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1. Advocate means an independent person, usually from a student association’s advocacy service, who can provide a student with advice about the complaints and grievances process and the steps towards resolution, and assist the student with the submission and presentation of their complaint or grievance.
2. Appeal means a request in writing to the Academic Support Team to be heard in relation to a decision of or penalty applied by EDUWEB College
3. Complaint means an issue or concern raised by a student who considers they have been wronged because of an action, decision or omission within the control or responsibility of EDUWEB College.
4. Grievance means a matter to be investigated according to formal processes. This includes complaints which are not able to be resolved through informal processes or mediation, and matters relating to allegations of misconduct where disciplinary action against a student or staff member may be an outcome of the investigation.

The objectives of this policy are to provide:
1. students with a framework within which they may raise complaints or grievances in relation to decisions of or advice provided by EDUWEB College. This includes but is not limited to:
a. decisions by academic staff members affecting individuals or groups of students;
b. the content or structure of academic courses/ programmes, including the nature and quality of teaching and assessment;
c. authorship and intellectual property;
d. quality of student services,
2. the College with a framework to ensure there are transparent, fair and timely procedures for addressing complaints and grievances in accordance with principles of natural justice, ensuring that all parties are treated equally and fairly.

Policy Scope
Students have the right to contest a policy or practice of the College or College staff that is considered improper or unfair, or where there has been deviation from or misinterpretation or misapplication of a practice or policy unrelated to discrimination.

This policy applies to all students of EDUWEB College. It may also be used by former students of the College whose enrolment ended no more than one year before the date the complaint is lodged. This policy covers issues arising from a student’s involvement with the College, except where the matter relates to decisions based solely on unlawful discrimination, freedom of religion, sexual harassment or other matters covered by the Equal Opportunity Policy.

Complaints/ Grievance Process
In order to maintain fair and impartial practices, EDUWEB College utilizes a two-stage process to resolve student issues. The first stage is the complaint procedure, which utilizes a more informal approach to reach a satisfactory resolution. This may be in the form of a meeting with the Academic Support Team, the Administrative Support Team and /or the QMS Representative. The second stage is a grievance procedure, which is more formal in nature.

Nature of Complaints
1) Students may raise complaints or grievances in relation to but not limited to:
a) decisions by administrative staff negatively affecting individuals or groups of students
b) administration of policies, procedures, and rules of EDUWEB College
c) standard of service received through the College administration
d) access to resources or facilities
e) Misconduct by a staff member
f) Misconduct by another student
g) Joint complaints or grievances may be raised where more than one student has been affected, in which case the matter will be considered as an issue. It two or more complaints or grievances about the same matter are submitted independently, they may be considered jointly by agreement of all parties concerned.
2) The College investigates anonymous complaints at the discretion of the Academic Support Team, taking into account:
a) the nature and seriousness of the complaint
b) whether there is sufficient information for an investigation to be conducted, and
c) whether there is a statutory requirement for investigation.

Grounds for Complaints
Grounds for complaint or grievance include, but are not limited to the following:
1. a student being affected by a decision made without sufficient consideration of facts, evidence or circumstances
2. a student being affected by a failure to adhere to EDUWEB College policies and procedures
3. a penalty applied to the student being unduly harsh or inappropriate
4. a student being affected by improper or negligent conduct by another student or staff member
5. a student being affected by unfair treatment, prejudice or bias.

Communication and Approach

The College recognizes that effective communication is of paramount importance when attempting to resolve difficulties experienced by students and is committed to a culture of openness, fairness and continuous improvement. EDUWEB College gives students who raise complaints or grievances the opportunity to formally present their cases through the use of “Complaint Reporting” forms.
EDUWEB College will take the appropriate measures to ensure students do not suffer any victimization or discrimination as a result of raising complaints or grievances in good faith. All parties to a complaint or grievance must act in good faith and seek to achieve an amicable resolution. Intimidating, harassing, threatening or offensive behaviors are not tolerated from any parties.
The College keeps all parties to a complaint or grievance informed of the progress of the matter and gives all parties reasonable opportunity to respond to outcomes. All parties to a complaint or grievance must respect privacy and confidentiality, except where the release of particular information is required by law.

Types of Complaints
1. These are complaints or appeals against academic decisions and include but are not limited to:
a. A decision of a member of academic staff that may negatively affect an individual or groups of students
b. Content or structure of academic programs, nature of teaching, or assessment
c. Examined and marked assignments and exams.
d. Issues relating to authorship and intellectual property
e. Quality of teaching.

2. Administrative Complaints
These include decisions and actions related to administrative or academic services and include, but are not limited to the following:
a. Standard of service received while accessing administrative support provided by the College.
b. A decision by an administrative staff member that affects an individual or groups of students
c. Access to resources and facilities.

Procedural Principles-Prior to Complaining
Students wishing to raise a complaint or grievance should first seek advice from an independent person knowledgeable about the process and aware of potential outcomes, such as:
1. the Academic Support team
2. the Administrative Support team
3. the QMS Representative
4. a lecturer

The student and the staff member will work together to:
1. consider whether the complaint is reasonable
2. clarify the details of the matter, including the events that occurred, the basis for the complaint and the resolution sought, and
3. where appropriate, identify the most appropriate process under which the matter may be resolved or pursued
4. Complete and submit a “Student Complaint and Grievance Reporting” form.

The student may, on the basis of this discussion:
1. take no further action
2. make an informal approach to the person concerned (the respondent), or
3. proceed directly to the complaints or grievance process

Timeliness of Complaints and Grievances

The College will consider complaints and grievances in a timely manner. Students should raise complaints and grievance within 24- 48 hours and as soon as possible after the event, decision or action which is the subject of the complaint or grievance to ensure all parties are in a position to be able to take the appropriate corrective actions.

The College may be unable to investigate a complaint due to the length of time elapsed since the event, decision or action or if there is insufficient information available to enable a proper investigation of the complaint or grievance.

Informal Resolution of Complaints
Students may attempt an informal resolution by raising their concern with the person concerned or:
a. the Academic Support team
b. the Administrative Support team
c. the QMS Representative
A “Student Complaint and Grievance Reporting” form is required whenever a dispute is informally resolved.

Complaints Procedure
Students who are not satisfied with the outcome of informal processes may, within five working days of receiving advice on the outcome:
a. proceed to the complaint or grievance process, which may involve mediation, or an independent investigation, or
b. lodge a complaint with an external agency where appropriate and available.

Complaint / Grievances Procedure
Where a complaint is not able to be resolved through informal processes, and the matter includes allegations of misconduct where disciplinary action against a student or staff member may be an outcome of the investigation, a student may lodge a grievance.
Grievances are formal matters that will be investigated using an established procedure. See “EDUWEB College - Procedure to address Current, Past and Potential problems”.

The investigator must ensure that:
a. issues raised in the student complaint or grievance are investigated
b. key stakeholders are interviewed and the results documented
c. the report is fair and balanced
d. relevant circumstances have been considered
e. the findings and recommendations are evidence-based and defensible.

Right to Withdraw
Students may withdraw complaints and grievances at any time during the resolution process, and the matter will be deemed to be resolved. Notwithstanding this, EDUWEB College reserves the right to continue to investigate a complaint if required to do so to satisfy other requirements or protect its own interests.

Student Complaint and Grievance Reporting” forms are maintained on each formal complaint/grievance and may be used to assist in resolving other current and potential problems.

Appeals Process
Students may appeal the outcome of the complaints and grievances process in accordance with the Student Complaints and Grievances Policy.

Effective January 1st, 2019