Complaints and Appeals policy

Complaints and appeal procedure


Southern Pathology Services as a Nationally Recognised Registered Training Organisation is required under the terms of the VET Quality Framework (VQF) and Standard 6 to provide appropriate transparent mechanisms to acknowledge and deal with complaints and appeals involving:

  • The RTO, its trainers, assessors and/or other staff
  • A third party providing services on the RTO’s behalf
  • A Learner of the RTO, and to fairly, efficiently and effectively process and finalise the complaint or appeal.


The purpose of this procedure is to clearly define the process in which informal and formal complaints and appeals are dealt with and recorded.


It is SIML Training’s intent to resolve all complaints and appeals in a fair, effective, transparent and efficient manner to ensure a minimum of disruption to the business of SIML Training’s and without detriment to the Learner or complainant.


The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for implementation of this policy and procedure, the Training Team Leader is responsible for the implementation of this policy and procedure and for ensuring that all staff and third parties providing services on its behalf are fully trained in its operation and Learners and Complainants are made aware of its availability.



A complaint is an allegation involving the conduct of:

  • The RTO, its Trainers, Assessors or other Staff
  • A third party providing services on the RTO’s behalf, its trainers, assessors or other staff
  • A learner of the RTO


An appeal is a request for the review of a decision in regards to:

  • Assessment decisions made by the RTO or third party providing services on behalf of the RTO
  • Suspension or exclusion from the RTO or third party providing services on behalf of the RTO

Level of Authority for Managing Complaints and Appeals

Complaints and Appeal Procedure

Formal Complaints and Appeals

Due to the nature and possible outcomes, the authority to deal with formal complaints and appeals are:

  • Trainer
  • Training Team Leader
  • Manager Business Development & Patient Services
  • CEO

Due to the possible outcomes from formal complaints and the impact on the business of SIML Training, third parties delivering services on behalf of the RTO are not permitted to investigate formal complaints or appeals in which they, their trainers, assessors or other staff are the subject of.

Informal Procedure

It is anticipated that informal procedures will involve a minimum of time to be resolved due to the uncomplicated nature of the complaint or appeal. As such these uncomplicated matters will be managed by the Trainer, or Training Team Leader.

This process will involve the person receiving the informal complaint or appeal making all efforts to address the concerns of a learner or complainants through an informal exchange of information, with a view to clarifying and understanding the nature of the complaint and attempting to resolve the issues presented.

Notes of this informal discussion and the outcome are made and a copy stored in the Learners file.

In cases where the Trainer or Training Team Leader are unable to resolve the complaint or appeal, the Learner or complainant is to advised to avail themselves of the formal procedure and the need to make the complaint or appeal in writing to the Manager Business Development & Patient Services at Southern.IML Pathology.

Formal Procedure

General principles applying to all stages of this formal procedure which will be adhered to by SIML Training are:

  • The Complainant and Respondent will have an opportunity to present their case at each stage of the procedure.
  • The Complainant and Respondent have the option of being accompanied or assisted by a third party (such as a family member, friend or counsellor) if they so desire
  • The Complainant and the Respondent will not be discriminated against or victimised
  • At all stages of the process, discussions relating to complainants and appeals will be recorded in writing. Reason and a full explanation in writing for the decisions and actions taken as part of this procedure will be provided to the Complainant and/or Respondent.
  • Records of all complaints and appeals will be kept for a period of 5 years. These records will be kept strictly confidential and stored in secure storage.
  • A Complainant shall have access to this complaints and appeals process at no cost during the time of the complaint resolution process, but a minimal fee will be applied for access to records in storage after the process has completed.

Stage One

Formal complaints and appeals will be submitted in writing to the Training Team Leader .This will be assessed, investigated to determine the outcome. The Learner will be advised of the outcome within 10 working days, including the right to access stage two of this procedure if not satisfied with the outcome.

Stage Two

An appeal may be lodged to the Manager Business Development & Patient Services and all necessary consultations with the Complainant, Respondent and any other relevant persons to make a determination of the appeal. The Complainant will be advised of the outcome in writing including the reasons for this decision within 15 working days. They will be advised of the right to access stage three if they are not satisfied with the outcome.

A copy of the final determination and the original written complaint is to be placed in the Learners file with the recommendations for corrective action to the Training Team leader.

Stage Three

If the Learner is not satisfied with the outcome of Stage Two they must advise in writing that they are not satisfied with the outcome and they are escalating the matter to either:

  • ASQA – Australian Skills Quality Authority
  • Or
  • Seeking independent mediation at their own expense through a mediation service.

Non Complying Complaints and Appeals

Any complaint or appeal containing threats of violence or clearly identified breach of Australian Laws shall be deemed non complying and will not be considered under the terms of this procedure. Further such threats or breach of Australian Law shall be reported to the most appropriate law enforcement agency.

Timeframe for Complaints and Appeals

All written complaint and appeals including reviews are to be finalised within 30 days of the date of the complaint or appeal received.