Student complaints and concerns

The University aims to resolve student complaints and concerns in a transparent, consistent, fair and timely manner.

You may lodge a student complaint online.

What is a complaint?

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with an aspect of a student’s experience with the University or the University environment. This can include complaints about a partner provider, contractor or agent.

Before lodging a complaint

  1. Try and resolve the matter directly with the person or area involved (if it is reasonable and appropriate to do so). To do this, please contact the relevant person and arrange a time to discuss your concern. This could be the course coordinator, program coordinator or academic coordinator in the first instance. Student Advisory can help you clarify your issue, prepare for a meeting and/or support you at a meeting.

    You can contact a Student Grievance Officer (pdf, 80kb) to help resolve your complaint. The aim of this stage is to find a suitable and satisfactory resolution to the complaint (rather than investigating the complaint).

  2. Check that there is not an appeal or review process available. Decisions relating to admissions and enrolments, final grades, unsatisfactory progress, student discipline, cheating or plagiarism, may have a review process available. Refer to the appeals webpage or Student Advisory Services for more information.
  3. Read the Student Complaint Policy and the Student Complaint Procedure.

Once you have completed the above steps, you may complete the University’s online complaint form.

If you are unable to submit the form or require assistance with the complaint process, please contact student.integrity@federation.edu.au.

Sexual harm

If you are making a disclosure or report of sexual harm, refer to Safer campuses website for information regarding your options and the support services available to you.

The University’s complaints portal is not an emergency service and is not monitored 24/7. If you need emergency assistance, please contact:

  • Police on 000
  • the Sexual Assault Crisis Line on 1800 806 292
  • and/or the National Hotline for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault on 1800 737 732.

Anonymous complaints

If you submit a complaint anonymously, we may be limited in the actions we can take to resolve your concern. If you do not provide contact information, we will not be able to respond to you.

Good faith

Complaints must be submitted in good faith and include all relevant facts to assist the University to resolve your concern. Inappropriate language and behaviours, or misuse of the complaints process, can lead to disciplinary action.

What happens once I have lodged a complaint?

Once you have submitted the online complaints form, you will receive an automated email response.

Within five working days of lodgement, you will receive an email from the Student Integrity Office advising you:

  1. whether your complaint has been accepted, and
  2. if so, which area your complaint has been assigned to.

Your complaint will be assigned to a staff member for consideration. As part of the resolution process, the staff member may:

  • Gather information relevant to the complaint
  • Meet or talk with your or other persons involved in the complaint
  • Refer the complaint to an appropriate staff member that can assist to resolve the complaint
  • Refer you to support services (e.g. counselling, student advisory services)
  • Consult with subject matter experts (e.g. Manager, Student Equity and Diversity)

After all relevant steps are taken, you will receive an email notification of the outcome. You will be sent an email advising you of the outcome within 20 working days from the date your complaint is lodged, unless you agree for the time period to be extended.

This email will tell you about steps you can take if you are dissatisfied with the decision.This may include escalating the complaint to the University Grievance Officer.

University Grievance Officer

The University Grievance Officer may request a formal investigation of your complaint. Your complaint will not normally be escalated to this stage unless you have previously attempted to settle your complaint at both a local level and at the School level.

External complaints processes

Complaints about the administrative actions and decisions of the University can be made to the Victorian Ombudsman. Students studying in another state may make a complaint to the equivalent office in that state.

The Ombudsman is generally the office of last resort. If you have not followed the steps in the relevant University procedures, the Ombudsman may ask you to do so before considering your complaint.

If the concern involves equal opportunity or discrimination matters, students may seek the advice of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (or the equivalent office in another state) or the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Support services