Student complaints

Make a complaint about an academic, administrative or support service at RMIT.

Student complaints process

Before you submit a student complaint


Step 1. Check if your complaint has a separate complaint procedure

Some types of complaints are subject to separate complaint procedures and policy processes at RMIT. Check the table below to see if your complaint has its own procedure and click the appropriate link to find out how to correctly submit or resolve these types of complaints.

If your complaint is not listed in the table, proceed to Step 2 (see below).

Type of complaint What you should do
Admission

An applicant can request a review of a selection decision as outlined in the Selection Procedure.

To request a review of a credit or Recognition of Prior Learning decision, refer to the Credit Procedure.

Academic progress and results To find out how to appeal an assessment or academic progress outcome, go to Appeals.
Special consideration To find out how to request a review of a special consideration outcome, go to Special consideration.
Student conduct To appeal a student or academic misconduct decision, see the Appeals section of the Student Conduct Policy.
Research conduct To make a complaint about research conduct, see the Complaints section of the relevant policy document:
Privacy

See the Student Privacy Statement.

RMIT Training RMIT English Worldwide (REW)

See RMIT Training Policies and Procedures which explains the steps REW students can take to submit feedback, enquiries, concerns, or a formal complaint.  

Step 2. Determine if your issue is an ‘enquiry, concern or feedback' or a 'complaint'

An enquiry, concern or feedback is defined as:

  • A matter that requires action but can be addressed informally in the first instance.
  • A decision, action, process or service provided by RMIT that you feel would be in the University’s interest to be aware of or to address.

If your issue is an enquiry, concern or feedback, please try to Resolve your issue informally (see next tab).

A complaint is any issue that:

  • You feel is inappropriate to attempt to resolve informally.
  • You’ve been unable to resolve informally.

If your issue is a complaint, please Submit a complaint (see other tab).

Try to resolve your enquiry, concern or feedback informally

If possible, try to resolve your concern at a local level. This will enable it to be resolved as quickly as possible. 

If it isn’t appropriate to follow this step, for example, if you don’t feel comfortable contacting staff in your School, go to Submit a complaint (next tab).
 

Who should I contact?

If you would like to provide feedback to RMIT, positive or negative, please see the Student Feedback webpages for further infromation about this process and a link to the Have Your Say Form

If you have a general enquiry, please see the Student Connect Self Service Portal for a list of common questions and answers. Specific enquiries on a number of topics (for example: enrolment, fees, graduation or class timetables) can also be submitted to Student Connect for response via the Self Service Portal. 

If your concern relates to the delivery of academic, administrative or support services, contact the area or staff member responsible. This may be a lecturer, Course Coordinator or Program Manager, or a University department such as Property Services. You may choose to raise your concern in person or in writing.

If you are a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) student, please see our HDR Student Complaints Guide for further information and advice. 

If you’re unsure who to contact to resolve your issue, contact the Student Complaints team: 

How to submit a student complaint

If your concern isn’t resolved informally to your satisfaction, or there’s a compelling reason why you can’t raise your concern at a local level, you can submit a formal complaint online.

When you submit your complaint, please provide the following information:

  • Details of the steps you've taken to try and resolve your complaint.
  • A clear explanation of the outcome you are seeking.
  • Copies of all relevant supporting documentation and evidence.

What happens next?

Your complaint will be assigned to a Student Complaints Case Manager for investigation. The Case Manager may ask you for additional information or advise that your complaint has been referred for an informal resolution before it can be accepted as a formal complaint.

You can normally expect to receive written acknowledgement within three working days of submission.

If your submission is accepted as a formal complaint, you can normally expect to receive:

  • Regular updates on the progress of the investigation.
  • Prompt written notification, including reasons, where the complaint is expected to take more than 60 calendar days to resolve.

When the investigation is complete, you’ll receive a formal written complaint outcome within 20 working days of receipt of all relevant information (please note that complex cases are likely to take longer). The written notification will include advice about how to request an internal independent review if you’re not satisfied with the outcome.

Review process

If you're not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you may be able to request a review.

