1.1 If a client has a complaint that they wish to raise with Southern Education they are encouraged to do so through the Complaints and Appeals procedure. Clients are also encouraged to appeal any decision if they feel they have valid grounds via the Appeals process as per this policy. This includes assessment and RPL decisions. Clients can lodge a complaint or appeal against any decision made by a third party providing services on Southern Education behalf, its trainers, assessors or others.
1.2 Clients may lodge informal and formal complaints. Clients may also access Southern Education internal and the external appeals process.
1.3 Southern Education has a procedure for informal/ formal complaints and internal and external appeals processing/ handling.
1.4 All complaints and appeals lodged will be used for continuous improvement purposes.
1.5 The General Manager is responsible for implementing this policy and reviewing its effectiveness in compliance with regulatory guidelines.
1.6 This policy will be implemented in compliance with the requirements of the Standards of Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 Standard 6.
1.7 This policy and procedure applies to all Southern Education clients and staff.
1.8 Clients right to access Australian consumer protection law and other legal remedies is not affected by this policy and procedure.
1.9 All clients are provided information on Complaints and appeals policy and procedure pre and post enrolment.
1.10 Southern Education encourages all parties to approach a complaint or appeal with an open view and to attempt to resolve problems through discussion and conciliation.
1.11 Clients may be accompanied and assisted by a representative at any time.
1.12 Clients’ enrolments are maintained whilst an internal complaint or appeal is in progress and the outcome has not been determined.
1.13 If there is any matter arising from a client complaint or appeal that is a systemic issue which requires improvement action this will be reported to Southern Education management meeting as part of the continuous improvement process.
1.14 The client will incur no cost during the complaints and appeals process unless they seek external representation.
1.15 Complaints and appeals are taken seriously by Southern Education and action is commenced within 5 days of receipt of a complaint or appeal. Southern Education act upon the outcome of any complaint found to be substantiated. Appeals must be lodged within 20 working days of the decision of a complaint process or assessment result.
1.16 Clients are provided the opportunity to lodge their complaint or appeal in writing.
1.17 The principles of natural justice and procedural fairness are consistently applied when Southern Education is implementing this policy and procedure.
1.18 Southern Education encourages all parties to approach a complaint or appeal with an open view and to attempt to resolve problems in a fair, unbiased and equitable manner through discussion and conciliation.
1.19 All complaints and appeals will be handled professionally and confidentially in order to achieve a satisfactory resolution that is fair, unbiased and equitable to all parties.
1.20 Where a complaint or appeal cannot be resolved through discussion and conciliation, we acknowledge the need for an appropriate external and independent agent to review the process implemented by the Institute.
1.21 The following procedure outlines how clients will have their complaints and appeals processed.
Southern Education Complaints and Appeals policy and procedure in no way effects the clients right= to access consumer affairs legislation and legal representation.
Clients also have the right to contact the VET regulator if they are dissatisfied with the complaints and appeals process and lodge a complaint against Southern Education.
Australian Skills Quality Authority
Phone: 1300 701 801