Spectrum Training (The Spectrum Organization Association Incorporated) aims to provide consistently high quality education and training services.  We are committed to providing an effective complaint resolution process that is managed quickly, locally and with a minimum number of people involved.  Our complaint resolution process focuses on a speedy re-establishment of quality educational working relationships and consistent positive outcomes.

Spectrum Training’s complaints process is for prospective, current and past students of Spectrum Training and may exist in tandem with other complaint process situated within other business units within the Spectrum Organization Association Incorporated.

Trainees under a contract of training should seek advice from the relevant government department in their State about their rights and responsibilities.

Complainants can opt to utilise resources outside of the Spectrum Organization Association Incorporated to resolve their complaint.  Whilst all complaints managed by the Spectrum Organization Association Incorporated are not billed, external services such as mediation may incur fees not controlled by the Spectrum Organization Association Incorporated.

A complaint can be defined as a student’s expression of dissatisfaction with any aspect of the services and activities provided by Spectrum Training such as:

  • The enrolment, induction and orientation process
  • The quality of education and training provided
  • Academic matters including student progress, assessment, curriculum, resources and awards
  • Handling of personal information and access to personal records
  • The way someone has been treated

In handling a complaint confidentiality will be maintained to protect all parties involved in the complaint and to involve the minimum number of people possible.

All students and staff will be informed of the complaint resolution process (outlined below) and the focus of the resolution will be on issues rather than individuals.  Students are staff will be protected from victimisation at all times and the principles of natural justice will be used to ensure procedural fairness.

A complainant has the right to withdraw any complaint and any time.

Where a complainant is a current student their enrolment must be maintained whilst the complaints and appeals process is ongoing.

Process

There are two types of complaints, Formal and Informal. Students, staff and industry representatives may choose either process.

During all stages of the process the Spectrum Organization Association Incorporated will take steps to ensure that:

  • The complainant and any respondent will not be victimised or discriminated against
  • The complainant has an opportunity to formally present their case and each party to the grievance may be accompanied and assisted by a support person at any relevant meetings
  • A full explanation in writing for decisions and actions taken as part of the process will be provided of so requested by the complainant or a respondent
  • Where the internal or external grievance handling or appeal process results in a decision that supports the complainant the Spectrum Organization Association Incorporated will immediately implement any decision and/or corrective and preventative action required and advise the complainant of the outcome
  • There is no cost to the complainant during the internal stages of this complaints process

Natural justice

The duty to act fairly includes two rules: the fair dealing rule and the no bias rule.  This means that all parties must be given the opportunity to present their case, be fully informed about allegations and decisions made and have the right to be represented by another person.  In addition, a decision maker must have no personal interest, beyond the scope of their role in this process, and must be unbiased.  If a decision maker cannot meet these requirements they must immediately withdraw from the process.

Should interference by a student cause delay to the complaints process the Spectrum Organization Association Incorporated shall not be held responsible for the delay.

Victimisation

All complaints will be handled with fairness in accordance with the principles of natural justice.  The Spectrum Organization Association Incorporated is committed to ensuring that students and respondents do not experience any victimisation as a result of making either a formal or informal complaint.

Whether a complaint is formal of informal, steps will be taken to ensure that neither party is victimised or disadvantaged as a result of a complaint being made.  The nominee appointed to handle a formal complaint will be responsible for ensuring that no victimisation occurs.

Record keeping and confidentiality

Records of all complaints handled under this procedure and their outcomes shall be maintained for a period of at least five years to allow all parties to the complaint appropriate access to the records, upon written request to the Manager – Spectrum Training.

All records will be maintained electronically.  All electronic data is maintained on data servers accessible internally to appropriate  on-site staff of the Spectrum Organization Association Incorporated.

All records relating to complaints will be treated as confidential and will be covered by the Spectrum Organization Association Incorporated’s Privacy Policy.

Informal complaint

A complaint is considered informal when it is made verbally or when the complaint is made in writing and addressed to the person against whom the complaint is being made.  An informal complaint will be referred to an appropriate person to assist the effective and rapid resolution.

The complaints process will commence within seven days of the receipt of the complaint.

Formal complaint

Complainants may make a formal complaint by forwarding a signed written complaint to the Manager – Spectrum Training or, where the complaint is against the manager, the CEO – The Spectrum Organization Association Incorporated.  The complaint should be made within two months of the incident to ensure currency and any respondent has an adequate recollection of the event.

All parties have a right to confidentiality and privacy, subject to necessary legal responsibilities.

At all times parties to the complaint may be accompanied by an advocate of their choosing. Each party will have an opportunity to formally present their case should they wish to do so.

The complaints process will commence within seven days of the receipt of the written complaint. The complaint will be forwarded to the most appropriate person who will be known as the Nominee to assist with the effective and rapid resolution of the complaint.  The Nominee, if necessary, seek to clarify the outcome that the complainant wishes to achieve.

The Nominee will endeavour to resolve the complaint and provide a written report on the steps undertaken to address the complaint, including the reasons for the decision, within ten business days.  The report will further advise the complainant of their right to access the internal appeals process if they are not satisfied with the outcome of their formal complaint.

