Student complaints process
Resolving a student complaint may involve 3 steps as shown in the chart below and explained in the Student Complaints Policy and Student Complaints Procedures. Students wishing to make a complaint can act individually, anonymously or as a group. Group complaints are accepted if all parties have the same concerns and seek the same outcome(s). If the concern is older than 12 months, the University is unable to investigate it unless there are extenuating circumstances.
HELP AND SUPPORT
Throughout the complaints process, students may seek the advice and assistance of Student Advocacy Services offered by the University's student organisations and the Welfare and Student Liaison Office.
Process and Timeframes
Step 1 Resolve the concern informally
Raise your concerns “without fear of detrimental treatment” (Student Complaints Policy s.1) directly with the relevant person or service area by:
- having a conversation or writing an email or letter to the individual or service area about your concerns and the outcomes you seek. Be clear and respectful in your interactions with others.
- requesting a relevant staff member or a Student Advocate to assist you in raising the matter with the individual or service area
- providing qualitative feedback on improving service delivery by using Student Feedback.
If you have contacted the relevant person and not yet received a response, please understand that staff may be busy, briefly absent or work part time so allow a reasonable period before following up (e.g. with a courteous email or telephone call). If you are unable to reach the person, contact another relevant staff member.
If you are unsure of how to raise your concerns with the relevant person or service area or you feel unable to address challenging situations on your own, you can seek assistance. Student Advocates can provide you guidance and support and Counsellors can provide you with constructive strategies to address difficult interactions with people.
If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of this step, you may wish to proceed to Step 2.
Don’t know who to contact in the first instance?
Step 2 Make a formal complaint
Lodge a formal complaint via the Student Complaints Form. List the informal steps already taken and provide relevant supporting documentation to support your case.
Your complaint will be forwarded to the appropriate University staff member listed in Table 1 of the Student Complaints Policy. Within 10 working days of formal lodgement of the complaint, you will receive written acknowledgement. Normally within 20 working days of receipt of the complaint, you will receive written advice concerning the outcome, unless notified of any unforeseen delays.
If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of Step 2, you may wish to proceed to Step 3.
Step 3 Refer to the Student Ombudsman
Refer your matter to the Student Ombudsman via the Student Ombudsman Referral Form no later than 10 working days from the notification of the Step 2 decision. List the formal steps already taken and provide relevant supporting documentation to support your case. Within 10 working days of formally referring the complaint, you will receive written acknowledgement. Normally within 20 working days of receipt of the referral, you will receive written advice concerning the outcome, unless notified of any unforeseen delays.
If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of Step 3, you may lodge a complaint with the Queensland Ombudsman for an external review. You must follow all steps in the University complaints procedures before the Queensland Ombudsman will accept your complaint.
Making Anonymous Complaints
In some instances, it is recognised that students may choose to make a complaint anonymously. While the University treats such complaints seriously, it may be unable, either properly or fully, to investigate such a complaint or provide a decision or take action to resolve the complaint when the source of the complaint is unknown.
Withdrawing a Complaint
A student may request in writing the withdrawal of a complaint at any time during the complaints process to the relevant University staff member or the Student Ombudsman. Notwithstanding this, the University reserves the right to continue to investigate a complaint if required to do so to satisfy other requirements or protect its own interests.
STUDENT COMPLAINTS FORM
If you have attempted to resolve your concerns informally by having contacted the person or service area directly first, and you remain dissatisfied, you may proceed to lodge a complaint.