ANU Feedback and Complaints Procedures

Feedback

At the ANU College of Law, we are interested in your feedback. Feedback helps us to know what we are doing well, and what we can do better. At the ANU College of Law, you can provide feedback to us in the following ways;

 

What to do if you have a complaint

Although we endeavour to always do our best, problems may arise. You may experience issues in a course, in your assessment, or in the behaviour of another student or member of staff.

If you are a student and you wish to make a complaint, the following policy and procedure apply:

Broadly, problems will fall into one of two broad categories: ‘reviews and appeals’ and ‘grievances and complaints’. The category depends on what the problem is. If you are unsure, you are welcome to raise the problem with either the SubDean (LLB & JD programs), and/ or the Associate Dean of Education, or the Dean of Students.

 

Reviews and Appeals

This category of problems relates to issues arising from your course or program. This might include problems relating to fees, assessment reviews, academic performance, discipline matters, Library and IT access, and residential halls and colleges.

This category of problems is dealt with through reviews of decisions or appeals under specific procedures.

 

Grievances and Complaints

There are also ANU policies and procedures that aim to resolve general grievances.

Please note that if you have been sexually harassed or assaulted, this is not considered a general grievance. The ANU has specific procedures for raising and dealing with these matters; information about this can be found here: https://www.anu.edu.au/students/health-safety-wellbeing/violence-sexual-assault-support/reporting-sexual-harassment

There are also specific processes if the complaint involves discrimination. Please see the following policy: https://policies.anu.edu.au/ppl/document/ANUP_000623

Any other problem is likely to be a grievance. Complaints considered here would typically involve a breach of the ANU Code of Conduct, or the Code of Practice for Teaching and Learning.

 

Stages to resolve grievances and complaints

The following is an outline of the process to resolve a general grievance of complaint.

 

Stage 1 Informal resolution.

This stage may start by a student raising the matter with the Dean of Students for advice and support, and for guidance about the substance of the complaint and options for resolution. We strongly encourage you to make an appointment to speak with the Dean of Students first, as it usually is the most constructive path to resolving grievances and complaints.

After seeking advice or support, a student can either

  • do nothing,
  • approach the individual concerned to discuss (including with support of the Dean of Students), or
  • decide to request a formal review.

 

Stage 2 Formal Review

A formal complaint can be lodged where an attempt at informal resolution has been unsuccessful or is not appropriate. Formal complaints cannot remain anonymous.

The formal complaint needs to in writing and must be lodged with the ‘responsible person’. This is usually the Manager responsible for the area, for example, for an issue with a course the responsible person is the convener; where the problem is with a staff member, then the responsible person is Head of School. If you do not know who the responsible person is, you can ask the Dean of Students.

Once a written complaint is received, the responsible officer should respond within 10 working days.

The responsible officer will consider the matter and will raise the matter with the person about whom the complaint is made.  The responsible officer often organises a discussion with the complainant (including with support people) to hear full details of the complaint, and then decides the matter (in accordance with relevant policy), records the resolution of the matter, and monitors the situation.

Possible outcomes may include;

  • The complainant gains a better understanding of the situation and is satisfied with the response,
  • An oral or written apology,
  • An oral or written caution,
  • The parties agree to participate in some form of mediation or counselling.

Disciplinary action is not normally an outcome of this process. If the responsible officer believes that a person’s behaviour is misconduct, this process may be terminated and the complaint referred under the ANU’s disciplinary provisions.

 

Stage 3 Formal Appeal

If the outcome of the formal review process is not satisfactory, then the complaint can be escalated. This would involve raising it with the Dean of the College, or the nominee of the Dean, who will act as an impartial mediator. The mediator will attempt to resolve the complaint, including undertaking further investigations if necessary, considering the nature of the complaint and will make their own determination.

Possible outcomes may include;

  • The complainant gains a better understanding of the situation and is satisfied with the response,
  • An oral or written apology,
  • An oral or written caution,
  • The parties agree to participate in some form of mediation or counselling.

Disciplinary action is not normally an outcome of this process. If the mediator believes that a person’s behaviour is misconduct, this process may be terminated and the complaint referred under the ANU’s disciplinary provisions.

 

Stage 4 External Review.

A student may refer a complaint to an external body, such as the Australian Human Rights Commission or the Ombudsman, at any time.

 

Help

There are many individuals at the ANU who can help with a complaint or grievance.

 

Policies

Relevant policies include:

Student complaint resolution procedure: https://policies.anu.edu.au/ppl/document/ANUP_000468)

Student complaint resolution policy https://policies.anu.edu.au/ppl/document/ANUP_000468

ANU Code of Conduct: https://policies.anu.edu.au/ppl/document/ANUP_000388

ANU Code of practice for teaching and learning: https://policies.anu.edu.au/ppl/document/ANUP_000726

ANU Law school Guide to Professional Conduct: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/guide-professional-conduct

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team