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Complaints Policy

Complaints Policy


The Arthritis Society is committed to providing our donors, clients, researchers, corporate partners, participants, employees, volunteers, and the general public with a high level of service in the act of carrying out our mission.

This policy is intended to ensure that concerns raised by any of our stakeholders are responded to promptly, transparently and fairly in accordance with The Society’s high standards. 


Guiding Principles (Imagine Canada) 

  • It is in the interest of all parties that complaints are dealt with promptly and resolved as quickly as possible.
  • Review of complaints is fair, impartial and respectful to all parties.
  • Complainants are advised of their options to escalate their complaint to a more senior staff person if they are dissatisfied with treatment or outcome.
  • Complainants are provided clear and understandable reasons for decisions relating to complaints.
  • Updates are provided to complainants during review processes.
  • Complaints are used to assist in improving services, policies and procedures.


A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about the service, actions, or lack of action by The Society as an organization, or by a staff or volunteer acting on behalf of The Society.  

Complaints may come from the general public, donors, participants, patients, researchers, and/or volunteers.


Many concerns or informal complaints can be resolved easily and quickly, often at the time they arise, by speaking with your contact at The Arthritis Society or by contacting The Society’s info line.

If a problem cannot be resolved in this way or if a member of the public wishes to make a formal complaint, they may do so in writing to the Chief Development Officer (CDO) by email at or by mail to:

Privileged & Strictly Confidential
The Arthritis Society
Attention: Chief Development Officer
393 University Avenue, Suite 1700
Toronto, ON M5G 1E6

  • Examples
    Examples of informal concerns include but are not limited to:
    • Perceived failure to do something agreed upon
    • Perceived errors made by a staff /volunteer
    • Unfair or discourteous actions or statements by staff /volunteer
    • Service not delivered properly, on time, in my preferred language
    • Educational programs, forums cancelled, not done well, or poorly developed
    • The Arthritis Society’s display at health fairs not being staffed by a volunteer/staff
    • Requests for tax receipts
    • Request for removal of from mailing lists and/or discontinuing any form of communication

    Examples of Formal Complaints would include but not limited to:
    • Repeated requests for tax receipts
    • Repeated requests for removal of from mailing lists and/or discontinuing any form of communication
    • Repeated perceived errors made by a staff /volunteer
    • Repeated unfair or discourteous actions/statements by staff/volunteer;
  • FAQ

    How long will it take to receive a response?

    The Chief Development Officer or designate will try to respond to all formal complaints within 10 business days. However, complainants will receive an acknowledgment within the first 5 days of receipt.  If in the event that the process takes longer, we will let you know.

    What we will do?

    In the spirit of continuous improvement The Society will work diligently to fix problems, correct mistakes and address concerns. We will always treat you with courtesy and respect, listen to what you say, keep you informed about our progress, and finally provide you with a response.

    From time to time we receive complaints that do not relate directly to something that The Arthritis Society is responsible for. We are a charity with limited resources and we must use these in the best way possible.

    There may be rare occasions when we choose not to respond to a complaint. These include:

    • When a complaint is about something that The Arthritis Society has no direct connection to. We may choose to reply to clear our name but we are not obliged to.
    • When someone unreasonably pursues a complaint that we have already responded to. They will be given escalation points, but we may choose not to reply again and we will always inform you of our decision to do this.
    • When a complainant is being obviously abusive, prejudiced or offensive in their manner.
    • When a complainant is harassing a staff member.
    • When a complaint is illegible.
    • When a complaint has clearly been sent to us and numerous other organizations as part of a bulk mailing or email. In this instance we can choose whether it is necessary for us to reply or not.
    • The Arthritis Society will not respond to complaints made anonymously. However, we will investigate the complaint and use the information to improve in any way that we can.

    On behalf of The Arthritis Society, thank you for your continued support.