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Complaints and Appeals Policy and Procedure

Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015

Standard 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 5.2, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6

National Code 2018

Standard 10

Complaints and Appeals Policy and Procedure

Complaints

Policy

1.0 Purpose

1.1 The aim of ANIBT Complaints Policy is to provide a fair and equitable process for resolving complaints/conflicts of clients, employees, students or others that deal with the organisation.

2.0 Scope

2.1 This policy covers all matters relating to:

ANIBT trainers, assessors and other staff

A third party providing services on the ANIBT’s behalf, its trainers, assessors or other staff

A learner of the ANIBT.

3.0 Definitions

3.1 For the purpose of this Policy and the Procedure document all parties affected by these will be referred to individually or as Stakeholders.

4.0.Responsibility

4.1 It is the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer to ensure this policy is implemented.

5.0 Policy Contents/Statements

5.1 The importance of seeking a resolution to any conflict between ANIBT and clients, employees or students in a professional and ethical manner.

5.2 ANIBT recognises that all clients, employees and students have the right to and are encouraged to openly discuss expectations and problems, or to lodge a complaint where they consider there are genuine grounds for a complaint.

5.3 All documentation pertaining the Complaints and Appeals Policy and Procedure are publicly available

5.4 The principles of fairness, ethics and social justice will be promoted in all ANIBT dealings with clients, employees and students.

5.5 ANIBT to incorporate conflict management principles into all processes involved in lodging a complaint.

5.6 ANIBT to develop a procedure for lodging and dealing with a complaint that is easily accessible and not unduly complex.

5.7 All complaints and requests for an appeal will be acknowledged in writing and finalised as soon as possible and practical.  The Stakeholder must be updated on a regular basis on the progress of the Complaint or Appeal.

5.8 Must be handled in a period of 60 days and if ANIBT feels it cannot be handled in this time, ANIBT must inform the Stakeholder reasons why.

5.9 ANIBT to treat all complaints with honesty, integrity and fairness to all concerned.

5.10 ANIBT to assist clients, employees and students with access to an independent review of a complaint should the need arise.

5.11 ANIBT to ensure complaints are processed in an appropriate timeframe.

Procedure

1.0 Purpose

1.1The purpose of this Procedure is to support the general policy and to define the system available to any stakeholder referred to in the Policy for dealing with complaints. Also it defines the system used to meet the requirements of the earlier referenced stanadards.

2.0 Responsibility

2.1 The Manager – Academic and Student Services (MASS) is responsible for implementation of this procedure and ensuring that stakeholders are made aware of its application under the guidance of the CEO.

3.0 Requirements

3.1 Stakeholders may raise any matters of concern relating to the training delivery and assessment, the quality of the teaching, student and staff amenities, discrimination, sexual harassment and other issues that may arise.

3.2 Stakeholders are encouraged to resolve their concerns and complaints using this procedure.

 

3.3 The current complaints and appeals process must be available on ANIBT’s website. ANIBT will maintain a current copy for students and prospective students to inspect or read. A hard copy is available upon request from the Student Services.

3.4 All Stakeholders are informed of the Policy and Procedure and where to obtain relevant documentation pertaining to it.  This includes, but, not limited to ANIBT website, Students and Trainer and Assessors Handbook, student enrolment, staff induction and Campus receptions.

3.4 All complaints will be handled professionally and confidentially in order to achieve a satisfactory resolution.

3.5 Unless otherwise decided by the Manager – Academic Delivery and Compliance (MADC), all formal complaints will be handled by the MASS. If the formal complaint or grievance is in respect to the MADC or the MASS; then, the CEO will handle that complaint or grievance.

3.6 The Institute will ensure that stakeholders have a clear understanding of the steps involved in the procedure

3.7 Stakeholders will be provided with details of external authorities they may approach, if required.

3.8 At any stage in the complaints process stakeholders are entitled to have their own nominee included in the resolution process.

3.9 All complaints will be managed fairly and equitably and as efficiently as possible.

3.10 At no stage during the complaints process will the student be disadvantaged in any way. The student will still be entitled to all their protected rights as an enrolled International student under legislation be it the ESOS Act or The National Code of Practice.  The Students enrolment will not be suspended, deferred or cancelled during the complaints and appeals process.

3.11 Where a complaint cannot be resolved through discussion and conciliation, we acknowledge the need for an appropriate external and independent agent to mediate between the parties.

3.12 Nothing in this procedure inhibits stakeholder’s rights to pursue other legal remedies. Stakeholders are entitled to resolve any dispute by exercising their rights to other legal remedies.

Students wishing to take this course of action are advised to:-

Contact the Law Institute of Victoria, 470 Bourke St, Melbourne 3000, and telephone 9602 5000 for a referral to a solicitor.

The International Student Ombudsman

3.13 If there is any matter arising from a stakeholder complaint that is a systemic issue which requires improvement action, this will be reported to the ANIBT Management meeting as part of the continuous improvement process.

