Steps to resolve your complaint
Before lodging a complaint, you should try, if possible, to resolve your concern informally. Contacting the most appropriate area or staff member in RMIT will help your concern be resolved as quickly and as fairly as possible.
For concerns relating to the delivery of academic, administrative or support services, you should contact the area or staff member responsible, for example, a lecturer, course coordinator, program director, timetabling services or property services. This contact can be done informally in person, in writing or, in some cases, via an online form. Many concerns are often resolved very quickly and informally at this stage.
If you do not know who to contact to try to resolve your concern informally, please:
- read the information on the page titled ‘Before you lodge a complaint’
- contact ARG Complaints for advice:
- Telephone: +61 3 9925 8863
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your problem or concern is not resolved to your satisfaction informally, or if you believe the response you receive is unreasonable, you can lodge a formal complaint by completing an online complaint form via RMIT Connect.
If your attempt to resolve your complaint informally is not successful, or if you feel there is a compelling reason why it is not appropriate to attempt resolution informally, you can lodge a formal complaint by following the instructions in the response you received to your concern. Or, if you have not received a written response, you can lodge a formal complaint by completing an online complaint form via RMIT Connect.
At lodgement, you will be required to outline the history of your complaint and explain your attempts to resolve it at a local level. You should detail any responses you already received and provide a copy of any supporting evidence.
We will assess your complaint and assign it to an ARG Complaints Case Manager for investigation. We may contact you to request additional information or to explain that your complaint has been referred for an informal resolution before it can be accepted as a formal complaint.
You will receive a formal written outcome to your complaint when the Case Manager completes their investigation. This will also explain how to request an internal independent review if you are not satisfied with the complaint outcome.
If you are not satisfied with the complaint outcome or think the complaint outcome is unreasonable, and you can show you meet the grounds for a review, you can request an internal independent review of your complaint.
To request a review of the complaint outcome, you must be able to show you meet one of the grounds for a review. These are that you can either:
a) provide evidence of an error in the investigation and decision
b) provide evidence that was not previously available, and which would have been a significant factor in deciding the outcome
c) present a compelling argument that the original outcome is unreasonable. Unreasonableness may include but is not limited to the following considerations:
- relevance (of information taken into account)
- comprehensiveness (consideration of all evidence provided)
- justification (provision of reasons for conclusions reached)
- timeliness (in the handling of the complaint and its impact on the complainant)
- consistency (with standards and values of the University), and
- proportionality (reasonableness of the outcome given the complainant’s circumstances).
For example, you may point out errors of fact or reasoning in the outcome, you may wish to dispute evidence provided in the outcome, or there may be evidence you believe was not taken into account and should have been.
Your request will be assigned to a new ARG Complaints Case Manager to complete the review. The Case Manager will check you have provided evidence to show you meet the grounds for a review, and:
- if not, will write to you explaining why you have not met the grounds for review
- if so, will complete the review.
You will receive a formal written notice of the review outcome when the Case Manager has completed their review. This will explain how to request a further review by RMIT Ombuds if you are not satisfied with the review outcome. You are unable to request a review from the RMIT Ombuds until you have completed the previous steps.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the internal review of your complaint, you may wish to pursue the matter through the RMIT Ombuds.
The RMIT Ombuds ensures that RMIT has policies and processes in place to deal with student and staff complaints and that these policies and processes are followed. You can only request a review by the RMIT Ombuds if your complaint has been through all the previous steps outlined above.
The RMIT Ombuds cannot change a decision that has been made; however, the RMIT Ombuds can make recommendations back to the original decision maker. The RMIT Ombuds will investigate whether in making a decision or taking an action:
- RMIT has:
- proper policies and processes in place
- followed the policies and processes in place.
- RMIT’s members have:
- acted with procedural and substantive fairness
- observed principles of natural justice.
If you believe the outcome of your complaint with the RMIT Ombuds is unreasonable, you may be able to pursue the matter with an external body, for example, the Victorian Ombudsman.
The Victorian Ombudsman investigates complaints about decisions made by state government departments and authorities, including universities. As with other stages of the RMIT complaints process, the Victorian Ombudsman is impartial and does not act on behalf of students or universities.
Before complaining to the Victorian Ombudsman, you should follow the steps laid out in the relevant university process. If you have not followed these steps, the Victorian Ombudsman may ask you to do so before accepting your complaint.
The Ombudsman will seek to determine whether you have been treated reasonably by RMIT and may recommend remedial action if appropriate.