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Student Grievance Resolution Procedure

Procedure overview

1 Purpose

To establish the process for the management of Student Grievances that is a systematic, fair and in accordance with principles of Procedural Fairness.

2 Scope

This procedure applies to all Students and immediate past Students who have a Grievance against a Decision or determination made by the University or any related party the University has an arrangement with to deliver the Student's program or related services. For International Students, this includes Education Agents (as defined by the National Code).

For the purposes of this procedure, a person whose Enrolment is suspended or cancelled by the University may access this process to raise a Grievance about the Decision to suspend or cancel their Enrolment.

Student Grievances can include:

  1. Decisions which involve the exercise of academic judgement
  2. Decision in relation to Academic Progress or Academic Misconduct
  3. Decisions on administrative or non-academic matters, or penalties for Student General Misconduct
  4. matters relating to the administration of Higher Degree by Research candidature including resources and the study and supervisory environment.

Grievances relating to Responsible Conduct of Research as defined in the University's Research Code of Conduct will be managed according to the Research Code of Conduct: Management of Potential Breaches Procedure.

Grievances relating to Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment raised by Students against Employees will be managed under the Employee Complaints and Grievances Policy. Grievances relating to Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment raised by Students or Employees against Students will be managed under the Student General Misconduct Procedure.

3 Procedure Overview

The stages involved in resolving a Grievance are:

  • Informal resolution (optional)
  • Stage 1 - Formal Student Grievance
  • Stage 2 - Review of Decision
  • Stage 3 - Appeal
  • Stage 4 - Application to external agencies.

Students or Employees involved in these processes must participate in good faith and act according to the relevant Code of Conduct Policy. Any person involved in any stage of the formal Student Grievance resolution process must not be subject to intimidation or Victimisation, either during or consequent to the process.

4 Procedures

4.1 Support available to Students

Students are encouraged to seek support at any time and as often as they require.

There are trained support staff who Students may access free of charge at all stages of the Grievance resolution process:

  • Student Grievance Resolution Unit
  • Student Ombudsperson
  • Student Success and Wellbeing
  • Safer Communities Coordinator.

A Student may contact the USQ Student Guild Advocacy Team for assistance in preparing a formal Student Grievance or Appeal or to request that a Student Guild Advocacy Officer accompanies them to any relevant meeting or interview. The USQ Student Guild Advocacy Service is independent of the University.

4.2 Informal resolution

Students are encouraged to try to respectfully resolve their Student Grievance quickly and informally with the Relevant Party most directly concerned with that Student Grievance.

The purpose of the informal resolution process is to:

  1. establish if the Grievance is a misunderstanding or error; and then
  2. achieve a prompt, informal resolution as close to the source of the alleged Grievance as possible.

If the Student feels uncomfortable about approaching the Relevant Party, they should raise the matter with the relevant area supervisor or another senior Employee in the organisational unit, or seek advice or support from the services listed in 4.1.

4.2.1 Raising an informal Grievance

A Student may raise an informal Grievance face to face, by telephone, videoconference or in writing (including electronically) directly with the Relevant Party. A Relevant Party may be another Student or an Employee.

In approaching the Relevant Party, the Student should give full details about their Grievance and advise their desired outcome. Students are also encouraged to tell the Relevant Party about any underlying issues that may have contributed to or exacerbated the Grievance.

4.2.2 Steps in the informal resolution process

Where the Relevant Party is an Employee, that person may undertake one or more of the following actions in attempting to resolve the Grievance:

  1. discuss the Grievance with the Student informally and include explanation and clarification of any relevant University Policies, Procedures, Decisions or conduct
  2. consult with or refer the Grievance to a more relevant University Employee or area
  3. consult with or refer the Student to relevant University support services
  4. seek the assistance of relevant University support services (that is, an Employee may engage relevant Employee assistance)
  5. discuss the matter informally with senior Employees and provide an outline of the issue raised by a Student
  6. arrange a meeting led by senior Employees between the Student and the Relevant Party or other relevant person(s)
  7. refer the Student Grievance to any other more appropriate University Procedure or reporting process.

The Relevant Party must keep records of any discussions with the Student, including the reasons for any Decision, and the Relevant Party's suggested referrals or recommended actions.

4.2.3 Matters unsuitable for informal resolution

Informal resolution does not apply to certain Decisions made by the University. For further details, refer to section 4.4.

4.3 Stage 1 - Formal Student Grievance

Students may lodge a Stage 1 formal Student Grievance where:

  1. the Relevant Party considers that it is not reasonable or appropriate to resolve the matter informally;
  2. the Student is dissatisfied with the outcome of the informal process; or
  3. the Student chooses not to participate in the informal process.

4.3.1 Lodging a formal Student Grievance and timelines

Students must lodge a Grievance within six (6) months of the issue arising or when the Student first becomes aware of the facts and circumstances the subject of the Grievance, whichever is later, unless otherwise prescribed in Policy or Procedure. The University will only consider formal Grievances lodged after six (6) months if the Student can provide reasonable justification for the delay in submission.

Students who are dissatisfied with a Decision made by the University should refer to section 4.4 of this Procedure for information on how to request a review of the Decision.

