Complaints and Appeals Gold Coast Learning Centre, Surfers Paradise


Standard 10: Complaints and appeals National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018

Standard 1,5,6 RTO-Standards 2015

PURPOSE

Gold Coast Learning Centre will ensure that students have a fair, inexpensive means of appealing decisions, procedural matters or any issues that directly relate to the successful completion of their course.

SCOPE

The policy and procedure applies to overseas students who wish to lodge complaint or appeal for any reason and the faculty involved in the appeal decision. Where a student is under 18 ‘student’ can also refer to the student’s parent/legal guardian.

DEFINITIONS

Term

Definition

External Appeal

Written request by a student to have a matter heard and/or reconsidered by the Queensland Ombudsman if they are not satisfied with the outcome of their internal appeal

Informal Resolution

A means of resolving a complaint or appeal through discussion between the persons involved in the grievance

Internal Appeal

A formal written request by a student to have a matter heard and/or reconsidered by the Manager

Maintain the student’s Enrolment

The Institute does not notify DOHA of any changes to the student’s enrolment status through PRISMS

Support person

The student may be accompanied and assisted by a support person at any relevant meetings. A support person may include:

  • A friend

  • Teacher

  • Relative

  • International Student Unit staff member

  • GCLC Counsellor

POLICY

International students are made aware of this policy in their Letter of Offer and during Orientation. Students sign a checklist at the completion of Orientation to confirm they understand various policies and their rights and responsibilities as it relates to their time at Gold Coast Learning Centre.

All staff supporting international students participate in an information session which includes the contents of this policy.

This policy can be accessed on the Gold Coast Learning Centre website.

This policy or procedure does not negate the right of any overseas student to take action under Australia’s consumer protection laws or to pursue other legal remedies.

INFORMAL RESOLUTION
Gold Coast Learning Centre requests that there is an attempt to informally resolve a dispute or a complaint before a formal process is initiated. Students may attempt resolution by contacting their teacher, or manager. The contacted officer must complete a Record or Conversation when discussing the dispute with any parties involved and kept on the student’s file.

COMPLAINTS
Complaints may be made informally to a staff member or formally by using the Complaints form which is available at reception, through the website or requested by email via info@goldcoaststudy.com

INTERNAL APPEAL
Where the complaint or appeal is unable to be resolved informally the student should access the institute’s internal appeal process within 5 working days of the date the decision was communicated to the student. Where the student receives a Letter of intention to Report he/she has 20 working days from the receipt of the letter to access the appeals process.

The Internal Appeals process is initiated by the student submitting the Overseas Student Appeal Application. If the student’s appeal is in regard to an academic decision or misconduct he/she may refer to the Gold Coast Learning Centre and Gold Coast Learning Centre Student Information Guide. The appeals process will begin within 5 working days of the Appeal Application and all the supporting documents being received.

Appeal Applications may be submitted in person at:

Level 1, 18–22 Orchid Avenue
Surfers Paradise QLD 4217
Po Box 567 Surfers Paradise 4217

In their application students must outline the decision and reasons for the appeal, including any compassionate or compelling circumstances, and may provide documentary evidence in support of their appeal. All documentation lodged must be original documents or certified copies, no photocopies or facsimiles will be accepted.

All documentation received from or sent to the student should be documented and kept in the student’s file.

The student will have to opportunity present his/her case at no cost to him/her. He/she may also be accompanied by a support person at any stage of the appeal process.

The objective of the internal appeal is to reach a determination on the decision made in the informal resolution. Students will be notified of the final decision in a written statement including details of the reasons for the outcome and any actions to be undertaken.

EXTERNAL APPEAL
A student who is not satisfied with the outcome of the internal appeals process has the right to take their case to the dispute Resolution Branch of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General. The student may submit their appeal in writing with supporting documentation to:

The Queensland Ombudsman located at:

Level 1
Brisbane Magistrates Court
363 George Street
BRISBANE Qld 4000

Telephone: 07 3239 6269 or 1800 017 288

The objective of the external appeals process is to consider whether the Institute has followed this policy and procedure – it is not to make an appeal decision in place of the Institute.


