Complaints and FeedbackAvondale understands that occasionally issues may arise regarding the quality of service or decisions made by the various areas within the University and the complaints process is available for resolution of these concerns.
The Complaint Resolution Procedure covers:
- behaviour of an Avondale staff member or student which contravenes a policy or procedure
- the content, design or delivery of an academic program
- quality of an Avondale service
- quality of Avondale’s equipment, facilities or resources
- decisions of university staff regarding non-academic issues
- behaviour or decisions of third parties such as placement providers, international student agents or contractors.
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The Complaint Resolution Procedure does not cover:
- academic appeals
- complaints regarding research
- maintenance requests
- work, health and safety issues
- initial complaints regarding decisions relevant to other policies and procedures
- the submission of a complaint by staff
- feedback, which is just a comment and resolution is not expected
For appeals regarding academic decisions such as unit grades or show cause requests refer to the Appeal Procedure (Academic) and the online appeal form.
If your complaint relates to sexual assault or sexual harassment, please contact Jen Petrie [email protected] (Director, Student Life Services). The Sexual Misconduct & Sexual Harassment Policy provides further detail for responding to these incidents.
The following links should be used for maintenance requests or WHS concerns:
Work Health & Safety – email [email protected]
Emergency situationsIn an emergency you should call 000 and/or contact Security on 02 4980 2333 (Lake Macquarie Campus) or 02 9487 9988 (Sydney Campus).
PrinciplesAvondale aims to maintain a complaint resolution process that:
- is accessible, impartial, fair and equitable
- is transparent and consistent
- is undertaken in a timely and responsive manner
- ensures that the complainant is not adversely affected
- is free
- encourages the maintenance of harmonious relationships
- where possible, encourages informal resolution of concerns
- ensures as far as possible, your privacy and confidentiality.
ResolutionThe complaint resolution process includes three steps
- informal discussions
- formal complaint submission
- internal review
There are a range of possible outcomes, including but not limited to:
- a change to the original decision
- a commitment by the University to improve existing processes or services
- penalties under related policies
- an apology
- upholding the original decision.
If your complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction after these three steps, you may seek an external review by an independent body.
Informal discussionsWe encourage you to try to resolve your complaint informally before lodging a formal complaint.
Formal complaint submissionYou should lodge a formal complaint if you are unable to resolve your complaint informally with the person concerned. You can also lodge a formal complaint as the first step if you do not feel safe or comfortable raising the matter directly with the person concerned.
A formal complaint should be lodged no later than three months after the incident leading to the complaint.
Anonymous complaints will be accepted, however if you elect to remain anonymous it may affect the University’s ability to investigate, resolve and/or respond to your complaint.
If you need help to make a formal complaint you can obtain advice and support from Student Life Services.
You can lodge a complaint using the online form, or by email to [email protected].
You will need to provide:
- details of the complaint
- the steps that you have already taken to resolve the complaint
- the outcomes that you are seeking
- relevant supporting documents.
Avondale will then:
- acknowledge receipt of your complaint by email within one working day
- assess your complaint and determine the most appropriate resolution process. You will receive an email within 10 working days of lodging your complaint outlining the next steps that Avondale will take or explaining why the complaint will not be accepted.
- your complaint will usually be resolved within a further 20 working days.
- You will be notified within 5 working days after the decision is made.
Internal reviewIf you are not satisfied that the complaint management process has led to a satisfactory resolution, you may apply for an internal review. The process for this review will be outlined in the correspondence notifying you of the decision.
External reviewIf you remain dissatisfied with the outcome, you may lodge a complaint with an external body such as the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, Australian Skills Quality Authority, or Commonwealth Ombudsman.
Your responsibilityYou are expected to participate in all processes honestly and respectfully, and to follow any reasonable recommendations from staff for resolution. You should provide requested documentation and all relevant information.
Any student who lodges a frivolous, vexatious or deliberately misleading complaint will have the complaint dismissed and may be subject to disciplinary procedures under the Student General Conduct & Discipline Policy.
Further information and supportIf you are unsure of how to commence the complaint process, or require advice during the process contact:
- the Manager, Academic Quality and Standards at [email protected]
- the Director, Student Life Services at [email protected]
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