4.0 Method

Informal Process

4.1 Any stakeholder with a question or complaint may raise the matter with staff of ANIBT and seek an informal resolution of the question or complaint. Trainers are the preferred first point of contact with students. Any issues related to training will be managed first by the trainer and then the MASS or the MADC.

 

4.2 Questions or complaints dealt with in this way do not become part of the formal complaint process and may not be documented, recorded or reported on unless the Institute staff member involved determines that the issue question or complaint was relevant to the wider operation of the Institute or if the stakeholder requests that the matter be documented and placed on file.

4.3 Stakeholders who are not satisfied with the outcome of the question or complaint are encouraged to register a formal complaint.

Formal Complaints

4.4 Stakeholders who are not satisfied with the outcome of the informal process, or, who want to register a formal complaint may do so. To register a formal complaint a stakeholder must complete the Student Complaint Form or the General Incident Complaint form. The MASS will contact the stakeholder and arrange a meeting. At this meeting the complaint can be raised and a resolution attempted.

4.5 ANIBT complaint forms are available from administrative office and on the ANIBT’s website: www.anibt.vic.edu.au.

4.6 All complaints shall be recorded in the Register of Complaints

4.7 At the stage of the complaint meeting the complaint must be recorded in writing and signed and dated by the complainant and the MASS. The complaint is recorded in writing by completing the student complaint form prior to the meeting or a new document can be prepared and signed during the meeting.

4.8 The stakeholder may be accompanied and assisted by a support person at any relevant meetings.

4.9 The MASS will then attempt to resolve the complaint with the student and any other parties who may be involved. The resolution phase must commence within 10 working days of the complaint being lodged in writing.

4.10 A maximum time of 20 working days from the date the complaint was lodged will be allowed for the resolution unless the student agrees in writing to extend this time. This period is called the resolution phase.

4.11 At the end of the resolution phase the MASS will report, in writing, the Institute’s decision to the stakeholder. The Institute decision and reasons for the decision will be documented by the MASS and placed on file.

4.12 Following the resolution phase the Institute must implement the decision as conveyed to the stakeholder

4.13 If a stakeholder is dissatisfied with the outcome of the formal complaint process; then the stakeholder may institute the appeals process by completing the appeals form. The appeals form is available at administrative office.

4.14 Any complaints that are lodged as a result of, or relate to criminal activities are outside of this process, and shall be referred to the appropriate authorities, or legal representatives for their attention.

 

 

 

5.0 Recording and Follow-up

5.1 All documentation pertaining to the complaint will be recorded in the Complaints Register and placed on the Agenda to be discussed at the monthly Management Compliance and Continuous Improvement meeting.

5.2 Any resulting Actions that have identified a flaw or inadequacy in an ANIBT System, Policy or Procedure will be noted and discussed as part of the Continuous Improvement Policy.  Any changes made will be documented and the relevant Policy and Procedure will be updated and distributed to all relevant parties and replaced and Version Controlled in all published documents.

APPEALS

1.0 Purpose

1.1 The purpose of this Policy & Procedure is to define the system available to students for dealing with appeals. Also it defines the system used to meet the requirements of:

National Code of Practice-Standards 8

2.0 Responsibility

2.1 The Student Services Coordinator is responsible for implementation of this procedure and ensuring that staff and students are made aware of its application.

3.0 Requirements

3.1 Appeals may arise from a number of sources including appeals against assessment, appeals against discipline actions and appeals against decisions arising from complaints. The essential nature of an appeal is that it is a request by a student to reconsider a decision made by the Institute. All training and assessment related appeals will be managed by the Manager – Academic and Student Services (MASS) , unless the appeal is against a decision of the MASS. In that case the appeal shall be managed by the CEO.

3.2 The Institute will attempt to resolve the appeal informally and, if this cannot be achieved, the formal appeals process will commence.

3.3 A student’s enrolment must be maintained whilst an appeal is in progress and the outcome has not been determined.  At no stage during the appeals process will the student be disadvantaged in any way. The student will still be entitled to all their protected rights as an enrolled International student under legislation be it the ESOS Act or The National Code of Practice.  The Students enrolment will not be suspended, deferred or cancelled during the complaints and appeals process.

3.4 The appeals process, both informal and formal, is initiated by a student completing the student appeals form. The appeals form is available at the reception desk at premises of ANIBT.

3.5 Students wishing to lodge an appeal in respect to the Institute’s intention to suspend or cancel the enrolment of the student must do so within 20 working days. (The 20 working days will be calculated from the date of the Intention to Report letter, or the letter notifying of the intention to suspend or cancel.)

3.6 The resolution phase must commence within 10 working days of the appeal being lodged in writing.

3.7 A maximum time of 20 working days from the appeal being lodged in writing will be allowed for the resolution unless all parties agree in writing to extend this time.

3.8 The formal appeal process will be conducted by a legal representative engaged by the Institute and at no cost to the student.

3.9 Students appealing an assessment, including RPL outcome, will be given the opportunity for reassessment by a different assessor selected by the Institute. The recorded outcome of the assessment appeal will be the most favorable result for the student from either the original assessment or the reassessment. If the student is not satisfied with the result of the reassessment, the student may make a request of the Institute pursuant to clause 3.13. The reassessment shall be regarded as the completion of the internal formal appeal.

