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Complaints and Appeal Procedure

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INTRODUCTION

Sydney Business & Development Institute as a Nationally Recognised Registered Training Organisation is required under the terms of the VET Quality Framework (VQF) and Standard 6 to provide appropriate transparent mechanisms to acknowledge and deal with complaints and appeals involving:

  • The RTO, its trainers, assessors and/or other staff
  • A breach of training contract
  • A notification of intent to report in PRISMS
  • A third party providing services on the RTO’s behalf, and
  • A Learner of the RTO,

to fairly, efficiently and effectively process and finalise the complaint or appeal.

 
PURPOSE

The purpose of this procedure is to clearly define the process in which informal and formal complaints and appeals are dealt with and recorded.

 
INTENT

It is Sydney Business & Development Institute’s intent to resolve all complaints and appeals in a fair, effective, transparent and efficient manner to ensure a minimum of disruption to the business of Sydney Business & Development Institute and without detriment to the Learner or complainant.

 
RESPONSIBILITY

The Head of Education and Training is responsible for implementation of this policy and procedure, and for ensuring that all staff and third parties providing services on its behalf are fully trained in its operation and Learners and Complainants are made aware of its availability.

 
DEFINITIONS

COMPLAINT

A complaint is an allegation involving the conduct of:

  • The RTO, its trainers, assessors or other staff
  • A third party providing services on the RTO’s behalf, its trainers, assessors or other staff
  • A learner of the RTO

APPEAL

An appeal is a request for the review of a decision in regards to:

  • Assessment decisions made by the RTO or third party providing services on behalf of the RTO
  • A breach of training contract
  • A notification of intent to report in PRISMS
  • Suspension or exclusion from the RTO or third party providing services on behalf of the RTO.
 
LEVEL OF AUTHORITY FOR MANAGING COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS

INFORMAL COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS 

Due to the nature and possible outcomes of informal complaints and appeals, the authority to deal with informal complaints and appeals are:

  • Trainer
  • Trainer or Manager of Third Party providing services on behalf of the RTO.

FORMAL COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS

Due to the nature and possible outcomes, the authority to deal with formal complaints and appeals are:

  • Head of Education and Training
  • General Manager (stage two)

Due to the possible outcomes from formal complaints and the impact on the business of Sydney Business & Development Institute, third parties delivering services on behalf of the RTO are not permitted to investigate formal complaints or appeals in which they, their trainers, assessors or other staff are the subject of.

The Head of Education and Training of Sydney Business & Development Institute undertakes the role of Internal Reviewer in the formal complaints and appeals process.

INFORMAL PROCEDURE

It is anticipated that informal procedures will involve a minimum of time to be resolved due to the uncomplicated nature of the complaint of appeal. As such these uncomplicated matters will be managed by the Trainer (Sydney Business & Development Institute), Trainer or Training Manager or Third Party providing services on behalf of the RTO

This process will involve the person receiving the informal complaint or appeal making all efforts to address the concerns of a Learner or complainant through an informal exchange of information, with a view to clarifying and understanding the nature of the complaint and attempting to resolve the issues presented.

Notes of this informal discussion and the outcome are to be made and a copy stored in the Learners file.

In cases whereby the Trainer, Training Manager or Third Party providing services on behalf of the RTO are unable to resolve the complaint or appeal, the Learner or complainant is to be advised to avail themselves of the formal procedure and the need to make the complaint or appeal in writing to the Head of Education and Training Sydney Business & Development Institute.

At this point the Trainer, Training Manager or Third Party providing services on behalf of the RTO are excused from the complaint or appeal process.

 
FORMAL PROCEDURE

General principles applying to all stages of this formal procedure which will be adhered to by Sydney Business & Development Institute are:

  • The Complainant and Respondent will have an opportunity to present their case at each stage of the procedure.
  • The Complainant and Respondent have the option of being accompanied or assisted by a third party (such as a family member, friend or counsellor) if they so desire
  • The Complainant and the Respondent will not be discriminated against or victimised
  • At all stages of the process, discussions relating to complaints and appeals will be recorded in writing. Reasons and a full explanation in writing for the decisions and actions taken as part of this procedure will be provided to the Complainant and/or Respondent.
  • Records of all complaints and appeals will be kept for a period of 5 years. These records will be kept strictly confidential and stored in secure storage.
  • A Complainant shall have access to this complaints and appeals process at no cost during the time of the complaint resolution process, but a minimal fee will be applied for access to records in storage after the process has completed.
 
STAGE ONE

Formal complaints and appeals will be submitted in writing to the Head of Education and Training, Sydney Business & Development Institute on the approved form and will be placed in the Learner file located S:\NVR Standards 2015\Standard 6 – Fair complaints handling.

The responsible officer, being the Head of Education and Training, will then assess the complaint or appeal, investigate, determine the outcome and advise the Learner or complainant in writing of their decision within 10 working days, including their right to access Stage Two of this procedure if they are not satisfied with the outcome of Stage One.

All documentation relating to the complaint or appeal including notes of the investigation are to be placed in the Learner file located S:\NVR Standards 2015\Standard 6 – Fair complaints handling and forwarded to the Head of Education and Training for Review.

A copy of the final determination and original written complaint or appeal is to be placed in the Learners file with recommendations for corrective action or improvement in service forwarded to the General Manager for action.

 
STAGE TWO

If the Complainant is not satisfied with Stage One outcomes, they may lodge an appeal in writing to the General Manager Sydney Business & Development Institute.

The complaint or appeal will then be determined by the General Manager, Sydney Business & Development Institute (the Reviewer) The Reviewer will conduct all necessary consultations with the Complainant, Respondent and any other relevant persons and make a determination of the appeal.

The Complainant will be advised in writing of the outcome of their appeal, including the reasons for the decision, within 15 working days and advised of their right to access Stage Three of this procedure if they are not satisfied with the outcome of Stage Two.

All documentation relating to the complaint or appeal including notes of the investigation and review process are to be placed in the Learners file located S:\NVR Standards 2015\Standard 6 – Fair complaints handling and uploaded to the Student Management System

A copy of the final determination and original written complaint or appeal is to be placed in the Learners file with recommendations for corrective action or improvement in service forwarded to the General Manager for action.

 
STAGE THREE

If the Learner or Complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of Stage Two they must advise in writing that they are not satisfied with outcome of Stage Two and that they are escalating the matter to either:

  • ASQA – Australian Skills Quality Authority, or
  • Seeking independent mediation at their own expense through a mediation service.
 
NON COMPLYING COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS

Any complaint or appeal containing threats of violence or clearly identified breach of Australian Laws shall be deemed non-complying and will not be considered under the terms of this procedure. Further such threats or breach of Australian Law shall be reported to the most appropriate law enforcement agency.

 
TIMEFRAME FOR COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS

All written complaints and appeals including reviews are to be finalised within 30 days of the date of complaint or appeal received.