Role of each party

Each party to the complaint should:

  • recognise the rights of the student and of the respondent
  • observe the Privacy Act 2000
  • apply the principles of procedural fairness and comply with the RMIT Student complaints policy and procedure.

Student

  • Respectful conduct in accordance with University policy, procedures and guidelines.
  • Seek advice from University staff and define the exact nature of the issue.
  • Take the issue to the appropriate place for resolution following University policy.
  • Present the facts that relate to the complaint.
  • Collect and provide objective evidence to support the facts.
  • Consider the resolution you are seeking and cooperate with reasonable conciliatory offers.
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Respondent (person/department complaint is being made about)

  • Be informed about the substantive allegations in the complaint.
  • Be afforded time and the right to respond.
  • Participate in options for resolution.
  • Seek support and advocacy, e.g. union representative, colleague, friend.

Respondent’s supervisor

  • Maintain accurate, objective and confidential records.
  • Ensure that staff who have allegations made against them are informed and provided with the right of reply.
  • Utilise student/staff discipline processes where appropriate.
  • Seek advice from academic college, group student complaints liaison officer or Coordinator, Student Complaints.
  • Identify opportunities for improvement to practice through experience in complaints and notify the Manager Academic Policy and Governance of opportunities for improving policy.
  • Refer complaint to the academic college, group student complaints liaison officer, college student complaints liaison officer or Coordinator, Student Complaints as required.
  • Provide support and training for staff as appropriate.
  • Refer parties to the next escalation point, in accordance with University policy and procedure.
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Student complaints liaison officer

  • Provide information and advice to the student or staff member about the process, as required.
  • Liaise within academic college or group investigating and resolving complaint.
  • Oversee implementation of solution.
  • Maintain accurate, objective and confidential records and files.
  • Report to academic college or group and Academic Registrar as required, including providing statistical data in the format required.
  • Liaise with college student complaints liaison officer as required.
  • Participate in appropriate training and university-wide forums.

Student advocate

  • Provide information and advice to the student about the process.
  • Monitor the fairness of the process on behalf of the student.
  • With written permission from the student, speak on behalf of the student if requested.
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Coordinator, Student Complaints unit

  • Create and promulgate information on policy and process.
  • Support academic colleges and groups to establish mechanisms for responding to, managing and resolving complaints.
  • Coordinate, provide a network for, and train student complaints liaison officers.
  • Liaise within academic college or group investigating and resolving complaint.
  • Investigate cases referred to position.
  • Assess nature of complaint and determine and undertake appropriate action.
  • Act as a resource in providing advice regarding process.
  • Provide advice for and report to the Academic Registrar.
  • Coordinate and support the University Student Complaints Committee and its outcomes.
  • Prepare annual report on complaints received.
  • Liaise with positions responsible for relevant policy and procedure to close identified gaps.

Academic Registrar

  • Hear student complaints that have either not been resolved by the Coordinator, Student Complaints or those that result in a serious breach of University policy or practice
  • Seek legal advice as appropriate.
  • Make policy determinations and interpretations as required.
  • Monitor the implementation of determinations made through formal hearings.
  • Initiate policy development or revision as required.
  • Ensure the documentation of complaints is maintained in compliance with policy and procedure.
  • Monitor, review and improve effectiveness of complaints handling within RMIT.
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Ombudsman Victoria

The Ombudsman Victoria is an independent statutory office holder whose role is to investigate complaints about administrative actions and decisions taken by state government departments and authorities, including universities.

The Ombudsman is impartial and does not act on behalf of students or universities.

Before complaining to the Ombudsman about a decision made by a university or about the conduct of a university staff member, you should first try to resolve your problem with the relevant school or department manager.

Each university has established procedures for dealing with students’ complaints and grievances.

If you have not followed the steps laid out in the relevant university procedures, the Ombudsman may ask you to do so before accepting your complaint.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the university’s complaint handling process, or if you believe that the university has not responded to your grievance in a reasonable time, you can complain to the Ombudsman. You should put your complaint in writing and enclose copies of any relevant documents.

The Ombudsman will seek to determine whether you have been treated reasonably by the University and may recommend remedial action, if appropriate.

Contact the Ombudsman Victoria

Ombudsman Victoria
Level 22, 459 Collins Street
Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel. +61 3 9613 6222 or 1800 806 314
Fax: +61 3 9614 0246
Ombudsman Victoria

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