Complaints and appeals policy and procedure
Purpose of the policy
In accordance with the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015, Allara has developed this policy and procedure to outline the procedures for Stakeholders to have their complaints and appeals addressed effectively, efficiently, and fairly as well as inexpensively and in a timely manner.
The procedures set out in this policy adopt the principals of natural justice and procedural fairness. They do not replace or modify procedures or any other responsibilities which may arise under other policies or under statute or any other law. Nothing in this policy and procedure limits the rights of individuals to take action under Australia's Consumer Protection laws. Also, these procedures do not circumscribe an individual's rights to pursue other legal remedies.
Allara - Allara Investments Pty Ltd, trading as Allara learning and is inclusive of Tactical Training Group Pty Ltd, RTO provider No: 91054 (TTG) and W G learning Pty Ltd, RTO Provider No: 91178 (WGL).
TTG - Tactical Training Group Pty Ltd, RTO provider No: 91054 (TTG)
WGL - W G learning Pty Ltd, RTO Provider No: 91178 (WGL)
Grievance means a concern about a matter brought to the attention of Allara through informal means, i.e. through discussion
Complaint - a formal process undertaken if a grievance cannot be resolved informally
Complainant means a stakeholder whom raises the grievance or lodges the formal complaint
Appeal - the process undertaken where the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of the complaints’ procedure
Appellant means a stakeholder whom is dissatisfied with the outcome of a grievance or formal complaint and requests to undertake the appeal process
Stakeholder means any student or prospective student, employer, client, staff member or third party of Allara
The policy applies to all participants, clients, staff and stakeholders of Allara Learning (Allara) inclusive of those enrolled with Tactical Training Group Pty Ltd, RTO provider No. 91054 (TTG) and W G learning Pty Ltd, RTO Provider No. 91178 (WGL).
In the conduct of its services, Allara ensures that stakeholders have easily accessible processes for making a grievance, complaint and appeal and that the handling of each is done in a way that is: constructive; timely; fair; unbiased and equitable. Where a participant chooses to access this policy and procedure, Allara will maintain the participant’s enrolment while the complaints and/or appeals process is underway.
The complaints and appeals process will be provided at no cost to the complainant unless where external services and/or legal action is required to resolve the complaint.
A complaint may be related but not limited to allegations involving the conduct of:
- the RTO, its trainers, assessors or other staff;
- a third party providing services on the RTO’s behalf, its trainers, assessors or other staff; or
- a learner of the RTO.
A complaint can be defined as a Stakeholder’s expression of dissatisfaction with any aspect of Allara’s services and activities, such as:
- the enrolment or induction process;
- the quality of education provided;
- academic matters, including Stakeholder progress, assessment, curriculum and awards in a VET course of study;
- handling of personal information and access to personal records; and
- the way someone has been treated.
Grievances (informal) & complaints (formal)
Raising a grievance
If a stakeholder has a grievance, they should be encouraged to speak with an Allara staff member directly to resolve their issue.
After receiving a grievance from a stakeholder, the Allara staff member is to:
- Attempt to resolve the grievance within their scope of responsibility; and
- Notify management of the grievance.
Raising a complaint
If a stakeholder feels that the grievance has not been resolved, they can lodge a formal complaint through sending written notification of the complaint by:
- Submitting a Complaints and Appeals Form; or
- Emailing the State Operations Manager outlining the details of the complaint.
Complaints and appeals procedure
This procedure can be utilised to submit a complaint of an academic or non-academic nature. Complaints of an academic nature include matters related to Stakeholder progress, assessment, curriculum and awards in a VET course of study. Complaints of a non-academic nature cover all other matters including complaints in relation to personal information that Allara holds in relation to the Stakeholder.
Fair and equitable procedures
During all stages of this procedure Allara will take all necessary steps to ensure that:
- The complainant and/or appellant and the respondent will not be victimised or discriminated against;
- The complainant and/or appellant and the respondent will be informed of the allegations brought forth; and
- The complainant and/or appellant and the respondent are given the opportunity to formally present their case.
Each party to the complaint may be accompanied and assisted by a support person at any relevant meetings. If the Stakeholder is under 18 years old, a parent or guardian is requested to attend the interview/discussion.
