This policy is applicable to Mentor Education Pty Ltd. Nothing in this policy or procedure limits the rights of individuals to take action under Australia's Consumer Protection laws.
The purpose of this complaints and appeals policy and procedure is to provide:
- A scheme for overseeing complaints and appeals
- A method for investigation of complaints and appeals
- Means of resolving complaints and appeals adopting the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness
To ensure compliance with National Code, Standard 6 in conjunction with this policy must be interpreted.
What is a Complaint?
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction by a student about an issue related to Mentor Educations products and services, staff or other students which requires a resolution. All students enrolled, or seeking to enrol, in Mentor Education courses are entitled to access the complaints policy and procedure. Activities which may give rise to academic and non-academic grievances covered by this policy are listed below:
- Academic programs (content or structure)
- Subject enrolment, delivery, assessment, learning environment; outcomes, access to resources
- Student service and their process (including contractor or employee conduct)
- Individuals who believe that they have been treated unfairly on the grounds of access and equity
- Occupational health and safety concerns related to subject delivery and/or assessment
- Administrative action/ inaction, procedure or decision.
Complaints will be addressed based on their circumstances however the following general principles will also be adhered to:
- All complaints will be made and dealt with in a timely manner
- Resolution of a complaint may be reached at any point during the process. Upon resolution any further investigation will cease, except in the interest of improving the services, products or processes.
- Information regarding the complaint, its investigation and outcome will be documented and can be requested at any stage of the process by the complainant or respondent.
- In the event of a complaint not being resolved internally, Mentor Education and the complainant may appoint an independent arbiter to review the complaints and recommend a solution.
- Complainants have the right to appeal if they believe their complaint has not been adequately resolved.
- There will be no direct financial cost to the student relating to internal review and appeal processes. The complainant and respondent will not be victimised or discriminated against in any manner and all details of the complaint and subsequent investigation will remain strictly confidential.
- The complainant is free to ask for any assistance in the form of a translator/ interpreter throughout the process
- The complainant and respondent may bring one person to represent/ support them during any meetings during the process
- Throughout the process the students will continue their studies except in circumstances where their health and safety is potentially at risk or if they pose health and safety risks to others.
In the first instance, students should contact Mentor Education to make an informal complaint via email or phone. The Student support officer answering your informal complaint will liaise with the appropriate manager to determine if a solution can be found.
The student support officer will email or phone back the student regarding the complaint and offer the solution, if the student is not satisfied with the solution they will be required to submit a formal written complaint that will be forwarded to the appropriate manager to follow up further.
The student will receive written confirmation within 48 hours that their written complaint has been received.
Using and disclosing your personal information
All formal written complaints must be submitted within 2 weeks of the incident. When lodging a formal written complaint student are advised to use the student complaint form provided. To assist in the resolution of the complaint it is helpful if the students including the following information:
- If lodging via email use the word complaint in the email subject line
- If applicable include the subject/course
- Summarise the issues relating to the complaint
- Provide any evidence of attempts to resolve the complaint e.g. emails, examples, dates, times etc.
- Specify the outcome that is being sought
Formal written complaints should be sent to the relevant addresses below:
Mentor Education (A&NZ)
1A Scotia Grove
South Yarra VIC 3141
Investigation of complaint
After receiving a formal written complaint it will be sent to the appropriate manager to follow up further in accordance with procedures. Academic complaints regarding assessment are to be made within 30 days of release of results. Investigation of these complaints may involve:
- Reviewing examination papers or assignments
- Reviewing procedures
- Reviewing course material or resources
- Consulting other course participants
- Reviewing course evaluations
- Speaking with relevant Mentor Education staff
During the investigation the Mentor Education manager resolving the complaint may contact the student via email or phone to obtain further information or clarification on current information to ensure their investigation is thorough. The determination will also be documented for future reference.
Upon completion of the investigation the Mentor Education manager will contact the student with the findings and present the solution in a formal written letter or email, describing the actions that will be taken if agreed to. This will usually occur within 10 working days of acknowledgement of the student’s complaint. If for any reason the investigation requires an extended amount of time the student will be advised.
If Mentor Education receives no communication from the student within 10 working days of them receiving its response, the complaint will be considered closed except in exceptional cases. If the student contacts Mentor Education within the allotted time and does not agree with the finding the complaint will then be further escalated to the appeals process.
Complaints and Appeals Lodgement Form
The appeals process provides a framework to allow a student (complainant) to dispute the determination of a complaint; determination or penalty in relation to an Act of Misconduct.
Right to Appeal
Any complainant subject to determination in relation to a complaint, who believes they have grounds for appeal, is entitled to appeal that determination to the Appeals Committee.
Notice of Appeal
If a complainant decides to appeal a determination, they must lodge a notice of appeal within 10 working days of the determination. The appeal must set out the grounds for appeal or any new information not previously provided. It should also specify the desired outcome. There is no cost for the complainant during the appeals process and parties will not be discriminated or victimised during the process.
Grounds for Appeal
An appeal of a determination may be made on one or more of the following grounds:
- New evidence of a relevant nature is available
- The decision was made without due consideration of facts, evidence or circumstances
- There was bias, prejudice or a conflict of interest by the investigator or hearing body
- That some significant policy/ procedural irregularity occurred in the investigative or hearing process
Students may not appeal against academic results based on:
- The subject structure and assessment methods
- Student workload or the amount of work the student has done
- Financial implication of not pass the unit
- Grades received by the student in other units
- A penalty imposed for plagiarism in accordance with Mentor Education policy
- The need for additional marks to enable a pass/better grade
Duties of the Appeals Committee
On receiving the appeals application the appeals committee will review the application and determine whether to grant or dismiss the application.
If the appeals committee believes there is no grounds for appeal the appeal may be dismissed without proceeding. Where an appeal application is dismissed, complainants will receive written notification within 5 days of the decision and will be referred to the Law Institute of Victoria for mediation.
Duties and powers of the appeals committee
The appeals committee will determine the general conduct of the appeal hearing and the procedures to be adopted based on the general principle of natural justice and procedural fairness.
The appeals committee has the power to:
- Hear the appeal in relation to the determination of the complaint
- Review, uphold, dismiss or vary the determination of the complaint
- Refer the matter back to the original mentor education staff member responsible for the determination
Resolution of Appeal
If the appeals committee decides to proceed with the appeal, a time will be arranged for further discussion with the director of Mentor Education to further discuss the appeal and to determine the final verdict. The complainant may be contacted for further information or clarification of presented evidence. The final verdict will usually occur within 10 working days of acknowledgement of the students appeal. If for any reason the investigation requires an extended amount of time the student will be advised.
The complainant can withdraw their appeal at any stage of the process. If the complainant does this no further appeals will be accepted.
This Complaints Policy was last updated in February 2017.