Assistance in preparing a formal Grievance submission is available from the Student Guild Advocacy Team. Students involved in the resolution of a formal Grievance may be accompanied and assisted by a Student Support Person at any relevant meeting or interview.

Formal Student Grievances are normally lodged online, in accordance with the instructions set out on the University's Student Feedback and Complaints webpage. The University will acknowledge receipt of the Grievance within five (5) University Business Days.

Students who are unable or do not wish to lodge a Grievance online may contact the Student Grievance Resolution Unit for advice or to arrange an alternative method for lodging their Grievance. Student Grievances lodged via other methods will be acknowledged in writing by the Student Grievance Resolution Unit as soon as reasonably possible following receipt.

Students who do not lodge a Grievance personally may authorise another person to lodge on their behalf by complying with the Student Authority to Act Procedure.

For information on lodging an anonymous Grievance, refer to section 4.7.2.

When lodging a formal Grievance, the Student should provide enough information for the Grievance to be assessed, including:

  1. the nature of the Grievance and relevant supporting material;
  2. the name of the person/s whose alleged actions directly affected the Student or was most directly involved with, or responsible for, the matter that is the subject of the Grievance;
  3. all relevant dates or a timeline of events;
  4. informal resolution efforts to date and why the Student is not satisfied with the outcome (if applicable);
  5. if the Grievance is related to a Course, the Course code, Course name and Teaching Period in which the Student took that Course; and
  6. the outcome sought. Students should be aware that not all Grievances will result in the outcome they seek.

When a formal Grievance is lodged, a preliminary assessment and triage will be undertaken to determine under which Policy or Procedures a Grievance will be managed. Where it is determined that the issue does not constitute a Student Grievance, the Student will be advised of alternative options.

Where it is determined that a Grievance should be managed under a different Policy or Procedure (such as in the case of alleged Sexual Harassment or alleged Employee misconduct), the Student will be advised of the Procedure under which the Grievance will be managed. In that case, the process and timeframes will follow those set out in the applicable Policy or Procedure and may be different from those described in this Procedure.

When satisfied that the matter should be progressed as a formal Grievance under this Procedure, it will be referred by the Student Grievance Resolution Unit to the relevant Decision-maker as detailed in the published Decision-maker Tables, or their nominated representative. If the Decision-maker is not reasonably available or is not identified in the published table, the Decision-maker will be nominated by the Dean (Students), or nominee.

4.3.2 Investigating a formal Student Grievance

The Decision-maker normally will commence investigation of the Student Grievance within 10 University Business Days of receipt. Where a Conflict of Interest exists, the next most senior Decision-maker will nominate an alternative.

The Decision-maker may employ a wide range of approaches to investigate the Grievance and reach a Decision, including fact-finding activities (for example, requesting documentation, checking data systems), having conversations and conducting interviews, or arranging facilitated conversations involving the Student and other parties.

These will be undertaken by the Decision-maker with due regard to Procedural Fairness, confidentiality, timeliness and the safety and wellbeing of all involved parties.

Students involved in a Stage 1 Grievance resolution process may be accompanied and assisted by a Student Support Person at any relevant meeting or interview.

The Decision-maker may dismiss the Student Grievance if it:

  1. was lodged after the expiration of the six-month deadline, or the deadline prescribed in the relevant Policy or Procedure, unless the Student can provide reasonable justification for the delay in submission;
  2. has no basis, or does not evidence any disadvantage to the Student; or
  3. is Vexatious, without merit or can otherwise be considered an abuse of process.

The Student Grievance Resolution Unit will maintain oversight of the Grievance process and ensure that a Decision has been reached in a timely manner and then communicated to the Student.

4.3.3 Communicating the outcome of a formal Student Grievance

The Decision-maker will make a determination regarding the Student Grievance based on the information provided by all parties relevant to the Student Grievance.

The outcomes of the Stage 1 investigation may include the Decision-maker undertaking one or more of the following actions:

  1. correcting an error in relation to the Student or the Student's record
  2. making a Decision that may or may not be in the Student's favour
  3. dismissing the Student Grievance as unsubstantiated
  4. making a commitment to review and improve existing services and processes
  5. issuing an apology to the Student
  6. referring the Grievance as an allegation of misconduct for investigation under the Student Code of Conduct Policy or the Staff Code of Conduct Policy.

The Decision-maker will provide a written response to the Student Grievance Resolution Unit setting out the findings and the outcome, reasons for the Decision and any proposed actions to follow.

The Student will be advised of the outcome by the Student Grievance Resolution Unit in writing within five (5) University Business Days of a Decision being reached. The Decision notification will outline:

  1. the reasons for the Decision;
  2. advice on options to seek a Stage 2 review of the Decision, if available and if the Student has grounds to do so; and
  3. support services available to the Student.

The Grievance Resolution Unit will ensure Relevant Parties to the Grievance are advised of the outcome, where appropriate, and that any administrative actions necessary to give effect to the Decision are taken at the time of written notification of the Decision to the Student.

The Decision-maker may report to relevant academic or administrative units any apparent problems that they think have arisen out of the administration of relevant University Policies and Procedures or other operational processes, in order to facilitate improvement activities.

