Complaints and Appeals Policy & Procedure
This policy/procedure supports the RTO to provide a process for complaints and appeals to be heard and actioned. This includes any allegations involving the conduct of
– the RTO, its trainers, assessors or other staff;
– a third party providing services on the RTOs behalf, its trainers, assessors or other staff; or
– a learner of the RTO
All complaints and appeals received by Global Fitness Institute (GFI) will be viewed as an opportunity for improvement.
Despite all efforts of Global Fitness Institute to provide satisfactory services to its students and clients, complaints may occasionally arise that require formal resolution. The following procedures provide students and clients the opportunity to have any issues relating to a substantiated complaint or appeal resolved and resolutions reached that attempt to satisfy all parties involved. This complaints and appeals process will be at no cost to the student or client (unless referred to a third party; see procedure for more details).
The complaints and appeals policy and procedure and applicable form is made available to all students, potential students, and clients by directly contacting the RTO, through the RTO’s website, and within the student information handbook.
2.1 General Complaints
Where possible all non-formal attempts shall be made to resolve the issue. This may include advice, discussions, and general mediation in relation to the issue and the complainant’s issue. Any staff member can be involved in this informal process to resolve issues but once a complainant has placed a formal complaint / appeal the following procedures must be followed:
• Any student, potential student, or third party may submit a formal complaint to Global Fitness Institute with the reasonable expectation that all complaints will be treated with integrity and privacy. There is no cost for accessing the internal complaints and appeals process.
• Complainants have the right to access advice and support from independent external agencies / persons at any point of the complaint and appeals process. Use of external services will be at the complainant’s costs unless authorised by the CEO.
• Any person wishing to submit a formal complaint or appeal can do so by completing the ‘Complaints and Appeals Form’ and state their case providing as many details as possible. This form can be gained by contacting Student Administration at the RTO, or through the RTO website.
• All formally submitted complaints or appeals are submitted to the Administration Manager or directly to the Training Manager. Complaints are to include the following information:
– Submission date of complaint
– Name of complainant;
– Nature of complaint ;
– Date of the event which lead to the complaint
– Attachments (if applicable)
• Once a formal complaint is received it is to be entered into the ‘Complaints and Appeals Register’ which is monitored by the Training Manager regularly. The information to be contained and updated within the register is as follows:
– Submission date of complaint
– Name of complainant
– Description of complaint / appeal
– Determined Resolution
– Date of Resolution
• A complainant may be assisted or accompanied by a support person regardless of the nature of the issue or complaint throughout the process at all times.
• The Training Manager shall then refer the matter to the appropriate staff to resolve, or make a decision on the complaint within 10 working days and keep the complainant informed of any decisions or outcomes concluded, or processes in place to deal with the complaint. In the unlikely event that the complaint is not finalised within 60 calendar days, the RTO shall ensure that the complainant shall be provided reasons for the delay, and will be regularly kept informed and updated of the progress of the matter.
• Once a decision has been reached the Training Manager shall be required to inform all parties involved of any decisions or outcomes that are concluded in writing. Within the notification of the outcome of the formal complaint the complainant shall also be notified that they have the right of appeal. To appeal a decision the RTO must receive, in writing, grounds of the appeal. Complainants are referred to the appeals procedure.
• The Training Manager shall ensure that the RTO will act immediately on any substantiated complaint. If the internal or any external complaint handling or appeal process results in a decision that supports the complainant, the registered provider must immediately implement any decision and/or corrective and preventative action that is required, and advise the complainant of the outcome.
• Copies of all documentation, outcomes and further action required will be placed into the ‘Complaints and Appeals Register’ by the Administration Manager and on the students file / complainants file.
2.2 Appealing a Decision
All complainants have the right to appeal decisions made by Global Fitness Institute where reasonable grounds can be established. The areas in which a complainant may appeal a decision made by Global Fitness Institute may include:
– Assessments conducted
– Deferral, suspension, or cancellation decisions made in relation to the student’s enrolment
– Or any other conclusion / decision that is made after a complaint has been dealt with by Global Fitness Institute in the first instance.
• To activate the appeals process the complainant is to complete a ‘Complaints and Appeals Form’ which is to include a summary of the grounds the appeal is based upon. The reason the complainant feels the decision is unfair is to be clearly explained and help and support with this process can be gained from Administration Department.
