View Document

Student and Student-Related Complaints Policy

This is the current version of this document. You can provide feedback on this policy to the document author - refer to the Status and Details on the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This policy provides a framework for current, former and prospective students to seek resolution of complaints relating to aspects of their experience or engagement with RMIT.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Overview

(2) The objective of this policy is to:

  1. establish a transparent student and student-related complaint handling system
  2. ensure staff handle student and student-related complaints fairly and objectively
  3. ensure a consistent, coordinated and supportive approach that prioritises fair and timely complaint resolution across RMIT, without reprisal.
Top of Page

Section 3 - Scope

(3) This policy provides the framework for current, former and prospective students to seek resolution of complaints relating to:

  1. administrative processes or decisions of an RMIT Group institution, or
  2. actions by staff, students, contractors and affiliates of an RMIT Group Institution.

(4) This policy does not apply to:

  1. any decision made under another policy or associated procedure which provides an appeal, review or alternative complaint mechanism; where such mechanisms exist, complaints lodged under this policy can only be made regarding the process that was followed, and not the final decision
  2. decisions by RMIT University Council, Academic Board or external organisation.
Top of Page

Section 4 - Policy

Principles for Complaint Resolution

(5) RMIT is committed to:

  1. maintaining a culture that promotes student wellbeing by valuing and supporting an individual’s right to complain
  2. a non-adversarial and conciliatory approach to complaint resolution
  3. responding promptly, equitably and with sensitivity to complaints
  4. ensuring no party to a complaint will be unfairly disadvantaged or face discrimination or reprisal by engaging in good faith with the complaints process
  5. providing transparent processes and accuracy of records
  6. promptly disclosing any actual or potential conflict of interest by all parties
  7. reporting allegations of misconduct by staff or students to external authorities such as the police or another government agency where appropriate, and
  8. acting on, learning from and using feedback and complaint data to identify problems, improve services, and address underlying causes and trends to prevent reoccurrence.

(6) Complaints will be:

  1. considered in accordance with the procedure applicable under this policy
  2. assessed and managed in a professional, fair and transparent manner in accordance with the principles of procedural fairness                                   
  3. managed with a focus on resolution, with all parties to a complaint expected to act in good faith and show respect for each other
  4. handled in accordance with the RMIT Privacy Statement, privacy laws and other relevant legislation
  5. assessed on their merits, based on evidence relevant to the complaint and any mitigating circumstances.

Support for Complainants and Respondents

(7) RMIT is committed to:

  1. the provision of a no-cost complaint resolution process
  2. providing access to independent advice, advocacy and other supports where required and applicable  
  3. ensuring the safety and welfare of all parties to a complaint by acting to remove or isolate students or staff from the campus or workspace during an investigation where there are concerns about safety
  4. balancing the right to confidentiality against the principles of procedural fairness by not unnecessarily disclosing the identity of the complainant or witnesses to the respondent where this may constitute a risk to safety.

Complaint Outcome and Review

(8) RMIT will:   

  1. provide detailed and timely determinations in writing
  2. act promptly to implement outcome and review decisions
  3. be accountable internally and externally for its decision making and complaint handling performance
  4. notify complainants of their right to seek an independent and impartial review of decisions
  5. ensure that reviews are conducted by a case manager who has not had any involvement with the original complaint and investigation
  6. retain records in accordance with the Privacy Policy and Information Governance Policy.

Responsibilities

(9) The Academic Registrar is responsible for:

  1. the review and approval of this policy, Student and Student-Related Complaints Procedure and supporting documents
  2. monitoring high risk student and student-related complaints
  3. addressing unreasonable conduct by complainants, witnesses and respondents
  4. authorising notifications to external authorities, including mandatory reporting
  5. reporting of trend and complaint analysis
  6. monitoring compliance with this policy
  7. identifying opportunities for continuous improvement.

(10) The Chief Executive Officer, RMIT Training is responsible for the review and approval of the RMIT Training Student Complaints Resolution Procedure for RMIT English Worldwide.

(11) ARG Complaints and RMIT Training are responsible for:

  1. providing processes that enable a consistent, coordinated and supportive approach to student and student-related complaint investigation and resolution
  2. student and student-related complaint case management, notification of outcomes, records and outcome reviews.

(12) Staff are responsible for:

  1. providing ARG Complaints case managers and RMIT Training with local information in a complete and timely way to support resolution of student and student-related complaints
  2. immediate implementation of a required complaint outcome or review determination.

(13) All parties to a student or student-related complaint must abide by the expectations under this policy, the Student Charter, Statement of Student Responsibilities, and the Code of Conduct.

Compliance

(14) Breaches of this policy by a staff member will be managed in accordance with the Code of Conduct.

(15) Breaches of this policy by a student (including any malicious or vexatious complaints) will be managed in accordance with the Student Conduct Policy.

Review

(16) This policy will be reviewed at least once every three years in accordance with the Policy Governance Framework.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Schedules

(17) This policy includes the following schedule(s):

  1. Schedule 1 – Complaints Frameworks
Top of Page

Section 6 - Procedures and Resources

(18) Refer to the following documents which are established in accordance with this policy:

  1. Student and Student-Related Complaints Procedure
  2. RMIT Training Student Complaints Resolution Procedure
Top of Page

Section 7 - Definitions

Advocate Provides information and advice to a complainant or respondent and speaks on their behalf.
Affiliates Contractors, agents, work integrated learning (WIL) providers and partners providing services on behalf of the RMIT Group.
Complainant The party submitting a complaint.  For the purposes of this policy, a complainant is a student (current, former or prospective).
Complaint Advising dissatisfaction with: a decision, action or failure to act a delay in providing a service or taking action the behaviour of an employee, student or affiliate of the University.
Feedback, concern or enquiry An evaluation, comment or request for information about an action, process or service provided.
Respondent A party about whom a complaint is made.
Support person Provides wellbeing support to a complainant or respondent and may assist with interpretation, writing down planned actions and suggesting breaks during meetings.