Complaints And Appeals Policy And Procedure
This policy outlines Oscar Academy’s approach to managing complaints and appeals and ensures that all students are aware of the steps to take to have their dissatisfaction addressed appropriately. It provides an avenue for all complaints to be addressed in a fair, efficient and confidential manner.
This policy applies to all students.
This policy is implemented to make all students aware of their rights to appeal and/or make a complaint against any decision or fact that has affected their study experience at Oscar Academy.
Oscar Academy’s complaints and appeals policy aim to ensure the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness are adopted at every stage of the complaint and appeal process.
Should students disagree with a decision made or service offered by Oscar Academy, they can access the Complaints and Appeals policy and procedure. Oscar Academy is committed to developing and maintaining an effective, timely, fair and equitable complaints and appeals system which is easily accessible and offered to students at no charge.
- A complaint: refers to an incident that a student feels is not correct – this could be a service provided by the Oscar Academy, the behaviour of a student or member of staff or any other issue that the student does not believe has been adequately addressed. This may include but is not limited to operational, racial or sexual discrimination, unfair treatment, physical or verbal abuse, refusal of admission, non-payment of fees, and incorrect advice was given prior to enrolment.
- Non-Academic Appeal (Internal Appeal): refers to an appeal against any other decision made by Oscar Academy, usually against the determination of a complaint.
- Academic Appeal (Internal Appeal): Refers to students appealing an academic matter, which may include and is not restricted to course progress, assessment outcomes, training delivery, etc.
- External Appeal: This refers to the matter being referred to an external body for mediation.
Student Legal rights
Nothing in this or any other policy removes the student’s right to get legal advice and to instigate legal action against Oscar Academy or others if they so choose.
If you have been suspended or excluded
It is normal policy whilst a student is going through any formal complaint or appeal process that the student remains enrolled at Oscar Academy and continue their studies and assessments in the normal way. However, if the complaint or appeal relates to the student being suspended or excluded as a result of a breach of the Student Code of Conduct, then that suspension or exclusion shall continue until either it has expired or the result of the complaint or appeal is decided in the student’s favor.
Process and Procedure
Oscar Academy strives to provide a quality service in a safe and secure environment. In the first instance, it is better (subject to the circumstances) for the issue to be resolved at the time in a discussion with the relevant parties. Where this is not possible, or there is no resolution then this formal process is in place to expedite the resolution of the complaint or appeal.
The steps (in order of escalation) are:
- Informal Complaint
- Formal Complaint (internal)
- Formal Appeal (internal) (academic or against a complaint decision)
- External Appeal (internal process did not resolute in a fair and just decision)
Students are advised that they should exhaust the internal process before resorting to an external appeal.
Oscar Academy will make every effort to reach a determination and communicate it to the student as soon as possible and anyway within 60 days of the formal complaint/appeal being received. Where there are circumstances that prevent this, Oscar Academy will notify the student of this fact and give reasons why; together with a planned date of completion.
Whilst this is not a formal step in the process, students are encouraged to resolve the concern or difficulty directly with the staff member(s) and/or student(s) concerned. Any parties who have a complaint in the first instance are encouraged to approach the respondent with the object of informal resolution. However, it is recognized that this is not always appropriate, e.g. in cases of sexual harassment. If the complaint is not able to be resolved at this stage, the individual with the complaint has the right to consult, in confidence, any one of the following persons.
- Training Manager
- Student Service/Administration Manager
The student involved in an Informal resolution of a complaint will try to resolve the matter via discussion, negotiation and agreements. This is not a compulsory step.
If the complaint is not able to be resolved informally, then the student should lodge a formal complaint
Where a complaint cannot be resolved informally, the student may submit a formal complaint to the Student Administration by submitting a completed Complaints and Appeals Form that will include a description of the matter, who is involved in it, and any other appropriate info. The receipt of the complaint will be acknowledged in writing either by letter or via email to the addresses last registered by the student with the Oscar Academy.
The Training Manager or Student Support/Administration Manager will review the complaint. If the review is not favored to the complainant, a meeting will be arranged to consist of Student Administration Manager or Training Manager and a staff member to facilitate determination of a resolution within 14 days of receipt of the complaint. Where this is not achievable an update will be sent to the complainant with reasons for the delay and planned timetable for resolution. The student may be accompanied and assisted by a support person at any relevant meetings. The information provided by the student will be taken into account along with any other information or evidence received.
Once a determination has been made, the student will be given a written statement of the outcomes, including reasons for the decision within 3 working days of the decision being made. If the student is not happy with the decision, he/she will be given the opportunity to appeal against the decision within 7 working days of the receipt.
Student should appeal against the decision they believe is not fair within 7 days of either:
- A compliant written determination being received; or
- An academic decision being made that a student does not agree with.
To lodge an appeal the student must complete an ‘Appeal Form’ stating as to why the original decision was in their view, ‘unjust’ to the student service/administration.
The Student Service /Administration Manager or Training Manager will forward the ‘Appeal Form’ to the CEO, who will undertake a review, and may at his/her discretion call for input from any, or all interested parties. If the CEO’s review is not favored to the appellant, a meeting will be arranged to consist of CEO, Training Manager, Student Administration Manager, a staff member, and the complainant to facilitate determination of a resolution within 14 days of receipt of the appeal. Where this is not achievable an update must be sent to the appellant with reasons for the delay and planned a timetable for resolution. The appellant may elect to bring a third party to help them present their case as to why they believe the original decision was unjust.
Once a determination has been made the student will be given a written statement of the outcomes, including reasons for the decision within 3 working days of the decision being made. If the student is not happy with the decision he/she will be given the opportunity to lodge an external appeal against the decision within 7 days of the receipt.
In the unlikely event of a student still being dissatisfied with the internal outcome then they may lodge a complaint with an external agency (e.g. National Training Complaints Hotline).
Oscar Academy will securely maintain records of all complaints and appeals and their outcomes in line with the Records Management Policy.
Oscar Academy will use the results of all complaints and appeals as inputs into its continuous improvement process to:
- Identify potential causes of complaints and appeals and takes appropriate corrective action to eliminate or mitigate the likelihood of reoccurrence.
- Review against other complaints and appeals (if any) in an effort to identify underlying systemic issues and if identified put together an improvement plan.
Roles and Responsibilities
Training Manager and/or Student Service/Administration Manager is responsible.
- Complaints and Appeal form
- Student Handbook