Formal Complaints or Review of Decisions – Procedure

Revision Date: 07/2018 by Charter Australia


These procedures apply to

  • students with complaints that have not been resolved informally
  • students with complaints who wish to have these resolved formally
  • current students as well as persons who are seeking to enrol into Charter Australia’s course(s) or unit(s)

These procedures do not apply to (refer to Internal Appeals Procedure):

  • students who wish to appeal the outcome of their Special Circumstances application
  • students who wish to lodge an appeal against a determination made under the Student Conduct Policy.


The purpose of this process is to:

  • escalate an unresolved issue to a formal complaint or review of decision, and
  • seek a resolution to the issue

Charter Australia’s approach to complaint management

  • Informal discussion
  • Formal complaint or review of decision
  • Internal appeals
  • External review or appeal

Charter Australia strongly encourages that parties involved in a complaint attempt to resolve the issue informally. Please refer to Resolving a Complaint Informally for information on the process. However, students may seek to have their complaints addressed formally in the following instances:

  • The issue has not been resolved informally, or
  • The student does not feel comfortable raising the complaint directly with the person involved

Process for lodging a formal complaint or requesting a decision reviewed

Step 1

Complete the Formal Complaint/Review Form. This should indicate whether the complaint or concern is related to an academic or non-academic matter.

Adequate and appropriate supporting documents should be attached to the form. Failure to do so may result in delays in processing or rejection of the complaint or review request.

Step 2

The completed form will be submitted to the Student Support Officer, who will review the form and supporting documents and enter the details into the Student Records Management System. Student Services will acknowledge receipt of the formal complaint or review within 5 working days.

NOTE: Students must ensure that they provide all necessary information and supporting documentation to facilitate the resolution process.

Step 3

The Academic Director (or delegated nominee) will assess academic matters and the Student Support Officer (or delegated nominee) will do the same for non-academic matters.

The Academic Director (or delegated nominee) or Student Support Officer (or delegated nominee) will investigate the complaint or review requested, and interview key people where necessary (which may include the student).

Step 4

After the investigation, if

4-1 the complaint is unsubstantiated, the student will be advised in writing that the formal complaint has been rejected, outlining the outcome, rationale for the decision and further avenues for appeal or complaints internally and externally

4-2 the complaint is substantiated, the Student Support Officer will

4-2-1 record the changes in the Charter Australia Complaints Register

4-2-2 implement the changes or recommend changes to the relevant staff

4-2-3 advise the student in writing of the outcome, the reasons for the decision and further avenues for appeals or complaints internally and externally.

Step 5

The student will receive a written response within 10 working days of their formal complaint/review request being lodged. Student Services will notify the student of any delays which may occur during the process.

Step 6

If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome, the student may lodge an appeal internally (Internal Appeals Procedure) within 20 working days of receiving the written response or file a complaint with an external body (External Appeals Procedure).

Step 7

If the complaint or review request is submitted directly to Student Appeals Committee (SAC), before the above process has been undertaken, the SAC will generally refer it to Student Services. The student will be advised that it will be submitted as a formal complaint or review request.

Students may contact the Student Support Officer at any stage during the process if they would like further clarity on the process or updates on the progress of their complaint or request for review.

Important notes

A student who lodges a complaint or requests a review must remain enrolled during the process and is encouraged to continue attending classes and working towards their qualification, unless otherwise advised.

At any point, the student may decide to refer the matter to an external agency; however, it is strongly encouraged that the student exhausts all internal processes before they contact an external body. For information on how to make an external complaint, refer to the External Appeals Procedure.

Record keeping and confidentiality

Records of all appeals handled under this procedure and their outcomes will be recorded in the Student Records Management System and will be maintained for a period of at least five years. This is to allow all parties to the complaint or review appropriate access to these records, upon written request to the CEO.

All records relating to external complaints will be treated as confidential and will be covered by the Privacy Policy.