Key Policies and Procedures
Complaints and Appeals Policy and Procedure
ACADEMIC Complaints & Appeals relate to student academic progress, assessment, subject/unit content or academic/attendance records, etc in a program or course of study.
NON-ACADEMIC Complaints and Appeals relate to those of a non-academic or personal nature, and could refer to such issues as tuition fees, health insurance, visa processing, accommodation etc.
A complaint is negative feedback about services or staff which has not been resolved locally. A complaint may be received by SCBIT in any form and does not need to be formally documented by the complainant in order to be acted on. Complaints may be made by any person but are generally made by students and/or employers. An appeal is an application by a student for reconsideration of an unfavourable decision made by SCBIT. An appeal must specify the particulars of the decision or finding in dispute. Appeals must be submitted to SCBIT within seven calendar days of the student being informed of the decision or finding.
BEFORE AN ISSUE BECOMES A FORMAL COMPLAINT/APPEAL
Where a query or complaint is of a simple or straightforward nature, the student may raise it with the relevant officer(s) or trainer to seek its effective resolution. Examples could include misunderstandings or confusion about whether fees have been paid, correct enrolment information supplied and recorded, assignments handed in etc.
LODGING A FORMAL COMPLAINT & APPEAL
Where a complaint cannot be satisfactorily resolved by informal means, or is of a sensitive, complex or serious nature, the College’s formal Complaints & Appeals procedures may be accessed.
These involve lodging a written complaint, using the College’s complaints/appeal form, with supporting information and documentation wherever possible.
• Complaints/Appeal of an academic nature should be addressed to the PRINCIPAL/ACADEMIC MANAGER. However, he can consult with the Principal on this matter
• Complaints/Appeal of a non-academic/personal nature should be addressed to the PRINCIPAL
If needed, College staff will assist students to direct a grievance in the appropriate manner. If deemed necessary, an appointment can be made for the student to meet with either the Academic Manager or Principal.
SCBIT applies the following principles to its complaints and appeals handling:
- A complaint or appeal may be received in any form (written, verbal) although persons seeking to make a complaint are recommended to complete the complaint form or request for an appeal of a decision which are available on the SCBIT website.
- A person who makes a complaint or an appeal must be provided a written acknowledgement as soon as possible and not later than 24 hours from the time the complaint or the appeal is received. This acknowledgement is intended to provide the person assurance that SCBIT had received the complaint or the appeal and will review the relevant issues and provide a response. The acknowledgement must inform the person that they will receive a written response within 14 calendar days.
- There is no time limitation on a person who is seeking to make a complaint. An appeal however must be made within seven calendar days of the person being informed of the decision or finding of which they intend to appeal (only for intention to report to DIBP letters, the appeal period is 20 days).
- Written records of all complaints / appeals are to be kept by SCBIT including all details of lodgement, response and resolution. SCBIT will maintain complaints / appeals register to be used to record the details of the complaint / appeal and to maintain a chronological journal of events during the handling process. Records relating to complaint / appeal handling are stored securely to prevent access to unauthorised personnel.
- A person making a complaint or seeking an appeal is to be provided an opportunity to formally present his or her case at no cost.
- Each person may be accompanied and/or assisted by a support person at any relevant meeting.
- Where a complaint or appeal is made about or involves allegations about another person, SCBIT is obliged to inform this person about this complaint/appeal or allegation and provide them the opportunity to respond and present information in response to the issues raised. This may be achieved through direct meetings or meeting via an electronic means. SCBIT will maintain a detailed record of these meetings in the form of a record of conversation. At all times information must be handled sensitively and treated in confidence. Persons involved in a dispute or complaint should be reminded to treat each other with respect and conduct themselves in a professional and courteous manner.
- The handling of a complaint / appeal is to commence within seven working days of the lodgement of the complaint / appeal and all reasonable measures are taken to finalise the process as soon as practicable.
- The person making a complaint or seeking an appeal is to be provided a written response to the complaint / appeal, including details of the reasons for the outcome. A written response must be provided to the person within 14 calendar days of the lodgement of the complaint / appeal.
- The Principal/Academic Manager will first consider all of the complaints and appeals. If student is not satisfied with his decisions, then the student can go for the Director.
- Complaints / appeals must be resolved to a final outcome within 60 calendar days of the complaint / appeal being initially received. Where SCBIT considers that more than 60 calendar days are required to process and finalise the complaint / appeal, the Principal/Academic Manager must inform the person making a complaint or seeking an appeal in writing, including reasons why more than 60 calendar days are required. As a benchmark, SCBIT will attempt to resolve complaints / appeals as soon as possible. A timeframe to resolve a complaint / appeal within 30 calendar days is considered acceptable and in the best interest of SCBIT and the person making a complaint or seeking an appeal. A person making a complaint or seeking an appeal should also be provided with regular updates to inform them of the progress of the complaint / appeal handling. Updates should be provided to the person making a complaint or seeking an appeal at a minimum of two weekly intervals.
- SCBIT shall maintain the enrolment of the person making a complaint or seeking an appeal during the handling process.
