Policy: Service Paws is committed to providing applicants/clients/graduates, volunteers, and the general public with an avenue to voice their complaints and appeal management decisions through a structured dispute resolution process. Service Paws tries to promptly address all disputes within this policy’s scope.

Service Paws anticipates that most concerns regarding disputes/complaints may be resolved by individuals directly involved in the issue.

While this dispute resolution procedure outlines specific steps to follow, disputes may be resolved at any stage of the process. Resolution efforts will continue until the complainant is satisfied or decides not to appeal a decision made during any step of the dispute resolution process. Once a decision is reached and no appeal is made, it becomes binding on all parties, or when a decision is made in the final step where the right of appeal no longer applies.

Complainants who believe they have a valid dispute should adhere to the following steps:

Step One: Promptly bring the complaint to the attention of the immediate person in charge. If the dispute involves that person directly, the complainant may proceed directly to step two. The designated individual should investigate the complaint, endeavor to resolve it, and provide a decision to the complainant within a reasonable timeframe. A written and dated summary of the dispute and proposed resolution should be prepared for the records. If resolution is not achieved or the complainant remains dissatisfied, they may escalate the matter to the next level of management.

Step Two: If dissatisfied with the decision reached in step one, promptly bring the complaint to the attention of the next level of management, escalating to the Executive Director/CEO/President if necessary. If resolution is not reached to the complainant’s satisfaction at this level, a written request for review may be submitted to the President of the program’s board of directors. The board president or equivalent will review the case and issue a final decision.

Step Three: If a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached through the provided mechanism by the ADI Accredited Member or Candidate Program, the ADI Executive Director will receive a written complaint from the complainant and recommend that the ADI program make every effort to resolve the situation. ADI does not adjudicate complaints but ensures that ADI Accredited Members or Candidate programs adhere to ADI Standards and have a complaint policy and procedure that offers complainants an avenue of appeal to the program’s board of directors. ADI does not possess the investigative expertise or resources to mediate or resolve complaints.

Information regarding a complainant’s dispute should remain confidential. Those involved in investigating a complaint may only discuss it with individuals who have a legitimate need to know or who can provide relevant background information or advice.