There are two review stages (internal and external).
 

Step 1. Request an independent internal review

If you’re not satisfied with the complaint outcome, you may be able to request an internal independent review of your complaint.

To request a review, you must be able to show you meet ONE of the following criteria:

  • You can provide evidence of an error in the investigation and decision.
  • You can provide evidence that was not previously available, and which would have been a significant factor in deciding the outcome.
  • You can 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).
  • Proportionality (reasonableness of the outcome given the complainant’s circumstances).

Your request will be assigned to a new Student 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'll receive a formal written review outcome when the Case Manager has completed the review.

Step 2. External review

If you believe the outcome of your review is unreasonable, you may be able to pursue the matter with an external body, such as 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 submitting a review request 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.

Student complaint FAQs

The Student and Student-Related Complaints Policy provides a framework for current, former and prospective students to seek resolution of complaints relating to aspects of their experience or engagement with RMIT. 

The Policy defines a prospective student as ‘A person engaging with RMIT for the purpose of admission or enrolment’.  

If you are not a current, former or prospective student, but wish to lodge a complaint, please see RMIT Complaints for details of the other complaints processes available at RMIT (for example staff or third party complaints).  

The quickest way to resolve an issue is usually to directly approach the person or local area responsible for the issue you're encountering as soon as possible 

However, if you are not satisfied with the outcome you receive, or if it isn’t appropriate to attempt an informal resolution (for example, you don’t feel comfortable approaching the staff in your School about the issue) it might be appropriate to lodge a formal complaint.  

It is always best to lodge a formal complaint as soon as possible after the event or incident you are complaining about. This greatly assists with the investigation process.  

Please be aware that complaints received after 12 months of the event or incident occurring will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. You should provide details of these exceptional circumstances (along with any supporting evidence) when you lodge your complaint.  

RMIT is supportive of students and staff who raise concerns and complaints. We acknowledge the value of feedback for continuous improvement of the student and staff experience. RMIT will respond to all complaints promptly and sensitively, and manage complaints in accordance with the principles of procedural fairness to ensure consistent and reasonable outcomes. This means:
  • Each party to a complaint has the right to be heard and to respond.
  • All submissions and evidence will be impartially considered.
  • The Case Manager will not be unduly influenced by any party.

RMIT’s preferred resolutions are, wherever possible, informal, and non-adversarial, with outcomes that are fair and reasonable to all the parties involved. RMIT expects each party of a complaint to:

  • Act in good faith.
  • Recognise the rights of the other party.
  • Maintain respect for the other party.
  • Focus on resolution.

Every complaint is unique and is assessed based on its own set of circumstances and on the evidence provided and uncovered during the complaint investigation.  As a result, there is no one way for a complaint to be resolved.

Where appropriate, potential outcomes may include:

  • amending or reversing a decision or action at the centre of a complaint 
  • acknowledging an error and apologising 
  • providing an explanation for a decision or action 
  • waiving fees or making payments where appropriate 

In some circumstances, it may be appropriate for RMIT and the complainant to use Deed of Settlement in resolution of a complaint to provide formality, finality and certainty for both RMIT and a complainant.  

If you lodge a formal complaint online via Student Connect (see Submit a complaint above), you can normally expect to receive:

  • Written acknowledgement within three working days of submission. 
  • A formal written complaint outcome within 20 working days of receipt of all relevant information from the complainant (please note that complex cases are likely to take longer).
  • Regular updates on the progression of the investigation where the above timeframe cannot be met.
  • Prompt written notification, including reasons, where the complaint is expected to take more than 60 calendar days to resolve.

It will assist in the timely resolution of your complaint if you provide the following information when you lodge your complaint:

  • Details of the steps you have taken to try and resolve your complaint.
  • A clear explanation of the outcome you are seeking.
  • Copies of all relevant supporting documentation and evidence.

Ideally, you should lodge your own complaint. Receiving a complaint in your own words helps us to understand the exact nature of your complaint, the impact it has had on you, and your desired outcome.  

