Complaints & Appeals Policy

SMS Training Institute shall ensure that all complaints and appeals are dealt with in accordance with the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness and remains publicly available.

All complaints and appeals shall be subject to notification within SMSTI’s management meeting and require the implementation of SMSTI’s complaints and appeals process.

Scope of Complaints and Appeals Policy

SMSTI will manage and respond to allegations involving the conduct of:

  1. SMSTI, its trainers, assessors or other staff;
  2. a third party providing services on SMSTI’s behalf, its trainers, assessors or other staff;
  3. a learner of SMSTI.

Complaints and Appeals Procedures

Learners may choose to submit a complaint to SMSTI staff via the Informal Process or Formal Process. (Please note ‘SMSTI staff’ will be considered to include third parties or partnering organisation staff)

Informal process

  • Learners may submit a complaint (verbally or in writing) directly to SMSTI’s staff with the purpose to resolve a complaint through discussion and through mutual agreement. All complaints received will be acknowledged in writing by SMSTIs Management.
  • SMSTI staff are required to explain to the Learner the Informal, Formal and complaints and appeals processes available to them.
  • Learners may be accompanied by a third party of their choice to support them in the informal process discussion.
  • All informal complaints when finalised shall be reported to SMSTI’s Management by SMSTI’s staff (via a stakeholder feedback form) for further review and consideration for potential continuous improvement actions, regardless of whether the complaint was resolved or not.
  • All informal complaints that are not resolved with Learners by mutual agreement with SMSTI’s staff will require the completion of the formal complaints process.

 

Formal Process

  • When a Learner wishes to submit a formal complaint or is dissatisfied with the attempt to resolve a complaint informally (directly with staff) the Learner may submit a formal complaint to SMSTI’s management utilising the ‘Student Complaint Form’.
  • SMSTI’s Management will respond in writing to all formal Learner complaints within 5 days of receipt of a ‘Student Complaint Form’.
  • When a Complaint is recognised as requiring more than 60 calendar days to resolve SMSTI’s management must inform the complainant in writing, including reasons why more than 60 calendar days are required; and regularly update the complainant on the progress of the matter.
  • SMSTI’s Management shall respond to formal complaints from Learners in writing proposing a resolution to the complaint.
  • SMSTI Management responses to the complainant shall include information and procedures concerning the complainant’s right to appeal the proposed solution and request for an independent adjudicator.
  • All formal complaints when finalised shall be reported to SMSTI’s Management by SMSTI’s staff (via a stakeholder feedback form) for further review and consideration for potential continuous improvement actions, regardless of whether the complaint was resolved or not.

Appeals Process

In the event of a Learner advising that they are dissatisfied with the proposed solution for a formal complaint to SMSTI’s management, the CEO shall provide an additional opportunity to provide a solution and shall apply the External Appeal process.

External Appeals

  • The CEO shall advise the Learner that an Independent Third party shall be sought to consider the nature of the complaint and a possible further resolution at no cost to the Learner.
  • The selection of the Independent Third party shall be communicated with the Learner and the selection must be with the mutual agreement of the Learner.
  • SMSTI’s management shall make contact with the Independent Third party and provide all documentation related to the formal complaint and Learner contact details.
  • Independent adjudication responses must be within 7 days from the date that all formal complaint documentation is provided to the Independent Adjudicator.
  • When an Appeal process is recognised as requiring more than 60 calendar days to resolve SMSTI’s management must inform the appellant in writing, including reasons why more than 60 calendar days are required; and regularly update the appellant on the progress of the matter.
  • On receipt of the formal complaint documentation the Independent Third party shall make contact with SMSTI’s Management staff and the Learner and arrange a suitable time for further discussion pertaining to the formal complaint.
  • All Independent Third Party proposed solutions shall be final and be reported to SMSTI’s management and the Learner in writing and will require immediate implementation by both parties.

Assessment result appeals

All appeals from Learners relating to assessment results must be received in a period no longer than 3 months following the competency decision.

Assessment Appeals Procedure

Staff delivering training and assessment services on behalf of SMSTI will be required to:

  • Provide timely guidance to all course participants regarding the assessment appeals procedure.
  • Clarify any aspects of the assessment results that a student does not understand.
  • Provide each student that requests an assessment appeal with the required ‘Assessment Appeal form’.
  • Communicate directly via email as soon as possible with SMSTI’s management on any advice (verbal or written) provided by a student that they are seeking to appeal an assessment decision.
  • Schedule a meeting with the student and SMSTI’s management when a completed assessment appeal form is received from a student.
  • Communicate any outcome decision by SMSTI’s management to uphold or overturn an assessment appeal to the student’s by completing the assessment appeal form clearly identifying the reason for the outcome.
  • All assessment appeals will be processed by SMSTI’s staff and management within 10 days of receipt of an appeal. All assessment appeals must be maintained on the students file.
  • Student records will be adjusted to comply with SMSTI’s management appeal outcome decisions.