3.10 For all internal formal appeal

The student will have an opportunity to present his or her case in person, or, if the students elects, in writing.

A student may be accompanied and assisted by a support person at any relevant meetings.

In all other respects the appeals procedure will be determined by the legal representative

The outcome of the formal internal appeal and reasons for the outcome will be recorded in writing and signed and dated by the student and the Institute and placed in the student file. The student will be provided with a copy of the signed written document.

3.11 If the student appeal is successful the Institute must implement the decision as conveyed to the student.

3.12 If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the formal internal appeal; the student may request the Institute to assist the student in an appeal to an external mediator.

3.13 The Institute will ensure, if requested by the student, that the appeal is lodged within 3 working days after the request from the student.

3.14 There are no further avenues within the Institute for appeals after an internal formal appeal phase has been completed, if the appeal remains unresolved.

Note:

The Overseas Students Ombudsman is a new external complaints and appeals mechanism available to all private registered education providers (except South Australia: explained below) and current - or intending - overseas students under standard 10 of the National Code 2007.

The Overseas Students Ombudsman will investigate complaints at no cost to the provider or student.

The legislation establishing the Overseas Students Ombudsman passed on 21 March 2011 and came into effect on 9 April 2011.

What do I need to know?

The Overseas Students Ombudsman can investigate complaints about action taken by private providers in connection with overseas students. Complaints might, for example, be about:

  • refusing admission to a course
  • fees and refunds
  • course or provider transfers
  • course progress or attendance
  • cancellation of enrolment
  • accommodation or work arranged by a provider
  • incorrect advice given by an education agent.

The Overseas Students Ombudsman cannot investigate complaints about:

  • public providers (which are already covered by the State and Territory Ombudsman)
  • domestic Australian students
  • students from overseas who are not on a student visa (e.g. students studying on a visitor, working holiday or temporary business visa).

If you wish to lodge an external appeal or complain about a decision, you can contact the Overseas Students Ombudsman. The Overseas Students Ombudsman offers a free and independent service for overseas students who have a complaint or want to lodge an external appeal about a decision made by their private education or training provider. See the Overseas Students Ombudsman website www.oso.gov.au or phone 1300 362 072 for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for providers and other information about the Overseas Students Ombudsman are available at www.oso.gov.au

Complaints & Appeals – Student Fact Sheet

 

Students of ANIBT are encouraged to discuss any issues relating to their studies at ANIBT.  Student complaints and academic appeals will be taken seriously and the matter addressed as soon as possible.

ANIBT has established a simple process for dealing with complaints.  Information regarding complaints is provided at orientation and in the student handbook, copies of the Complaints Policy are available on request and are documented in the Student Handbook and the ANIBT website.

Please note that there is a suggestion box provided at the Reception area through which suggestions and general feedback can be made.  You will also be asked to provide feedback at the end of each term of study.

General information about complaints/appeals:

  • A complaint can be a grievance about a situation, a process, a person or people, a facility or a service provided by ANIBT. A complaint is not about an academic result.

 

  • A formal complaint can be lodged in writing by letter or by email. An Appeal and Complaint Form should be attached to the complaint.  A student can discuss their complaint with any member of staff but should lodge their initial form with the Manager Academic and Student Services (MASS).  A written record of the complaint will be kept on file.

 

  • If the student chooses to access ANIBT’s complaints and appeals processes, their enrolment will be maintained while the process is ongoing. At no stage during the complaints process will the student be disadvantaged in any way. The student will still be entitled to all their protected rights as an enrolled International student under legislation be it the ESOS Act or The National Code of Practice. The Students enrolment will not be suspended, deferred or cancelled during the complaints and appeals process.

 

  • A student will have the opportunity to formally present their case at no cost. A student and the other party may be accompanied and assisted by a support person at any relevant meeting.

 

  • All ANIBT staff can respond to a complaint. A student must lodge their complaint with only one member of staff at ANIBT.  If the complaint needs to be escalated, the staff member must follow the complaint policy.

 

  • ANIBT will investigate and respond to all complaints lodged by a student. The process will commence within 10 working days of the formal lodgement of the complaint and supporting information and all reasonable measures will be taken to finalise the process in the shortest possible time.

 

  • ANIBT treats all complaints in confidence and must seek the permission of the student before discussing the complaint with relevant staff. The student will be given a written statement of the outcome, including details of the reasons for the outcome.

 

  • If the process results in a decision that supports the student, ANIBT will immediately implement the decision or preventive action required and advise the student of the outcome.

 

  • Students who are not happy with the outcome of their complaint can take further action through the Overseas Student Ombudsman or other external body such as ASQA. Further information is documented in the Student Handbook and on ANIBT website.

 

Version Number Actions Date Responsible
1.0 To bring Policy and Procedure in line with new RTO standards March 2015 DCS
1.1 Cosmetic tweaking to correct errors December 2015 DCS
1.2 Minor tweaks to meet the requirements of National Code 2018 December 2017 DCS