OPEN MENU HIDE MENU
Protecting consumers by improving professional standards.
News and publications

Inaugural Research Grants awarded

14 Feb 2014

Our Research Grants provide funding for study into improving and advancing professional standards in Australia. We are pleased to announce that the first three grants awarded under the program have been offered to:

  • Australian Centre for Justice Innovation (Monash University) and Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals Australia (SOCAP)
  • The Tax Institute
  • Creative Consequences Pty Ltd.

These three projects are intended to encourage improvements in professional standards and consumer protection.

Project details

Australian Centre for Justice Innovation (Monash University) and Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals Australia (SOCAP) have been offered a grant for their project Professional Standards for Complaints Managers and Handlers.

It is estimated that one in four Australians make a complaint each year. These 6,000,000 complaints are dealt with in different ways by various complaints systems and those who work in the sector.

This project is designed to improve the approaches used in complaints handling and management by articulating core competencies and ethical requirements for complaints handlers and managers.

In addition, as some parts of the sector have particular needs, the project aims to improve complaints handling in smaller organisations by designing simple frameworks that can be used to effectively manage and deal with complaints.

The project will involve an extensive consultation process across the complaints sector and will be conducted by the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals (SOCAP), the industry body that supports complaints handlers and managers, and the Australian Centre for Justice Innovation (ACJI) at Monash University.

The project will:

  • Define a professional standard for complaints managers and complaints handlers, and
  • Develop a framework for small business complaints handling that articulates the desirable requirements for an effective complaints system.

The Tax Institute has been offered a grant for their project Creation of a set of professional standards and a Code of Professional Conduct for the tax profession. The project will:

  1. Create a set of professional standards which will apply to all those professionals from ‘feeder’ disciplines who work in the provision of tax advice
  2. Create a Code of Professional Conduct that is aspirational and inspires people to behave in exemplary and ethical ways, encouraging professional performance above the compliance/regulator requirements.

Creative Consequences Pty Ltd has been offered a grant for the project Assessing Australia's unique approach to promoting professions and self-regulation – the Professional Standards Councils – a creative solution to a persistent problem.

The purpose of this research project is to assess the function, role, and purpose of Australia’s professional standards legislation as a best practice regulatory model.

The project will evaluate whether the professional standards regulatory framework delivers effective and efficient regulation and maximises the public benefit by balancing the interests of the professions and individual professionals, their clients and the society at large.