You may appoint a representative (for example a parent, guardian, or sponsor) to manage the complaint on your behalf. To do so, please make this request at the time of lodging your complaint, making sure you provide your representative’s full name and contact details. Alternatively, you may provide written authority to your Student Complaints Case Manager at any time during the complaint investigation. We will then communicate with you and/or your representative (as per your instructions).  

If you are a parent or friend of an RMIT student and wish to lodge a complaint on their behalf, you must provide their written authority to do so. To protect the privacy of our students, the student will be contacted directly to confirm receipt of the complaint, and to be advised, as per the written authority, that we will communicate with their representative in relation to the complaint moving forward.   

If you are a parent or friend of an RMIT student and you wish to lodge a complaint in your own right or without the student's knowledge and/or consent, you are considered a 'third party complainant'. You may lodge your complaint by completing the Third Party Complaint Form

Please see RMIT Complaints for further information about RMIT's complaints processes.

Ideally, you should lodge your own complaint. Receiving a complaint in your own words helps us to understand the exact nature of your complaint, the impact it has had on you, and your desired outcome.  

You may appoint a representative (for example a parent, guardian, or sponsor) to manage the complaint on your behalf. To do so, please make this request at the time of lodging your complaint, making sure you provide your representative’s full name and contact details. Alternatively, you may provide written authority to your Student Complaints Case Manager at any time during the complaint investigation. We will then communicate with you and/or your representative (as per your instructions).  

If you are a parent or friend of an RMIT student and wish to lodge a complaint on their behalf, you must provide their written authority to do so. To protect the privacy of our students, the student will be contacted directly to confirm receipt of the complaint, and to be advised, as per the written authority, that we will communicate with their representative in relation to the complaint moving forward.   

If you are a parent or friend of an RMIT student and you wish to lodge a complaint in your own right or without the student's knowledge and/or consent, you are considered a 'third party complainant'. You may lodge your complaint by completing the Third Party Complaint Form

Please see RMIT Complaints for further information about RMIT's complaints processes.

RMIT is committed to ensuring you will not be unfairly disadvantaged or face discrimination as a result of lodging a complaint. However, if you do wish to remain anonymous, it is possible to lodge an anonymous complaint.

There are two kinds of anonymous complaint:

  • Where a complainant doesn’t disclose their identity when submitting a complaint.
  • Where a complainant identifies themselves when submitting a complaint but asks to have their identity withheld in the resolution of the complaint.

Entirely anonymous complaints are normally only investigated where there is enough information to enable an investigation to occur and they relate to:

  • Serious matters involving a member of the University community, or possible risk to safety, property, or the University’s reputation.
  • Any incident that Government legislation requires the University to report.

Where a complainant identifies themselves but asks to have their identity withheld, the Case Manager determines whether it is possible to resolve the complaint in accordance with the principles of fairness and natural justice without revealing the identity of the complainant. If it is determined it is not possible to investigate or resolve the complaint without revealing your identity, this will be discussed with you to ascertain if you are willing to have your identity disclosed.

RMIT complies with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic). The Student Privacy Statement provides guidance for the management of a student’s personal information.

Any information collected as part of a student complaint will be kept in a confidential and secure location and will not comprise part of the student’s academic file.

Please note, the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) does permit case consultation and advice seeking with expert members of the same organisation in order to understand and appropriately respond to concerns. If you have concerns about privacy, please seek advice from your Case Manager or the Student Complaints team.

Student Complaints Policy and Procedure

  • Student and Student-Related Complaints Policy – provides a framework for current, former, and prospective students to seek resolution of complaints relating to aspects of their experience or engagement with RMIT.
  • Student and Student-Related Complaints Procedure – ensures a consistent, coordinated, and supportive approach to timely and fair resolution of student and student-related complaints. Details the rules for student and student-related complaint resolution.

Contacts and help 

Student Complaints team 

The Student Complaints team can answer your questions about the RMIT Student Complaints process. 

Student support services 

RMIT offers free Support and services for advice and help on a range of matters.

RMIT University Student Union (RUSU)

You can seek independent advice, information, and assistance with your complaint from RUSU Student Rights.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.