4.4 Stage 2 - Review of Decision

Stage 2 of the formal Student Grievance process applies to Decisions:

  1. arising from a Stage 1 formal Student Grievance process; or
  2. made by the University where the policy or procedure relevant to the original Decision provides an option for the Decision to be reviewed. For example:
    1. denial of Admission or readmission to a University program
    2. assessment of financial assistance schemes, Student and OS-HELP loans, Student fee refunds
    3. cancellation of Enrolment due to not maintaining satisfactory attendance requirements for International Student visa holders studying a Non-Award Program
    4. alleged breach of non-academic Scholarship or Bursary conditions
    5. alleged breach of rules of University accommodation
    6. Credit and Exemption assessments
    7. Final Grades
    8. requests for International Student transfer between providers
    9. Disability support or adjustments
    10. Commonwealth Supported Place eligibility.

Show Cause submissions by Students in response to a Notice of Intention to Exclude are deemed to be the equivalent of requesting a Stage 2 Review. Show Cause submissions are submitted in accordance with section 4.6 of the Student Academic Progress Procedure.

4.4.1 Lodging a review request and timelines

A request to review a Decision arising from a Stage 1 formal Student Grievance or other Decision made by the University must detail the reasons for the request, and must include at least one of the following:

  1. relevant factors that the original Decision-maker did not take into account;
  2. irrelevant factors that the original Decision-maker took into account but should not have;
  3. why the original Decision was incorrect, given the circumstances in which the matter arose;
  4. additional relevant information; or
  5. procedural errors.

The Student has the option of requesting assistance from the Student Guild Advocacy Team in preparing a review application. The Student Guild is independent of the University. The Student may also contact the Student Ombudsperson who can assist the Student to clarify the outcome sought and to navigate the Grievance resolution process, particularly in more complex cases.

A review application must be submitted within 20 University Business Days of notification of the Decision relevant to the review, except where otherwise prescribed in Policy or Procedures or where Special Circumstances apply (refer to the Assessment of Special Circumstances Procedure for guidance).

Students must submit their review application and any relevant supporting documentation online, in accordance with the instructions set out on the University's Student Feedback and Complaints webpage.

Applications for review should contain as much detail as possible regarding:

  1. the reason/s for the Student's review request;
  2. the timelines for events relevant to the review;
  3. what action has been taken to resolve the matter to date;
  4. any evidence available to support the review;
  5. the outcome the Student is seeking; and
  6. where applicable, additional supporting material to describe any Special Circumstances not raised previously.

The University will acknowledge receipt of the review application within five (5) business days.

When a review application is lodged, a preliminary assessment will be undertaken by the Student Grievance Resolution Unit to confirm that the review request clearly identifies the reasons why the Student believes that the Decision should be reviewed.

Where the Student Grievance Resolution Unit considers that a Student's request does not clearly identify the aspects of the Decision which have caused the Student to believe that the Decision should be reviewed, the Student will be given 10 University Business Days to amend their request.

4.4.2 Investigating a review request

Review applications will be forwarded by the Student Grievance Resolution Unit to the relevant Decision-maker for investigation. Where a Conflict of Interest exists, the next most senior Decision-maker will nominate an alternative.

The relevant Decision-maker normally will commence a review of the Decision within 10 University Business Days of receipt of the review request.

In conducting the review, the reviewing Decision-maker may undertake one or more of the following actions:

  1. consult with the Student, the original Decision-maker, or any other person who they consider may be relevant to the matter
  2. re-examine any documentary evidence considered by the original Decision-maker
  3. consider any new documentary evidence provided by the Student in their request for a review
  4. consider the original Decision or any penalties applied in light of previous Decisions made in other similar situations.

These will be undertaken by the reviewing Decision-maker with due regard to Procedural Fairness, confidentiality, timeliness and the safety and wellbeing of all involved parties.

Students involved in a Stage 2 review process may be accompanied and assisted by a Student Support Person at any relevant meeting or interview.

The original Decision-maker will be given an opportunity to respond to the issues raised in the application, and any new information provided by either the original Decision-maker or the Student will be shared with the other. The Student and the original Decision-maker will be given a reasonable opportunity to provide a written response. If no response is received from the original Decision-maker or the Student within the timeframe specified by the reviewing Decision-maker, the investigation will continue without such submissions.

The Decision-maker may dismiss the review application if it:

  1. is brought after the expiration of the 20-day deadline, or the deadline prescribed in the relevant Policy or Procedure, unless reasonable justification is provided by the Student for the delay in submission;
  2. does not clearly identify what aspects of the original Decision the Student contends require review;
  3. has no basis or does not evidence any direct disadvantage to the Student's studies; or
  4. is Vexatious, without merit or is otherwise considered an abuse of process.

The Student Grievance Resolution Unit will maintain oversight of the review process and ensure that a Decision is reached in a timely manner and communicated to the Student.

4.4.3 Communicating the outcome of a Stage 2 review

The reviewing Decision-maker will make a determination based on the information provided by all parties relevant to the review and the merits of the case. The Decision-maker may:

  1. affirm the Decision under review;
  2. vary the Decision under review; or
  3. set aside the Decision under review and:
    1. make a new Decision in substitution for the original Decision; or
    2. remit the matter for reconsideration by the original Decision-maker in accordance with any directions or recommendations of the reviewing Decision-maker.

