Version 1.3 | 19-10-2022
This policy and procedures apply to students who are currently enrolled with us in a Tertiary Course and are in continuing general-attendance within the course study period, or within an extended study period where an extension has been approved in writing by us.
Complaints can arise when allegations or grievances are raised by a student about:
- the conduct or decisions of our trainers, assessors, or other relevant staff
- the conduct or decisions of a third party providing services on our behalf
- the conduct of another current student
- academic matters – including student progress, assessment, curriculum, and awards
- non‑academic matters – including enrolment in a course and personal information held by us.
Appeals can arise when a student disagrees with a decision about a complaint.
Complaints and appeals policy
- Details of our complaints and appeals policy and procedures are made available to prospective students prior to their enrolment.
- A student has the right to:
- raise a complaint
- appeal a decision made by us about a complaint.
- All reasonable attempts will be made by us to resolve a complaint internally with the parties concerned.
- We will act on a complaint or appeal if:
- the student is currently enrolled – as defined in the preamble above;
- the facts of the complaint or appeal can be reasonably substantiated; and
- the complaint or appeal has been made in good faith and is not substantially vexatious, frivolous, and/or baseless.
- The student will not be liable for our costs associated with undertaking a complaint or appeal – unless we specifically advise otherwise in writing.
- The current enrolment status of the student will be maintained while the complaint and/or appeal procedures for the student are ongoing.
- Where the complaint is of an interpersonal nature, the student should attempt to resolve the grievance by discussing the matter with the person or persons who are the subject of their complaint.
- For all other types of complaints, the student should first contact an appropriate staff member to discuss the issues and attempt to resolve the grievances informally.
- Should the issue be unresolved, the student can – within seven days – lodge a formal complaint with the RTO Manager using the approved form: Complaints Form F006 (available on our online student portal).
- On receipt of a properly completed complaints form, the RTO Manager will take all reasonable steps to resolve the complaint within 14 days. This process may include discussions and meetings with any of the following individuals separately or together – as organised by the RTO Manager:
- the student
- the RTO Manager – as chair of any discussions and meetings
- the Chief Flying Instructor and/or Deputy Chief Flying Instructor
- any other relevant staff or person(s).
- The student may be supported by another person of their choice in any discussion or meeting, but cannot be represented by another person.
- Minutes of discussions and meetings, including any decisions and agreements made, will be made by the RTO Manager and distributed to all relevant parties within 7 days of the discussion or meeting being held.
- Should the complaint not be resolved after the processes (above) have been followed, the RTO Manager will decide the outcome of the complaint and advise all relevant parties of the decision in writing as soon as practicable.
If the Complaints Procedure (above) has been fully conducted and the complaint has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the student:
- The student may, within 7 days of being advised of the decision on their complaint, lodge a formal appeal with the RTO Manager using the form: Appeals Form F016.
- The RTO Manager will, within 7 days of receipt of the appeal, transfer the appeal and all relevant materials and minutes to the Managing Director.
- The Managing Director will make an initial decision on the veracity of the appeal and determine if:
- the student is currently enrolled;
- the facts of the appeal can be reasonably substantiated; and
- the appeal has been made in good faith and is not substantially vexatious, frivolous, and/or baseless.
- If veracity of the appeal is established (as above), the Managing Director will, within 14 days or their receipt of the appeal, appoint an independent person or body with appropriate expertise to act as an objective and impartial arbitrator on the matter.
- The Arbitrator will investigate the matter using all reasonable means, make findings on the appeal matters, and reach a final determination that shall be binding – within 60 days of their appointment.
- The Arbitrator will inform all relevant parties of their findings and final determination in writing as soon as practicable.
- Where we or the Arbitrator consider more than 60 calendar days are further required to investigate and finalise an appeal, the student will be:
- informed in writing by us, including reasons why more than 60 calendar days are required; and
- updated on the progress of the matter.
- The student may be supported by one another person of their choice in any discussion or formal meeting related to the appeal. The support person cannot represent or speak on behalf of the student. The student is liable for any and all costs of support by another person.
- The student may be represented by one another person of their choice in any formal meeting related to the appeal, and the student must also be present at all discussions and meetings. The student is liable for any and all costs of representation by another person.
- This procedure does not diminish the right of a student to lodge a complaint (as relevant) with:
- the Overseas Student Ombudsman
- the VET Student Loans Ombudsman.
- The RTO Manager must ensure that all correspondence related to the complaint is securely retained on the PAFT electronic file system and kept strictly confidential.
- A student who has used a complaints or appeals procedure may access records relating to that complaint or appeal by request in writing to the RTO Manager.
- Following the conclusion of a complaints and/or appeals process, the RTO Manager is to internally coordinate:
- implementation of the decisions and/or agreements reached during the process;
- consideration of recommendations made during the appeals process (where relevant), and implementation of recommendations accepted by PAFT; and
- identify any other potential organisational issues contributing to the complaint, and take appropriate corrective action where possible to mitigate the likelihood of re-occurrence.