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COMPLAINTS, GRIEVANCES AND APPEALS POLICY AND PROCEDURE

PURPOSE

The Ella Baché College of Skin and Beauty Therapy Complaints, Grievances and Appeals Policy and Procedures aims to ensure that the College responds effectively to all complaints, grievances and appeals in an effective, timely, fair and equitable manner.

SCOPE

This policy relates to domestic and international students including students.

This Policy and Procedures applies to both academic and non-academic matters.

A grievance can be defined as a person’s expression of dissatisfaction with any aspect of the College’s services and activities.

In relation to non-academic grievances, the term “student” or “complainant” applies to both current students of the College and persons seeking to enroll with the College.

Students who have ceased to study with the College will be given a further 12 months after they have ceased their enrolment to use this Complaints, Grievance and Appeals Policy and Procedures.

Non-academic matters may include:

  • Operational matters
  • Administrative matters
  • The enrolment, induction/orientation process
  • Handling of personal information and access to personal records
  • The way someone has been treated
  • Discrimination and harassment issues e.g. sexual harassment, racial or sexual discrimination, physical or verbal abuse.

Academic matters may include:

  • Issues related to student progress
  • Assessment and assessment results
  • The quality of education provided
  • Curriculum
  • Awards in a course of study.

The complaints, grievances and appeals procedure will be made available to students regardless of the location where the grievance has arisen, the mode in which they study or their place of residence.

The Policy and Procedures will be made available to students and persons seeking to enrol with the College on the College’s website (www.ellabachecollege.edu.au)  and in the Student Handbook.

For the purposes of communicating to and training staff, the Policy and Procedures will be included in the Staff Handbook and form part of the staff induction process (which will be facilitated by the Principal).

POLICY

The Ella Baché College of Skin and Beauty Therapy will ensure that any grievances are resolved promptly, objectively and with sensitivity.

All complaints, grievances, appeals and outcomes are treated as confidential (unless they involve breaches of the law) and records will be dealt with in accordance with the College Policy and Procedures on Privacy and Access to Information.

The College will ensure that the views of each complainant and respondent are respected and that any party to a grievance is not discriminated against nor victimized.

Each complaint, grievance or appeal and outcome is recorded in writing. A written explanation for decisions and actions taken during the process will be given to all parties if requested.

The College’s Complaints, Grievance and Appeals process is a staged process:

  • As soon as the complaint or issue arises, it will be dealt initially by discussion with all mentioned parties involved and an agreeable solution will be worked towards for all parties in an impartial and professional manner.
  • If the grievance or issue is not resolved informally, students may then use the College’s formal Complaints, Grievance and Appeals process.
  • If parties still remain in conflict they may agree to appoint an external mediator to help resolve the grievance.  Each complainant has an opportunity to formally present his or her case and be heard by an independent person or panel and is entitled to seek outside support at any time if he or she desires.

Where the internal or external grievance handling or appeal process results in a decision that supports the complainant, the College will immediately implement any decision and/or corrective and preventative action required and advise the complainant of the outcome

There is no cost to students utilising the internal Complaints, Grievance and Appeals process.

Feedback from students regarding the College, courses, staff and other services is always encouraged and this feedback is not considered as a grievance, until and unless this is stated as such and specific actions or outcomes are requested.

A written record of all grievances handled under this procedure and their outcomes shall be maintained for a period of at least 5 years to allow all parties to the grievance appropriate access to these records, upon written request to the Head of Education

PROCEDURES

Before an Issue becomes a Formal Grievance

In cases where students may feel they have been treated unreasonably or unfairly or where they feel they have been disadvantaged or feel distressed, and they wish to make a complaint about this, they are encouraged to initially talk to the person concerned directly and personally in an informal and confidential manner in an attempt to resolve the issues.

Students are encouraged, wherever possible, to resolve concerns or difficulties informally with the person(s) concerned.  There is support staff available to assist in the resolution of issues at this level:

  • The student should contact the class trainer who will endeavour to resolve the problem in the first instance without the need for a formal complaint.
  • If the complaint is of a general nature, the student may fill out a complaint form and submit it to the Administration and Student Services Officer or seek an appointment with the Principal or Online Program Manager for an informal discussion.
  • If the problem is of a personal nature that may need professional help, the trainer or Administration and Student Services Officer will help the student to find an appropriate professional person in their local area.

Formal Grievance Procedure

Stage One - Formal Complaint

If the complaint or appeal is not able to be resolved through informal discussion with the parties involved, then a formal complaint should be made.

The person making the complaint is required to complete a Complaints Form available from Reception or by contacting info@stellarlearning.edu.au

Formal grievances must be submitted in writing marked to the attention of the Administration and Compliance Manager as follows:

Administration and Compliance Manager

Ella Bache College of Skin and Beauty Therapy

Level 2, 77 Berry St

North Sydney NSW 2060

 

Receipt of the complaint will be acknowledged within 5 working days. The formal grievance handling process will commence within 10 days of the receipt of the formal complaint, and all reasonable measures will be taken to finalise the process as soon as practical.

