Service Charter

Our Service Charter sets out the standards of service you can expect when engaging with us

Read our Service Charter

Our Service Charter outlines how we seek to:

  • make it easy and accessible to complain and to understand how we process matters
  • explain which issues raised will be investigated or reviewed and which issues are out of scope
  • provide clear reasons for our decisions at every stage of the complaint or FOI review process.

It describes what we will and what we will not do, guided by our values, so complainants and applicants know what to expect when engaging with us.

For more information about engaging with our social media pages, please read our social media terms of use. We do not accept complaints or applications on social media due to security and privacy concerns.

Learn about engaging with us on social media

What to expect

We are guided by and committed to our values. Our values shape how we interact with you and how we expect you to engage with us.

Learn more about our values

  • Find out more about how we can achieve outcomes for complaints at the individual and system levels.

  • We champion fairness in the regulation of Australia's registered health professions through our work in three key areas.

  • Find out more about how our office strives for positive change

  • Learn more about the steps involved in our handling of complaints made to the Ombudsman and the Commissioner.

Find out more about how to make a complaint to the Ombudsman or the Commissioner.

We are independent

What we will do What we will not do

Anyone can contact us and our services are free.

We will thoroughly consider all the information provided to us without taking sides.

We will record and analyse information gathered through our services to achieve our purpose.

We will publicly share information about our work and be accountable for our performance.

We cannot provide legal advice or act as an advocate.

When we receive a complaint to the Ombudsman, we cannot:

  • force Ahpra, a National Board or an accreditation organisation to change its decision
  • order that compensation be paid.

We are courageous

What we will do What we will not do

We will use our investigative powers and take appropriate action when necessary.

We will make suggestions or recommendations for improvement to address identified systemic issues.

We will conduct own motion investigations to identify areas for improvement in the National Scheme.

We will not compromise our independence or impartiality.

We will not let challenging subject matter prevent us from listening to and considering all perspectives.


We are collaborative


What we will do What we will not do

We will clearly communicate how we can assist and what the next steps for each matter are.

We will share the contact details of the staff member who will provide regular updates about a complaint or application.

We will answer questions and queries to the best of our abilities.

We will make referrals wherever possible to the most appropriate body to ensure each person’s matter is suitably addressed.

We will not restrict access to our services in response to unreasonable complainant conduct more than is necessary to effectively manage risks and the equitable use of resources.

We will not consider matters outside our jurisdiction. We cannot accept complaints about the Health Care Complaints Commissioner or the Health Professionals Council Authority in New South Wales, or the Office of the Health Ombudsman in Queensland.

We are respectful

What we will do What we will not do

We will treat everyone with courtesy and respect.

We will carefully consider concerns and clarify whether we have understood the issues raised.

We will use our training to provide professional, empathetic customer service and respond to unreasonable complainant conduct reasonably and proportionately.

We will not tolerate any harm, abuse or threats directed towards our staff.

We will not leave complainants without any means of contacting us unless there is a very significant risk posed to the health or safety of a staff member or another individual.

We will not share confidential or personal information for a reason other than the purpose it was collected for, or unless consent is given.

We are fair

What we will do What we will not do

We will make it easy to access our services and to understand our processes.

We will explain which issues raised with us will be investigated or reviewed and which issues are out of scope.

We will provide clear reasons for our decisions at every stage of the complaint or FOI review process.

We will not make an unfavourable comment or decision without first informing those involved in the matter and providing them with an opportunity to respond.


What we expect from complainants and applicants

  • Be polite and treat our staff with courtesy and respect.
  • Clearly identify what issues you would like addressed and the outcome you are seeking.
  • Respond to requests for information in a timely way.
  • Provide honest and accurate information.
  • Inform the staff member handling your matter if you need to correct or update any information provided (including contact information) or if you wish to withdraw your complaint or application.
  • Let the staff member handling your matter know if you have any special requirements, such as requiring assistance from an interpreter.

If these expectations are not met, we may consider placing limitations or conditions on your ability to communicate with staff or access certain services.

We have a zero-tolerance policy in relation to any harm, abuse or threats directed towards our staff. Any conduct of this kind may result in us deciding to stop engaging with you. If the conduct is of a criminal nature, it will be reported to police and in certain cases legal action may also be considered.

When you'll hear from us

We aim to address your matter as quickly as possible while ensuring it is comprehensively considered. We will keep you informed of your matter’s progress based on the following timeliness targets. Find out more about what to expect.


Type of contact Timeframe
Acknowledge receipt of your matter 3 working days
Connect you with your case officer 10 working days
Finalise your complaint or application Approximately 3 to 6 months
Finalise more complex complaints or applications Approximately 9 to 12 months

For ongoing complaints and applications

Type of contact Timeframe
Provide progress updates Every 6 weeks
Return phone calls 3 working days
Respond to written communication 10 working days
  • Read more
    Woman writes in notebook with other books and a teacup on the table in front of her

    What to expect

    Read more about what to expect when you make a complaint to the Ombudsman or the Commissioner, or an application for review of Ahpra's FOI decision.

  • Learn more
    Man writes in notebook next to his laptop in front of an orange wall

    Review of our decisions

    Learn more about the process to review a decision we have made.

  • Provide feedback
    Young person sits cross-legged on her phone with her bag in front of her

    Feedback about our services

    We welcome feedback about our services to help us understand what we are doing right and how we can improve.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Give us a call on 1300 795 265