Complaints arise when a person is dissatisfied with an aspect of our services and requires action to be taken to resolve the matter, whereas an appeal is a request by the person to reconsider a decision made by ERA. This policy exists to provide appropriate procedures to follow should any client of ERA have a complaint or appeal that needs to be addressed. A student’s enrolment will be maintained whilst their complaint/appeal is in progress. ERA aims to respond to any complaint/appeal promptly, efficiently and effectively and to find the best resolution possible in a timely manner.
Complaints and appeals can provide invaluable data about aspects of our RTO’s operations that can be improved. If there is any matter arising from a complaint/appeal that identifies a systemic issue which requires improvement action, the complaint/appeal will be discussed at the next management meeting as part of our continuous improvement process.
The diagram below shows the progression of a complaint/appeal within our company structure.
Informal Complaint/Appeal Procedure
Most complaint/appeals begin in an informal way. For example, a verbal discussion voicing concern about a situation (for example, a trainer who cannot be contacted or training resources that are difficult to understand) usually raised by a complainant to the staff member involved, or to another staff member in direct contact with the complainant.
Step 1: It is the responsibility of the staff member to whom the complaint/appeal is raised, to use their discretion to address the complainant’s concern immediately (within 24 hours). By addressing the complaint/appeal immediately, the issue is less likely to progress to the ‘formal’ stage.
Step 2: Any staff member who receives an informal complaint/appeal is required to document it via an email to the complainant utilising CANVAS email function.
Step 3: If the complaint/appeal is not able to be resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant at the informal stage, the ERA staff member must advise the complainant that they are to formalise their complaint/appeal.
Formal Complaint/Appeal Procedure
The complainant must then submit their complaint/appeal in writing via the Complaints and Appeals form below OR via letter which can be mailed to our office or hand delivered. Upon receipt of the formal complaint/appeal, ERA will follow the steps as detailed below.
Step 1: Training Quality Coordinator (TQC)
- The TQC will contact the complainant within 24 hours to discuss their concerns and find a resolution, the details of which will be recorded in the template below and then saved in OneNote.
- Should a successful resolution not be reached, the TQC will bring the complaint/appeal to the attention of the Education Manager within 24 hours, using the information recorded on the template.
Step 2: Education Manager
- Within 48 hours of receiving the details from the TQC, the Education Manager will evaluate the nature of the complaint/appeal, the attempts taken to find a resolution and decide upon the most appropriate course of action in order to proceed toward a resolution.
- The Education Manager will then contact the complainant to attempt to resolve the complaint/appeal and document the proposed solution and outcome in OneNote using the template.
- If a successful resolution cannot be found by the Education Manager, the complaint/appeal will then be brought to the attention of the Managing Director within 48 hours.
- The Education Manager will advise the complainant within this time that their complaint/appeal will be raised with the Managing Director and if not satisfactorily answered, the complainant may request an Independent Adjudicator.
Step 3: Managing Director
- The Managing Director will not have had previous involvement with the complaint/appeal, nor be the subject of the complaint/appeal personally.
- If there has been involvement or the Managing Director is the subject of the complaint/appeal, the complaint/appeal shall immediately be forwarded by the Education Manager to an independent mediator.
- The Managing Director will review the complaint/appeal and decide upon the necessary course of action to attempt to reach a resolution within 48 hours of receipt.
- The course of action to be followed will be noted on the template and kept in OneNote.
- The Managing Director will contact the complainant to advise of the proposed solution within this time.
- The advice to the complainant will also include information about their right to appeal.
Step 4: External Appeal
- If you are still not satisfied with the outcome as advised by the Managing Director, you may wish to refer the matter to an independent mediator at your own expense.
- You can contact the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (DSCV) https://www.disputes.vic.gov.au/ to obtain advice/assistance with your matter or a different provider of dispute resolution services of your choice.
- Each party shall be provided with written notice of the independent mediator’s decision, including reasons for the decision.
- The Managing Director and Education Manager will discuss the outcome at the next scheduled ERA management meeting.
- If the complainant is still not satisfied with the outcome they may escalate their complaint/appeal to the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) https://www.vrqa.vic.gov.au/complaints/Pages/making-a-complaint.aspx
Our Regulatory obligations:
AQTF Essential Conditions and Standards for Continuing Registration – Standard 2, Clause 2.7:
The RTO provides appropriate mechanisms and services for learners to have complaints and appeals addressed efficiently and effectively.
Standard VET Funding Contract – Skills First Program Specifications – Schedule 1, Clause 1.6:
The Training Provider must publish on its website its complaints and appeals process.