Complaints and Appeals Policy

Complaints and Appeals Policy

INTRODUCTION

The Complaints and Appeals Policy was formulated taking cognisance the College’s values and its mission statement. The College is committed to maintaining a fair environment that supports and encourages learners to voice their concerns.

The College understands that, on occasion, there may be instances of dissatisfaction and acknowledges that the cause(s) must be addressed and rectified promptly. In such instances, the College invites feedback from the dissatisfied party so that a resolution can be found and as an opportunity to consolidate the feedback into a review and improvement of the College’s policies and procedures. Staff are also invited to contribute ideas and feedback to assist in shaping and reviewing this policy, through communicating with their supervisor. The College will address any and all complaints and appeals of assessment decisions in a fair, constructive and timely manner.

The complaints and appeals policy provides guidelines to all learners of the College regarding instances of dissatisfaction within our organisation. The complaints and appeals policy should be observed and adhered to in instances of dissatisfaction. It has been developed to cover decisions made for or on behalf of the RTO and complaints about:

  • The RTO
  • RTO Staff
  • Learners
  • Third Parties
  • Assessments

A complaint or appeal may refer to, but is not limited to;

Complaints

  • Course advice and enrolment
  • Suspension and/or cancellation of enrolment
  • Program delivery
  • Marketing and promotional activity
  • Personal safety
  • Customer service and administration
  • Issue of results, certificates, statement of attainment
  • Learning resources
  • Fees and charges
  • Equity and access, discrimination, harassment and bullying
  • Marking and Assessment
  • Assessment process and decision
  • Enrolment Application decision
  • Learner progress and academic progress decisions
  • Suspension
  • Termination of enrolment

Appeals

  • Course advice and enrolment
  • Suspension and/or cancellation of enrolment
  • Program delivery
  • Marketing and promotional activity
  • Personal safety
  • Customer service and administration
  • Issue of results, certificates, statement of attainment
  • Learning resources
  • Fees and charges
  • Equity and access, discrimination, harassment and bullying
  • Marking and Assessment
  • Assessment process and decision
  • Enrolment Application decision
  • Learner progress and academic progress decisions
  • Suspension
  • Termination of enrolment

This Complaints and Appeals Policy ensures the College adopts the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness in its operations by:

  • Informing those involved of the allegations
  • Providing those involved an opportunity to present their side of the matter
  • Operating in a fair and unbiased way

This policy is publicly available on our website www.acoba.com.au

Any employee found not adhering to this policy may face disciplinary action. The complaints and appeals policy promotes fairness and equality. The complaints and appeals policy reflects the College’s professionalism and commitment to promoting a positive and fair learning/working environment. It’s important that staff (when required) implement procedures and practices in accordance with this policy in an efficient and appropriate manner. Once a formal written complaint, e.g., Complaints and Appeals Lodgement Form, is received the details are recorded on the Complaints and Appeals Register which is reviewed and maintained by the principal. Information recorded on the Complaints and Appeals Register includes:

  • A specific complaint number
  • Submission date of the complaint
  • Name of the complainant or appellant
  • Description of the complaint
  • Determined resolution (outcome)
  • Date of outcome

If a learner has a complaint or request for appeal, they are encouraged to speak immediately with a College representative to resolve the issue. The College is committed to collaboration and working with the learner for a mutually suitable resolution. If the learner is not satisfied that the issue has been resolved, they are then able to progress to the Formal Complaints and Appeals Process, outlined below.

Formal complaints and appeals shall follow the below process:

  1. Complaints or appeals are to be made in writing within 7 calendar days of the incident using the Complaints and Appeals Lodgement Form which can be requested at any time.
  2. A submitted Complaint and Appeal Lodgement Form will constitute a formal complaint or appeal from the learner. Further details of the complaint or appeal can be provided by the learner verbally.
  3. All complaints and appeals will be acknowledged in writing within 1 working day.
  4. The Principal of the College may delegate responsibility for the resolution of the complaint or appeal.
  5. In the case of a complaint or appeal, the Principal of the College will initiate a transparent, participative investigation to identify the issues.
  6. Complaints or appeals, where possible, are to be resolved within 21 calendar days of the initial application.
  7. Where more than 60 calendar days have been required to process a complaint or appeal:
    • The complainant or appellant is advised in writing of the reasons for the delay
    • The complainant or appellant is regularly updated in writing.
  8. In all cases the final conclusion will be assessed by the Principal.
  9. The learner will be advised in writing of the outcome of their complaint or appeal, within 7 days of resolution.
  10. If the outcome is not to the satisfaction of the Learner:
    • They may seek an appointment with the Principal of the College
    • The College will provide for review of complaints and appeals by an independent party
    • They may appeal to an outside authority.

The College securely maintains records of all complaints and appeals and their outcomes. The College also seeks to identify potential causes of complaints and appeals and takes appropriate corrective action to eliminate or mitigate the likelihood of reoccurrence. The College may seek assistance from internal/external sources to assist this process.

*This Complaints process does not preclude the learner seeking redress in other forums outside the the College process. For example, the complainant may wish to take the matter further by selecting the appropriate body from among such bodies as the Office of Fair Trading (02-4925000), the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (1-300-366700), the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (1-300-656419) or the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW (02-49264300). (A full list of external bodies is located in the Government section of the telephone directory).

POLICY ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

It is a condition of enrolment with the College that all learners sign the “Enrolment Form”. By signing the enrolment form you acknowledge that you have read and understood the College’s policies and agree that you will make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with these policies. By signing this form, learners acknowledge and agree to be bound by all of the College’s policies. This is completed to ensure that learners understand what our rules are, why they must be adhered to and that action may be taken if any policy is not adhered to. In accordance with best practice this policy will be subject to an annual review.

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