Customer service charter

This charter explains what we do and how we provide our services. It has been developed in consultation with staff, clients and other stakeholders. We set out our service commitments, and we seek your feedback and advice to help us improve our service.

About AIMS

The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) is a Commonwealth statutory authority reporting to the Minister for Industry. The Institute was established by the Australian Institute of Marine Science Act 1972 in recognition of a national need to know more about our marine resources and to provide research assisting those who manage our marine environment.

What we do

AIMS provides world-class marine scientific and technological research in support of the protection of our marine environment and the sustainable use of its wealth for the benefit of all Australians.

Our Strategic Plan and Research Plan set out in more detail how we go about our activities and the ways we measure our success in achieving our objectives.

Our clients

Our main clients are users of marine science and technology, including the Australian community, marine industries, regulators and governments, policy developers, educators and students.

Our service

Our primary role is to deliver an agreed service to government: to generate and transfer knowledge to support the protection and sustainable use of the marine environment through innovative, world-class scientific and technological research. We report on our performance to the Australian Parliament, through the Minister for Industry, in our annual report.

We provide the following services to our clients:

  • provision of scientific data relating to marine and coastal ecosystems
  • advice for scientists in universities and other research organisations wishing to work in marine ecosystems
  • information on the Institute's research program and its scientific capabilities
  • scientific input to policy development related to marine research and technology.

AIMS is committed to providing the best possible standard of service to all its clients. We will:

  • be honest, ethical and professional
  • treat you politely and fairly
  • act with care and diligence in the execution of our duties
  • listen to what you tell us
  • use plain language in our communication
  • respond in a timely fashion when answering reasonable requests for information
  • maintain appropriate confidentiality.

If we are unable to provide the service you need, we will refer you to an alternative contact point. The Institute recognises the diverse needs of its clients and will:

  • ensure all public information clearly identifies contact details for further information
  • provide opportunities for you to give feedback on our performance
  • continuously improve our level of service.

Our service standards

When developing research directions we will consult widely to make sure that we integrate information from a range of views to determine our priorities.

When we are carrying out our legislative responsibilities and tasks for our clients we will:

  • strive for the highest scientific and ethical standards
  • seek to enhance our outputs and value through strategic collaboration
  • provide high quality, timely and comprehensive advice to the Minister
  • transfer technology, through appropriate mechanisms, to users of AIMS research.

If you contact us we will:

  • answer phone calls promptly during normal office hours (8:00 am – 4:40 pm AEST) and identify the name or position of the person speaking and/or the area you have contacted
  • if we are unable to answer your phone query immediately, take your contact details and ensure that you receive response within two working days
  • respond to requests for existing printed information, reference material or publications within 10 working days
  • reply to correspondence (letter, fax or email) within 20 working days or, if we can't answer within that time, send you an acknowledgment and let you know when you can expect a reply
  • refer you to the appropriate organisation if the matter is outside the Institute's area of expertise.

In providing you with information we will:

  • give you the most accurate, up-to-date information available to us, within the limits imposed by confidentiality and privacy
  • answer you as fully and precisely as your request makes practicable.

Performance against our service standards

We welcome your comments on how successful we are in achieving the service standards set out in this Charter. Please send us comments by letter or e-mail on any matter of concern to you.

We will:

  • monitor and evaluate our services against the standards we have set in this Charter
  • formally review the standards set out in this Charter once a year and adjust them where appropriate in light of your comments and in response to ongoing changes
  • report annually in the Institute's annual report on how well we have met the standards.

The annual report is available on the Institute's internet site ( The Charter will be independently reviewed at least every three years. The Institute invites comments from clients, stakeholders and staff as part of its monitoring and review procedures.

How you can help us

You can help us meet our standards by:

  • providing your queries to us in writing
  • giving us sufficient and accurate information for us to understand your request and be able to respond appropriately
  • recognising that we have limited resources, a wide range of clients and agreed priorities with government
  • treating our staff courteously
  • providing feedback and comments on the service we provide.

How to give us feedback

We welcome feedback on our performance, so we can know to what extent we are meeting your needs. If you have any comments or suggestions about improving our service, please let us know by contacting our Business section.

How we deal with your concerns

If you are dissatisfied, or have concerns about our day-to-day services, please discuss this with the person you dealt with, or ask to speak with their supervisor, and we will try to resolve your concerns immediately.

If you are still not satisfied, please contact the Human Resources Manager, who will respond within ten working days.

If you are still dissatisfied with our service we will refer you to the most appropriate complaints body.

Help us to improve this charter

This charter is constantly being developed through a consultative process with our clients. Your comments on how we might improve this charter are important to us. Please contact our Business section.

We will use your comments to ensure that the service we provide is of the highest standard and that our charter accurately reflects this. We appreciate your efforts to help us to serve you better.

How you can contact us

The Institute's main office is at Cape Ferguson, about 50km east of Townsville, Queensland. You may contact us during office hours 8.00 am to 4.40 pm AEST Monday to Friday (except public holidays).

Postal Address: PMB No 3, Townsville, MC, Queensland, 4810
Telephone: (07) 4753 4444 (International +61 7 4753 4444)
Fax: (07) 4772 5852 (International +61 7 4772 5852)