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Complaints about providers policy

12 July 2019

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish a set of principles informing TEQSA’s handling of complaints about registered higher education providers.

Scope

This policy relates to complaints about registered higher education providers and prospective higher education providers.

This policy does not extend to complaints about TEQSA’s processes, staff or resources, or about TEQSA’s regulatory decisions. 

For information about how to make a complaint about TEQSA, or about how to request a review of a regulatory decision made by TEQSA, view our Complaints about TEQSA page.

Principles

These principles are intended to ensure consistent and efficient handling of complaints, maximising intelligence about the Australian higher education sector to inform our regulatory operations while maintaining complainants’ right to privacy.

  1. TEQSA welcomes complaints relevant to its responsibilities and uses such complaints to help perform its regulatory functions.
  2. TEQSA accepts complaints from anyone, including domestic and international students, other higher education providers and employees of higher education providers.
  3. Complaints are handled in a way that is prompt, respectful, responsive, fair and consistent.
  4. If a complainant provides contact information, TEQSA will confirm receipt of a complaint.
  5. Anonymous complaints are also accepted and TEQSA will investigate the case where there is sufficient information provided. Where insufficient information is provided, TEQSA may decide to take no further action but will record the information in case the matter becomes clearer and action is warranted at a later date.
  6. TEQSA considers complaints about higher education providers in relation to the requirements of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Act 2011 (the TEQSA Act), the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (the ESOS Act), and subordinate instruments.
  7. TEQSA will consider any complaint and determine whether or not it relates to the TEQSA Act or the ESOS Act. Complainants are not expected to be aware of, or to describe in their complaint, the relationship between the material of their complaint and a specific non-compliance with the requirements of those Acts. 
  8. Where a complaint falls outside TEQSA’s remit, the complainant will be informed of any other agencies to which the complaint may be referred.
  9. TEQSA does not restrict the manner in which a complaint may be made. However, in general, complaints should be submitted using an online Complaint form.
  10. Complaints are handled in accordance with TEQSA’s privacy and confidentiality obligations. In particular, to the extent that TEQSA proposes to disclose a complainant’s personal details, the complainant’s consent will be sought.
  11. Subject to TEQSA’s confidentiality obligations, complainants are informed of how TEQSA may use a complaint, or the action TEQSA may take in response to a complaint.
  12. In notifying complainants of the outcome of our consideration of their complaint, we also notify them of their capacity to make a complaint about TEQSA’s handling of their complaint.
  13. In addressing a complaint about a registered higher education provider, TEQSA will consider the extent to which a complainant has accessed a provider’s internal complaints procedures, and where applicable, the option for an independent review of the complaint.
  14. All complaints are systematically recorded in a way that enables effective reporting.

Contact

Any enquiries about TEQSA’s Complaints about providers policy can be directed to complaints [at] teqsa.gov.au