Complaints and appeals policy
The purpose of SIT (the RTO) complaints and appeals process is to provide a student with the opportunity to access procedures to facilitate the resolution of a dispute, complaint or an appeal including; an assessment decision trainer and assessor, staff, refunds, and other issues as they may arise. The internal complaints and appeals processes are conciliatory and non-legal. In the interests of natural justice and procedural fairness, the RTO will not require the complainant to complete overly complex forms nor require the complainant to provide extensive written information as part of the complaints process. It is the intent of this policy to allow learners to easily engage with the RTO staff and contractors about any concerns they have, and to help prevent minor issues becoming larger.
Corrective and preventative action report
The corrective and preventative action form is to be used by staff and students to record the nature of a complaint or appeal. Actions that are rectified as a result of a complaint or appeal may inform the organisation of any improvements to be made. Results are recorded in the complaints and continuous improvement register.
Complaint against another student, the RTO, trainer and assessor or staff member, and third party providing services on the RTO’s behalf.
Complaints brought by a student against another student, the RTO such as an application for financial hardship for payment of the student co-contribution fee has been refused, trainer and assessor, and third party providing services on the RTO’s behalf will be dealt with under the RTO’s complaints and appeals handling procedure.
Informal complaints resolution
In the first instance, the RTO requests that there is an attempt to informally resolve the issue through mediation/informal resolution of the complaint.
Students should contact the trainer and assessor in the first instance to attempt mediation/informal resolution of the complaint. The trainer or assessor who is the subject of the complaint will ensure the decision is made by a person independent of the decision being reviewed (for example, an assessor may receive the complaint from the student but would not consider or decide an appeal against an assessment decision they made).
If the matter cannot be resolved through mediation, the matter will be referred to the CEO where the RTO’s internal complaints and appeals handling procedure will be followed.
Formal complaints handling procedure
- The process of this complaint procedure is confidential and any complaints or appeals are a matter between the parties concerned and those directly involved in the complaints handling process.
- The student must notify the RTO in writing of the nature and details of the complaint or appeal.
- Written complaints and or appeals are to be lodged with the Chief Executive Officer or delegated person/s.
- Internal complaints and appeals processes are available to students at no cost.
- Each person making the complaint has the opportunity to present his/her case to the Chief Executive Officer or delegated person/s.
- Students may be accompanied and assisted by a support person. Meetings will be minuted and each party will be required to sign the minutes at the end of the meeting. A copy of the minutes from the meeting will be kept on the RTO file and a copy on the students file.
- The formal complaint process will begin within 10 working days of the complaint or appeal being lodged with the Chief Executive Officer or delegated person/s.
- Once the Chief Executive Officer or delegated person/s has been able to make a decision regarding the complaint or appeal, the student will be informed in writing of the outcome and the reasons for the outcome and action to be taken. A copy will be kept on the RTO file and a copy will be kept on the student’s file.
- Where the complaint procedure is found in favour/not in favour of the student, the RTO will immediately implement the decision and any corrective and preventative action required.
- The RTO undertakes to finalise all complaint procedures within 20 working days, and sooner wherever possible. However, if for any reason a complaint or appeal (including any review process) appears likely to take more than 60 days to finalise, the people involved will be given written explanation for the delay.
- A student must exhaust the RTO’s internal complaints and appeals process before lodging a complaint with external bodies.
- As a result of the complaint and/or appeal, the RTO will identify potential causes of complaints and appeals and take appropriate action to eliminate or mitigate the likelihood of reoccurrence.
Internal appeals process
- To review a decision made by the RTO which was not in favour of the student, the student must make their appeal in writing and lodge the appeal with the Chief Executive Officer. An appeal may take up to 20 working days to finalise.
- The complainant will be kept informed during the appeal process.
- A copy of the appeal and written response will be placed on the student file for future reference.
External appeals process
- The student must exhaust the provider’s processes and the registered provider must maintain the student’s enrolment while the complaints process and appeals is underway.
- If the internal or external complaint handling or appeal process results in a decision that supports the student, the registered provider must immediately implement any decision recorded in the Corrective and Preventative Action Report and advise the student of the outcome.
- If the internal complaints procedure has been exhausted and does not find in favour of the student and the student is dissatisfied with the results of the internal complaints procedure, he/she may approach Mediation Australia, Ann Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000 – 1300267268.
How mediation works
It is the process where people meet with an independent person (the mediator) to negotiate an agreement to end a dispute. The mediator does not impose any outcome: just assists the process of reaching a resolution.
Mediation does not involve legal procedures or the courts, however, mediation clients share the costs of mediation 50/50. The outcome of mediation is determined by the parties so that the participants remain in control.
- Apprentices/Trainees/Employers – Should a competency dispute arise, the SRTO must manage the competency dispute using its internal appeals/complaints resolution process. If at the end of the SRTO process, the employer or apprentice/trainee remains dissatisfied, a written complaint may be lodged using The Apprenticeships Info form ATF-012 which must be returned to the Department of Education, Training and Employment district office or phone 1800 210 210 for your nearest office and
- You can make a complaint to the (QLD) Training Ombudsman online, In writing or over the phone. We will listen to your concerns and explain how we can help you and what you need to do.