The reviewing Decision-maker will provide a written response to the Student Grievance Resolution Unit setting out the findings and the outcome, reasons for the outcome and any proposed actions to follow.

Where the matter is remitted back to the original Decision-maker to make a new assessment, they must within 10 University Business Days review the reviewing Decision-maker's findings and reconsider their original Decision in the light of those findings.

If the new Decision involves altering or reversing a course of action already underway, or imposing a different course of action, this must be implemented by the original Decision-maker without undue delay.

The Student will be advised of the outcome by the Student Grievance Resolution Unit within five (5) University Business Days of a Decision being reached. The Decision notification will outline:

  1. the reasons for the Decision;
  2. advice on options to lodge a Stage 3 Appeal, if available and if the Student has grounds to do so; and
  3. support services available to the Student.

The reviewing Decision-maker may draw to the attention of the original Decision-maker any apparent problems arising from the administration of relevant University Policies and Procedures or other administrative or operational processes, in order to facilitate improvement activities.

4.5 Stage 3 - Appeal

Unless otherwise prescribed in Policy or Procedure, a Student may appeal the Decision resulting from a Stage 2 review, or a Show Cause or misconduct process. The outcome of an Appeal is determined by the responsible officer identified in the relevant Policy or Procedures, or by the Student Academic Appeals Committee, Student Academic Misconduct Appeals Committee or Student General Misconduct Appeals Committee, depending on the subject of the Appeal.

The University will maintain the Student's Enrolment, pending the outcome of the Appeal or until the timeframe to lodge an Appeal has expired. At any stage during the process, conditions or restrictions may be imposed on the Student in accordance with the Student General Misconduct Procedure, including on the Student's Enrolment, to safeguard the wellbeing of the Student or others until the end of the Appeals process.

If the Appeal is unsuccessful, the Student's Enrolment will be adjusted appropriately and the Student will be withdrawn without academic or financial penalty from any Course for which the Course under Appeal was a prerequisite.

For details on the grounds for Appeal, the assessment of Appeals and the functions of the different Appeals committees, refer to the Student Appeals Procedure.

4.6 Stage 4 - Application to external agencies

Students dissatisfied with the Grievance process may apply to an external agency to seek an appraisal of the fairness and appropriateness of the Grievance process undertaken by the University.

The University will not continue further consideration of matters where the process options have been exhausted or where the Student has taken their Grievance to an external agency.

For details on applying to external agencies, refer to the Student Appeals Procedure.

4.7 Other considerations

4.7.1 Anonymous Student Grievances

The University will consider anonymous Grievances taking into account whether:

  1. the nature or seriousness of the Grievance warrants action;
  2. there is sufficient information provided for the matters raised to be investigated; or
  3. there is a statutory requirement to consider such anonymous Grievances.

The University's ability to investigate anonymous Grievances may be limited.

4.7.2 Withdrawing Grievances

A Student may withdraw their Grievance at any time by advising the Student Grievance Resolution Unit in writing. However, the University may determine that the nature of the matters raised warrants the University continuing to review the matter.

4.7.3 Costs

The University does not charge any fees to Students for lodging a formal Grievance.

4.7.4 Student feedback

Students involved in a Student Grievance process will have the opportunity to anonymously participate in a survey to monitor satisfaction, obtain feedback on the effectiveness of University Procedures and inform improvement activities.

4.7.5 Reporting

De-identified reports will be provided by the Grievance Resolution Unit on a regular basis to the Provost and Student Ombudsperson detailing outcomes, recommendations, trends and emerging issues arising from Student Grievances.

An annual report will be submitted to Academic Board and Council by the Provost, detailing Student Grievance and Appeal outcomes.

De-identified information on trends and emerging issues in Higher Degree by Research Student-related Grievances will be provided to the Research Committee.

4.7.6 Records management

The University will maintain confidential records of all stages of Student Grievance resolution processes in accordance with relevant Policies, and store them centrally including:

  1. copies of all documentation and correspondence with the Student, including emails received from the Student;
  2. a written record of the outcome of any internal process including the reasons for any Decisions reached; and
  3. evidence of any action taken by the University in response to the outcome of the Decision.

5 References

Nil.

