Grievance Handling and Resolution Policy and Procedure

 

The Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors Pty Ltd as trustee for AIPC Trust (“the Institute”) is committed to developing and maintaining an effective, timely, fair and equitable grievance handling system which is easily accessible.

 

The Institute aims to:

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

 

A grievance may be an expression of dissatisfaction with:

This Grievance Handling and Resolution Policy and Procedure is designed to ensure that the Institute responds effectively to individual cases of dissatisfaction.

 

Policy coverage

 

In relation to non-academic grievances, the term "complainant" applies to both current students of the Institute and persons seeking to enrol with the Institute.

 

These grievance procedures will be made available to complainants regardless of the location of the campus at which the grievance has arisen, the mode in which they study or their place of residence.

 

Before an issue becomes a formal grievance

 

The Institute strives to deal with grievances as soon as they emerge in order to avoid further disruption or the need for a formal complaint.

 

In the first instance, if a complainant has a grievance about any aspect of service provided, they are encouraged to speak immediately and in the first instance with the Student Support Officer or an Academic staff member to resolve the issue. Please note that it is not mandatory for complainants to raise a grievance informally.

 

Procedure

 

This procedure can be utilised by complainants to submit a grievance of an academic or non-academic nature. Grievances of an academic nature include issues related to student progress, assessment, curriculum and awards in a course of study.  Grievances of a non-academic nature cover all other matters including grievances in relation to personal information that the Institute holds in relation to an individual.

 

During all stages of this procedure the Institute will take all steps to ensure that:

Appeals against an assessment result:

 

The Institute provides an avenue for students to appeal the awarding of subject and assessment results.  Students are able to appeal against their results within 28 days from issue of the result.


The appeal should be forwarded in writing with a copy of the completed assessment/s including the Lecturer’s assessment comments to:


Head of School
AIPC Head Office
Locked Bag 15
Fortitude Valley QLD 4006

Upon receipt, the Head of School will review the result and notify the student in writing of the outcome, including reasons for the decision, within 14 days of receipt of the appeal.

 

If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the Head of School then they may appeal the decision as described in Stage 2 below.

 

All other grievances

 

The following procedure can be utilised by complainants to submit a grievance of an academic or non-academic nature.  Grievances of an academic nature include matters related to student progress, assessment, curriculum and awards in a course of study.  Grievances of a non-academic nature include all other matters.  Students who wish to appeal an assessment result should use the procedure outlined above in lieu of Stage One below.

 

Stage One – Formal Grievance:

Formal grievances must be submitted in writing to the Administration Manager.

 

The address to send this correspondence is:

Administration Manager
AIPC Head Office
Locked Bag 15
Fortitude Valley QLD  4006

 

Receipt of the grievance will be acknowledged in writing within 7 days. The grievance handling process will commence within ten working days of the receipt of the formal grievance and all reasonable measures will be taken to finalise the process as soon as practicable.


The Administration Manager, or their nominee (who must be independent of the grievance), will then assess the grievance, determine the outcome and provide a written report to the complainant on their decision within 28 days.

 

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 - Appeal:

 

If a complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of Stage One (or their appeal against an assessment result) they may lodge an appeal in writing with the Chief Executive Officer.

 

The appeal should be forwarded to:

Higher Education Board
c/- AIPC Head Office
Locked Bag 15
Fortitude Valley QLD 4006

 

The complaint’s appeal will be determined by the Chief Executive Officer which 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 the outcome of their appeal, including the reasons for the decision within 28 days of lodgement of the appeal.


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 – External Review:

 

If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of Stage Two they may lodge an external appeal to LEADR, an association offering dispute resolution services, within 20 working days of receiving notice of the outcome of their appeal.

 

Contact Details for LEADR:

LEADR Head Office
Level 1, 13-15 Bridge Street
Sydney  NSW  2000

Ph: 1800 651 650   Fax: (02) 9251 3366
Email: leadr@leadr.com.au
Website: www.leadr.com.au

 

Complainants who wish to lodge an external appeal can contact LEADR and request details of a suitable Mediator.  LEADR have a free referral service to a Mediator and the Mediator will charge a fee for the first four hours of their services, with an hourly rate applying thereafter.  50% of the fee will be borne by the Institute and 50% by the student.

 

The Institute agrees to participate in good faith in the mediation process and be bound by the external Mediator’s recommendations.  The Chief Executive Officer will ensure that any recommendations made are implemented within 30 days of receipt of the report from the external Mediator.

 

If the complaint still remains unresolved after the external dispute resolution process, the complainant may decide to refer the matter to an external agency such as the Anti-Discrimination Commission, Office of Fair Trading or other bodies as appropriate.

 

Record keeping & confidentiality

 

Records of all grievances handled under this procedure and their outcomes shall be maintained for a period of at least five years to allow all parties to the grievance appropriate access to these records, upon written request to the Chief Executive Officer.  These records will be maintained at AIPC Head Office, 47 Baxter Street, Fortitude Valley, Qld, 4006.

 

All records relating to complaints will be treated as confidential and will be covered by AIPC’s Privacy and Personal Information Policy.

 

Additional information

 

Nothing in this Grievance Handling and Resolution Policy and Procedure limits the rights of students or persons seeking to enrol with the Institute to take action under Australia's Consumer Protection laws.  The procedures set out in this document do not replace or modify procedures or any other responsibilities which may arise under other higher education provider policies or under statute or any other law.  Also, these dispute resolution procedures do not circumscribe an individual's rights to pursue other legal remedies.

 

Approval and training

 

This Policy and Procedure was agreed to and ratified by the Board of Directors of Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors Pty Ltd as trustee for AIPC Trust on 3 June 2014.  The CEO ensures this Policy and Procedure is included in the Student Handbook and is available for all students on the Institute’s website at www.aipc.net.au.

 

For the purposes of communicating to and training staff, this Policy and Procedure is included in the Policies and Procedures Manual, Staff Handbook and is covered during the staff induction process (facilitated by the CEO).