- Ensure the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness are adopted at every stage of the complaint and appeal process
- Are publicly available
- Set out the procedure for making a complaint or requesting an appeal
- Ensure complaints and requests for an appeal are acknowledged in writing and finalised as soon as practicable
- Provide for review by an appropriate party independent of the RTO and the complainant or appellant, at the request of the individual making the complaint or appeal, if the processes fail to resolve the complaint or appeal
Nature of complaints and appeals
- Stark Institute responds to all allegations involving the conduct of :
- The RTO, its trainers, assessors and other staff
- Any third-party providing services on behalf of Stark Institute
- Any student of Stark Institute
- Complaints may be made in relation to any of Stark Institute. 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
- An appeal is a request for a decision made by Stark Institute to be reviewed. Decisions may have been about:
- Course admissions
- Refund assessments
- Response to a complaint
- Assessment outcomes / results
- Other general decisions made by Stark Institute
Principles of resolution
- Stark Institute 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, Stark Institute 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.
- Stark Institute 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.
- Nothing in this policy and procedure limits the rights of an individual to act under Australia’s Consumer Protection laws and it does not circumscribe an individual’s rights to pursue other legal remedies.
- Where a student chooses to access this policy and procedure, Stark Institute will maintain the student’s enrolment while the complaints/appeals handling process is ongoing.
Timeframes for resolution
Complaints and appeals will be finalised as soon as practicable or at least within 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 that the matter is resolved.
Where the RTO considers more than 60 calendar days are required to process and finalise the complaint or appeal, the RTO:
- Informs the complainant or appellant in writing, including reasons why more than 60 calendar days are required
- Regularly updates the complainant or appellant on the progress of the matter.
Records of complaints and appeals
Stark Institute 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 Procedures.
Making a complaint or appeal
- Complaints about a particular incident and/or an appeals must be made within thirty (30) calendar days of the original decision being made.
- Complaints and appeals must be made in writing using the Complaints and Appeals Form, or other written format and sent to Stark Institute to attention to the Chief Executive Officer.
- When making a complaint or appeal, provide as much information as possible to enable Stark Institute 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 via email or post within 7 days.
Resolution of complaints and appeals
- The management team of Stark Institute will be involved in resolving complaints and appeals as outlined in the procedures.
- Where a complaint or appeal involves another individual or organisation, they will be given the opportunity to respond to any allegations made.
- Where a third-party delivering Services on behalf of the RTO is involved, they will be included in the process of resolving the complaint or appeal.
- In the case of an assessment appeal, an assessor who is independent from the original decision will assess the original task again. The outcome of this assessment will be the result granted for the assessment task.
- Stark Institute 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 is negotiated and agreed to by Stark Institute.
- Stark Institute may also appoint the independent party to be involved in the resolution of a complaint or appeal where it is deemed necessary. Where Stark Institute initiates a third-party, it will cover all costs.
- Stark Institute will provide complete cooperation with the external mediator investigating the complaint/appeal and will be bound by the recommendations arising out of this process.
- 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:
- Phone: 13 38 73, Monday–Friday, 8am to 6pm nationally.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- For more information about the National Complaints Hotline, refer to the following webpage: www.industry.gov.au
- Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA):
- Complainants may also complain to Stark Institute’s RTO’s registering body: Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).
- However, ASQA will only use the information you provide to inform its regulatory approach and will not contact Stark Institute on behalf of the complainant or act as their advocate. For more information, refer to the following webpage: www.asqa.gov.au
This procedure will be published in the Student Handbook and on Stark Institute’s website.