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Curtin University
Integrity and Standards Unit

Complaint Handling at Curtin

Curtin's complaints resolution framework comprises a comprehensive set of procedures, guidelines, protocols and other documentation that assists in and ensures the resolution of complaints made against Curtin University, its operations or its officers, at the most appropriate level and at the earliest opportunity. This contributes to Curtin’s continuous improvement cycle so that the potential and opportunity for incidents to be repeated are minimised.

 
FOR COMPLAINANTS, RESPONDENTS AND LINE MANAGERS - GENERAL INFORMATION
Complaints Procedures
Click above to view the Executive Management approved procedures for lodging complaints (and timelines for lodgement), resolving complaints, making complaints to external bodies, protecting parties to a complaint and anonymous complaints. Compliance with these procedures is mandatory for Curtin staff.
NOTE: These procedures do not apply for complaints made against Curtin students.
Statement of Expectations and Obligations
Click above to view a detailed statement which outlines the expectations and obligations of complainants (i.e. the person making a complaint), respondents (i.e. the person against whom the complaint is made) and line managers (i.e. the Curtin officer assigned responsibility for resolving the complaint) during the complaint resolution process.

Protocol for interacting with the ISU
Click above to view a documented protocol which outlines the University's expectations in relation to interaction and communications between clients and ISU officers. The ISU is obliged, and expects its clients, at all times to communicate and conduct themselves in a reasonable, lawful and appropriate manner. 

FOR LINE MANAGERS ASSIGNED RESPONSIBILITY FOR COMPLAINT RESOLUTION
Line Manager Guidelines - how to effectively deal with complaints
Click above to view a comprehensive document that provides you with detailed guidance for dealing with and resolving the complaint that has been assigned to you. It is important that you read this document prior to commencing the complaint resolution process as it contains valuable information for ensuring that you follow due process in coming to a decision on your assigned complaint.    

Complaint Notification Information
When you receive a notification of a complaint that requires resolution, you will see a link at the bottom of the email with the above title. Clicking on it brings up high level information which will assist you in identifying the type of complaint to be resolved, and therefore what action needs to be taken. (its like a summary of what's contained in the Line Manager Guidelines). Click above to view this information.             

Complaint Handling Checklist
Once you have completed the complaint resolution process, you will need to send all relevant documentation back to the ISU, along with a completed Complaint Handling Checklist (to confirm you have followed due process during the complaint resolution process). Our complaints system (from 1 Aug 2018) has this checklist built in to it for you to complete online and email back to us. For matters that were still in train prior to 1 Aug, click above to use the PDF version.

Complaint Closure Notification Letter to Complainant - template
Once you have completed the complaint resolution process, you will need to notify the complainant of your decision in relation to their complaint. A standard letter template is available (by clicking above) which you can use as a basis for communicating with the complainant on the the outcome of their complaint.
Curtin Code of Conduct
You have a duty to investigate and act accordingly when a complaint alleging breaches of the Curtin Code of Conduct is reported to you or brought to your attention. But did you know that, as a party to the Code, the Code also applies to you during the complaint resolution process. Recognition and close adherence to the Code is necessary to ensure that the way you conduct yourself during the complaint resolution process does not in turn result in a complaint being made against you. Click above for more information.
Complainant Experience Questionnaire
After the ISU closes off a complaint, the ISU may submit a Complainant Experience Questionnaire to the complainant in order to assess how well their complaint was handled by you. Click above to see the questions that complainants are requested to answer (to assist you in your handling of complaints).
Curtin University - Staff Agreements
Does the complaint assigned to you involve allegations of misconduct against a staff member who comes under a Staff Agreement? If so, then click above to find the relevant Staff Agreement and relevant section on staff misconduct / serious misconduct in that agreement, in order to follow the correct procedures when dealing with these types of complaints. Further detailed information is provided in the flowcharts below.


Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research
Does the complaint assigned to you involve allegations of potential breaches of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research? If so, then click above to view the Code itself and associated guides that outline the requirements that must be met in resolving the complaint. 
NOTE: The requirements for dealing with potential breaches of the Australian Code have been integrated within Curtin's complaint resolution processes, as described in the flowcharts below.
Managing Unreasonable Complainants
Are you experiencing problems with a complainant (or respondent) as a result of their unreasonable or inappropriate behaviour during the complaint resolution process? If so, then click above to view a comprehensive manual from the NSW Ombudsman which details how to deal with such conduct by complainants.





FOR EVERYONE - THE COMPLAINT RESOLUTION PROCESS (FLOWCHARTS)
No. 1 - General Complaint Handling Process
This flowchart outlines the high level end-to-end processes involved in lodging, assessing, assigning, resolving and closing a complaint e.g. student grievances, staff misconduct notifications, research misconduct and negative feedback.


No. 2 - Staff Misconduct (under the Staff Agreement - Part A)
This flowchart outlines the specific processes to be followed when a complaint alleges staff misconduct under the current Staff Agreement (Part A).
NOTE:
The Staff Agreement referred to here is the Academic, Professional and General Staff Agreement 2017-2021, which is effective from 20 June 2018.
No. 3 - Staff Misconduct (under the Staff Agreement - Part B)
This flowchart outlined the specific processes to be followed when a complaint alleges staff misconduct under the current Staff Agreement (Part B).
NOTE: The Staff Agreement referred to here is the Academic, Professional and General Staff Agreement 2017-2021, which is effective from 20 June 2018
.