Grievance Handling and Resolution Policy2018-03-12T11:55:44+00:00

Grievance Handling and Resolution Policy

Policy Statement

Purpose and Intent

MIECAT (The MIECAT Institute Inc) is committed to developing and maintaining an effective, timely, fair and equitable grievance handling system which is easily accessible and offered to complainants at no charge. This document defines the policy and procedures for handling and resolving grievances.

Application

This procedure applies to all students enrolled at MIECAT as well as prospective students seeking to enrol. This procedure may also be utilised by those employed by MIECAT either as contractor, casual, permanent full time or part time staff conducting teaching, assessment, supervision and/or administrative and support duties.

Objectives

  • Develop a culture that views grievances as an opportunity to improve the organisation and how it works;
  • Set in place a grievance handling system that is in accordance with the MIECAT philosophy of intersubjective companioning and aims to prevent grievances from recurring;
  • Ensure that all grievances are resolved in a timely manner and are handled professionally, confidentially and with the principles of natural justice.
  • Ensure that the views of each party involved in the grievance are respected and are not discriminated against nor victimised;

  • Ensure that there is a consistent response to grievances.

  • Ensure that records of all grievances and the procedures undertaken will be kept accessible to all interested parties for a period of no less than five years. Such records will remain confidential and will be retained in a separate file.

Policy Provisions

A grievance can be defined as a person’s expression of dissatisfaction with an aspect of the MIECAT’s services and activities. MIECAT grievance procedures do not replace or modify procedures or responsibilities which may arise under statute or any other law. A non academic grievance may be an expression of dissatisfaction with:

  • The enrolment, induction/orientation process;
  • The quality of education provided;

  • Access to personal records;

  • The way someone has been treated;

  • Amenities

  • General complaints, including dissatisfaction with services

An academic grievance may be an expression of dissatisfaction with:

  • Course assessment and the issuing of results and testamurs;
  • Any other matters directly related to the delivery and or assessment of the accredited MIECAT courses.

This policy and procedure is designed to ensure that the MIECAT responds effectively to individual cases of dissatisfaction.

Before an Issue Becomes a Formal Grievance

Students (or potential students seeking to enrol in a course of study with MIECAT) are encouraged, wherever possible, to resolve concerns or difficulties directly with the person(s) concerned. All MIECAT staff are available to assist in this process.

Procedure

This procedure can be utilised by students and potential students seeking to enrol in a course of study with MIECAT.

During all stages of the Grievance Handling and Resolution Procedure MIECAT will take all steps to ensure that the complainant and the respondent will not be victimised or discriminated against.

Stage One

Formal grievances must be submitted in writing to the Director. Receipt of the grievance will be acknowledged within five working days.

The Director, or their nominee, will then, if necessary, seek to clarify the outcome that the complainant hopes to achieve.

Such clarification may be sought by written or verbal request or by a face-to-face meeting with the complainant. When such clarification occurs in a face-to-face meeting the complainant or respondent may ask another person to accompany them.

The Director, or their nominee, will then endeavour to resolve the grievance and provide a written report to the complainant on the steps taken to address the grievance within ten working days.

A written report of the reasons and a full explanation of decisions and actions taken during stage one of this procedure will be made available to the complainant or respondent, upon request.

Stage Two

If the grievance remains unresolved, The Director, or their nominee, will be appointed to consult with the complainant and other relevant parties within ten working days.

Where possible such consultations should take the form of face-to-face meetings. The complainant or the respondent may ask another person to accompany them to these meetings.

Following the consultation, the Director, or their nominee, will provide a written report to the Education Committee.

Stage Three

The Education Committee considers the report and makes recommendations for action and communicates these to the student within 14 days. If the complainant remains unsatisfied with the outcome of their grievance an external appeal or complaint against the outcome of the internal appeal process students may lodge a complaint with ACPET via email or by speaking with an ACPET staff member. For more information see https://www.acpet.edu.au/join/quality-and-ethics/complaints

Students with a complaint about a higher education provider non compliance with the Higher Education Standards (HES) Framework may contact TEQSA. For more information see https://www.teqsa.gov.au/complaints-domestic-students

Other external agencies:

  • Victorian Ombudsman
  • Victorian Equal Opportunity and Rights Commission

  • Victorian Consumer Affairs

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 Office Manager. These records will be maintained at the main office, 15 Victoria Street, FITZROY 3065.

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

Additional Information

This procedure will be made available to students (or potential students seeking to enrol in a course of study with MIECAT regardless of the location of the campus at which the grievance has arisen, the mode in which they study or their place of residence.

Nothing in this Grievance Handling and Resolution Policy and Procedure limits the rights of students (or potential students) 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.

Related Legislation

Refer to legislation listed in Equal Opportunity Policy

Supporting Procedures

Nil

Related Documents

Equal Opportunity Policy

Accountabilities

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Approval Date

January 2018

Policy Owner

Executive Management Committee

Responsibility for Implementation

The Executive Management Committee is responsible for overseeing the overall implementation of the Institute’s Grievance Handling and Resolution Policy and providing guidance in the management of grievances.

Responsibility for Monitoring Implementation and Compliance

Executive Management Committee, Education Committee and Academic Board are responsible for monitoring and reporting to the MIECAT Council.

Definitions

Nil