The Administration and Compliance Manager will then, if necessary, seek to clarify the outcome that the complainant hopes to achieve.  Such clarification may be sought by written or verbal request or by a face-to-face interview with the complainant.  When such clarification occurs in a face-to-face interview the complainant or respondent may ask another person to accompany them.

The Administration and Compliance Manager will then endeavour to resolve the grievance and provide a written report to the complainant on the steps taken to address the grievance, including the reasons for the decision, within 10 working days. The report will also advise the complainant of their right to access the internal appeals process if they are not satisfied with the outcome of their formal grievance.

The completed form is reviewed by the Principal and kept on the students record.

At all meetings the minutes are taken and outcomes recorded.

All parties will receive a written copy of the minutes.

Stage Two – Internal Appeal

If the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of their formal grievance they may lodge an appeal with the Head of Education within 20 working days of receiving notification of the outcome of their formal grievance.

Appeals must be submitted in writing marked to the attention of the Head of Education as follows:

Head of Education

Ella Bache College of Skin and Beauty Therapy

Level 2, 77 Berry St,

North Sydney NSW 2060

 

The Head of Education will consult with the complainant and other relevant parties within 10 working days of the appeal being lodged.

Each case can be heard by the Head of Education, independent person or a panel and always with two persons present.

Where possible such consultations should take the form of face-to-face interviews.  The complainant or the respondent may ask another person to accompany them to these interviews.

Following the consultation, the Head of Education will provide a written report within 10 working days to the complainant advising the further steps taken to address the grievance, including the reasons for the decision.  The report will also advise the complainant of their right to access the external appeals process if they are not satisfied with the outcome of their internal appeal.

Stage Three – External Appeal

If the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of their appeal, he or she can seek to exercise their rights to a better resolution or an appeal from other outside parties and legal sources should that be necessary.

If the complaint cannot be resolved through the internal complaints handling process, then the student may lodge their complaint with an external body such as; an

  • Representatives of state or territory government departments
  • Commonwealth and State or Territory offices of the Ombudsman
  • The Anti Discrimination Board
  • The Office of Fair Trading
  • Private conciliators or dispute resolution counselors.

OR

Complainants may lodge an external appeal to the Australian Skills Quality Authority.

In the first instance students must first follow the Ella Baché College of Skin and Beauty Therapy College internal appeals process prior to lodging a complaint with ASQA.  If after the internal process, a complainant still believes the RTO is breaching or has breached its legal requirements, they can submit a complaint to ASQA by completing the Complaint about a training organization operating under ASQA’s jurisdiction form.

Except in exceptional circumstances, students must attach evidence to the complaint form showing:

  • That they have followed the RTO’s formal grievance procedure; and
  • The RTO’s response.

ASQA’s processes require students to identify themselves as a complainant; however students may request to keep their identity confidential throughout the investigation.

If students need help with the Complaints, Grievances and Appeals process or if they are unsure whether ASQA can help with the complaint, they can call the ASQA Info line on 1300 701 801 or email complaintsteam@asqa.gov.au for further information.

OR

International students may take their complaint to the Overseas Student Ombudsman.

The College will act accordingly when an outcome is reached, and will ensure that all parties are treated fairly and without bias.

While the complaint, grievance and appeal process is in motion, the College will maintain the student’s enrolment throughout the ongoing matter until it is resolved.

Appeals against an Assessment Decision

Students can appeal against an assessment result.

The appeal process is in the Student Handbook and on the website.  Trainers must be aware of the appeal process and be able to explain this to students.

It is important that the appeal is settled as quickly as possible.  This may include:

  • Resubmission or a second testing
In the first instance, the trainer will consult with the Principal and depending on the circumstances, will provide an opportunity to re-sit the exam or resubmit the piece of work.  It will then be re-marked.  The request and reasons will be recorded in writing.
  • Marking by a second assessor
The trainer should immediately inform the Principal if a re-sit or re-submission is recommended or if the student has a grievance, disagreement or dispute about the results. The appeal will be discussed with the student and trainer and recorded in writing, considered by the Principal and if appropriate, arrangements will be made for re-assessment by another assessor.
  • A written assessment appeal

If the student is still not satisfied with the re-submission process and second marking the student must put their appeal in writing as per the Complaints, Grievance and Appeal Policy. The Steps under “Stage 2 – Internal Appeal” of the Complaints, Grievance and Appeal Policy will then be followed.

If the assessment appeal is substantiated, it is the College’s responsibility to follow up on the issues, modify policies and procedures if required and record this action in the continuous improvement system.  The student and trainer will be notified of this follow up and corrective action.  Where appropriate, trainers will be involved in a validation of the subject assessment plan and assessment activities to benchmark their assessment practice with other teachers.

DOCUMENTS

  • Complaints and Appeal form
  • Assessment Appeal form
  • Complaints and Appeal Outcomes Report