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1. Purpose 

The Complaints and Appeals Policy (“policy”) establishes a framework for managing and resolving complaints and appeals from students on academic and administrative matters. This policy should be read in conjunction with the Complaints and Appeals Procedures.

2. Scope 

This policy applies to all prospective students and currently enrolled students, and to staff administering complaints and appeal requests.

3. Definitions 

See Glossary of Terms.

4. Policy statements 

4.1 Complaints and appeals processes are equitable, easily accessible to all students, fair, timely, and free from cost to students.

4.2 Complaints and appeals are handled with courtesy, confidentiality and without fear of prejudicial treatment.

4.3 The Institution endeavours to make all prospective students, enrolled students and staff aware of this policy. Students receive information about the complaints and appeals process prior to admission, during orientation programs, and via the Institution’s website.

4.4 Students are entitled to lodge a complaint (first step) about any academic or administrative matter, including (but not limited to):

  • the conduct and performance of staff;
  • services and facilities provided by or managed by the Institution;
  • dealings with the Institution’s International Representatives (agents), homestay providers, welfare providers or other related parties;
  • conduct and performance of other students;
  • review of a decision made by the Institution;
  • failure to adhere to relevant policies and procedures
  • Students are entitled to lodge an appeal (second step) normally in the following circumstances:
  • failure to provide natural justice or procedural fairness;
  • where the decision is inconsistent with a published policy or procedures;
  • where there are new or different grounds and/or supporting evidence to those already considered by the original decision maker;
  • the penalty was not commensurate to the incident; and/or
  • on other reasonable grounds, as determined on a case by case by the Chair of the Appeals Committee, beyond the above.

4.5 Provision to request a review of an academic matter (e.g. final grade for a subject or assessment) is provided in the Student Review of Assessment Results Procedures. Requests of this nature will not be dealt with under this policy unless all avenues within the Student Review of Assessment Results Procedures have been exhausted.

4.6 Students must act responsibly when deciding to lodge a complaint or appeal. Vexatious or malicious complaints and appeals are examples of non-academic misconduct and will be dealt with in accordance with the General Misconduct Policy and General Misconduct Procedures.

4.7 A complaint lodged by a former student more than six months after completing their studies will not be considered.

4.8 Students who lodge a complaint or appeal will not suffer any reprisal as a result.

4.9 In considering a complaint or appeal, the Institution will ensure the following principles of procedural fairness are adhered to:

  • complaints and appeals are appropriately investigated;
  • decisions are made and communicated in a timely manner;
  • decisions are taken without bias; and
  • decisions are based on evidence.

4.10 Students who lodge a complaint or appeal will have their enrolment maintained while the process is ongoing, unless a student’s health or safety is at risk, or where the student poses a health or safety risk to others.

4.11 Students are entitled to seek an external and/or legal review of a complaint or appeal at any time.

4.12 A student involved in a complaint or appeal has the right to formally present their case. He/she may be assisted or accompanied by a support person during meetings and interviews, but may not have legal representation.

4.13 A student may withdraw their complaint or appeal in writing at any time. The Institution may opt to investigate nevertheless.

4.14 The Institution does not consider anonymous complaints. Any anonymous comments and feedback can be provided through the ICMS App.

5. Roles and responsibilities 

5.1 The Board of Directors is responsible for approving and overseeing the Complaints and Appeals Policy.

5.2 The Executive Management Group (EMG) monitors non-academic complaints and appeals and refers matters for improvement to departments.

5.3 The Learning and Teaching Committee monitors academic related complaints and appeals and reports to Academic Board with recommendations for improvement as required.

5.4 The Executive Management Group may make amendments to the procedures as required.

5.5 The Vice President (Quality Assurance and Accreditation) is responsible for convening the Appeals Committee.

5.6 The Vice President (Student Life) is responsible for maintaining records of student complaints and appeals. The Vice President (Quality Assurance and Accreditation) is responsible for reporting the data to the relevant governance committees on the basis of documentation provided by the Vice President (Student Life).

6.   Related documents

Assessment Policy 

Complaints and Appeals Procedures 

Student Review of Assessment Results Procedures 

 

Approved by the Board of Directors on 14 September 2020 (minor updates approved 8 March 2022).