6 Schedules

This procedure must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

7 Procedure Information

Accountable Officer

Provost

Responsible Officer

Principal Advisor (Academic Governance and Standards)

Policy Type

University Procedure

Policy Suite

Student Grievance Resolution Policy

Subordinate Schedules

Approved Date

9/6/2022

Effective Date

9/6/2022

Review Date

15/11/2024

Relevant Legislation

Age Discrimination Act 2004

Anti-Discrimination Act 1991

Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986

Australian/New Zealand Standard - Guidelines for complaints management in organizations (AS/NZS 10002-2014)

Disability Discrimination Act 1992

Disability Services Act 2006 (Qld)

Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000

Electronic Transactions Act 1999

Equal Employment Opportunity (Commonwealth Authorities) Act 1987

Fair Work Act 2009

Human Rights Act 2019

Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 (Qld)

Public Sector Ethics Act 1994

Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Racial Hatred Act 1995

Sex Discrimination Act 1984

University of Southern Queensland Act 1998

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld)

Related Policies

Code of Conduct Policy

Employee Complaints and Grievances Policy

Employee Equity and Diversity Policy

Fraud and Corruption Management Policy

Handling Personal Student Information Policy and Procedure

Harassment and Discrimination Complaint Resolution for Students Policy and Procedure

Policy on Complaints Involving Council Members

Privacy Policy

Public Interest Disclosure Policy

Records and Information Management Policy

Research Code of Conduct Policy

Right to Information Policy

Student Academic Integrity Policy

Student Code of Conduct Policy

Student Communication Policy

Student Expectations and Responsibilities Policy

Students with a Disability Policy and Procedure

Work Health and Safety Policy

Related Procedures

Assessment of Special Circumstances Procedure

Complaints Involving Council Members Procedure

Disciplinary Action for Misconduct or Serious Misconduct Procedure

Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Complaints against Employees Procedure

Higher Degree by Research Thesis Examination Procedure

Research Code of Conduct: Management of Potential Breaches Procedure

Student Academic Misconduct Procedure

Student Academic Progress Procedure

Student Appeals Procedure

Student Authority to Act Procedure

Student General Misconduct Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

Feedback, Complaints and Appeals

Tables of Decision-Makers

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Academic Misconduct

Academic Misconduct encompasses all behaviours, including doing as well as attempting to do, any of the acts, omissions or activities that constitute Academic Misconduct: involving the misrepresentation of academic achievement; or undermining the core values (honesty, trust, fairness and respect) of Academic Integrity; or breaching Academic Integrity; whether intentional or unintenti...moreAcademic Misconduct encompasses all behaviours, including doing as well as attempting to do, any of the acts, omissions or activities that constitute Academic Misconduct: involving the misrepresentation of academic achievement; or undermining the core values (honesty, trust, fairness and respect) of Academic Integrity; or breaching Academic Integrity; whether intentional or unintentional. Academic Misconduct includes, but is not limited to the following: Plagiarism; submitting (for Assessment or review) work prepared by another person; Collusion, such as any unauthorised collaboration in preparation or presentation of work, including knowingly allowing personal work to be copied by others; all forms of Cheating in examinations and other Assessment tasks; Contract Cheating and Solicitation; offering or accepting bribes (money or sexual or other favours), e.g. for Admission or for Marks/Grades; and fabrication or falsification of information or Student identity (TEQSA Guidance Note: Academic Integrity, Version 1.2, 28 March 2019).

Academic Progress

Describes the status of a Student's progress towards successful completion of their coursework for each Teaching Period and towards completion of their program within the maximum given timeframe. Students who are successfully progressing through their studies would not be assigned to any of the Academic Progress stages outlined in the Student Academic Progress Procedure....moreDescribes the status of a Student's progress towards successful completion of their coursework for each Teaching Period and towards completion of their program within the maximum given timeframe. Students who are successfully progressing through their studies would not be assigned to any of the Academic Progress stages outlined in the Student Academic Progress Procedure.

Admission

The process of submission and assessment of applications for entry to study at the University....moreThe process of submission and assessment of applications for entry to study at the University.

Appeal

A formal, written request made by a Student or Employee to a higher authority to have a Decision overturned....moreA formal, written request made by a Student or Employee to a higher authority to have a Decision overturned.

Bullying

Bullying occurs when a person or group of people repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards a person or group of persons, and that behaviour creates a risk to health and safety....moreBullying occurs when a person or group of people repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards a person or group of persons, and that behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.

Bursary

A type of financial grant provided to certain Students to assist with the costs associated with attending the University. A Bursary is a monetary grant provided to Students based on financial need and/or academic performance. A Bursary is provided to the Student by the University....moreA type of financial grant provided to certain Students to assist with the costs associated with attending the University. A Bursary is a monetary grant provided to Students based on financial need and/or academic performance. A Bursary is provided to the Student by the University.

Commonwealth Supported Place

A place at an approved provider that is subsidised by the Australian Government so that Students only have to pay 'student contribution' amounts for their units of study....moreA place at an approved provider that is subsidised by the Australian Government so that Students only have to pay 'student contribution' amounts for their units of study.