Breach of ESOS Act
If the student is concerned about the actions of the Institute in relation to the ESOS Act he/she may approach the State Authority for CRICOS Registration. The Director General of the Department of Education and Training may suspend or cancel the Institution’s registration if a breach of the requirements of registration provision is proved.
Concerns about the conduct of the Institute should be addressed to:

Senior Education Officer
Queensland Department of Education and Training
PO Box 33
Brisbane Albert St, QLD 4002

PROCEDURE

Position

Responsibilities and Tasks

Student

  1. Attempts to informally resolve the issue by contacting their relevant:
    a. Teacher
    b. Manager
    c. student Services Officer

  2. Or lodges a complaint in writing or using the complaints form

Teacher, Educational Manager
Student Services Officer
Counsellor

  1. Discuss issue with student and attempt to reach a resolution to the student’s issue

Student

  1. Where the student is dissatisfied with the resolution he/she submits an Overseas Student Internal Appeal Application within 5 working days to the institute manager.

  2. Attaches any evidence to support the appeal with the application

  3. The student may request a meeting to formally present his/her case to the Manager or delegate. Overseas students may also accompanied by a support person.

Manager or Director

  1. Commences appeals process within 5 working days of the lodgement of the Overseas Student Internal Appeals Application

  2. Sends letter to student to acknowledge receipt of application and if requested, sets a hearing date to give the student the opportunity to formally present his/her case via Overseas Student Appeal Hearing Letter.

  3. If a hearing is requested convenes and reviews appeal application evidence provided by the student

  4. Notify the student in writing of the outcome (including detailed reasons) within 5 working days of the hearing via the Overseas Student Appeal Decision Letter.

  5. If the outcome supports the student’s appeal, the Institute will immediately implement the decision and any corrective and/or preventive action required

  6. Forwards all document to the Manager to be placed student’s file

  7. If requested, participates in hearing to formally to formally present his/her case

  8. May be accompanied by a support person to the hearing

  9. Receives notification of outcome

  10. If the outcome does not support the student’s appeal and/or the student is dissatisfied with the decision, he/she may access the external appeal process

Queensland Ombudsman

The student may submit their appeal in writing with supporting documentation to:

the
Queensland Ombudsman located at:

Level 17
53 Albert Street
BRISBANE QLD 4000

Telephone : +61 7 3005 7000 or 1800 068 908


REFERENCES
Gold Coast Learning Policy and Procedure Manual v5.
National Code 2018

FORMS
Overseas Student Internal Appeal Application
Complaints Form
Record of Conversation
Overseas Student Appeal Hearing Letter
Overseas student Appeal Decision Letter

RESPONSIBILITY

The Student Services Officer or delegate is responsible for the implementation of this procedure and will ensure that students are made aware of its application.

The Manager is responsible for monitoring the outcome of any formal complaint and appeal and for ensuring the process is completed and staff members made aware of the policy and procedure.

PROCEDURES

The Gold Coast Learning Centre will meet the needs of all students and will actively seek feedback on the range of services provided via a range of methods.

However, if we fail to satisfy a student in any area of service, then we are happy to discuss their issues and concerns and take appropriate steps to rectify the area of concern to a level mutually agreed by the student and the management of Gold Coast Learning Centre.

INFORMAL COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS

  • Students are encouraged to solve any complaint through discussion with the person directly in an informal manner. Verbal complaints may be discussed with a class teacher or relevant staff member involved in an attempt to informally resolve the issue.

  • If the complaint is not resolved within five days then the student can follow the Formal Internal Complaints and Appeal procedures as outlined below.

    FORMAL INTERNAL COMPLAINT AND APPEALS

  • Where an appeal relates to any of the following, a student has 20 working days to lodge an appeal prior to any action being taken, as follows:

  • Notification to report student to Department of Education, or Department of Home Affairs.

  • Intention to suspend or cancel a student enrolment or,

  • Refusal of a student request to transfer providers.

  • To register a complaint or appeal, the student must complete the Complaints and Appeals form available at Reception (found in G:Forms) or on Gold Coast Learning Centre’s website and lodge directly with the Manager, VET Administrator or ELICOS Administrator.

