Dealing with complex behaviour

People who handle complaints often say the hardest part of their job is responding to the behaviour of some people. Discover strategies to prevent or de-escalate complex behaviour.

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Course content

During the workshop, you will work through:

  • a model for dealing with complex behaviour
  • how to consider Victoria’s human rights, equal opportunity and workplace safety laws to identify, prevent and defuse complex behaviour
  • skills to manage or limit service provision in response to behaviour that is unreasonable.

Learning outcomes

After completing the workshop, you will be better able to:

  • identify complex behaviour
  • prevent or de-escalate complex behaviour
  • manage behaviour where it raises health, safety, resource or equity issues, in a way that is lawful, fair and transparent
  • deal with complex behaviour that may be associated with a disability or mental illness
  • respond to people who raise concerns about suicide
  • identify strategies for self-care and care of staff.


The framing that noted that the stressors & underlying concerns that make behaviours complex are also the same ones we deal with - it's the best way of humanising the process & understanding what's challenging for both us and complainants.

May 2022

... Suggest access to this training course to all agency staff and suggest all government agencies.

June 2022

Contact us

For all enquiries, contact our Education team at


Marita Cullen

Marita Cullen

Program Coordinator and Facilitator

Marita’s firsthand experience dealing with complaints supports the high level of training she provides to our public sector education programs.

Before joining the Victorian Ombudsman as an Investigation Officer, Marita provided investigation and regulatory services with the Victorian Institute of Teaching and the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency.

Irene Parker

Irene Parker

Manager - Engagement, Education & Prevention

Irene Parker is also the Senior Facilitator in the Victorian Ombudsman’s Education & Prevention team. She is a Training and Programme Development Specialist with extensive experience in both Australia and Asia. Prior to joining the Victorian Ombudsman, Irene worked as a corporate trainer, with a focus on customer service and best practice. She also has established careers in advertising, marketing, and the performing arts.