John Wood Scholarship

SOCAP Australia has commenced a scholarship program to provide continuing education and professional development for entrants in consumer affairs, complaints handling and customer care under the John wood Scholarship.

The program is a 12 month scholarship  open to all Australian and New Zealand residents, with less than 24 months employment in the consumer affairs industry, or who are studying in this field with the aim of entering the industry.

The scholarship aims to encourage growth in consumer affairs practitioners and awareness of the value of the roles within this professional services field, through quality professional development training, certification of skills through the SOCAP Complaints Professional Certification Scheme and mentoring by consumer affairs and complaints and customer care industry leaders in Australia and New Zealand.

The John Wood Scholarship is named in honour of former SOCAP President and champion of freedom of information for consumers. John Wood was a former Director of the Federal Bureau of Consumer Affairs and Deputy Commonwealth Ombudsman.


Scholarship entitlements

To provide continuing professional development of the John Wood scholar, the scholarship includes SOCAP membership, industry mentoring and professional training through to Complaints Professional Certification, as well as attendance at many of the leading complaints handling and customer care industry events in Australia and New Zealand during the tenure.
Full scholarship entitlements include:

  • SOCAP Australia Membership – 12 month SOCAP Australia Individual Membership with additional benefits including:
    – Consumer Directions Magazine
    – Member access to SOCAP website
    – Invitation to Member-only Communities of Practice
    – Invitation to Member-only Working Parties
  • SOCAP Complaints Professional Certification Scheme Application
    and Certification (pending successful assessment) including:
    -SOCAP Complaints Professional Certification Scheme application fee
    -Scheme compulsory units including:
    – Customer Service and Complaint Management 101
    – Ethics for Complaint Handling
    – Supervisor’s Reference(if unable to be attained by Employer)
    – SOCAP Professional Development programs as required to attain CPD points to reach initial 100 point criteria
  • SOCAP Symposium Attendance – in the year of the awarded scholarship only
    – Scholar to present at Symposium on work they have achieved during scholarship.
  • Industry Leaders Mentoring including four tailored mentoring sessions with three SOCAP Board members and the SOCAP Chief Executive.


Scholarship period

The inaugural John Wood Scholarship successful applicant will undertake their scholarship for a 12 month period, effective from August 2017 to August 2018.



All applicants working, or studying to enter work in the complaints handling, consumer affairs and customer care professional services and meet the eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply.
Applications will be accepted from Australia and New Zealand residents, and prior or current membership of SOCAP Australia for the applicant, or their employer, if working, is not a prerequisite or required for application.
Applicants must have less than 24 months experience (either consecutive or accumulative) in the consumer affairs, complaint handling and customer care profession.
Successful John Wood Scholars may not reapply for a second or additional term of scholarship, even if their period of employment remains under the 24 month eligibility level.
Applicants must be Australian or New Zealand residents.


Judging panel

The judging panel is made up of three SOCAP representatives and one Industry independent representative. The individual representatives may change each year.



All applications for the John Wood SOCAP Australia Scholarship should be forwarded to the SOCAP Australia office via email and include a current CV and Cover Letter of no more than five pages outlining your reasons for applying for the John Wood Scholarship. Use the Apply Now button below to submit your application. Your application should include your current employment or education status; reasons for working in the consumers affairs, complaint handling and customer care profession and how Certification as a SOCAP Complaint Professional would benefit your career as a complaint handler. Applicants may be asked to attend interview/s with the John Wood Scholarship Judging Panel as part of their application process (at applicant’s own expense). All applicants will be notified regarding the outcome of their application. If you are dissatisfied with the application process or the outcome of your application, you may apply in writing to SOCAP Australia’s Board for a review of your application. If you are unsuccessful in your application for the scholarship in 2017, you are encouraged to reapply, if circumstances and eligibility criteria apply.


Application dates

Applications are open from 1 March 2017 and close 30 June 2017 with judging to commence from 20 July 2017.