I have a complaint against the University, what can I do?
There is a three-step complaint resolution process for any complaints, whether they are about a tutor/unit coordinator that has breached the QUT Staff Code of Conduct or some other breach of policy.
Level One – Informal resolution of complaint
Most grievances are resolved informally, through discussion with the involved parties. It is recommended that the student comes forward with any complaints as soon as possible to quickly and effectively deal with the issue at hand. If you would appreciate guidance with your informal complaint, you are welcome to contact the QUT Guild Advocacy Officers to assist you.
After seeking information and advice in relation to the matter of concern, the student has the following options:
- Take no further action; or
- Make an informal approach to the person/s concerned; or
- Request that a relevant university officer assist them to informally resolve the grievance (Discrimination Officer, QUT Guild Academic Advocate, QUT staff member.); or
The relevant university officer will notify the complainant (and relevant parties) in writing of the outcome of the complaint. Where systematic issues are identified the Student Ombudsman may find it appropriate to make recommendations for further action.
Where a student is dissatisfied with the outcome, they may apply to the Student Ombudsman for Level Two resolution, or the Student Ombudsman may determine that it is appropriate to progress the matter to Level Two.
Level Two – Formal resolution of complaint
The complainant may request in writing that the Student Ombudsman refer their grievance to the relevant senior officer (a senior staff member like the Executive Dean, Associate Dean, Head of School etc.) The Student Ombudsman will normally facilitate the process and advise the complainant of available support services where appropriate. Resolution of the matter at this level should normally be commenced within 10 working days of receipt of the grievance by the Student Ombudsman.
The senior officer, in consultation with the Student Ombudsman, will determine how the complaint is closed. The Student Ombudsman will advise the complainant (and relevant parties) in writing of the outcome.
Level Three – Formal complaint determination
A complaint cannot proceed to Level Three of the formal resolution process without an attempt to resolve the complaint at Level Two. Where the complaint is not resolved at Level Two, the complainant may request that the Registrar progress the complaint to Level Three. This request must be made within 10 working days of the notification of the outcome at Level Two.
The matter will not be accepted at Level Three unless the application presented by the complainant includes:
- New information that may have a material effect on the result at Level two had it been known at the time; or
- Reasons why the decision made at the conclusion of Level Two does not comply with QUT policy, rules or procedures.
Where the Registrar decides that the matter should proceed to Level Three, an independent investigation will commence. The panel/investigator will establish procedures in accordance with the rules of natural justice, and advise the parties of the procedures to be adopted.
The complainant and/or respondent may elect to be supported by a person of their choice who could be a representative of the QUT Student Guild (Academic Advocate). A support person cannot be a practising lawyer.
Applying to external agencies
A complainant remaining dissatisfied by QUT’s management of the complaint may apply to external agencies such as the Queensland Ombudsman, for an external review. QUT will fully cooperate with external agencies investigating any such grievance. However, QUT is committed at all times to facilitating the resolution of complaints without the need to have recourse to external agencies.