Where more than sixty (60) calendar days are required to process and finalise the complaint or appeals process the complainant and/or appellant and respondent will be notified of this in writing.
The internal, grievance, complaints and appeals process is offered at no cost to the complainant and/or appellant.
Formal complaints must be submitted in writing to the State Operations Manager on a Complaints and Appeals Form available from an Allara staff member and upon receipt of a formal complaint or appeal, the Sate Manager is to:
- Enter the received complaint into the Complaints Register; and
- Advise all parties of the complaint brought forth in writing.
The complaints process will commence within five (5) business days of receipt of the written complaint.
All reasonable measures will be taken to finalise the process as soon as practicable.
The State Operations Manager or their nominee will seek to clarify the outcome that the complainant hopes to achieve. Such clarification may be sought by:
- Written letter/email, or
- verbal request, or
- face-to-face interview with the complainant.
The State Operations Manager or their nominee will endeavour to resolve the complaint, and provide within ten (10) working days of receipt of the complaint application, a written report to the complainant advising the:
- outcome of the complaint:
- steps taken to address the complaint: and
- reasons for the decision/outcome.
The report will further advise the complainant of their right to access the internal appeals process if they are not satisfied with the outcome of their formal complaint.
If a complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of their formal complaint, they may lodge an appeal [ND1] with the General Manager (who is senior to the original decision maker).
The General Manager will convene an independent review panel (who are not party to the original complaint) within ten (10) working days of receiving the written request for appeal.
The review panel will review the dispute between Allara and the appellant; reporting to the General Manager within ten (10) working days.
The General Manager will provide within thirty (30) working days of appeal application, a written report to the appellant advising the:
- outcome of the appeal;
- additional steps taken to address the issue; and
- reasons for the decision.
- The General Manager will further advise the appellant of:
- their right to access the external appeals process if they are not satisfied with the outcome of their appeal;
- the timeframe for the external appeals process which may take more than sixty (60) calendar days to complete.
External appeals process
If the matter remains unresolved after the review panel presents its findings, the appellant may make a written request to the General Manager that they wish the matter be dealt with through an independent external dispute resolution process.
Where the external appeals process is accessed Allara will bear any costs associated for independent mediation.
Where the matter is not resolved through mediation and additional external legal services are required additional costs may apply to the appellant.
Within ten (10) working days of receipt of written application for external appeals, Allara in consultation with the appellant, will appoint a mutually agreed independent mediator.
The independent mediator will attempt to resolve the complaint between the appellant and the other party through the mediation process, where the appellant or the respondent may ask another person to accompany them to meetings with the mediator.
Allara will bear any costs associated with the mediation.
The independent mediator will report to the General Manager the outcome of the mediation including any recommendations arising within ten (10) working days of the completion of the mediation.
Within ten (10) working days of receipt of a report from the independent external mediator the General Manager will provide a written report to the appellant advising the:
- recommended actions to resolve the complaint;
- timeframe for implementation of actions; and
- any follow up required by the appellant.
Outcome, actions and implementation
For all grievances, complaints and appeals, regardless of the decision and outcome, Allara will:
- implement any decision and corrective action required within thirty (30) days of receipt of a written report; and
- notify all relevant Stakeholders of the decisions and recommendations.
Allara will document the grievance, complaint or appeal in the Complaints Register stored on Monday.com and, where applicable, in the Continuous Improvement Register.
Hard copy records relating to the grievance, complaint and/or appeal will be stored in a secure location, including but not limited to:
- Complaints forms
- Appeal forms
- Supporting documents
- Written reports from:
- State Operations Manager;
- General Manager, or
- Independent mediator.
State Operations Manager
The State Operations Manager is the designated member of staff to:
- Review complaints;
- Convene meetings with Stakeholders;
- Make a decision on complaints;
- Document outcomes on the:
- stakeholders file;
- complaints and appeals application forms; and
- complaints register.
- Provide written reports to the GM.
General Manager (GM)
If the complaint and/or appeal is:
- In relation to the State Operations Manager, or
- unable to be resolved by the State Operations Manager
The GM is required to undertake the complaint and/or appeal process.
- Complaints and Appeals Form
- Complaints and Appeals Register