  • The student should clearly outline their complaint or appeal on the form, providing details including the requested action to be taken to resolve the complaint.

  • The Manager, VET Administrator or ELICOS Administrator will respond in writing within 3 working days, acknowledging that he/she has received the complaint.

  • Investigation by the Manager, VET Administrator or ELICOS Administrator will occur within 10 working days of the formal lodgement of the complaint or appeal and supporting information.

  • At any subsequent meetings, each party involved may be accompanied and assisted by a support person.

  • Alternatively, if parties or any party involved are unable to attend the meeting, the Manager, VET Administrator or ELICOS Administrator will contact them and allow them to respond in writing in relation to the complaint.

  • If a meeting is arranged, the minutes of the meeting will be taken and recorded in the student’s file.

  • The length of time to resolve the complaint or appeal may vary in accordance with the complexities of the case. Under normal circumstances the student can expect at least a provisional response within 10 working days of presenting the complaint. If the process takes longer, the student will be kept informed of the progress of the case.

  • Students will be informed in writing of the outcome of their complaint or appeal, including the reasons for such outcome.

  • Whilst the complaints and appeals process is ongoing, Gold Coast Learning Centre will not notify DOHA of any change to the student’s enrolment status through the Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS).

  • The details of the internal complaint process and outcomes will be documented in the students’ file.

    EXTERNAL

  • If it is not possible to resolve the matter internally via the above process, GCLC will arrange for independent mediation to resolve the dispute within 10 working days. Independent mediation is available through the Queensland Overseas Ombudsman located at:

    Level 17
    53 Albert Street
    BRISBANE QLD 4000
    Telephone : +61 7 3005 7000 or 1800 068 908

  • The details of external complaint process and outcomes will be documented in the students’ file.

  • The policy does not circumscribe the student’s right to pursue other legal channels. If the student so chooses, the student may be represented by a nominee at any stage of this process.

    APPEALS

  • If a student appeals against Gold Coast Learning Centre’s decision to report the student for ‘Unsatisfactory course progress’ or ‘Unsatisfactory attendance’, Gold Coast Learning Centre will maintain the student’s enrolment (i.e. not report the student for unsatisfactory progress or attendance) until the internal or external appeal process is complete and outcome of the appeal supports Gold Coast Learning Centre’s decision to report.

  • If the appeal is against the Gold Coast Learning Centre’s decision to defer or suspend a student’s enrolment due to misbehaviour or to cancel the student’s enrolment, Gold Coast Learning Centre only needs to await the outcome of the internal appeals process (supporting the provider) before notifying Department of Education through PRISMS of the change to the student’s enrolment.

  • Once Gold Coast Learning Centre notifies DOHA of a deferment, suspension or cancellation of a student’s enrolment, the student has 28 days in which to:

  • Leave Australia;

  • Show the Department of Home Affairs a new Confirmation of Enrolment (COE); or

  • Provide DOHA with evidence that he or she has accessed an external appeals process.

  • During the Complaint or Appeals process students are required to continue attending enrolled classes.

  • All details and outcome of the appeals process will be documented and recorded in the college records and in the student’s file.

    ACTIONING STUDENT COMPLAINTS

    If the internal or external complaints process results in a decision that supports the student, GCLC will immediately implement the decision, take any corrective action, and advise the student of the outcome.

    This Complaints and Appeal Resolution policy does not remove the complainant’s right to pursue other legal remedies under Australia’s consumer protection laws.

    If a student is concerned about the actions of the college, they may approach the Overseas Students’ Ombudsman the Overseas Students Ombudsman investigates complaints about problems that overseas students have with private education and training in Australia. The Ombudsman also:

    Email: ombudsman@ombudsman.gov.au

    Call: 1300 362 072* within Australia. Outside Australia call +61 2 6276 0111.

    Enquiries: 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, Australian Eastern Standard Time (Australian Eastern Daylight Time when daylight savings is in effect)

    Fax: 02 6276 0123 within Australia. Outside Australia +61 2 6276 0123.

    Postal: GPO Box 442 Canberra ACT 2601.

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