steps before contacting other people involved and will endeavour to update the complainant and other relevant parties where possible throughout the assessment.
Sport Integrity Australia may also determine that it is more appropriate to resolve a complaint through Alternative Dispute Resolution.
STEP 4 – Outcome
There are three possible outcomes of a Complaint, depending on the circumstances.
Substantiated: If Sport Integrity Australia believes there is sufficient evidence to suggest the alleged conduct is more likely to have occurred than not, Sport Integrity Australia will issue a Breach Notice to the respondent and may recommend a sanction to their sport. A sanction can include a range of disciplinary measures ranging from a reprimand to a suspension or expulsion from the sport.
Unsubstantiated: If Sport Integrity Australia believes, based on the evidence, that it is more likely than not that the respondent did NOT breach a policy, the allegations will be found to be unsubstantiated and the matter will be closed with no further action.
Unable to be Substantiated: If Sport Integrity Australia believes there are two equally plausible versions of events and has exhausted all avenues of obtaining further evidence, the matter will be unable to be taken further.
STEP 5 – Finalisation
If a Complaint is found to be substantiated, Sport Integrity Australia will issue a Breach Notice to the respondent, which will include a proposed sanction. That person or organisation can either accept the sanction, at which point the matter will be finalised, or they can choose to challenge the findings against them and/or the proposed sanction in a hearing.
This hearing could be before either the National Sports Tribunal or through a sport tribunal, depending on the Complaint. If the matter goes to the National Sports Tribunal, the case will be heard by independent arbitrators who will make the final decision. The sport will then enforce any sanctions that result from this process.
Complaint process flowchart