Creating a safe workplace key focus of QFES complaints management review

Published Friday, 19 January, 2024 at 02:16 PM

Minister for Fire and Disaster Recovery and Minister for Corrective Services
The Honourable Nikki Boyd

•    An independent review into Queensland Fire and Emergency Services’ (QFES) complaints management system is planned to commence soon
•    Last year, QFES’ executive leadership team proactively engaged an external organisation to undertake the review.
•    The review will assist to inform future changes to systems and policies as work continues to establish the Queensland Fire Department (QFD) 

A review of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) complaints management system will ensure staff and volunteer wellbeing remains a priority as work continues to set up the new Queensland Fire Department (QFD).

In late 2023, QFES’ executive leadership initiated the engagement of external expertise to conduct a complaint management system review. 

Over the years, QFES has conducted various internal and external reviews to ensure continual improvement in workplace practices, and this review will ensure processes remain robust and effective.

The review will examine reporting and management of customer complaints, workforce complaints, employee grievances, referred complaints and feedback. 

The review process will focus on engaging with internal and external stakeholders through one-on-one conversations, workshops, meetings and surveys. Critical data, policies and procedures will be analysed to ensure they meet best practice.

The review is planned to take place over the next six months and will inform complaints management process in the newly formed QFD, setting the department up for success. 

Quotes attributable to Minister Nikki Boyd

“QFES has a thorough and well-supported complaints process, but continual review and improvement is important,” the Minister said.

“Queensland’s emergency services staff and volunteers absolutely deserve to feel safe in their workplace, and this review will examine any possible improvements that can be made to ensure this is the case.

“Given staff and volunteers are covered by the Queensland Public Service Code of Conduct and anyone who becomes aware of actions not consistent with the code must report them, I want to make sure we have a rigorous and fit-for-purpose complaints management framework.

“This has been planned for some time but I think it is timely to have an external and independent review.

“I welcome this review and have every faith any recommendations will be carefully considered and inform future change within the department.”

Quotes attributable to A/Commissioner Stephen Smith

“This review is one QFES’ executive leadership team identified late last year as a priority for the department," the Commissioner said.

“We want to ensure best practice is being applied and that all staff and volunteers are confident in our internal systems,and raising any complaints through it.

“Our current complaints system aims to provide a safe and confidential avenue for potential issues to be raised. However, we are always looking to improve and evolve as a department.

“Staff and volunteers should always feel they are working in a safe environment, free from bullying, harassment and discrimination. This review forms part of a broader commitment to continual improvement, a focus on positive culture within the department, and providing the best possible working environment for staff and volunteers.  

“We expect the highest standard of conduct from our staff and volunteers. On the rare occasion their conduct does not meet our standards we want to ensure matters are dealt with swiftly and appropriately.”

Media contact – QFES Media 3635 3310.