- Decisions or outcomes of the complaint / appeal handling process that find in the favour of the person making a complaint or seeking an appeal shall be implemented immediately.
- Complaints / appeals are to be handled in the strictest of confidence. No SCBIT representative will disclose information to any person without the permission of SCBIT Principal/Academic Manager. A decision to release information to third parties can only to be made after the person making a complaint or seeking an appeal has given permission for this to occur.
- Complaints / appeals are to be considered and handled to ensure the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness are applied at every stage of the handling process. This means that the person making a complaint or seeking an appeal is entitled to be heard with access to all relevant information and with the right of reply. The person making a complaint or seeking an appeal is entitled to have their complaint heard by a person that is without bias and may not be affected by the decision. Finally, the decision must be made based on logical evidence and the decision-maker must take account of relevant considerations, must act for a proper purpose and must not take into account irrelevant considerations.
- Further guidance on principles of natural justice and procedural fairness can be accessed at the following link: Principles of Natural Justice and Procedural Fairness
Informing Persons and Responding to Allegations
Where a complaint involves one person making allegations about another person, it is a requirement for SCBIT to hear both sides of the matter before making any judgements about how the complaint should be settled. A person who will be affected by a decision made by SCBIT as a result of a complaint has the right to be fully informed of any allegations and to be provided adequate opportunity to be heard and respond. The person has the right to:
- put forward arguments in their favour,
- show cause why a proposed action should not be taken,
- deny allegations,
- call for evidence to disprove allegations and claims,
- explain allegations or present an innocent explanation, and
- provide mitigating circumstances (information aimed at reducing the severity, seriousness, of something).
SCBIT also has an obligation to fully consider the substance of allegations and the response provided by parties before making a decision. Decisions must be communicated to the complainant and relevant persons subject of allegations in writing. This is to include advising these persons of their right to seek a third party review of decisions made by SCBIT.
Where an allegation is made that involve alleged criminal or illegal activity and it is considered outside the scope and expertise of SCBIT to investigate the matter, then in these circumstances SCBIT reserve the right to report these allegations to law enforcement authorities. Persons related to the matter involving alleged criminal or illegal activity will be advised in writing if this course of action is being taken.
Review by an independent person
SCBIT provides the opportunity for the person making a complaint or seeking an appeal who is not satisfied with the outcomes of the complaints and appeals handling process to seek a review by an independent person. Before a person seeks a review by an independent person, they are requested to first allow SCBIT to full consider the nature of the complaint or appeal and to fully respond to the person in writing. If after this has occurred, the person is not satisfied with the outcome, they can then seek a review by an independent person. To request a review by an independent person, the complainant or the person making an appeal should inform the Student Service Officer of their request who will initiate the process with the Director.
In these circumstances the SCBIT Director will advise of an appropriate party independent of SCBIT to review the complaint (and its subsequent handling) and provide advice to SCBIT in regards to the recommended outcomes. The independent third-party is required to respond with their recommendations within 14 working days of their review being requested.
Where the SCBIT appoints or engages an appropriate independent person to review a complaint / appeal, the SCBIT will meet the full cost to facilitate the independent review. Where the person making a complaint or seeking an appeal objects to this appointment and requests to engage a person or organisation they nominate to undertake the review, the SCBIT may seek the person making a complaint or seeking an appeal to contribute to the cost of engaging this person and undertaking the review.
Following an independent review, advice received from the independent person is to be accepted by SCBIT as final, advised to the person making a complaint or seeking an appeal in writing and implemented without prejudice.
Where a complaint is received by SCBIT and the Director feels that they may be bias or there is a perception of bias, then the complaint is to be referred directly to an independent third-party for consideration and response as outlined above.
Example of an independent party is
Level 1 and 2
13-15 Bridge Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: +61 2 9251 3366
Freecall: 1800 651 650
Unresolved Complaints and Appeals
Where the person making a complaint or seeking an appeal is not satisfied with the handling of the matter by SCBIT, they have the opportunity for a body that is external to SCBIT to review his or her complaint or appeal following the internal completion of complaint or appeals process.
Students who are not satisfied with the process applied by SCBIT may refer their grievance to the following external agencies:
- In relation to consumer protection issues, these may be referred to the Office of Fair Trading.
- In relation to the delivery of training and assessment services, these may be referred to the National Training Complaints Service via the following phone number: 13 38 73.
- In relation to any educational issue, Australian Skills Quality Authority: https://www.asqa.gov.au/complaints/complaints.html
Overseas students can also communicate The Overseas Students Ombudsman who:
o investigates complaints about problems that overseas students have with private education and training in Australia
o provides information about best practice complaints handling to help private education providers manage internal complaints effectively
o considers, free of charge, external appeals under Standard 8 of the National Code of Practice for Registered Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students
o Please find more information on the OSO website (http://www.oso.gov.au/)
Record keeping & confidentiality
A written record of all complaints and appeals handled under this procedure and their outcomes shall be maintained for a period of at least 2 years to allow all parties to the complaint appropriate access to these records, upon written request to the Student Support Officer. These records will be maintained at SCBIT Office.
