Policies and procedures

220 Complaints management


TAFE Queensland acknowledges that students, staff, and the general public have the right to make complaint about services provided by the organisation, and that addressing complaints provides the organisation with an opportunity to improve its products and services.

Provides TAFE Queensland with a policy position for the management of complaints from students, staff, and the general public.

Policy Intent:

TAFE Queensland acknowledges that students, staff, and the general public have the right to make complaint about services provided by the organisation, and that addressing complaints provides the organisation with an opportunity to improve its products and services.

Policy Principles:

TAFE Queensland is committed to maintaining high quality complaints management processes, and manage complaints according to the following principles:

Principle 1: TAFE Queensland values the feedback and complaints provided by students, employees, and the general public.

Principle 2: TAFE Queensland will manage complaints through the maintenance of rigorous and consistent processes.

Principle 3: TAFE Queensland will ensure fairness and equitable treatment for both those making and those subject to complaints, including the right of appeal.


The Chief Executive Officer is accountable for ensuring the management and maintenance of this policy, including ensuring its continued appropriateness to the business, compliance with legislation and external requirements, and periodic review.

TAFE Queensland Executives are responsible for administering this policy for TAFE Queensland.

3.1 This policy applies to TAFE Queensland's:

  • Board
  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Corporate Office Staff
  • Regional Staff
  • Students
  • Partner Organisations
  • Third Parties

Receipt and Allocation of Complaints:

4.1 TAFE Queensland will ensure that information about its complaints management processes is made publicly available to students, staff, and the general public, to ensure that all stakeholders understand and are able to access TAFE Queensland's complaints management system.

4.2 TAFE Queensland will provide on-line facilities for students, staff, and the general public to submit complaints through the TAFE Queensland website and individual regional websites. TAFE Queensland will also provide in-person facilities for complaints, through each region and corporate office.

4.3 Upon receipt of a complaint, TAFE Queensland (including individual regions and corporate office areas) will maintain processes to register the complaint, and if necessary allocate the complaint to an appropriate officer

4.4 Complaints must be submitted within 12 months of the issue/incident/consideration to which the complaint is referring.


Management of Complaints:

Complaints Management Process:

4.5 The process for managing complaints will include, but are not limited to:

  1. Conducting preliminary enquiries to determine appropriate options for complaint resolution
  2. Facilitated discussion, mediation, conciliation, or negotiation;
  3. Formal investigation and review;
  4. Referral to an appropriate external agency; and
  5. Other reasonable actions deemed appropriate to meet the circumstances of the complaint.

Meeting Compliance Obligations:

4.6 In managing complaints, TAFE Queensland will ensure that it meets any relevant compliance requirements for the particular issue, in particular:

  1. Addressing any relevant legislative and/or government policy provisions;
  2. Adhering to appropriate delegations when responding to or making a decision in relation to the complaint; and
  3. Reporting and managing any actual or perceived conflict of interest.

4.7 TAFE Queensland is required to notify the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) if it reasonably suspects that corrupt conduct has occurred. Corrupt conduct would, if proven, constitute a criminal offence or disciplinary breach providing reasonable grounds for terminating the person/s services, if the person were the holder of an appointment. All submissions to the CCC on behalf of TAFE Queensland will be undertaken by the Chief Human Resources Officer.

Fairness and Transparency:

4.8 TAFE Queensland will manage complaints in a fair and transparent manner, including ensuring:

  1. Objectivity: Complaints will be addressed by objective decision-makers without personal bias.
  2. Responsiveness: TAFE Queensland will regularly communicate with complainants about the management and progress of complaints, including notification of anticipated timeframes for complaint resolution and any factors likely to affect the progress of a complaint.
  3. Procedural Fairness: All parties to a complaint will know what to expect during the complaint management process, and will be provided with an opportunity to participate in the complaint management process.
  4. Equity: When managing complaints, consideration will be given to the age, gender, cultural background, disability status, language, and religion of the parties to a complaint.
  5. Record Keeping: Full and accurate records will be maintained for each complaint, and stored in accordance with the appropriate records management requirements.
  6. Confidentiality and Privacy: The privacy and confidentiality of all parties to a complaint will be respected to the extent practicable and appropriate under law, and to enable the resolution of the complaint.

4.9 TAFE Queensland also expects to be treated fairly during the receipt, processing, and management of complaints, including:

  1. Staff are entitled to be treated with respect and courtesy when receiving and managing complaints; and
  2. Where a person involved in a complaint behaves in a rude, threatening, or harassing manner toward staff, the relevant delegated officer may decide to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the complainant or refer the matter to an appropriate external agency.