Academic appeals

All students have the right to make an academic appeal.  Where a student is dissatisfied with the assessment of an assignment and/or examination result the student should discuss this informally in the first instance with their facilitator.  At all times parties to the appeal may be accompanied by an advocate of their choosing.

Where a student is dissatisfied with the assessment of practical work and/or vocational placement assessment performed in the workplace, the student should discuss this informally in the first instance with their workplace supervisor. If the student remains dissatisfied the issue should be discussed informally with their facilitator.

If the issue cannot be resolved informally a student may submit a formal academic appeal in writing to the Manager – Spectrum Training within twenty business days of receiving the reviewed academic result.  The appeal must outline why the student has requested a formal review of the result.  The student will be advised in writing that the appeal has been received and investigation of the appeal will commence within five business days of the appeal being lodged.

The Manager – Spectrum Training will seek to resolve a formal academic appeal through the appointment of an independent and impartial assessor to conduct an investigation and make a recommendation. The Manager – Spectrum Training will make the final decision on all formal academic appeals.

All parties involved in any formal academic appeal will be advised in writing of the outcome and the reasons for the decision reached within twenty business days of the date of the appeal.  Any academic appeal will be completed within twenty business days of the date of lodgement of the appeal.

If a student’s formal academic appeal is successful the academic result will be amended.

A student whose formal academic appeal is not upheld by the Manager – Spectrum Training will be advised in writing of the option to access the appeals procedure.

Any academic appeal lodged after thirty business days of receiving the initial academic result, or twenty business days after receiving the reviewed academic result will not be accepted.

Non-academic appeals process

If a complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of their formal complaint or academic appeal they may lodge an appeal with the Manager – Spectrum Training, or the CEO – The Spectrum Organization Association Incorporated if the appeal relates to the Manager – Spectrum Training, by calling 07 3881 3310

The Spectrum Organization Association Incorporated provides the right of appeal against decisions made following the resolution or completed investigation of a complaint or academic appeal, whether formal, informal or a breach of the Spectrum Organization Association Incorporated’s policy.  At all times, parties to the appeal may be accompanied by an advocate of their choosing. Each party will have the opportunity to formally present their case should they wish to do so. Investigation into the appeal will commence within five business days of the lodgement of the appeal.

An appeal must be lodged within twenty business days of the date of notification of the original decision and the appeal will be finalised within twenty business days of the date of lodgement of the appeal.  The date of lodgement of the appeal is taken as the date the appeal telephone call was made.  A written appeal may still be required depending upon the nature of the appeal.  Any appeal must set out the grounds for the appeal.  The Manager – Spectrum Training, or the CEO – The Spectrum Organization Association Incorporated, may convene an Appeals Panel to assess the appeal and act as Chairperson.  In addition to the Chairperson an Appeals Panel will consist of at least two permanent staff of the Spectrum Organization Association Incorporated.

Non-academic appeals may not require the convening of an Appeals Panel, however the Manager – Spectrum Training, or the CEO – The Spectrum Organization Association Incorporated, may seek the input of suitably qualified internal staff who are independent of the grounds of the appeal.  Where the grounds of the appeal involve statutory issues such as harassment or discrimination the CEO will participate in the appeals process and suitable external statutory and/or legal advice may be sought.

The appellant will be notified in writing of the outcome of the appeal outlining the reasons for the decision within twenty business days of the lodgement of the appeal. The report will further advise the appellant of their right to access the external mediation process if they are not satisfied with the outcome of their appeal.

External mediation services

Should a complaint or appeal not be resolved using Spectrum Training’s complaints, academic appeals and appeals process an impartial mediation by an external mediator is available.  Contact with the mediator should be initiated by the student in all cases.

External complaints

Students may contact ASQA to submit a complaint about the Spectrum Organization Association Incorporated.  You can submit a complaint to ASQA here.

Except in exceptional circumstances you must attach evidence to your complaint form showing:

  • that you have followed your RTO’s formal complaints procedure, and
  • the RTO’s response

ASQA’s processes require you to identify yourself to ASQA as a complainant, although you may request that your identity is kept confidential throughout any investigation ASQA undertakes.

ASQA may also be contacted on telephone at 1300 701 801.

Students studying in Queensland can contact the Dispute Resolution Branch of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General.  This is a free non-legal resolution service.

Level 1, Brisbane Magistrates Court
363 George Street
Brisbane QLD 4000
Tel: 07 3239 6269
Fax: 07 3239 6284
Web: http://www.justice.qld.gov.au/justice-services/dispute-resolution
Toll Free: 1800 017 288

Trainee students in Queensland

If Spectrum Training is your supervising RTO you may also contact Apprenticeships Info on 1800 210 210 or email apprenticeshipsinfo@qld.gov.au

Dispute resolution

If after the services of an external mediator have been accessed and no resolution can be found either party may contact the relevant government department in their state or follow any advice provided by the mediation service.

General information

If the problem fits within equal opportunity guidelines it will be managed under those guidelines.

This process does not replace or modify procedures or any other responsibilities which may arise under other policies or under statute of any other law.

This process does not replace or modify any similar processes or policies in place within other business units of the Spectrum Organization Association Incorporated.

Nothing in this process limits the rights of individuals to take action under Australia’s Consumer Protection laws.

This process does not circumscribe an individual’s rights to pursue other legal remedies.