What is an affiliate?
Affiliates are businesses, organisations, events or venues that have registered with the Companion Card program.
An affiliate agrees to:
- issue a companion ticket at no charge to cardholders
- display the Companion Card logo in a prominent customer service area and in promotional material where possible; and
- abide by the Companion Card Affiliate terms and conditions.
Note: Disability anti-discrimination legislation applies to your business or organisation whether or not you are a registered affiliate of the Companion Card program.
Why should my business become an affiliate?
If your business or organisation charges an admission or participation fee, please consider affiliating with the Companion Card program. It won't cost you anything, and you will be joining a hugely diverse and ever-growing group of businesses and organisations across NSW.
The card had an initial focus on recreation, leisure, social and cultural venues and events, but we welcome the participation and support of all businesses and organisations.
Disability anti-discrimination legislation applies to all organisations, regardless of their size or the type of service provided.
Displaying the Companion Card logo on your premises and/or your advertising material is also a great way of showing that you take your social responsibilities seriously.
The Companion Card:
- provides an opportunity for an organisation or business to demonstrate commitment to social inclusion and community access for people with disability
- provides a simple, consistent and reliable method of identifying people with disability who require significant attendant care support to participate in activities and visit venues
- can assist organisations and businesses to meet some obligations under anti-discrimination laws
- provides access to an extensive and often untapped market of people with disability
What is the risk of card misuse and how is it minimised?
The Companion Card has a rigorous application and audit process to forestall misuse.
The card displays the cardholder's name and photograph, card number and expiry date.
The card incorporates a number of security features that are provided to businesses and organisations when they affiliate with the program. These can be used to verify cardholder information when taking phone bookings and selling tickets.
Affiliates can choose whether, and how, they want to incorporate the card's security features into their ticketing policies and practices.
The card itself is constructed with the same polymer technology used in Australia's 'plastic' banknotes. This makes it virtually impossible to accurately reproduce.
If an affiliate suspects misuse of the Companion Card, they should call the NSW Companion Card team immediately on Freecall 1800 893 044.
What promotional material and support do affiliates receive?
When you send in your Industry Affiliation Form, you will be sent a variety of promotional materials, including Companion Card brochures and ‘Companion Card accepted here' stickers.
Please display this promotional material prominently in your customer service areas, ticketing outlets and on promotional materials, so they can easily be seen by Companion Card holders.
You can also promote your membership of the scheme by including a Companion Card image and link to the Companion Card website from your webpage.
Can affiliates withdraw from the program at any time?
There is no expiry date for affiliation; it is ongoing. If a venue or activity operator decides, after affiliating to the program, that they no longer wish to accept the Companion Card, they should write to the Companion Card program stating their intention to withdraw their affiliation. The organisation will then be removed from the Companion Card Affiliate database. It is important to remember that the disability anti-discrimination legislation applies to your organisation regardless of whether or not you are a registered affiliate.
How are complaints/grievances managed?
It is recommended that Affiliates develop their own complaints procedure to deal with issues relating to the Companion Card. If appropriate, the organisation’s existing complaints-handling procedure may be applied.
Cardholders who have a complaint about the recognition of their Companion Card at a venue or activity are directed to attempt to resolve the issue with the venue or activity management in the first instance.
If Affiliates have a complaint regarding alleged misuse of a Companion Card, they should note the card details, if possible, and lodge the complaint directly with NSW Companion Card who will investigate the report.