General Complaints and Appeals

Note:  The National Training Complaints Hotline is a service for consumers to register complaints concerning vocational education and training.   Contact details are: 13 38 73 (Mon - Fri, 8am - 6pm) or skilling@education.gov.au

Purpose:

The Complaints and Appeals policy and procedures are designed to ensure that RuralBiz Training responds effectively to any individual dissatisfied with our decisions or operations.  It provides a process for all complaints and appeals to be addressed in a fair, efficient and confidential manner and is an important component of our continuing improvement process.

Complaints and appeals may be made in relation to any of RuralBiz Training’s services, activities and decisions.

Definitions:

Complaints – a person's dissatisfaction with any service provided by RuralBiz Training.

Appeal – a request to review a decision that has previously been made by RuralBiz Training affecting that person.

Complaints and appeals systems:

RuralBiz Training is committed to developing and maintaining an effective, timely, fair and equitable complaints and appeals system that is easily accessed and is free of charge.  We will ensure that:

  • our culture views complaints and appeals as opportunities for continuing improvement for our organisation
  • a complaints and appeals system that is based on the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness (click here for further information)
  • the views of each person involved are respected and all parties are not subject to discrimination or harassment
  • our response to complaints and appeals is consistent
  • we resolve complaints and appeals promptly, objectively, sensitively and confidentially
  • our students are fully informed of their right to lodge a complaint or an appeal
  • all formal complaints and appeals are recorded in our Complaints and Appeals Register and all other complaints and appeals are recorded as feedback.

Appeals

Assessment appeals

Students have the right to appeal against assessment decisions made by RuralBiz Training.  The grounds for an appeal against an assessment decision must be made on at least one of the following grounds:

  1. the student did not receive a written outline of the assessment process
  2. the assessment process was not carried out in line with the written outline
  3. student needs were not appropriately taken into account
  4. the assessment process did not meet the training package requirements
  5. the student genuinely believes there was an administrative error in calculating the assessment outcome
  6. trainer/assessor bias or incompetence
  7. faulty equipment or facilities provided by RuralBiz Training to undertake the assessment.

Other appeals

Any party directly affected by a RuralBiz Training decision may appeal.  These appeals may include, but are not limited to, matters such as eligibility for enrolment, eligibility for concessional fees, credit transfers and discounts.

Timeframe for appeals

All appeals decisions must be made within ten (10) working days of the RuralBiz Training notification of the original decision.

Resolving issues before they become complaints

All parties are encouraged wherever possible to resolve concerns or issues directly with the person(s) involved before it becomes a formal complaint.  RuralBiz Training staff and contractors are to be available to assist complainants resolve such issues in an approachable and friendly manner.

Formal complaints and appeals – grievance procedure

Note: if we consider that your grievance may require more than 60 days to process and finalise, we will inform you of this in writing and give reasons why more time is required.

Stage One

Formal complaints and appeals should be submitted in writing to the Administration Manager at RuralBiz Training, PO Box 524, Dubbo NSW 2830 or admin@ruralbiztraining.com.au.  If you are unable to submit this in writing, please ring us and we will assist by making a draft record of your verbal complaint in writing, and send this to you.  You can then amend and submit it to us by mail or email (see above).  We invite you to include suggestions about how the complaint or appeal might be resolved.

The Administration Manager will then assess the grievance, and assign it to the relevant person within RuralBiz Training as follows:

Complaints – Administration Manager

Assessment appeals – Trainer/assessor in related subject area who was not involved in the original decision

Other appeals  –  Administration Manager, or CEO if the Administration Manager was involved in the original decision

RuralBiz Training will acknowledge receipt of the formal complaint or appeal to the person lodging it within two (2) working days.

The assigned RuralBiz Training representative is to contact the affected party to discuss and resolve the problem.   All parties are encouraged to communicate with each other with an open mind and attempt to resolve problems through discussion and conciliation.

The Administration Manager is to confirm the outcomes of these discussions with the complainant and report to the weekly management meeting for recording in the meeting minutes.

The Complainant will be advised of their right to access stage two of this procedure if they are not satisfied with the outcome of Stage One.

Stage Two

If the Complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of Stage One they may lodge an appeal in writing with the CEO at RuralBiz Training, PO Box 524, Dubbo NSW 2830.

The Complainant’s appeal will be determined by the CEO who will conduct all necessary consultations with the Complainant and other relevant persons and make a determination of the appeal.  The Complainant will be advised in writing of the outcome of their appeal, including the reasons for the decision within 10 working days of receipt of the appeal at the RuralBiz Training office.

The Complainant will be advised of their right to progress to Stage Three of the grievance procedure if they consider the matter unresolved.

Stage Three

If the Complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of their appeal, an independent mediator will be sourced by RuralBiz Training through LEADR, the Association of Dispute Resolvers.

Costs of such mediation will be paid by RuralBiz Training.

RuralBiz Training agrees to be bound by the recommendations arising from the external mediation of the complaint and the CEO will ensure that any recommendations made are implemented within 30 days of receipt of the recommendations.

If the Complainant remains unsatisfied with the outcome of the mediator’s decision, then they may contact relevant external regulators according to the nature of the issue.

Issues related to quality of training and assessment services - Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).  For contact details and information please see: http://www.asqa.gov.au/complaints/making-a-complaint.html.

Issues related to consumer affairs – Department of Fair Trading or similar for your state.

Issues related to vocational education and training - National Training Hotline (link provides contact details and further information).

 

Timeframes applicable to this procedure

If we consider that your grievance may require more than 60 days to process and finalise, we will inform you of this in writing and give reasons why more time is required.  We will keep you informed of the progress of resolving your complaint or appeal by contacting you by email or letter regularly (at least once every 14 days).

 Records

 We will keep a record of your complaint or appeal and the outcome, and use it to identify what we need to do to eliminate or reduce the chance of the situation which led to your grievance happening again.