Complaints and Appeals Policy

Background

For the purposes of this Policy, unless otherwise stated, any reference to:

  • Validum means Validum Group Pty Limited, trading as Validum Institute;
  • Validum Management means the directors and officers of Validum, and any members of Validum’s managerial team;
  • personnel means any employee, staff, agent, contractor, sub-contractor, directors, officers and any persons providing services and performing functions and activities on behalf of Validum;
  • RTO Standards means the Standards for RTOs 2015;
  • a clause, schedule, item or annexure is a reference to a clause, schedule, item or annexure in the RTO Standards; and
  • the Regulator means the Australian Skills Quality Authority.

This Policy applies to:

  1. all Validum personnel in relation to the provision of any training and assessment services (and related functions and operations) regulated by the RTO Standards;
  1. any issues, concerns or complaints notified to Validum in relation to the conduct of:
    • any third party providing services on Validum’s behalf, its trainers, or assessors; and
    • a learner enrolled at Validum; and
  1. any appeals lodged by individuals in relation to any decision made by Validum in connection with this Policy.

Unless the context indicates otherwise, this processes and procedures set out in this Policy deal with complaints and appeals made by Validum learners.

Policy statement

Validum will respond in a timely manner to any issues, concerns or complaints (in this Policy, collectively referred to as complaints) or appeals it receives in accordance with the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness.

Any complaints or appeals received by Validum will be notified immediately to Validum Management and will activate Validum’s complaints and appeals process.

Complaints

Learners have the option of lodging complaints through either Validum’s Informal Process or Formal Process.

Validum personnel will advise learners of the availability of the Informal or Formal Processes.

Informal Process

  1. Learners may submit a complaint (verbally or in writing) directly to Validum personnel with a view to resolving the complaint through discussion and mutual agreement.
  2. Learners may be accompanied by a third party of their choice to support them in any face to face discussions with Validum personnel as part of the Informal Process.
  3. All complaints received via the Informal Process when finalised will be reported to Validum Management by Validum personnel for further review and consideration for potential continuous improvement actions, whether or not the complaint was resolved.
  4. Learners will be informed in writing within 5 business days of resolution of the complaint
  5. Any complaints received via the Informal Process which remain unresolved will be transferred to Formal Process.

Formal Process

  1. Learners who wish to lodge a formal complaint or are dissatisfied with an outcome from the Informal Process may submit a formal complaint to Validum Management by completing a Complaint Form.
  2. The receipt of a Complaint Form by Validum Management will activate the Formal Process.
  3. Validum Management will acknowledge in writing the receipt of a formal complaint within 3 business days of receiving a completed Complaint Form.
  4. Validum Management will then investigate the complaint and provide a written response and proposed resolution to the learner within 10 business days wherever practicable.
  5. Validum Management’s response to a formal complaint will also include information about the complainant’s right (and procedures) to appeal Validum’s response and proposed resolution, and request an independent adjudicator.
  6. If Validum considers that a complaint will require more than 60 calendar days to investigate and resolve, Validum Management will inform the complainant in writing, including reasons why more than 60 calendar days are required; and regularly update the complainant on the progress of the complaint.
  7. All formal complaints when finalised will be documented by Validum Management for further review and consideration for potential continuous improvement actions, whether or not the complaint was resolved.

In the event that a learner advises Validum that he/she is dissatisfied with the proposed resolution to a formal complaint, Validum Management will provide an additional opportunity to provide a resolution through the External Appeals Process.

External Appeals Process

  1. Validum will inform the learner that an independent third party will be engaged to consider the nature of the complaint and a possible further resolution at no cost to the learner.
  2. Validum will advise the learner of the identity of the nominated independent third party and Validum must obtain the learner’s agreement with the nomination.
  3. Validum Management will then contact the independent third party and provide all documentation relating to the formal complaint and the learner’s contact details.
  4. On receipt of the formal complaint documentation, the independent third party will contact Validum Management and the learner to arrange a suitable time for a discussion (Initial Discussion) about the subject matter of the appeal.
  5. The independent third party is required to provide a response and a decision about the appeal within 7 days from the date of the Initial Discussion.
  6. If an appeal is recognised as requiring more than 60 calendar days to resolve, Validum Management will inform the appellant in writing, including reasons why more than 60 calendar days are required; and regularly update the appellant on the progress of the appeal.
  7. The independent third party’s response and decision shall be final and binding on both Validum and the learner, be communicated within 1 business day to Validum Management and the learner, and will be immediately implemented by both parties.

Assessment result appeals

All appeals from learners about assessment results must be received within 3 months of the learner receiving a  “Not Yet Competent” assessment decision from Validum.

Assessment result appeals procedure

Validum training and assessment personnel will:

  1. if requested by a learner, provide information to the learner about the assessment appeals procedure;
  2. clarify any aspects of the assessment results that a learner does not understand;
  3. on receiving written notice that a learner wishes to lodge an appeal, provide the learner with an Assessment Appeal Form;
  4. advise Validum Management as soon as they become aware that a learner intends to appeal an assessment decision;
  5. meet with the learner (if possible) and Validum Management after receiving a completed Assessment Appeal Form from a learner; and
  6. notify the learner of any outcome or decision by Validum Management to uphold or overturn an assessment appeal.  This notification is done by completing the Assessment Appeal Form and clearly stating the reason for the outcome.

Validum Management will consider and respond to any appeal within 10 business days of receiving an Assessment Appeal Form.

All assessment appeals must be maintained on the learner’s file.

Where necessary, learner records will be adjusted to comply with the appeal outcome decisions.

Complaints and appeals record retention

Validum will keep records of all complaints and appeals and their outcomes.

Complaints and appeals will be discussed by Validum Management as they arise. Validum Management will ensure that Validum takes appropriate corrective actions to eliminate or mitigate the likelihood of reoccurrence of any complaints or appeals.

Records of all informal or formal complaints and appeals will be documented and all written learner complaints records will be made retrievable from the relevant Learner’s file.

How to make a complaint or appeal

Complaints

Learners can lodge a complaint by:

  • Informal Process– raising their complaint with Validum personnel either verbally or in writing (refer to Validum’s contact details below); or
  • Formal Process– completing a Complaint Form.  Complaint Forms are available by contacting Validum.

Assessment result appeals

Learners can lodge an appeal against an assessment result by contacting Validum for an Assessment Appeal Form.

Validum contact details

Office address
The Fresh Centre Building, Brisbane Markets Precinct
Level 1, Unit 9/385 Sherwood Road
ROCKLEA  QLD  4106, Australia

Postal address
PO Box 278
BRISBANE MARKETS  QLD  4106, Australia

Telephone: +61 7 3193 5270

Email: info@validumgroup.com.au