The University of Western Australia

University policy on public complaints

Policy No.
Community Relations
Authoring Organisational Unit
Governance Services - Registrar's Office
Date Approved
Next Review Date
Approving Body
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor And Registrar

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The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Public Complaints

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

This policy sets out the principles that govern the management of complaints that are made to the University about the University or its complaints handling process by members of the public or by staff or students of the University other than complaints that pertain to the complainant's employment or enrolment at the University.

Note: Students, staff and contractors of the University and visitors to the University's Lands are subject to Federal and State legislation as well as to the University's by-laws, statutes, regulations, rules and policies.


For the purpose of this policy:

"the University" is The University of Western Australia

"a complaint" is an expression of dissatisfaction in relation to the University or its complaints handling process where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected and where the matter does not relate to the complainant's employment or enrolment at the University

"complainant" is a person who makes a complaint under this policy.

Policy statement:

1 Complaints Handling Process

1.1 The University is committed to a process for handling complaints that is

  • visible
  • simple
  • timely
  • objective
  • confidential
  • fair
  • effective
  • informative

1.2 The complaint handling process must be observed in all aspects of handling a complaint.

1.3 All complaints are accepted as being legitimate and without prejudice.

2 Responsibilities of Staff in Relation to Complaints

2.1 Staff have a responsibility to

  • assist complainants to access the complaint process
  • ensure that all parties involved in the complaints resolution process understand their rights and responsibilities.


A complaint may be made by telephone, email, letter, fax, internet/intranet or in person to any employee of the University.

All complaints must be formally acknowledged within five days of receipt.

All complaints that are not resolved at initial contact must be investigated as soon as possible and, normally, within ten University working days of receipt.

If there is a delay in dealing with a complaint that may result in the complaint not being dealt with within a period of ten University working days the complainant must be kept informed.

3 Rights of Complainants

3.1 Complainants have the right to have their complaint

  • treated in a welcoming and respectful manner
  • treated confidentially
  • addressed in a manner of helpful cooperation
  • resolved promptly with due regard to principles of natural justice.

4 Rights of Parties who are the Subject of a Complaint

4.1 Individual staff members or students who are the subject of a complaint have the right to

  • be treated with respect and dignity
  • confidentiality
  • receive appropriate feedback on work performance
  • receive fair and consistent consideration
  • access reasonable avenues of redress

5 Response to or Resolution of a Complaint

5.1 The response to or resolution of a complaint must be in keeping with the seriousness of the incident that gave rise to the complaint.

5.2 Responses to or resolution of complaints must be applied consistently across the University.

6 Continuous Improvement of Processes

6.1 The University is committed to continuous improvement of its processes.

6.2 A regular report on complaints must be submitted to the University Executive to facilitate continuous improvement.

Related forms: (Link)

TRIM File No:


Contact position:

Manager, Complaints Resolution

Related Policies or legislation:

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