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This policy provides a framework for responding to concerns and resolving complaints made by students, in a way that contributes to a supportive and fair learning environment.

Responsible Officer: Pro Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Integrity)
Implementation Officer: Student Complaints Manager

First approved by:
Vice-Chancellor on 12 November 2012

Amendments approved by:
Policy Office on 2 September 2013
(minor amendments clause 7 &
OH&S hotspot link to 2004);

PVC (P&I) on 27 October 2014
(RO to PVC (P&I))

Student Complaints Resolution Policy

This policy was approved by the Vice-Chancellor on 12 November 2012 and incorporates all amendments to 27 October 2014.

To provide a framework for responding to concerns and resolving complaints made by students, in a way that contributes to a supportive and fair learning environment.
The Student Complaints Resolution Procedure documents how to comply with this policy.


This applies to concerns and complaints by current, former or prospective students in relation to:

  1. services, processes and actions as well as academic or administrative decisions of the University or of any entity operating on behalf of the University, or
  2. the conduct of a member of staff, another student or other person associated with the University (including unfair or unreasonable behaviour, bullying, discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, vilification and victimisation).
Matters covered by another University policy (including reviews of grades and special consideration) are dealt with in accordance with that policy.

Bullying: any repeated unreasonable behaviour that causes a risk to the health or safety of another person.

Complaint: a properly lodged expression of dissatisfaction requiring formal resolution.

Concern: an expression of dissatisfaction by a student that can be resolved directly with the person or area involved without the need for formal action.

Vexatious complaint: a complaint that lacks substance and has been intentionally fabricated.

1The University recognises a student’s right to express legitimate concerns and complaints and is committed to responding in ways that contribute to a supportive and fair learning environment.
2The University aims to maintain a student complaints resolution process that:
  1. is accessible, impartial, fair and equitable
  2. is carried out with transparency and consistency
  3. encourages, where possible, informal resolution of concerns
  4. is implemented in a timely and responsive manner
  5. ensures, so far as is practicable, privacy, confidentiality and the health and safety of all parties
  6. encourages the maintenance of harmonious relationships.
3The University expects that all parties involved in a complaint will engage in good faith with the complaints resolution process.
4The University does not tolerate victimisation and may take action against a student or staff member who is found to have victimised another student or staff member for their participation in (or association with) alleging, making, supporting or resolving a complaint.
5Any student who uses the student complaints resolution process to make a frivolous or vexatious complaint or who lies or deliberately misleads in relation to a complaint may be subject to disciplinary proceedings.
6The University retains the right and the power to decline to investigate a complaint, particularly where another process is more appropriate or where there is insufficient nexus with the University.
7Where applicable, the student may make a Protected Disclosure about the conduct of the University or a University employee or contractor, directly to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC).
8The Student Complaints Manager is responsible for:
  1. managing the University’s student complaints resolution process
  2. ensuring that appropriate records of student complaints are securely maintained
  3. analysing student complaints data to identify systemic or particular issues requiring improvement
  4. initiating investigations with Faculties, Institutes and other areas as appropriate to identify actions to address areas for improvement
  5. reporting on student complaints to the University Executive and Council (through its Audit and Risk Committee).
9Designated complaints contacts in Faculties, Institutes and other areas of the University are responsible for:
  1. providing advice to students and staff in relation to the student complaints resolution process
  2. referring matters for action as appropriate
  3. receiving and recording student complaints in accordance with the Student Complaints Resolution Procedure.

Deakin University Act 2009 (Vic)
Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic)
Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic)
Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic)
Ombudsman Act 1973 (Vic)
Protection Disclosure Act 2012 (Vic)
Student Complaints Resolution Procedure
Victorian Ombudsman

Printed copies of this document may not be current. Please refer to The Guide for the most recent version.
Deakin University 2015