• The Training Manager shall then determine the validity of the appeal and organise a meeting with all parties involved in the matter and attempt to seek resolution where appropriate.
• The process for all formally lodged appeals will begin within 10 working days of the appeal being lodged.
• The Training Manager shall ensure that Global Fitness Institute acts on any substantiated appeal.
• Where an appeal has been lodged it will be defined into one of the following categories and the appropriate procedures followed:
– Where a complainant has appealed a decision or outcome of a formal complaint they are required to notify Global Fitness Institute in writing within 20 working days of the grounds of their appeal. Any supporting documentation should also be attached to the appeal.
– The appeal shall be lodged through the Administration Manager and they shall ensure the details of the appeal are added to the ‘Complaints and Appeals Register’.
– The Training Manager shall be notified and shall seek details regarding the initial documentation of the complaint and shall make a decision based on the grounds of the appeal.
– The complainant shall be notified in writing of the outcome with reasons for the decisions, and the ‘Complaints and Appeals Register’ updated. The complainant shall also be provided the option of activating the external appeals process if they are not satisfied with the outcome. The complainant is required to notify Global Fitness Institute if they wish to proceed with the external appeals process.
– Where a student wishes to appeal an assessment they are required to notify their Trainer & Assessor in the first instance. Where appropriate the Trainer & Assessor may decide to re-assess the student to ensure a fair and equitable decision is gained. The Trainer & Assessor shall complete a written report regarding the re-assessment outlining the reasons why assessment was or was not granted.
– If this is still not to the student’s satisfaction, the student shall formally lodge an appeal by submitting a written letter outlining their reasons for the appeal. They shall lodge this with student administrations department and the appeal shall be entered into the ‘Complaints and Appeals Register.’
– The Training Manager shall be notified and shall seek details from the Trainer & Assessor involved and any other relevant parties. A decision shall be made regarding the appeal either indicating the assessment decision stands or details of a possible re-assessment by a ‘third party’. The third party shall be another Trainer & Assessor appointed by Global Fitness Institute.
– The student shall be notified in writing of the outcome with reasons for the decision, and the ‘Complaints and Appeals Register’ updated. The student shall also be provided the option of activating the external appeals process if they are not satisfied with the outcome. The student is required to notify Global Fitness Institute if they wish to proceed with the external appeals process
2.3 External Appeals and Further Information:
In addition to the above internal processes, if students enrolled with Global Fitness Institute are still dissatisfied with the decision of the RTO, they may wish to seek legal advice or submit an application with an external dispute resolution process by a relevant body appointed for this purpose (See below for contact details).
Where the RTO is informed that the student has accessed external appeals processes:
• The RTO will maintain a student’s enrolment until the external appeal process is finalised.
• The RTO will comply with the findings of the external appeals process.
• Where a decision or outcome is in favour of the complainant Global Fitness Institute shall follow the required action and recommendation from the relevant external appeals organisation to satisfy the student’s grievance as soon as practicable.
The decision of the independent mediator is final and any further action the student wishes to take is outside the RTO’s policies and procedures. The student shall be referred to the appropriate government agencies and this information can be gained from the CEO.
• All records and correspondence in relation to an external appeal shall be maintained with the initial complaint and internal appeal documentation within the ‘complaints and appeals register’ and the student file for a minimum of 5 years.
Victorian Based Students:
The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (DSCV) is a free dispute resolution and mediation service funded by the Victorian Government and may be able to assist resolve any outstanding complaint or issue with the complaint handling process. Further details and office locations for this service are available from http://www.disputes.vic.gov.au/
Tasmanian Based students
The Hobart Community Legal Service provides the general community with free legal advice and referral to Legal Aid, other private practitioners and other community resources. The service also conducts legal education programs and works for law reform in areas affecting the general community. Further details and office locations for this service are available from http://www.hobartlegal.org.au
If, after the RTO’s internal complaints and appeals processes have been completed, you still believe the RTO is breaching or has breached its legal requirements, you can submit a complaint to ASQA by completing the online complaint form: https://rms.asqa.gov.au/registration/newcomplaint.aspx
(ASQA website: www.asqa.gov.au )
Except in exceptional circumstances, you must attach evidence to your complaint form showing:
• that you have followed your RTO’s formal complaints procedure, and
• the RTO’s response.
ASQA’s processes require you to identify yourself to ASQA as a complainant, although you may request that your identity is kept confidential throughout any investigation that ASQA undertakes.