The QCAA is a delegate for the national regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). The QCAA therefore implements a similar complaints and appeal process to align with the national regulator’s approach to handling complaints.
Complaint about a school RTO
Anyone can make a complaint — student, training organisation personnel, employer, parents, industry representatives or any other member of the community — about a school RTO under the delegation of the QCAA.
The school RTO in question must have dealt with this compliant prior to any contact or involvement by the QCAA. The school RTO complaints process should be completed prior to any other involvement by the QCAA. All complaints raised with the QCAA about school RTOs under the delegation will be directed to the school RTO in question in the first instance.
Complaints must be submitted to the Manager, QCE and QCIA Unit in written form.
Once an official complaint is received by the Manager, QCE and QCIA Unit, the QCAA acknowledges the complaint in writing within five working days. If sufficient information is lodged with the complaint, no further interaction with the complainant is undertaken. This aligns with the national regulator’s (ASQA) approach to dealing with complaints.
At this stage the complainant is reminded that their first step prior to lodging a complaint with the QCAA should be to use the school RTO’s own complaints and appeals process.
- The QCAA then conducts an initial assessment of the complaint to determine whether to accept or reject the complaint. If it is fraudulent, vexatious or vindictive, it will be rejected. At this stage the QCAA may decide to refer the complaint to another agency (including ASQA) for the investigation of all or part of the complaint.
- If rejected, the QCAA contacts the complainant and informs them that the complaint is not substantiated. If the complaint is in relation to a school RTO, the complainant is informed that the QCAA will keep this information as intelligence. The complainant is also informed the complaint is now closed.
- If accepted, the QCAA reviews the information provided and then initiates further complaint procedures.
- The school RTO in question is then notified in writing that a complaint has been received. The school RTO is requested to provide any evidence that is linked to the nature of the complaint, to the QCAA as the regulator. The QCAA outlines to the school RTO that the requested evidence is to determine if further regulatory scrutiny is warranted. This further scrutiny will usually take the form of a targeted compliance performance assessment review.
- The QCAA then undertakes a review of all the information that it holds in relation to the complaint from the school RTO, and the allegations raised by the complainant, to determine if further regulatory scrutiny is warranted. At this stage, both parties could be contacted to provide further information if required.
- Several possible actions can be taken after the review of evidence from the complainant and school RTO:
- the complainant and school RTO are advised of the outcome of the review and any actions required to be undertake because of the review. If no further regulatory scrutiny is required, the complainant and the school RTO are informed of the outcome of the review and that the complaint is now closed
- further evidence in relation to the complaint is requested from either party and the investigation is continued
- the QCAA undertakes a compliance site or desk audit of the school RTO, if warranted
- the QCAA may issue written directions for the school RTO to take specific steps, notify students in writing of a matter set out in the direction, or refrain from doing certain things
- the QCAA may issue written directions to a school RTO requiring them to rectify a breach of a condition of the organisation’s registration.
- Once one or more of these possible actions has been undertaken and finalised, all concerned parties are contacted with the outcome and informed that the complaint is now closed.
Complaint about QCAA
Complaints about the QCAA may include matters relating to:
- handling of your application by the QCAA
- information provided by the QCAA, or
- the actions of QCAA employees.
To lodge a complaint about the QCAA, your school principal or RTO manager will need to submit to the Manager, QCE and QCIA Unit at email@example.com.