CONVENING AN APPEALS PANEL (If required)
• If the college Principal considers necessary, he can will establish an Appeals Panel, comprising three (3) members of the Committee, who have had no previous involvement in the particular grievance. Usually panel will be formed where dispute is presumed e.g. the assessor and academic manager opined differently on a matter.
• The Panel must meet within working (7) working days of the Appeal is made.
• The Panel will meet prior to any proposed Hearing of the Appeal, to determine how it will conduct the Hearing, consistent with the principles, processes and procedures approved by the College, and to ensure that the Panel has an informed understanding of all the facts, allegations and circumstances involved
• Having gained this informed understanding, the Panel may ask the Academic Manager, the Appellant (the student appealing against the decision made about his/her original grievance) and the Respondent (the person about whom the original grievance was made), and any other relevant person(s) to attend a Hearing, and/or to provide any relevant documentation or information for consideration at such Hearing
• Written notice of the Hearing must be given to all parties directly involved, within five (5) working days of its proposed date
• When giving such notice, the Panel will indicate the names of all those invited to attend and copies of written documentation to be considered. This information is to be provided at least five (5) working days in advance of the proposed Hearing
• The Appellant and/or Respondent may nominate a support person(s) to attend the Hearing. The name(s) and contact details must be notified to the Chair of the Panel at least three (3) days prior to the Hearing
• Formal legal representation is permitted only in very exceptional circumstances, and then only with the prior approval of the Chair of the Panel
• Both the Appellant and Respondent and, if necessary, their support person(s) may address the Hearing, and/or question any person(s) involved in the Hearing, including the Chair and Panel
• Any relevant person unable to attend the Hearing may, subject to the Panel’s approval, submit a written statement to the Panel
• Where all reasonable steps have been taken, without success, to contact the Appellant and/or Respondent, the Panel may decide to conduct the Hearing in their absence, provided that the Panel believes there is sufficient information and documentation for a fair and reasonable decision on the appeal to be made
• Following the Hearing, the Panel will meet in private, to make its final deliberations and decision
The Appellant will be kept updated in every 14 calendar days about the development of the case.
The Chair of the Panel will report its decision, in writing, within five (5) working days, to the College’s PEO, with copies to all parties directly involved in the Appeal
The major issue occurs from the compliant, grievance, and appeal decision outcome will be forwarding along into monthly management meeting for management decision rectification.
Attendance Monitoring and Academic Progress Policy
SCBIT records and assesses the progress of each student for each unit and cumulatively at the end of each study period. Satisfactory progress is achieved when a student successfully completes the assessment requirements for each unit or cluster of units within the timeframes specified in the course timetable/ information. Where a student is identified at risk of not making satisfactory course progress SCBIT will contact the student and arrange meeting with Principal/Academic Manager, to implement SCBIT’s intervention strategies as outlined below. Unsatisfactory course progress is defined as a student failing to successfully complete and achieve competency in at least 50% of the course requirements in that study period. Where a student is assessed as having made unsatisfactory progress for two consecutive study periods even after implementation of the support/intervention strategy SCBIT will report the student to the Secretary of the Department of Education through PRISMS and the student’s Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) will be cancelled. This may also result in the cancellation of the student visa.
SCBIT monitors the attendance of all students in the course. Attendance is calculated as the percentage of the course scheduled contact hours for which a student is present and recorded as present in the attendance roll. The face-to-face contact hours for attendance for each week is 20 hours. Students will make sure that their attendance don’t fall below 80% any time. Otherwise, SCBIT will have to report the student to PRISMS. This may also result in the cancellation of the Making a complaint or appeal
Delivery and Assessment Policy:
Students has to attend the class and participate in class activities led by trainers and assessors. There will be demonstrations as well which allow trainers to perform a practical task in front of the students. Self-paced home study is independent learning which students will conduct outside class. It is unavoidable on student’s part if he/she wants to grasp the material. The Assessment is tasks the trainer would assign to each individual student to take home to work on their own pace. Student has to finish all these tasks and submit to the assessor within deadline. Assessment methods can be Report Writing, Practical Tasks, Demonstrations, Presentations, Written Test, Case Study, etc. For more details, consult student handbook.
Credit Transfer Policy
SCBIT acknowledges the requirement as a Registered Training Organisation to recognise the awards issued by other RTOs. This is limited to outcomes that are drawn from the national skills framework being units of competency awarded and accurately identified in statements of attainment and qualifications.
Credit Transfer (CT)
Credit Transfer is the recognition of learning achieved through formal education and training. Under the Standards for Registered Training Organisations, qualifications and statements of attainment issued by any RTO are to be accepted and recognised by all other RTOs. Credit Transfer allows the unit of competency previously achieved by a student to be recognised when they are enrolling in a related course where those units can assist them in meeting the requirements for a qualification. It is important to note that credit transfer is not recognition of prior learning (RPL). RPL is assessment and is addressed within the Recognition policy.
The granting of exemption or credit by a Registered Training Organisation to students for units of competency depends under completion of those units under accredited training. These unit codes must identically match the units that you are applying for credit.