Appeals and Complaints

Pre-enrolment Appeal Procedure

Policy Code: CG1961

Purpose

This procedure provides a framework for Federation University Australia to respond to pre-enrolment appeals by applicants in a way that ensures integrity of selection and offers decisions within a learning environment that is consistent with the principles of fairness, equal opportunity and natural justice:

  • All parties shall have the right to be heard
  • All relevant submissions and evidence shall be considered
  • Matters that are not relevant shall not be taken into account
  • The decision-maker shall not be biased or appear to be biased.

Scope

This procedure is applicable to unsuccessful applicants of Federation University Australia.

This procedure covers all programs and courses under The University’s Statute 5.1, Schedule 5.1 and non-award courses.

Rights to appeal under this procedure do not apply to the University’s assessment of applications for Streamlined Visa Processing (SVP) purposes).

Legislative Context

  • Federation University Act 2010
  • Statute 2.2 - Academic Board
  • Regulation 2.2 Appeals Committee
  • Statute 5.1 – Academic Awards and Courses
  • Schedule 5.1 Current Programs
  • Statute 5.2 – Entry Quotas, Admissions and Enrolment
  • Regulation 5.2 – Entry Quotas, Admissions and Enrolment
  • Statute 5.6 - Admission to and Granting of Academic Awards
  • Regulation 5.6 Admission to and Granting of Academic Awards
  • Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
  • Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)
  • Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) Threshold Standards 2011

Definitions

A complete list of definitions relevant to this procedure is contained within the Student Appeal Policy.

Actions

1. Confidentiality and Privacy

Any pre-enrolment appeal received must be treated by all parties as strictly confidential – refer Information Privacy Policy.

Information forming part of the pre-enrolment appeal shall only be discussed with, or made available to, a person who:

  • Is a party to the appeal
  • Is or has been legitimately involved in the management of that appeal; or
  • Has a formal management role in following up the consequences or implications of the appeal

Parties must be aware of the consequences if there is a breach of confidentiality, which may include disciplinary action.

2. Handling a Complaint

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Appeal against selection decision - verbal All relevant staff
  1. If the issue cannot be resolved through initial discussion, the complainant shall be requested to formalise the matter in writing
  2. Verbal complaints/appeals from unsuccessful applicants against a selection decision will not be accepted nor acknowledged
B. Written complaint received by staff member at local level Staff member
  1. If a written complaint is received, the staff member will re-direct the complaint to the responsible Executive Dean/Executive Director
  2. Acknowledge the complaint in writing within five working days of receipt
C. Complaints involving a Partner Provider Centre for University Partnerships
  1. If an on-shore or off-shore written complaint is received, appropriate steps should be taken to avoid disadvantaging the applicant during the investigation and resolution process
  2. Advise the Partner Provider and involve representative/s of the organisation in the resolution process
  3. Acknowledge the complaint in writing within five working days of receipt

3. Review the Complaint

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Review the complaint Executive Dean /Executive Director or delegate
  1. An appeal against a selection decision by a prospective student may be dismissed as lacking in substance if the decision is consistent with the published selection criteria, or if the complainant meets the published selection criteria but was declined entry in favour of better qualified applicants
  2. Investigate the complaint, if required by conducting a full review of:
    • The program selection criteria
    • The University’s entry requirements
    • The Program entry requirements; and
    • The applicant’s eligibility for the program
    • The selection process
    • Offers of admission made for the program
  3. Record the findings
B. Seek guidance Executive Dean /Executive Director or delegate
  1. Seek guidance from Legal Office as required
C. Report findings Executive Dean /Executive Director or delegate
  1. Submit report to Academic Board Executive

4. Notify the Complainant

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Notify complainant Executive Officer responsible
  1. Notify the complainant in writing, of the outcome of the investigation undertaken
  2. If the outcome is not accepted, advise of other external mechanisms available, such as the Victorian Ombudsman

5. Recording Outcome

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Appeal record Executive Officer responsible
  1. Record information about the applicant’s complaint and outcome in the Legal Office register for such purpose
  2. Refer Records Management (below) for correct storage and destruction of individual documents in accordance with the Public Records Office Victoria’s Retention and Disposal Schedule for Higher and Further Education Institutions

6. Process Improvement

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Analysis of the issue Executive Dean /Executive Director or delegate
  1. Involve stakeholders in the root cause analysis
  2. Develop an improvement plan to address future occurrences of the issue
  3. Amend the relevant University procedure
  4. Implement and monitor improvement plan every two years

Responsibility

  • Academic Board is responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this procedure.
  • Chair, Academic Board is responsible for maintaining the content of this policy as delegated by Academic Board.
  • Secretariat is responsible for the administration support for the maintenance of this policy as directed by the Chair, Academic Board.

Promulgation

The Pre-enrolment Appeal Procedure will be communicated throughout the University community in the form of:

  • An Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the ‘Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University’ website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Procedure.
  • Learning and Teaching Committee
  • Staff Induction Program
  • Academic Induction Program

Implementation

The Pre-enrolment Appeal Procedure will be implemented throughout the University via:

  • Information Sessions; and/or
  • Training Sessions; and/or

    Records Management

    Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period
    Written appeal received from applicant

    School/Faculty

    or University’s approved record keeping system

    Executive Dean /Executive Director or delegate Destroy one year from the date received
    Register item University’s approved record keeping system Executive Officer to Director, Corporate Governance Permanent
    Investigative records

    School/Faculty

    or University’s approved record keeping system

    Executive Dean /Executive Director or delegate Destroy one year from the date of investigation
    Report submitted to Academic Board Executive University’s approved record keeping system Executive Dean /Executive Director or delegate Permanent
    Response to complainant University’s approved record keeping system Executive Dean /Executive Director or delegate Destroy one year from the date sent