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Complaints and Appeals Policy
Student Handbook > Student-Non-Academic Policies & Procedures  >  Complaints and Appeals
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1.   Purpose

The Complaints and Appeals Policy ("policy") establishes a framework for managing and resolving complaints and appeals from students on academic and administrative matters. This policy should be read in conjunction with the Complaints and Appeals Procedures.

2.   Scope

This policy applies to all prospective students and currently enrolled students, and to staff administering complaints and appeal requests.

3.   Definitions

Appeal means the formal process whereby a student appeals a decision relating to an academic or administrative matter relating to their status as a student.

Complaint means an expression of a grievance about the Institution or its operations or complaint about a decision that has been made by the Institution. Lodging of complaints is expected to initiate a process, whether formal or informal, to address the grievance or complaint.

External review is a request for the review of a decision taken by the Institution with an external independent body or agency.

Review of an academic matter means the review of an academic outcome such as the final subject grade or assessment mark. Provision for this is provided for in the Assessment Policy and related procedures and is not considered an appeal.  

Institution means the college, institute or school registered as the trading or business name under the legal business entity of International College of Management, Sydney Pty Ltd the trustee for The ICTHM Trust (ABN No 54 174 259 919, CRICOS Provider Code: 01484M, TEQSA Provider ID: PRV12025 & RTO No: 90851).

National Code means the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018.

Student means, for the purpose of this policy, prospective, enrolled and past students who wish to make a complaint.

Working day means any day from Monday to Friday inclusive except when one of those days is a public holiday in New South Wales or a day on which the Institution closes down for a holiday period or between term break.

4.   Policy statements

4.1  Complaints and appeals processes are managed in an equitable manner, easily accessible to all students, fair, timely, and free from cost to students.

4.2  Complaints and appeals will be handled with courtesy, confidentiality and without fear of prejudicial treatment.

4.3  Students have the right to make a complaint or appeal about academic and administrative matters in accordance with this policy and the Complaints and Appeals Procedures (“procedures”).

4.4  The Institution will endeavour to make all prospective students, enrolled students and staff aware of this policy. Students will receive information about the complaints and appeals process prior to admission, during orientation programs, and via the Institution’s website.

4.5  Students are entitled to lodge a complaint about any academic or administrative matter, including (but not limited to):

  • the conduct and performance of staff;
  • services and facilities provided by or managed by the Institution; 
  • conduct and performance of other students;
  • review of a decision made by the Institution;
  • failure to adhere to relevant policies and procedures.

4.6  Students are entitled to lodge an appeal normally in the following circumstances:

  • failure to provide natural justice or procedural fairness;
  • where the decision is inconsistent with requirements and criteria outlined in published policies and procedures;
  • where there are new or different grounds and/or supporting evidence to those already considered by the original decision maker;
  • in accordance with appeal clauses outlined in the Institution’s policies and procedures; 
  • the penalty was not commensurate to the incident; and/or
  • on other reasonable grounds, as determined on a case by case by the Chair of the Appeals Committee, beyond the above.

4.7  Provision to request a review of an academic matter (e.g. final grade for a subject or assessment) is provided in the Student Review of Assessment Results Procedures. Requests of this nature will not be dealt with under this policy unless all avenues within the Student Review of Assessment Results Procedures have been exhausted.

4.8  Students are encouraged to resolve all issues informally and as early as possible as well as at the local level involving as few people as possible. If the matter cannot be resolved informally, students may lodge a complaint in writing in accordance with the procedures.

4.9  Students must act responsibly when deciding to lodge a complaint or appeal. Vexatious or malicious complaints and appeals are examples of non-academic misconduct and will be dealt with in accordance with the General Misconduct Policy and General Misconduct Procedures.

4.10  In most cases, students will need to submit a complaint prior to lodging an appeal. However, students may be permitted to bypass the complaint stage and go direct to the appeal stage at the discretion of the Institution in accordance with paragraph 4.6.

4.11  Complaints and appeals must be made individually and in a timely manner. They must be submitted on the online form (see procedures) within 20 working days of the issue arising (complaint) or upon notification of the original decision (appeal). An extension of this submission timeframe may be granted in exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the Institution. It is in the student’s interest to submit a complaint or appeal well in advance of the 20 working days deadline where possible.

4.12  A complaint lodged by a former student more than six months after completing their studies will not be considered.

4.13  Students must provide full details of a complaint or appeal, the rationale in the case of an appeal and supporting documentation where relevant.

4.14  Students who lodge a complaint or appeal will not suffer any reprisal as a result.

4.15  In considering a complaint or appeal, the Institution will ensure that the following principles of procedural fairness are adhered to:

  • complaints and appeals are appropriately investigated;
  • decisions are made and communicated in a timely manner;
  • decisions are taken without bias; and
  • decisions are based on evidence. 

4.16  The Institution will acknowledge receipt of a complaint or appeal within two working days and will commence the process within 10 working days of receipt. All reasonable measures will be taken to resolve the matter as soon as practicable.

4.17  Students who lodge a complaint or appeal will have their enrolment maintained while the process is ongoing, unless a student’s health or safety is at risk, or where the student poses a health or safety risk to others.

4.18  Students are entitled to seek an external and/or legal review of a complaint or appeal at any time.

4.19  Once the Institution has completed its internal processes the student will be notified in writing of the outcome and its options for external review within 10 working days.

4.20  A student involved in a complaint or appeal has the right to formally present their case. He/she may be assisted or accompanied by a support person during meetings and interviews, but may not have legal representation.

4.21  If an outcome of a complaint or an appeal in the favour of the student, the Institution will immediately implement the decision or recommendation and/or take the preventative or corrective action required by the decision, and notify the student accordingly.

4.22  A student may withdraw their complaint or appeal in writing at any time. The Institution may opt to investigate nevertheless.

5.   Roles and responsibilities

5.1  The Board of Directors is responsible for approving and overseeing the Complaints and Appeals Policy.

5.2  The Quality Audit and Risk Committee will monitor complaints and appeals processes and outcomes and refer any matters for improvement to relevant departments and the following committees as required such as:

  1. reporting academic related complaints and appeals outcomes to the Learning & Teaching Committee (LTC);
  2. reporting non-academic related complaints and appeals outcomes to the Executive Management Group (EMG).

5.3  The Quality Audit and Risk Committee may also make amendments to the procedures as required.

5.4  The Director, Quality Assurance and Accreditation is responsible for convening the Appeals Committee. The Chair of the Appeals Committee will report annually to the Board of Directors via the Quality Audit and Risk Committee in accordance with the Governance Charter.

5.5  The Registrar is responsible for maintaining records of student complaints and appeals.

6.   Related documents

  • Assessment Policy
  • Complaints and Appeals Procedures
  • Student Review of Assessment Results Procedures
  • Student Grievance Handling Policy and Procedures (rescinded)
  • Academic Appeals Policy (rescinded)

 

Approved by the Board of Directors on 18 March 2019.