Conflict of Interest

If a University Member has an interest that conflicts or may conflict with the discharge of the University Member's duties the University Member should Declare the nature of the interest and the conflict to the University Member's Supervisor as soon as practicable after the relevant facts come to the University Member's knowledge and must not take action or further action relating to a...moreIf a University Member has an interest that conflicts or may conflict with the discharge of the University Member's duties the University Member should Declare the nature of the interest and the conflict to the University Member's Supervisor as soon as practicable after the relevant facts come to the University Member's knowledge and must not take action or further action relating to a matter that is or may be affected by the conflict until authorised. An Executive Leader may direct a University Member to resolve a conflict or possible conflict between an interest of the University Member and the University Member's duties. A reference to an interest or to a Conflict of Interest is a reference to those matters within their ordinary meaning under the general law, and, in relation to an interest, the definition in the Acts Interpretation Act 1954, Schedule 1, does not apply. A Conflict of Interest will arise when a University Member's Private Interests conflict with their duty to the University or to serve the public interest as a University Member. The risk of having a conflict of interest increases where a University Member's responsibilities include the authority to make decisions. A conflict of interest may be potential, perceived or actual - when a University Member is in a role where future decision making may be influenced by their Private Interests if a certain condition is fulfilled, they have a potential conflict of interest; a perceived conflict of interest arises where it appears that decisions a University Member make in the course of their University employment may be influenced by their Private Interests, whether or not this is in fact the case; an actual conflict of interest exists where a University Member's actions could be unduly, improperly or excessively influenced by their Private Interests. Serious misconduct can occur when a conflict of interest is concealed, understated, mismanaged or abused.

Course

A discrete element of a program, normally undertaken over a single Teaching Period, in which the Student enrols, and on completion of which the Student is awarded a grade....moreA discrete element of a program, normally undertaken over a single Teaching Period, in which the Student enrols, and on completion of which the Student is awarded a grade.

Credit

The number of units, up to a specified limit, granted towards a University Award on the basis of either previous Formal, Informal or Non-formal Learning. Credit reduces the number of Courses required to complete an Award Program....moreThe number of units, up to a specified limit, granted towards a University Award on the basis of either previous Formal, Informal or Non-formal Learning. Credit reduces the number of Courses required to complete an Award Program.

Decision

A determination made by an Employee, contractor or other authorised delegate in the course of their duties on behalf of the University....moreA determination made by an Employee, contractor or other authorised delegate in the course of their duties on behalf of the University.

Discrimination

Occurs when a person or a group of people are treated less favourably than another person or group because of race, colour, national or ethnic origin; gender or marital status; disability; religion or political beliefs; sexual preference; or some other central characteristic. Discrimination may occur when a person is denied the opportunity to participate freely and fully in normal day-...moreOccurs when a person or a group of people are treated less favourably than another person or group because of race, colour, national or ethnic origin; gender or marital status; disability; religion or political beliefs; sexual preference; or some other central characteristic. Discrimination may occur when a person is denied the opportunity to participate freely and fully in normal day-to-day activities, for example being harassed in the workplace or being denied entry to public places and other facilities.

Employee

A person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University....moreA person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University.

Enrolment

The process of admitting Students to one or more Courses for the current Academic Year....moreThe process of admitting Students to one or more Courses for the current Academic Year.

Exclusion

Prohibition from enrolling in a Course or a program for a specified period....moreProhibition from enrolling in a Course or a program for a specified period.

Exemption

The release from the requirement to complete a specific required Course but without reducing the overall number of Units required to complete the program....moreThe release from the requirement to complete a specific required Course but without reducing the overall number of Units required to complete the program.

Expulsion

Means the permanent termination of a Student's Enrolment at the University, including the withdrawal of all rights and privileges and the right to use, enter or be within the premises....moreMeans the permanent termination of a Student's Enrolment at the University, including the withdrawal of all rights and privileges and the right to use, enter or be within the premises.

Final Grade

A Final Grade is a code that normally represents the outcome of the Assessment of a Student's performance against the learning objectives of a Course but may reflect the outcome of an applicable administrative process....moreA Final Grade is a code that normally represents the outcome of the Assessment of a Student's performance against the learning objectives of a Course but may reflect the outcome of an applicable administrative process.

Grievance

Typically defined as a concern or Complaint raised by an Employee against a process, action, omission or Decision within the responsibility and control of the University which relates to employment or related internal People Portfolio matters, which has or is likely to have an unreasonable negative impact on the ability of an Employee to undertake their duties, or similar impact on the...moreTypically defined as a concern or Complaint raised by an Employee against a process, action, omission or Decision within the responsibility and control of the University which relates to employment or related internal People Portfolio matters, which has or is likely to have an unreasonable negative impact on the ability of an Employee to undertake their duties, or similar impact on their career.

Harassment

Occurs when a person is made to feel intimidated, insulted or humiliated because of their race, colour, national or ethnic origin; sex; disability; sexual preference; or some other characteristic specified under anti-discrimination or human rights legislation. Harassment may include behaviour, comments or images which a reasonable person would consider to be offensive, humiliating, int...moreOccurs when a person is made to feel intimidated, insulted or humiliated because of their race, colour, national or ethnic origin; sex; disability; sexual preference; or some other characteristic specified under anti-discrimination or human rights legislation. Harassment may include behaviour, comments or images which a reasonable person would consider to be offensive, humiliating, intimidating or threatening.

Higher Degree by Research (HDR)

A Research Doctorate or Research Masters program for which at least two-thirds of the Student load for the program is required as research work....moreA Research Doctorate or Research Masters program for which at least two-thirds of the Student load for the program is required as research work.

International Student

A Student who is not an Australian citizen, a New Zealand citizen, an Australian Permanent Resident or the holder of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa....moreA Student who is not an Australian citizen, a New Zealand citizen, an Australian Permanent Resident or the holder of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.

