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Complaints, Appeals and Grievance Procedure


Sydney Art School has a complaints, appeals & grievance procedure to deal with complaints from its students about:

(a) academic matters (including matters relating to student progress, assessment, curriculum and awards for an approved course); and

(b) non‑academic matters (including matters relating to enrolment in a course and personal information held by the provider).

 The School seeks to prevent appeals by ensuring that students are satisfied with their course and its outcomes.  Any complaint or appeal will be treated seriously, investigated thoroughly and dealt with according to this procedure.

The circumstances and results of any complaint or appeal will be considered by senior management to remove any underlying reasons for continued difficulty by the complainant or other students.

All complaints and appeals are taken seriously and their findings incorporated into procedures, as appropriate, in accordance with the School’s continuous improvement practices.

The School abides by freedom of information and privacy principles.

Grounds for Complaint

A student may make a complaint if they believe that they have been discriminated against or harassed, or believe some other unfair or unlawful event has occurred.

A student may make an appeal to requests a review of decisions, including assessment decisions, made by the School or a third party providing services on behalf of the School.

If a student believes that they have grounds for a complaint or appeal they should immediately report the complaint or appeal using the procedure below.

Stages of the Complaints, Appeal & Grievance Procedure

The objective of the grievance procedure are to encourage the timely resolution of complaints, including by specifying reasonable periods for dealing with each stage of the procedure.

Step 1: Discuss with Your Tutor

Most complaints can be resolved through a simple discussion with a tutor. Students should approach their tutor with their complaint or appeal and explain clearly the problem or the reason for their dissatisfaction, so that the tutor can attempt to resolve the matter.  The tutor will attempt to resolve the matter as quickly as possible with a target resolution time of 7 days.  If the matter is not resolved within 7 days the tutor will refer the matter to the Studio Manager or the Principal 

Step 2: Refer the Matter to the Studio Manager or Principal

If a student is dissatisfied with the way in which the complaint or appeal was handled, or with the outcome, they can refer the matter to either the Principal or Studio Manager. The Principal or Studio Manager will identify the main issues and attempt to resolve the matter within 7 days.

Step 3: Request a School Panel Review

If a student still believes they have grounds and are dissatisfied with the outcome and/or the process that was followed in the attempt to satisfactorily resolve the matter, they can request a review by panel convened by the school.  Therequest should be submitted via email to complaints@sydneyartschool.com.au which will automatically be directed to the Principal and Studio Manager only. The title of the email should start with the words "Formal Complaint" OR "Formal Appeal" and include your full name.

a) For appeals regarding with assessments – the Principal will convene a review panel as soon as possible comprising the Principal and an independent assessor (one who has not previously assessed the student) and review the assessment in dispute. The student will be advised in writing of the outcome of the review within 7 days and the courses of action available to them if they still dispute the assessment.

b) For complaints regarding other matters – the Principal will convene a review panel comprising the Studio Manager and one other member of the School, other than one previously involved or associated with the complaint/dispute, to investigate the student's complaint. The student will be advised in writing of the findings of the review panel within 7 days and the courses of action available to them if they are still dissatisfied.

Step 4: Independent External Review

If you disagree with our internal decision, you can ask for your complaint to be reviewed by an external and independent person or body. The School will choose an external body that is independent and has the appropriate expertise to review the matter.  You will be notified in writing of the external body that will be engaged.

Complaints and requests for an appeal are acknowledged in writing and finalised as soon as practicable. If more than 28 calendar days are required to process and finalise the complaint or appeal, the School will:
i) inform the student in writing, including reasons why more than 60 calendar days are required, and
ii) regularly update the student on the progress of the matter

Are there any charges for the complaints, appeals and grievance procedure?

There are no charges for the internal or external sages of the process.

Can I be accompanied by a support person or other person?

Yes, you may be accompanied by a support person or other person at any stage in the Complaints, Appeals and Grievance process.  Any costs to have that person attend will be at your cost.

How will the outcomes of the procedure be implemented?

The Principal  is responsible for ensuring that the outcomes of the procedure are implemented and may delegate tasks as required.

Does the School incorporate outcomes of the procedure in its ongoing operations?

Can I access the records related to my complaint?

Yes,  you can be given email communication during the complaint process.  You can have access to those emails and any other records related to your complaint.


What other external agencies can I raise a complaint with?

The Complaints and Appeals process does not take away your right to take your complaint to external agencies to redress a grievance. Some options listed at https://www.studyassist.gov.au/support-while-you-study/higher-education-student-complaints include:

  • The ACCC  (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission).  The ACCC will only investigate complaints that are in breach of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
  • If your complaint is about your course or tutor, you can contact the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) to submit a complaint.  TEQSA does not respond directly to complaints. It will record your complaint as part of its quality assurance and compliance.
  • You can make a complaint about your VET Student Loans debt with the Department of Education Skills and Employment
  • Overseas students studying at a private training provider can submit an external complaint with the Commonwealth Overseas Students Ombudsman.

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