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Complaints about providers policy

13 June 2018

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish a set of principles informing TEQSA’s handling of complaints about registered higher education providers. These principles are intended to ensure consistent and efficient handling of complaints, maximising intelligence about the Australian higher education sector while maintaining complainants’ right to privacy and developing confidence that complaints received by TEQSA will inform TEQSA’s regulation of the sector.

Scope

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

The coverage of this policy does not extend to circumstances in which stakeholders wish to make a complaint:

  • about TEQSA’s processes, staff or resources
  • because of a disagreement with a decision TEQSA has made about a provider. 

Information about how to make a complaint about TEQSA, or about how to request a review of a decision TEQSA has made about a provider, is available on TEQSA’s website.

Principles

  1. TEQSA welcomes complaints relevant to its responsibilities and uses such complaints to help perform its regulatory functions.
  2. TEQSA welcomes complaints from anyone—whether they are domestic or international students, or other stakeholders, including other higher education providers or employees of higher education providers.
  3. If a complainant provides contact information, TEQSA will confirm receipt of a complaint and provide information about how the complaint may be used.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. TEQSA will consider any complaint and make a judgement about whether or not it relates to the TEQSA Act or the ESOS Act.
  6. Anonymous cases will be considered where there is sufficient information provided to enable TEQSA to investigate the case. 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.
  7. TEQSA does not restrict the manner in which a complaint may be made. However, in general, complaints should be submitted using the online complaint form accessed from the TEQSA website.
  8. Complaints are handled in a way that is prompt, respectful, responsive, fair and consistent.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. In addressing a complaint about a higher education provider, TEQSA will consider the extent to which a complainant has accessed a provider’s internal complaints procedures.
  12. Where a complaint falls outside TEQSA’s remit, the complainant will be informed of any other agencies to which the complaint may be referred.
  13. All complaints are systematically recorded in a way that enables effective reporting.

Further information

Further information about our approach to the management and handling of complaints about TEQSA can be obtained by emailing: enquiries [at] teqsa.gov.au (subject: Further%20information%20about%20complaints)

Document information

Title

Complaints about providers policy

Category

Regulatory policy

Audience

Staff

Policy owner

Director, Compliance and Investigations

Version

1

Effective date

7 June 2018

Review date

7 December 2018