Mediation

A process in which parties to a dispute, with the assistance of a neutral third party ('the Mediator'), identify the disputed issues, develop options, consider alternatives and endeavour to reach an agreement. The Mediator has no advisory or other determinative role with regard to the content of the dispute or the outcome of its resolution, but may advise on or determine the process of...moreA process in which parties to a dispute, with the assistance of a neutral third party ('the Mediator'), identify the disputed issues, develop options, consider alternatives and endeavour to reach an agreement. The Mediator has no advisory or other determinative role with regard to the content of the dispute or the outcome of its resolution, but may advise on or determine the process of mediation whereby resolution is attempted.

Non-Award Program

A sequence of study which does not lead to an Award....moreA sequence of study which does not lead to an Award.

Notice

A Notice from the University is a document, whether physical or electronic. A Notice may be: given by hand to the addressee or delivered to the address provided by the addressee to the University; or sent by registered or pre-paid mail to the address provided by the addressee to the University; or sent by electronic communication to the University-issued email account provided by the Unive...moreA Notice from the University is a document, whether physical or electronic. A Notice may be: given by hand to the addressee or delivered to the address provided by the addressee to the University; or sent by registered or pre-paid mail to the address provided by the addressee to the University; or sent by electronic communication to the University-issued email account provided by the University to a Student during the period of Enrolment until the completion of their program; or sent by electronic communication to the email address provided to the University by an addressee not enrolled at the University. A Notice is taken to be received if: given by hand to the addressee or delivered to the address provided to the University by the addressee; or sent by registered or pre-paid mail - three University Business Days after the date of posting; or sent by electronic communication - at the time that would be the time of receipt under the Electronic Transactions Act 1999 or its succeeding legislation. A Notice that would be deemed to have been received out of business hours or on a non-University Business Day will instead be deemed received on the next University Business Day.

Policy

A high level strategic directive that establishes a principle based approach on a subject. Policy is operationalised through Procedures that give instructions and set out processes to implement a Policy....moreA high level strategic directive that establishes a principle based approach on a subject. Policy is operationalised through Procedures that give instructions and set out processes to implement a Policy.

Procedural Fairness

Has the meaning ascribed to it from time to time by the applicable common law of the State of Queensland....moreHas the meaning ascribed to it from time to time by the applicable common law of the State of Queensland.

Procedure

An operational instruction that sets out the process to operationalise a Policy....moreAn operational instruction that sets out the process to operationalise a Policy.

Research

Research is the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way to generate new concepts, methodologies, inventions and understandings. This could include the synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it is new and creative....moreResearch is the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way to generate new concepts, methodologies, inventions and understandings. This could include the synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it is new and creative.

Review of Decision

A merits review of a Decision made by the University in relation to a Student matter where the relevant policy or procedure relating to the matter allows for a review of Decision. The Review of Decision will be undertaken in accordance with the Student Grievance Resolution Procedure....moreA merits review of a Decision made by the University in relation to a Student matter where the relevant policy or procedure relating to the matter allows for a review of Decision. The Review of Decision will be undertaken in accordance with the Student Grievance Resolution Procedure.

Scholarship

A Scholarship is Student recognition, typically based on Academic Merit, which provides a financial grant to a Student to undertake or complete a program of study at the University over a nominated period of time, in accordance with the selection criteria. A Scholarship may take the form of periodic payments to the Student or a reduction in specified costs, such as tuition fees for the...moreA Scholarship is Student recognition, typically based on Academic Merit, which provides a financial grant to a Student to undertake or complete a program of study at the University over a nominated period of time, in accordance with the selection criteria. A Scholarship may take the form of periodic payments to the Student or a reduction in specified costs, such as tuition fees for the duration of the Scholarship.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour which makes a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated, or occurs in circumstances where a reasonable person would have anticipated the possibility that the other person would be offended, humiliated or intimidated by the conduct. Sexual Harassment can take many different forms. It can be obvious or indirect, physic...moreSexual Harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour which makes a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated, or occurs in circumstances where a reasonable person would have anticipated the possibility that the other person would be offended, humiliated or intimidated by the conduct. Sexual Harassment can take many different forms. It can be obvious or indirect, physical or verbal, repeated or one-off, and perpetrated by males and females against people of the same or opposite sex. Sexual Harassment may include: staring or leering; unnecessary familiarity, such as deliberately brushing up against a person, or unwelcome touching; suggestive comments or jokes; insults or taunts of a sexual nature; intrusive questions or statements about a person's private life; displaying posters, magazines or screen-savers of a sexual nature; sending sexually explicit emails or text messages; inappropriate advances on social networking sites; accessing sexually explicit internet sites; requests for sex or repeated unwanted requests to go out on dates; behaviour that may also be considered to be an offence under criminal law, such as physical assault, indecent exposure, sexual assault, stalking or obscene communications. Sexual Harassment is not interaction, flirtation or friendship which is mutual or consensual.

Show Cause

The Show Cause process is a formal process that allows a Student to present their case as to why they should not be Excluded from their studies due to unsatisfactory Academic Progress....moreThe Show Cause process is a formal process that allows a Student to present their case as to why they should not be Excluded from their studies due to unsatisfactory Academic Progress.

