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This policy and procedure is to provide clear and practical guidelines to ensure that complaints and appeals of students can be resolved in accordance with the principles of natural justice, equitably and efficiently.
This complaints and appeals policy applies to all students enrolled with NIET.
Complaints and Appeals include but are not restricted to matters of concern to a student relating to training delivery and assessment; the quality of the training; student support and materials; discrimination; and sexual harassment.
Natural Justice is concerned with ensuring procedural fairness:
– Decisions and processes should be free from bias.
– All parties have the right to be heard.
– The respondent has a right to know of what s/he is accused.
– All parties are told the decision and the reasons for the decision.
NIET believes that a student, who has a complaint or appeal, has the right to raise the complaint or appeal and expect that every effort will be made to resolve it in accordance with this policy, without prejudice or fear of reprisal or victimisation.
The student has the right to present the complaint or appeal formally and in writing.
NIET will manage all complaints and appeals fairly, equitably and efficiently as possible. NIET will encourage the parties to approach the complaint or appeal with an open mind and to resolve problems through discussion and conciliation. Where a complaint or appeal cannot be resolved through discussion and conciliation, NIET acknowledges the need for an appropriate external and independent person to mediate between the parties. The parties will be given the opportunity to formally present their case to the independent person.
Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the process of making and resolving complaints. NIET seeks to protect the rights and privacy of all involved and to facilitate the return to a comfortable and productive learning environment.
A copy of this Policy is available to all students and staff via NIET intranet and is available in the Student Handbook. The information will also contain details of external authorities that they may approach.
Should a student have a complaint or appeal, the following steps are to be followed:
1. Student should discuss the issue / complaint with the person involved to try and resolve it verbally.
2. If no resolution is reached, the student should discuss the issue / complaint with his / her trainer to see if it can be resolved.
3. If still no resolution the student should put the following information relating to the complaint or appeal in writing:
· description of the complaint or appeal
· state whether they wish to formally present their case
· steps taken to deal with the complaint or appeal
· what they would like to happen to fix the problem and prevent it from happening again.
4. The student brings the complaint or appeal to the attention of the trainer.
5. If the complaint or appeal is not dealt with to the student’s satisfaction, s/he may bring it to the attention of the RTO Manager. The RTO Manager will either deal with the issue personally or arrange for it to be dealt with by a management representative. This process must commence within 48 hours from the time the RTO Manager receives written notification from the student about their dissatisfaction to the response received from their trainer and a response / resolution must be presented within 10 days.
6. Should the issue still not be resolved to the student’s satisfaction, NIET will make arrangements for an independent third party to resolve the issue and outline any costs that may be involved with this to the student. NIET will give the student the contact details of the appropriate complaints handling and appeals process at minimal or no cost. The student will be given the opportunity to formally present his or her case and be accompanied and assisted by a support person at any relevant meetings. The time frame for this process may vary but should take no longer than 14 days.
7. All parties involved will receive a written statement of the outcomes, including reasons for the decision within the 14 day period. If the process is taking longer than 60 days from the complaint or appeal being received the student will be notified in writing of the reason for the delay and kept informed about all progress.
8. If the student is still not happy with external mediation, he/she may take his/her complaint to the Australian Skills Quality Authority.
9. International students may seek assistance from the Overseas Students Ombudsman within 20 days if they are not satisfied with the decision reached. National Institute of Education and Technology will inform the student of his or her right to access the Overseas Students Ombudsman at no cost to international students.
Contact details as follows:
Overseas Students Ombudsman
GPO Box 442
Call: 1300 362 072 within Australia. Outside Australia call + 61 2 6276 0111.
Fax: 02 6276 0123 within Australia Outside Australia + 61 2 62760123
10. The complainant will be advised in writing the result or progress of the complaint, grievance or appeal at each step.
11. The procedures set out in this document do not replace or modify procedures or any other responsibilities which may arise under other policies or under statute or any other law. Nothing in this complaints and appeals policy and procedure limits the rights of individuals to take action under Australia Consumer Protection laws. Also these procedures do not circumscribe an individual’s rights to pursue other legal remedies.
12. Where a current student chooses to access this complaints and appeals procedure, National Institute of Education and Technology will maintain that person’s enrolment while the complaints and appeals process is ongoing. In the case of international student, National Institute of Education and Technology will not report the student through the Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS) and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection may be notified prior to or on the outcome of the external appeal.
13. The Complaints and Appeals Policy and Procedure will be made available to students and potential students through publication on the website (www.niet.edu.au) and during student enrolment and student orientation.
14. A written record of all grievances handled under this procedure and their outcomes shall be maintained for a period of at least five years to allow all parties to the grievance appropriate access to these records. These records will be maintained at National Institute of Education and Technology campus at 7 & 8 Clunies Ross Court, Eight Mile Plains, QLD 4113.
15. All records relating to grievances will be treated as confidential and will be covered by National Institute of Education and Technology Privacy and Personal Information Policy.
16. National Institute of Education and Technology regularly analyse complaint data to see what might be going wrong and what can be improved.
17. All documentation relating to complaints or appeals should be archived for audit purposes.
NIET RTO Manager will be person responsible for the implementation and maintenance of the policy.