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Western Student Connections Complaints Management Plan


Western Student Connections is committed to dealing with complaints and grievances in a constructive and timely manner according to the nature and seriousness of the issue.
Western Student Connections also welcomes feedback which it will use to review its plans, policies and procedures.
Suggestions and complaints are viewed as opportunities to address concerns and improve the quality of service.
The procedures outlined below encourage staff and clients to participate in the improvement of our systems.

A copy of this policy is available from reception in each of our offices.

If you have a suggestion, complaint or allegation you wish to report, please complete the Online Suggestion / Complaint Form or our Written Form after reading this policy.

Attempting Resolution

Except where a matter is serious and warrants investigation, attempts should be made to resolve problems before a complaint is lodged. The person making the complaint should raise their concern with the person in question and seek resolution.
Mediation may be considered at this stage. The operation of a mediation session can be discussed with a staff member’s supervisor.
If this process does not resolve the situation then a complaint can be lodged.

Lodging a Suggestion, Complaint or Allegation

A suggestion , complaint or allegation can be made orally or in writing.
Complaints and allegations relating to the operation of our business are to be recorded using the Suggestion / Complaint Form. It is preferable, but not essential that the person making the complaint include their name, contact details and sign the form.
If a suggestion, complaint or allegation is made orally to a member of staff, that member of staff will ensure that a Suggestion / Complaint Form is completed and lodged with the CEO.
Suggestion / Complaint Forms are available from the reception or can be completed online from our website. For complaints regarding any form of discrimination, Suggestion Complaint Forms may be lodged directly with the CEO.

Processing Suggestions, Complaints and Allegations

  1. Register the Suggestion or Complaint
    Once the suggestion or complaint has been received it is to be date stamped and recorded in the Western Student Connections Suggestions and Complaints Register. It is then to be forwarded to the CEO.
  2. Select the Procedure to be followed
    There are three procedures which can be followed when dealing with suggestions, complaints and allegations. These are:
    • Remedy and Systems Improvement Procedure
    • Negotiation Procedure
    • Investigation Procedure
    It is the responsibility of the CEO to determine the appropriate procedure to be followed.
  3. Acknowledge Receipt of the Suggestion or Complaint
    Once the appropriate procedure is determined, the CEO is to acknowledge receipt of the suggestion or complaint and the respondent (if they have provided their name and contact details), of the procedure to be followed in writing. This is to be done within five working days of receipt of the suggestion or complaint.
    In the case of a situation, the acknowledgement letter should thank the person for their suggestion and indicate that their contribution is valued and will be taken into account as part of our systems improvement process.
    In the case of a complaint where a remedy is warranted and it is within the power of the CEO to effect the remedy, the CEO should notify the complainant of the decision in the letter of acknowledgement. The letter should also indicate the right for the complainant to appeal the decision of the CEO.
    In the case of a complaint where there is no remedy or system improvement possible, this should be explained to the complainant in the letter of acknowledgement. The letter should also indicate the right for the complainant to appeal the decision of the CEO.
  4. Carryout the Appropriate Procedure
    The CEO should carryout the appropriate procedure within the time frames specified.
    At all times the CEO is to carry out the procedure mindful of confidentiality and the privacy rights of all concerned. All actions carried out should be recorded on the Suggestion / Complaint Form.
    Decisions of the CEO may have detrimental effects on an individual. In these cases the individual (whether they are complainant or respondent) must be afforded “procedural fairness”.
    It is the CEO’s responsibility to ensure that the complainant is not victimised.
    Finally the CEO informs the complainant and respondent of the decision in writing. The letter should notify the complainant and the respondent of their rights to appeal.

Appeals Process

Appeals are only possible after the decision of the CEO is made.
Appeals must be in writing stating the grounds upon which the appeal is being made. Staff members should provide assistance if necessary to the appellant to put the appeal in writing.
Appeals are to be lodged with, and will generally be heard by, the supervisor of the person making the decision being appealed.
If meetings of the parties concerned are held, the parties may have a support person present.
The person hearing the appeal will determine whether the decision being appealed stands until the appeal is heard.


Timeframes indicated below are indicative to assist prompt action. Where possible they should be bettered, but can be extended when there is a good reason. If longer timeframes are required all parties concerned should be notified.
  • All suggestions, complaints and allegations should be acknowledged in writing within 5 working days of receipt of the Suggestion / Complaint Form.
  • Where it is in the power if the CEO to remedy a complaint, this should be done within 5 working days and the complainant should be notified of the remedy with the acknowledgement of the complaint.
  • Where it is not the power of the CEO to remedy the situation, the complainant should be notified of the remedy or proposed action within a maximum of 25 working days of the receipt of the original complaint. This will depend on the level at which the complaint can be effectively addressed.
  • Where negotiation is required both the complainant and the respondent should be notified within 5 working days. The respondent should be given a further 10 working days to provide a written response. Resolution should be achieved or negotiations ended within 25 working days from the receipt of the original complaint and parties should be notified of the CEO’s decision within a further 5 working days.
  • Where an investigation is required the complainant is to be notified of the outcome or progress of the investigation within six months.
  • Appeals are to be resolved within 10 working days of receipt of the appeal.

Suggestions / Complaint Form

You can download the written form (Microsoft Word document) or complete an online form.
Written download: Suggestions / Complaints Form
Online link: Suggestions / Complaints Form
© 2011 Western Student Connections. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Net Maintain. Updated December 2011