Special Circumstances

Matters which are, in most cases, beyond the control of the Student and which will impact their capacity to progress with their planned program of study or meet a submission deadline. In some legislation, Special Circumstances are referred to as “compassionate and compelling circumstances”....moreMatters which are, in most cases, beyond the control of the Student and which will impact their capacity to progress with their planned program of study or meet a submission deadline. In some legislation, Special Circumstances are referred to as “compassionate and compelling circumstances”.

Student

A person who is admitted to an Award Program or Non-Award Program offered by the University and is: currently enrolled in one or more Courses or study units; or not currently enrolled but is on an approved Leave of Absence or whose admission has not been cancelled....moreA person who is admitted to an Award Program or Non-Award Program offered by the University and is: currently enrolled in one or more Courses or study units; or not currently enrolled but is on an approved Leave of Absence or whose admission has not been cancelled.

Student Grievance

A problem or concern raised by a Student who considers they have been negatively impacted because of an action, determination or omission within the control or responsibility of the University. Student Grievances are resolved in accordance with the Student Grievance Resolution Procedure and must be related directly to a Student's studies at the University and the outcome must directly ...moreA problem or concern raised by a Student who considers they have been negatively impacted because of an action, determination or omission within the control or responsibility of the University. Student Grievances are resolved in accordance with the Student Grievance Resolution Procedure and must be related directly to a Student's studies at the University and the outcome must directly impact the Student.

Student Guild Advocacy Officer

A Student Support Person, employed within the USQ Student Guild Advocacy Office as a Student Advocacy Officer, who has the permission of a Student involved in a grievance resolution process to communicate on the Student's behalf, including seeking clarification....moreA Student Support Person, employed within the USQ Student Guild Advocacy Office as a Student Advocacy Officer, who has the permission of a Student involved in a grievance resolution process to communicate on the Student's behalf, including seeking clarification.

Student Support Person

Any individual who is providing support and assistance to a Student involved in a grievance resolution process, including accompanying the Student to meetings or interviews. A Support Person may confer with the Student during the meeting or interview and may be invited by the Chair (or meeting convenor) to present the Student's case in their capacity as a Support Person....moreAny individual who is providing support and assistance to a Student involved in a grievance resolution process, including accompanying the Student to meetings or interviews. A Support Person may confer with the Student during the meeting or interview and may be invited by the Chair (or meeting convenor) to present the Student's case in their capacity as a Support Person.

Teaching Period

The period during which a Course or study unit is offered. Examples of teaching periods include, but are not limited to, semesters, trimesters, blocks, intensives and sessions....moreThe period during which a Course or study unit is offered. Examples of teaching periods include, but are not limited to, semesters, trimesters, blocks, intensives and sessions.

Third Party Provider

A party with which the University has a Third Party Arrangement for the purposes of delivering some or all of a higher education program that leads to the award of an Australian regulated higher education qualification....moreA party with which the University has a Third Party Arrangement for the purposes of delivering some or all of a higher education program that leads to the award of an Australian regulated higher education qualification.

University

The term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland....moreThe term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland.

University Business Days

The days of Monday to Friday inclusive between 9am and 5pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), with the exclusion of gazetted Public Holidays for the relevant campus location, plus the closure of the University between 25 December and 1 January in the following year inclusive as specified in the USQ Enterprise Agreement, as well as any closure of the University either at one or se...moreThe days of Monday to Friday inclusive between 9am and 5pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), with the exclusion of gazetted Public Holidays for the relevant campus location, plus the closure of the University between 25 December and 1 January in the following year inclusive as specified in the USQ Enterprise Agreement, as well as any closure of the University either at one or several campuses in accordance with a direction of the Crisis Management Team.

Victimisation

Any unfavourable treatment, or threats of unfavourable treatment against a person as a result of their actual or intended involvement in a complaint. Such involvement might include making a complaint or supplying information or producing documents to someone making a complaint. Unfavourable treatment may include adverse changes to their study or work environment, denial of access to re...moreAny unfavourable treatment, or threats of unfavourable treatment against a person as a result of their actual or intended involvement in a complaint. Such involvement might include making a complaint or supplying information or producing documents to someone making a complaint. Unfavourable treatment may include adverse changes to their study or work environment, denial of access to resources, opportunities or training, ignoring the person or giving a lower assessment of Student work.

Definitions that relate to this procedure only

Complaint

An expression of dissatisfaction made to or about the University, related to its products, services, Students or Employees or the handling of a matter, where a response is expected.

Relevant Party

The person/s or unit the Student has a Grievance with, including other Students.

Vexatious

Means:

  • without merit;
  • the substance of which has already been considered by the University and satisfactory measures have been taken to resolve the matter;
  • is dishonest or contains intentionally misleading information;
  • pursued with undue persistence; or
  • pursued in a manner that harasses University Employees or fellow Students.

Keywords

Complaint, Grievance, complaint resolution, Grievance resolution, informal complaint, formal complaint, formal Grievance, Review of Decision, Appeal, ombudsman, ombudsperson

Record No

20/530PL

Complying with the law and observing Policy and Procedure is a condition of working and/or studying at the University.

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