Student Review Procedures for Re-Crediting a FEE-HELP Balance

 

The Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors Pty Ltd as trustee for AIPC Trust (“the Institute”) will conduct this procedure in compliance with the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and Higher Education Provider Guidelines.
For the purposes of this procedure a student is a person other than an international student who is enrolled in a higher education course with the Institute.
The Institute will:

1. As defined by the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000

 

Special Circumstances

 

If a student withdraws from a unit of study after the census date for that unit of study, or has been unable to successfully complete a unit of study, and believes this was due to special circumstances then the student may apply to have their FEE-HELP balance re-credited for the affected units of study.

 

The Institute will re-credit the student’s FEE-HELP balance if it is satisfied that special circumstances apply that:

The Institute will be satisfied that a student’s circumstances are beyond the student’s control if a situation occurs that a reasonable person would consider is not due to the person’s action or inaction, either direct or indirect, and for which the student is not responsible. The situation must be unusual, uncommon or abnormal.

Each application will be examined and determined on its merits by considering a student’s claim together with independent supporting documentation substantiating the claim.

 

Initial applications for the re-crediting of a student’s FEE-HELP balance are to be made, in writing, to the Student Support Officer and sent to:

Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors
Locked Bag 15
Fortitude Valley QLD 4006

 

The procedure for the re-crediting of a FEE-HELP balance is as follows:

  1. When a student withdraws from a unit of study, the Institute shall confirm the withdrawal by giving notice to the student in writing stating the date at which the withdrawal has taken effect;
  2. When a student fails to meet the requirements of a unit of study, the Institute shall confirm the failure by giving notice to the student in writing of the final result for that unit of study after results have been properly approved;
  3. In the circumstance of withdrawing from a unit, the student must apply in writing to the Student Support Officer within 12 months from the date specified in the notice as the day of withdrawal;
  4. In the circumstance of not meeting the requirements of a unit of study, the student must apply in writing within 12 months after the period during which the student was enrolled in the unit; 
  5. The Institute may exercise its discretion to waive the 12 month timeframe if, in its opinion, it was not possible for the application to be made before the end of the 12 month period;
  6. The Student Support Officer will consider the application and will agree to such requests if they are satisfied that there were special circumstances in the student’s case;
  7. If the application is successful, the Institute will re-credit the student’s FEE-HELP balance with an amount equal to the amounts of FEE-HELP assistance that the student has received for the affected unit(s) of study and the student’s FEE-HELP debt for those units of study will be removed;
  8. The Student Support Officer shall advise the student of the outcome of the application within 28 days stating the reasons for the decision;
  9. The Student Support Officer shall also advise the student of their rights for a review of the decision if they are not satisfied with its outcome and that a request for such a review must be lodged within 28 days from the day of receipt of the decision or such longer period as the Student Support Officer allows.

 

Review of a decision

 

If a student is not satisfied with the decision made by the Student Support Officer in relation to re-crediting their FEE-HELP balance they may request a review of the decision.  The review shall be carried out by the Review Officer, who is the Chief Executive Officer and is senior to the original decision maker.

 

Any such request is to be submitted to the Review Officer in writing and:

  1. must be lodged within 28 days of receiving notice of the original decision, unless the Review Officer allows a longer period; and
  2. must specify the reasons for making the request and include any supporting documentation; and
  3. Sent to:

    Australian Institute of Personal Counsellors
    Locked Bag 15
    Fortitude Valley QLD 4006

The Review Officer shall acknowledge receipt of an application for a review of the refusal to re-credit a FEE-HELP balance in writing and inform the applicant that if the Review Officer has not advised the applicant of a decision within 45 days of having received the application for review, the Review Officer is taken to have confirmed the original decision. This notice shall also advise the applicant that they have the right to apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal within 28 days for a review of that decision and will provide the contact details of the closest Administrative Appeals Tribunal Registry and the approximate costs of lodging an appeal.

 

The Review Officer shall:

The Review Officer may:

The Review Officer will give written notice of the decision setting out the reasons for the decision. The applicant shall also be advised in the decision of the right to apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal within 28 days of receiving the written advice of a decision for a review of that decision and be provided with the contact details of the closest Administrative Appeals Tribunal Registry and the approximate costs of lodging an appeal as follows:

Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Level 4, Harry Gibbs Building
Commonwealth Law Courts
119 North Quay
Brisbane QLD 4000
Telephone (07) 3361 3000

 

Where a student is unsatisfied with the reviewed decision they may apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal within 28 days for consideration of the Institute's decision to refuse to re-credit their FEE-HELP balance. The student may supply additional information to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal which they did not previously supply to the Institute either in the original application or the request for review.

 

The Secretary of the Department of Education (DoE), or the Secretary's delegate, will be the respondent for cases that are brought before the AAT. Upon the DoE's receipt of a notification from the AAT, the DoE will notify the Institute that an appeal has been lodged. Upon receipt of this notification from the DoE, the Review Officer will provide the DoE with copies of all the documents they hold that are relevant to the appeal within five (5) business days.