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Appeals  Policy and Procedure

Purpose

To provide effective, efficient, timely, fair, safe appeals procedure for academic matters, stating the policy, including the principles to be applied and the procedures to be followed.

 

Scope

 

This process relates to  academic matters and this policy is available to all potential students, enrolled students and staff of ACC. This policy applies regardless of the location of the campus at which the complaint has arisen, the student’s place of residence or mode in which they study. There is no charge to applicants for accessing any step of this procedure. Any agreement issuing from this procedure does not remove a student’s right to take further action under Australia’s consumer protection laws.

 

Definitions

 

Appeal

This is a written statement appealing the result of an academic decision by ACC for example, the student may believe a piece of assessment did not receive a sufficient grade. ACC will address student appeals in a procedurally fair and reasonable manner, having regard to the principles of timeliness, confidentiality, absence of bias and freedom from victimisation

Student

A person who is enrolled student or potential student who is seeking to enroll into any courses or subjects offered by Australia Christian College.

 

Policy statement

 

Students can request reviews of the following types of ACC academic decision: Any decision in relation to their studies for example:

– final  grades

-progression

-exclusion. A student may face exclusion from future classes when:

– they fail a unit within a course three times

-they fail one or more courses

– they cumulative course results are ‘not yet competent’

-eligibility to graduate

-special consideration

-deferred tests.

This policy provides a framework for handling  appeals using the principles of equity and transparency. It is ACC policy to address and resolve issues among those directly concerned in the first instance. All issues are addressed in a timely manner and treated in the strictest confidence. All parties involved in the issue will be treated with respect and will not be victimized or discriminated against.

ACC ensures its appeals procedures are communicated to students and staff and that staff is trained in the application of this procedure during their induction. Staff members are directly responsible for handling complaints will be provided with appropriate training as part of their staff development. Students will be provided with this policy at the time of enrolment.

The Australia Christian College Board will review and evaluate procedures followed for any complaints and appeals lodged under this policy.

 

Procedure

 

Australia Christian College has a three step process for reviewing academic decision

Step 1: Understanding the decision

Students must informally contact the decision maker in person or in writing to request an explanation of the decision, any additional information about the decision, check and details and correct any misunderstandings. Students must make contact within 10 days of the delivery of the original decision. The decision-maker must reply with an explanation within 10 days of the student request.

Step 2 Reviewing the decision

 

  1. 1. If the matter cannot be resolved informally in Step 1, students may request a review of the decision to the QMC director (Quality management committee director) using the Application Form : Appeals Against Academic Decisions (attached at end of Appeals Policy)

Contact details  for the QMC director are:

Phone 02 6255 4597 between office hours Monday to Friday

E-mail:  info@accu.edu.au and address the email to ” QMC director”

Address:  Our head office-  2 Randwick Rd Lyneham ACT 2602.

This application from must be submitted within 10days of receiving the reply from the decision-maker in Step 1 and there is no charge to the student. The QMC director must reply to the Application within 10 days.

The outcomes of Step 2 may include:

  • The QMC director deems the student’s application to be invalid.
  • The QMC director affirms the academic decision.
  • The student, with a better understanding of the grounds upon which the decision was made, does not seek to appeal the review decision.
  • The student submits a formal application to an agency external to ACC (See Step 3).

Onus of Proof with the Application

In applying for a decision to be reviewed, the student bears the onus of proof and is responsible for establishing that the decision in the first instance was an unreasonable decision. The student is required to formally present their case in writing and provide the review officer or appeal body with all information relevant to the decision. The review officer or appeal body can only base their decision on the material before them.

It is the responsibility of the student to identify fully the grounds on which they believe the decision was an unreasonable decision and provide all relevant evidence from the beginning of the review or appeal process.

New grounds for review or appeal or new evidence should not be introduced during the process unless:

  • there has been a major change in circumstance since the student initiated the review or appeal;
  • the new information or evidence was not reasonably available to the student at the time the review or appeal was initiated; and
  • the new information or evidence has a material effect on the review or appeal.

Where new information or evidence relating to a matter is accepted the review officer or appeal body may refer the matter back to the decision-maker or person who undertook initial review of the matter.

Step 3 College Appeals Committee

 

The College Appeals Committee comprises of an independent and impartial senior officer of the college, an independent person from the outside and CEO.

To apply for an appeal of a decision in Step 2, a student must complete a new Application Form: Appeals of Academic Decision/s form and submit it to the Appeals Committee within 10 days of receiving the response from the QMC director in Step 2.

The student should provide the Appeals Committee with their application and copies of all relevant documentation, including documentation from Step 1 Understanding the Decision and Step 2 Reviewing the Decision. A student must attach all correspondence from the Step 2 QMC director, including the letter advising the student of the outcome of the review process and supporting reasons.

Response to Student

Within 10 days of the student appealing, the College Appeals Committee will acknowledge receipt of the appeal and advise the student whether the Appeal has merit and, if so, of the day and date of the meeting. The student will be invited to attend and to bring a support person if they wish.

Within 10 days of the meeting, the College Appeals Committee will provide the student with the outcome of their deliberations in writing.

  • IF the case is needed to consider more than 60 calendar days, ACC will 1) inform the comlainant or appellant in writing, including reasons why more than 60 calendar days are required: and 2) regularly update the complainant or appellant on the progress of the matter.

Consideration of Appeal

The College Appeals Committee allows for the Chair of the Appeals Committee to act executively in deciding whether the appeal has merit and should proceed to the Committee. The Chair’s executive decisions are reported to the all the members of the Appeals Committee for ratification. In considering the student’s appeal the Chair may:

  • Evaluate the application for review and make a preliminary assessment as to whether there is sufficient evidence to make a decision.
  • Request further information from the student, the QMC director or another relevant person, including from the lecturer of the course.

The Chair, College Appeals Committee may take the following actions:

  • Deem the appeal to be invalid.
  • Decide to dismiss the appeal because the academic decision seems to the Chair to have been properly taken and the student has not presented sufficient evidence to justify further consideration of the appeal. The student is advised of the outcome with supporting reasons. The Chair reports the decision to the all themembers of the College Appeals Committee.
  • Refer the student’s appeal to a meeting of the College Appeals Committee. If this is the case, the student will be invited to attend the meeting and given at least 5 days’ notice. The student may also bring someone of their own choosing if they wish.

If the student’s appeal is referred for a decision in a meeting of the College Appeals Committee, the Committee may take the following actions:

  • Dismiss the appeal and affirm the decision in its original form.
  • Uphold the appeal and set aside the decision.
  • Find that the appeal presented by the student constitutes sufficient justification to require the Academic Dean to take certain actions in order to review the original academic decision and report back to Committee.

 

Records

 

Appropriate records will be kept of all meetings and documents pertaining to appeal under ” Student complaints and Appeal Records” All records relating to  appeals shall be deemed confidential and retained for a minimum of five years. During this time, all parties to the  appeal are entitled to appropriate access to these records.

 

Responsibility

The General Manager will be responsible for implementation of this policy and procedure and ensuing that all staff are fully trained in its operation.

 

Privacy

 

The college complies with the privacy principles set out in the Privacy Act 1988, when handling personal information. A student may apply for and receive a copy of the personal information held by the application that relates to that student.

 

Publication

This policy and procedure is also noted in the following ACC documents and locations.

-Student handbook

-Operational manual for staff

-ACC website (www.accu.edu.au)

Application Form : Appeals against Academic Decisions

APPROVAL

Complains  Policy and Procedure was agreed to and ratified by The Board of directors of Australia Christian College on 03/06/2015

Appeals Policy and Procedure