ASQA’s approach to managing complaints

27 November 2019

On Monday 2 December, ASQA will be launching asqaconnect—a new online portal to receive complaints, or reports alleging provider non-compliance, from all members of the community.

ASQA will no longer investigate and substantiate individual complaints received.

This means, ASQA will not act on individual complaints. Instead, we look at the provider’s pattern of behaviour identified throughout complaints and use this information to inform our decisions on when and if further regulatory scrutiny of a provider is required.

ASQA does not have any consumer protection powers, and cannot act as an advocate for individual students or resolve disputes between students and providers.

Reports about your personal experiences with, or observations of, providers are vital inputs to effective regulation. The information you provide contributes to ASQA’s knowledge of a provider’s behaviour and practice. ASQA uses this information to help protect the quality and reputation of the vocational education and training (VET) and English language intensive courses for overseas students (ELICOS) sectors.

What does this mean for complainants?

Your complaint will be assessed to take into account a range of circumstances beyond the individual complaint. ASQA does not provide you with an outcome and you will only be contacted if further information is required.

If you are seeking a resolution, the most effective and timely way to resolve complaints is through your provider’s complaints and appeals process. Providers are required to have a complaints process in place that ensures student complaints are managed effectively and efficiently.

When you submit a complaint to ASQA, we will usually notify the provider that a complaint has been received, outlining the concerns raised.

ASQA will not disclose your name, including when it notifies the provider that it has received a complaint. ASQA will only use and disclose personal information for the primary purpose for which it was collected, unless it is required to be released by legislation or a Court or Tribunal.

What does this mean for providers?

ASQA will (unless exceptional circumstances exist) notify the provider concerned to advise that it has been named as the subject of a complaint and may suggest that the provider takes action to ensure it remains compliant with its regulatory obligations.

Providers will be advised of the nature of the complaint but ASQA will not disclose the name of complainants.

The information contained in the complaint will be recorded, and ASQA will assess all information that it holds in relation to the provider to determine if further regulatory scrutiny is warranted.

If further regulatory scrutiny is required, ASQA’s established audit procedures apply.

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