The University of Western Australia

Complaint resolution at UWA

In May 2006 UWA finalised a review of grievance and complaint procedures aimed at assisting the University to meet the national and international standards on complaint management.

The University resolved to improve the framework, policy and procedures for managing complaints by staff, students and members of the community (public complaints).

  1. What is a complaint?
  2. Complaint resolution approach
  3. Complaint resolution principles
  4. Complaint resolution steps
  5. Anonymous complaints
  6. After you have made a complaint
  7. Your privacy
  8. Keeping records
  9. If you are still not happy

What is a complaint?

A complaint is defined as an expression of dissatisfaction made to the University by a student, a member of staff or member of the public, in relation to the University, a student or a staff member, where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected.

Complaint resolution approach

  • The University's Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct form part of the University’s accountability framework and provides direction on a range of ethical issues. The values and guidance in these codes inform our approach to complaint resolution. In resolving complaints, the University aims to ensure that:
    • attempts are usually made to resolve complaints at the local level
    • escalation of complaints is usually through the hierarchical structure with alternative processes allowed through a case by case analysis
    • a range of resolution processes, including a range of alternative dispute processes, are to be utilised
    • the University retains the right, and indeed the responsibility, to address complaint matters, even in cases where a complaint has been withdrawn, in order for the University to meet its obligations.

Back to top

Complaint resolution principles

The University’s approach to complaint resolution is underpinned by the following principles:

  • Visible: easy to access the information to make a complaint
  • Simple: easy to use and understand
  • Timely: addressed promptly
  • Objective: handled in an unbiased and equitable manner
  • Confidential: when necessary
  • Fair: to all involved
  • Informative: information analysed and used for continuous improvement.

Back to top

Complaint resolution steps

  1. Receiving and acknowledging complaints: make sure that it is easy and acceptable to raise a complaint; that people know how to make a complaint and to whom; that they are responded to in an open and accepting manner; and that the receipt of their complaint is acknowledged.
  2. Managing the complaint: follow the principles of complaint management, properly record and action the complaint process; provide appropriate remedies where complaints are found to be justified.
  3. Accountability and learning: that factors leading to complaints are analysed and understood; that where needed changes are put in place to address systemic causes of complaints; and understanding of complaint minimisation is shared within the organisation.

Back to top

Anonymous complaints

We do accept anonymous complaints but do not normally investigate them unless they raise a serious matter and there is sufficient information to enable us to conduct an investigation.

You will need to provide sufficient information to enable us to consider your complaint and you will not receive a response unless you provide contact information.

Back to top

After you have submitted a complaint

After you have submitted a complaint to the ISU, you should expect to receive the following:

  • an acknowledgement of receipt of your complaint and advice as to its eligibility within five (5) University working days
  • confirmation of the complaint matters that you have raised and a request for further information (as required)
  • information as to what approach and steps will be taken in an attempt to resolve your complaint, e.g.  a file review, an investigation, a recommendation to mediation
  • at the end of the process, advice as to whether your complaint was found to be justified, and in the event that it is, possible outcomes arising from that decision.

Your privacy

The University treats information collected through this website as private. The University will not make available to a third party any personal information supplied by you unless required or permitted by law.

This may also occur where you have consented to the disclosure but your written authorisation for this will be required.

Keeping records

Any documents and records created in considering your complaint will be managed and stored as required under the University’s Record Keeping Plan.

If you are still not happy

If you are unhappy with the resolution of your complaint and have exhausted the internal processes available to you at the University, you may decide to take your complaint outside UWA's processes. You can seek advice from the Ombudsman Western Australia as to external options.

Back to top