Complaints Policy

The YMCA of Southwestern New Brunswick Complaint Policy is intended to encourage and enable all Board members, voting members, program members, and “outside community members” (“stakeholders”) to raise concerns so we can address and correct inappropriate conduct and actions. It is the responsibility of all Board members, staff, and volunteers to report concerns about violations of our policies or suspected violations of the law.


  • We believe that complaints are to be dealt with promptly and resolved as quickly as possible;
  • We believe that the review of complaints shall be fair, impartial, and respectful to all parties;
  • Complainants always have the option to escalate their complaint to a more senior staff person if they are dissatisfied with treatment or outcome, or if they are uncomfortable dealing with someone;
  • Complainants are provided clear and understandable reasons for decisions relating to complaints and are updated with relevant information throughout the process; and
  • We believe that complaints help us in improving services, policies and procedures.

Types of Complaints

Definition: A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about the service, actions, or lack of action by the YMCA of Southwestern New Brunswick as an organization, staff member or volunteer acting on its behalf. Any stakeholder personally affected can file a complaint and their complaint will be reviewed. This Policy does not apply to complaints made by YMCA employees or volunteers regarding other YMCA employees or volunteers, as these complaints are addressed under the YMCA’s Conflict Resolution Policy, which is available internally to employees and volunteers in the Human Resources Policies and Procedures and Volunteer Handbook.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Perceived or actual failure to do something agreed upon;
  • Failure to observe policy or law;
  • Breaches or departure from our ethical standards;
  • Error made by a staff member/volunteer; or
  • Unfair or discourteous actions/statements by staff member/volunteer.

Informal Complaint

If you have a complaint or concern, you are encouraged to discuss the matter with the staff who is most connected to the concern/situation, either in person, by phone, or by email. If your complaint is not resolved or if you are uncomfortable discussing the issue with the relevant person, you can inform the Supervisor/Manager or General Manager for the program or service. This informal process can be used to resolve many inquiries or matters of simple error that can be corrected to your satisfaction. If the matter is not resolved at this stage, you have the opportunity to make a formal complaint. Every effort will be made to resolve complaints in a timely fashion. When receiving a verbal complaint, staff should listen and seek to understand the complaint, and may attempt to resolve it immediately. If follow-up is required, basic contact information including name, phone number, and email address should immediately be recorded.

Formal Complaint

If you have been unable to resolve your concern through the informal processes described above, a formal complaint may be made in writing (by mail or email) to:

YMCA of Southwestern New Brunswick
191 Churchill Blvd, Saint John, NB E2K 3E2

Email address:

Contact information must be provided as the YMCA will not respond to anonymous complaints. If you are unable to register the complaint in this manner due to a disability, you may contact the YMCA to request accommodation, which will be provided appropriate to the needs and circumstances.

Complaint Receipt and Handling

An employee or volunteer who receives a complaint should first determine the proper person to handle it. This will generally be the person who has the primary relationship with the complainant, or who has the specific knowledge needed to resolve the complaint. It is the responsibility of the person who receives the complaint to either resolve it, or transfer it to another person who can resolve it. If the complaint is transferred, the recipient must acknowledge to the transferor that he or she has received it and will act on it.

The person who initially receives the complaint should acknowledge to the complainant that the complaint has been received and will be acted on either by him or herself or another employee. If a time frame for action can be determined, it should be included in the acknowledgement. Basic contact information including name, phone number, and email address should immediately be recorded.

Acting in Good Faith

Anyone filing a written complaint concerning a violation or suspected violation must be acting in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing the information disclosed indicates a violation. Any complainants who make allegations that prove not to be substantiated and which prove to have been made maliciously or knowingly to be false, will be subject to appropriate sanctions. In the case of employees, volunteers and members such offenses will be handled on a case-by-case basis as determined by the President and CEO and the Chair of the Board of Directors.


Reports of violations or suspected violations may be submitted confidentially by the complainant. Reports of violations or suspected violations will be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation.

Resolving the Complaint

Every effort should be made to resolve complaints received within 2 weeks. When receiving a verbal complaint, staff should listen and seek to understand the complaint, and may attempt to resolve it immediately. Formal complaints received in writing should be acknowledged as soon as possible, but in all cases in no more than 2 business days.

Where a complaint cannot be easily resolved, it should be escalated to the relevant General Manager. If the General Manager cannot resolve the complaint, it will be escalated to the COO or President and CEO. If the complaint is about the President and CEO, it will be handled by the Chair of the Board of Directors.

Documenting the Complaint

Formal complaints and resolutions will be recorded on the internal Complaint Recording Form. Information in the recording form will indicate a description of the complaint, who handled it, time frame and the final disposition of the complaint. All formal complaints must be brought forward to the General Manager of the department who will communicate to the COO.

Annually, the President and CEO shall report to the Board of Directors a summary of the formal complaints received.

Any and all internal complaints brought forward will be subject to the outlines of the YMCA of Greater Saint John Employee Handbook section 2.6.