Notification of Complaint Outcomes:

4.10 All parties to a complaint will be notified of the general outcome of the complaint investigation (or the progress of a complaint investigation if a decision has not been reached) in writing within 10 business days of receipt of the complaint, unless otherwise agreed by all parties.

4.11 The notification of complaint decision will include the rationale and justification for the decision, and complaint outcomes.

4.12 TAFE Queensland will initially provide complainants with the opportunity for a complaint re-evaluation in cases where they are dissatisfied with the complaint outcome decision. The re-evaluation request must be made in writing to the General Manager/Executive within 5 business days of receiving the Complaint/Feedback Outcome Letter.

Complaints Appeals (Internal and External Review):

4.13 Complainants have the right to seek internal review of a decision made by TAFE Queensland.The complainant will be advised that they have 10 business days to request, in writing, an internal review from the date of the communication advising of the outcome of their complaint re-evaluation.

4.14 The process for internal reviews includes the following minimum standards:

  1. The reviewer will be independent to and no less senior than original decision-makers;
  2. The reviewer will have the necessary expertise to review the particular matter; and
  3. The reviewer will have access to relevant material and personnel, and full cooperation within TAFE Queensland at all levels.

4.15 All parties to an internal review of a complaint will be notified of the general outcome of the review in writing within 20 business days of the receipt of the internal review application.

4.16 After internal review, complainants have the right to seek external review of a complaint. TAFE Queensland will advise the complainant of options for external review of complaint outcomes to the Queensland Ombudsman.

Complaints Reporting and Continuous Improvement:

4.17 TAFE Queensland corporate office (through the Office of the Chief Executive Officer) will collate complaints management information from regions and corporate office areas on a quarterly basis and at the conclusion of each financial year. At a minimum, the following information will be published on the TAFE Queensland website by September 30 after each financial year:

  1. The number of complaints in the year; and
  2. The number of those complaints resulting in further action;

4.18 TAFE Queensland will undertake trend reporting of its complaints management outcomes, in order to identify business improvement opportunities in TAFE Queensland's products and services.

4.19 TAFE Queensland will undertake annual review of its complaints management systems and processes to ensure a continuous improvement approach to complaints management.

4.20 TAFE Queensland will support the maintenance and continuous improvement of its complaints management systems and processes though:

  1. The provision of appropriate technological and other resources to ensure the maximum effectiveness of complaints management systems and processes; and
  2. The delivery of training to relevant staff.


An expression of dissatisfaction with a product or service offered or provided by TAFE Queensland, expressed by a student, staff member, or member of the general public, including a complaint about any of the following:

  1. A decision made, or a failure to make a decision, by a TAFE Queensland employee;
  2. An act, or failure to act, of TAFE Queensland;
  3. The formulation of a proposal or intention by TAFE Queensland;
  4. The making of a recommendation by TAFE Queensland; and
  5. The customer service provided by a TAFE Queensland employee.

Complaints Management System

The policy, procedures, personnel and technology used in receiving, recording, responding to and reporting about complaints.

Corrupt Conduct

As defined in s. 15 of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001 (Qld) is the conduct of a person, regardless of whether the person holds or held an appointment, that

  1. Adversely affects, or could adversely affect, directly or indirectly, the performance of functions or the exercise of powers of:
    1. A unit of public administration; or
    2. A person holding an appointment; and
  2. Results, or could result, directly or indirectly, in the performance of functions or the exercise of powers mentioned in paragraph (a) in a way that -
    1. Is not honest or is not impartial; or
    2. Involves a breach of the trust placed in a person holding an appointment, either knowingly or recklessly; or
    3. Involves a misuse of information or material acquired in or in connection with the performance of functions or the exercise of powers of a person holding an appointment; and
  3. Is engaged in for the purpose of providing a benefit to the person or another person or causing a detriment to another person; and
  4. Would, if proved, be -
    1. A criminal offence; or
    2. A disciplinary breach providing reasonable grounds for terminating the person's services, if the person is or were the holder of an appointment.

Right of Appeal

Where a complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of the initial complaint investigation they have the right to request an internal review of the initial investigation. If the complainant is also dissatisfied with the internal review they will be referred to an appropriate agency for an external review.

Make a complaint

To lodge a complaint online, please use our feedback form.