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Complaints Procedure - External Individuals and Bodies

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The purpose of this Procedure is to establish a procedure for the handling of concerns and complaints made by persons external to the University.

Scope

(2) This Procedure applies to anyone other than a staff member, student or member of the University community.

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Section 2 - Glossary

What is a Complaint?

(3) A concern or complaint is a clear communication by a member of the University or a member of the public (not being a member of staff or a student) of a concern, dispute or complaint.

(4) Feedback (both positive and negative) about the administrative and academic programs and services offered by the University will not normally be viewed as a complaint.

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Section 3 - Policy

(5) Refer to the Complaints Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Anonymous Complaints

(6) The University will generally not act on anonymous complaints unless the issues raised are serious and sufficient information is provided to warrant further inquiry into the allegations.

(7) Where an anonymous complaint involves allegations of corruption, maladministration or serious waste of public money, the manager or supervisor receiving the complaint should immediately refer the matter to the Internal Auditor under the University's internal reporting policy.

(8) Anonymous complaints alleging child abuse or other serious criminal conduct must be referred immediately to the University Ombudsman and be dealt with in accordance with the general legal obligations of the University.

Part B - General Procedures

(9) A concern or complaint from a University member (not including a member of staff or a student) or member of the public may be lodged with:

  1. the Head of Campus, if the matter relates to a campus of the University;
  2. an Executive Dean or Head of School, if the matter relates to the academic functions of the University;
  3. an Executive Director or Director, if the matter relates to the administrative functions of the University; or
  4. the Vice-Chancellor, if the matter relates to the University's policy or overall management.

(10) The relevant officer should acknowledge receipt of the concern within three working days.

(11) Where possible, the relevant manager should try to resolve the problem within two weeks of receipt by:

  1. contacting the complainant to discuss the concerns and seek a resolution;
  2. contacting the complainant with an explanation or response or acknowledging the concern (if an acknowledgement is all that is required);
  3. advising the person that an investigation will be conducted into the concerns (and the complainant advised of the outcome if this is requested); or
  4. some other approach suitable to the resolution of the concern.

(12) Where the concern includes a threat of legal action, or a legal demand on the University, the matter must be referred to the University Legal Officers immediately.

(13) Where an investigation is warranted by the allegations, the procedure should conform to the general procedure for investigation set out under the Complaints Procedure - Workplace.

(14) Where the manager views it as appropriate, an offer to meet with the complainant should be advanced or a proposal for the complainant and the University to participate in mediation.

(15) Where the concerns have the potential to cause damage to the University's reputation, the matter should be referred to the Vice-Chancellor for response, and the complainant advised immediately of this action.

(16) All complaints lodged under this Procedure, and any response, should be filed with the University Ombudsman.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(17) Nil.