Policy and Procedures Associated with the Review of Unresolved Grievances/Complaints by the University Visitor
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1. The University's grievance procedures currently describe how staff and students address grievances/complaints in respect of a range of matters. Among other things, these procedures provide for rights of review within the University if a person is dissatisfied with a particular outcome.
2. In addition to their ability to raise grievances/complaints internally, and seek a review in respect of any decision of the University, staff and students may be able to make a complaint to an external body. Examples of such complaints, and the external body to which they could be referred, include, among others, those relating to:
(a) unlawful discrimination - referred to the appropriate state or federal equal opportunity commission;
(b) privacy - referred to the Federal Privacy Commissioner;
(c) administrative decisions under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 - referred to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal; and
(d) concerning the University's certified agreements - in appropriate circumstances to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.
3. From time to time, staff and students may not have the right to raise a grievance/complaint with an external body (such as those referred to in 2 above) because there is no external body that has been established to review the particular grievance/complaint.
4. To take account of such circumstances, the University has established the position of University Visitor. Accordingly, where there is no other external review available, a staff member or student may refer any unresolved grievance/complaint to the University Visitor for review.
5. The role of the University Visitor will be undertaken by someone who is not an employee of the University. The Visitor will initially be appointed for a one year term. The Visitor's appointment will be reviewed, thereafter (currently anticipated to be on a biennial basis), together with the Visitor arrangements generally.
6. It is intended that the Visitor will review only those grievances/complaints which are serious and are not capable of external review. Serious grievances/complaints will be those which raise an important issue for the University.
7. The Visitor's review of grievances/complaints lodged with her or him will usually involve a review by the Visitor of the existing documentation relating to that grievance/complaint. In particular cases, however, the Visitor may request that the parties make further written submissions, including on any matters the Visitor considers relevant, so as to assist her or him in reviewing the particular grievance/complaint.
8. The Visitor will make a written report to the Vice-Chancellor about the grievance/ complaint. Grievances/complaints will generally be addressed by the Visitor within 30 days of formal receipt of the grievance/complaint.
9. The Visitor is the final avenue of review in respect of all such grievances/complaints.
10. If, at any time during the Visitor's review of the grievance/complaint, the person making the grievance/complaint becomes aware of an avenue for its external resolution, and that external process is initiated by them, the Visitor's review of the grievance/complaint in such circumstances will ordinarily be terminated.
11. No charge or fee applies in respect of any complaints addressed to the Visitor.
12. The University will review the Visitor arrangements to see if they are efficient and effective. In light of that review, the University will then determine whether changes to the Visitor arrangements are appropriate.