Managing unreasonable conduct by a complainant workshop

Learn how to identify and manage unreasonable conduct and deliver effective prevention and resolution policies and strategies.

Who should attend

Supervisors and managers responsible for setting a complaint handling policy and strategy.

We recommend frontline staff or people that have not done any training in handling complaints do Fundamentals of complaint handling before this workshop.


  • Pre-workshop online learning (1 hour)
  • Half-day workshop (4 hours)
  • Post-workshop online learning (1 hour)


Unreasonable conduct by a complainant (UCC) can take up a lot of time and resources in your workplace. This workshop will help you:

  • identify and manage unreasonable conduct
  • deliver effective prevention and resolution policies and strategies
  • support staff members and colleagues impacted by complainant behaviour.

The curriculum is based on strategies developed as part of a joint project by the 9 Australasian Parliamentary Ombudsman offices.

The training covers:

  • your examples of UCC
  • managing expectations
  • strategies for managing UCC
  • key messages for complainants, clients and staff
  • ways to support staff to put UCC strategies in place
  • staff health and safety considerations.

Participants get access to the NSW Ombudsman Learnbook online learning platform. This includes a detailed manual and other resources.


This training comes in several parts:

Pre-workshop module

This self-directed online module covers:

  • what unreasonable conduct is, who can experience it, when and where
  • key strategies to effectively respond to and manage unreasonable conduct
  • self-reflection on you and your organisation's experience of unreasonable behaviour.

It includes an online discussion forum with the facilitator and other participants.

Facilitator-led workshop

Using case studies and examples related to your professional experience, we cover:

  • the importance of effective communication in preventing and managing UCC
  • managing expectation of clients
  • strategies and scripts for responding to and managing UCC – applying strategies to respond to and manage UCC using agency case studies
  • dealing with anger and responding to threats, hostility and aggression
  • using escalating assertion
  • awareness of management roles and responsibilities concerning:
  • support and supervision of staff
  • authorising modified or restricted access for people who continue to conduct themselves unreasonably.

Post-workshop module

This self-directed online module covers:

  • identifying management roles and responsibilities in creating a safe and supportive workplace culture
  • applying strategies for recording, reporting and monitoring incidents of unreasonable conduct
  • recognising signs of stress
  • what conduct qualifies for modification or restriction of services to an agency.

Optional module

This self-directed online module is to help policy writers and managers:

  • identify when online conduct becomes unreasonable
  • understand the importance of apologising when an agency makes a mistake
  • know how to make an effective apology
  • apply Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) strategies to raise awareness of alternative dispute outcomes.

Learning outcomes

As a learner in this training, you will:

  • define the characteristics and impacts of unreasonable conduct
  • consider why some complainants behave unreasonably
  • identify the warning signs, escalations and safeguards of unreasonable conduct
  • identify and apply key strategies, principles and policies to manage the conduct
  • reflect on your personal and organisational experiences of unreasonable conduct
  • apply policies and strategies in your workplace.


$550+GST per person

We offer discounts for community service staff and those agencies with obligations under CSCRAMA. If you would like to request a discount, including a discount due to financial hardship, please contact us at

Need to book training for your team?

We offer this workshop in-house (online or in-person). We can also tailor it to meet your organisation's specific learning needs.

Contact our Training and Engagement Unit or call (02) 9286 0900.


Related training and events

Fundamentals of complaint handling

Get the skills and confidence to effectively handle customer complaints.

Effective complaint management systems

Learn what an effective system for managing complaints is and how to put it in place.

Contact us

If you need help choosing training that best meets your needs, contact our Training and Engagement Unit.