SC14: Complaints and Appeals Policy


SC14: Complaints and Appeals Policy

Purpose

The purpose of this policy and procedure is to outline Linden College’s approach to managing dissatisfaction, formal complaints and appeals of students, clients, staff and other members of the community. It provides a transparent approach for all complaints and appeals to be addressed in a fair, efficient and confidential manner.

This policy and procedure ensures compliance with Standard 6 of the Standards.

Definitions

Appeal means a request for a decision made by Linden College to be reviewed

Complaint means a person’s formal expression of dissatisfaction with any product or service provided by Linden College.

Services means training, assessment, related educational and support services and/or activities related to the recruitment of prospective learners. It does not include services such as student counselling, mediation or ICT support

Standards means the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 from the VET Quality Framework

Policy

Linden College responds to all allegations involving the conduct of:

The RTO, its trainers and assessors and other staff.
Any third party providing Services on behalf of Linden College.
Any student or client of Linden College.

Complaints may be made in relation to any of Linden College’s services and activities such as:

the application and enrolment process
marketing information
the quality of training and assessment provided
training and assessment matters, including student progress, student support and assessment requirements
the way someone has been treated
the actions of another student

Appeals should be made to request that a decision made by Linden College is reviewed. Decisions may have been about:

course admissions
refund assessments
response to a complaint
assessment outcomes / results
other general decisions made by Linden College

Linden College is committed to developing a procedurally fair complaints and appeals process that is carried out free from bias, following the principles of natural justice. Through this policy and procedure, Linden College ensures that complaints and appeals:

Are responded to in a consistent and transparent manner.
Are responded to promptly, objectively, with sensitivity and confidentiality.
Are able to be made at no cost to the individual.
Are used as an opportunity to identify potential causes of the complaint or appeal and take actions to prevent the issues from recurring as well as identifying any areas for improvement.

Linden College will inform all persons or parties involved in any allegations made as well as providing them with an opportunity to present their side of the matter.
Linden College will maintain a record of all complaints and appeals and their outcomes on the Complaints and Appeals Register, which will be securely stored according to the Privacy Policy and Procedures.
Nothing in this policy and procedure limits the rights of an individual to take action under Australia’s Consumer Protection laws and it does not circumscribe an individual’s rights to pursue other legal remedies.

Making a complaint of appeal

Complaints about a particular incident should be made within ninety (90) calendar days of the incident occurring and appeals must be made within thirty (30) calendar days of the original decision being made.
Complaints and appeals should be made in writing using the Complaints and Appeals Form, or other written format and sent to Linden College’s head office at 4/262 Old Cleveland Road, Coorparoo, Queensland attention to the Chief Executive Officer.

When making a complaint or appeal, provide as much information as possible to enable Linden College to investigate and determine an appropriate solution. This should include:

The issue you are complaining about or the decision you are appealing – describe what happened and how it affected you.
Any evidence you have to support your complaint or appeal.
Details about the steps you have already taken to resolve the issue.
Suggestions about how the matter might be resolved.

Your complaint or appeal will be acknowledged in writing.
Some or all members of the management team of Linden College will be involved in resolving complaints and appeals as outlined in the procedures.
Complaints and appeals will be finalised within thirty (30) calendar days unless there is a significant reason for the matter to take longer. In matters where additional time is needed, the complainant or appellant will be advised in writing of the reasons and will be updated weekly on the progress of the matter until such a time as the matter is resolved.
Where a student chooses to access this policy and procedure, Linden College will maintain the student’s enrolment while the complaints/appeals handling process is ongoing.

Independent Parties

Linden College acknowledges the need for an appropriate independent party to be appointed to review a matter where this is requested by the complainant or appellant and the internal processes have failed to resolve the matter. Costs associated with independent parties to review a matter must be covered by the complainant/appellant unless the decision to include an independent party was made by Linden College.

o The independent party recommended by Linden College is to be determined per matter, however complainants and appellants are able to use their own external party at their own cost.

o Linden College will provide complete cooperation with the external mediator investigating the complaint/appeal and will be bound by the recommendations arising out of this process.

o The CEO will ensure that any recommendations made are implemented within twenty (20) days of being notified of the recommendations. The complainant or appellant will also be formally notified in writing of the outcome of the mediation.

External complaint avenues

Complaints can also be made via the following avenues:

National Complaints Hotline:

The National Training Complaints Hotline is a national service for consumers to register complaints concerning vocational education and training. The service refers consumers to the appropriate agency/authority/jurisdiction to assist with their complaint. Consumers can register a complaint with the National Training Complaints Hotline by:

o Phone: 13 38 73, Monday–Friday, 8am to 6pm nationally.

o Email: You will need to complete the complaints template form and email to NTCH@education.gov.au

For more information about the National Complaints Hotline, and the refer to the following webpage:http://www.education.gov.au/NTCH

Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA):

Complainants may also complain to Linden College’s RTO’s registering body: Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).

However, ASQA’s will only use the information you provide to inform its regulatory approach and will not contact us on your behalf or act as your advocate. For more information, refer to the following webpage: http://www.asqa.gov.au/complaints/make-a-complaint—domestic-students/make-a-complaint—domestic-students1.html