Complaint and appeal


This policy/procedure supports ARA Retail Institute to provide a process for complaints and appeals to be heard and actioned appropriately. All complaints and appeals received by ARA Retail Institute will be viewed as an opportunity for continuous improvement.

Despite all efforts of ARA Retail Institute to provide satisfactory services to its students, complaints may occasionally arise that require formal resolution. The following procedures provide students the opportunity to have any issues relating to a substantiated complaint or appeal resolved and resolutions reached that attempt to satisfy all parties involved. This complaints and appeals process will be at no cost to the student (unless referred to a third party).


The information relating to complaints as well as the application form are made available to all students and potential students by directly contacting the ARA Retail Institute, through ARA Retail Institute’s website, and within the participant information handbook.

  • General Complaints (Informal)
    Where possible all non-formal attempts shall be made to resolve the issue. This may include advice, discussions, and general mediation in relation to the issue and the student’s issue. Any staff member can be involved in this informal process to resolve issues
  • General Complaints (Formal Written)
    If ARA Retail Institute received a formal complaint / appeal the following procedures are to be followed:

    • Any student, potential student, or third party may submit a formal complaint to ARA Retail Institute with the reasonable expectation that all complaints will be treated with integrity and privacy. There is no cost for accessing the internal complaints and appeals process.
    • Complainants have the right to access advice and support from independent external agencies / persons at any point of the complaint and appeals process. Use of external services will be at the complainant’s costs unless authorised by the Directors.
    • Any person wishing to submit a formal complaint or appeal can do so by completing the ‘Complaints and Appeals Form’ and state their case providing as many details as possible. This form can be gained by contacting Student Service Administration (details provided on the form), or through the ARA Retail Institute website.
    • All formally submitted complaints or appeals are submitted to Student Service Administrator. Complaints are to include the following information:
      • Submission date of complaint
      • Name of complainant;
      • Nature of complaint ;
      • Date of the event which lead to the complaint
      • Attachments (if applicable)
  • Once a formal complaint is received, it is to be entered into the ‘Complaints and Appeals Register’ which is monitored by the Student Service Administration regularly. The information to be contained and updated within the register is as follows:
    • Submission date of complaint
    • Name of complainant
    • Description of complaint / appeal
    • Determined Resolution
    • Date of Resolution
  • A student may be assisted or accompanied by a support person regardless of the nature of the issue or complaint throughout the process at all times.
  • The Student Service Administration shall then refer the matter to the appropriate person in charge to resolve, or make a decision on the complaint within 10 working days and keep the complainant informed of any decisions or outcomes concluded, or processes in place to deal with the complaint.
  • Once a decision has been reached the Student Service Administration shall be required to inform all parties involved of any decisions or outcomes that are concluded in writing. Within the notification of the outcome of the formal complaint the students shall also be notified that they have the right of appeal. To appeal a decision the RTO must receive, in writing, grounds of the appeal. Students are referred to the appeals procedure.
  • The Student Service Administration shall ensure that ARA Retail Institute will act immediately on any substantiated complaint. If the internal or any external complaint handling or appeal process results in a decision that supports the student, the registered provider must immediately implement any decision and/or corrective and preventative action that is required, and advise the student of the outcome.
  • Copies of all documentation, outcomes and further action required will be placed into the ‘Complaints and Appeals Register’ by the Student Service Administrator and on the Continuous Improvement meeting action plans.

Appealing a Decision

All students have the right to appeal decisions made by ARA Retail Institute where reasonable grounds can be established. The areas in which a student may appeal a decision made by ARA Retail Institute may include:

  • Assessments conducted
  • Deferral, suspension, or cancellation decisions made in relation to the student’s enrolment
  • Or any other conclusion / decision that is made after a complaint has been dealt with by ARA Retail Institute in the first instance.
    • To activate the appeals process the student is to complete a ‘Complaints and Appeals Form’ which is to include a summary of the grounds the appeal is based upon. The reason the student feels the decision is unfair is to be clearly explained and help and support with this process can be gained from Student Service Administrator
    • The Student Service Administrator shall then determine the validity of the appeal and organise a meeting with all parties involved in the matter and attempt to seek resolution where appropriate.
    • The process for all formally lodged appeals will begin within 10 working days of the appeal being lodged.
    • Where an appeal has been lodged it will be defined into one of the following categories and the appropriate procedures followed:
      • General Appeals:
        • Where a student has appealed a decision or outcome of a formal complaint they are required to notify ARA Retail Institute in writing within 20 working days of the grounds of their appeal. Any supporting documentation should also be attached to the appeal.
        • he appeal shall be lodged through the Student Service Administrator and they shall ensure the details of the appeal are added to the ‘Complaints and Appeals Register’.
        • The Directors and relevant department shall be notified and shall seek details regarding the initial documentation of the complaint and shall make a decision based on the grounds of the appeal.
      • The student shall be notified in writing of the outcome with reasons for the decisions, and the ‘Complaints and Appeals Register’ updated. The student shall also be provided the option of activating the external appeals process if they are not satisfied with the outcome. The student is required to notify ARA Retail Institute if they wish to proceed with the external appeals process
      • Assessment appeals:
        • Where a student wishes to appeal an assessment they are required to notify their Group Manager or Trainer in the first instance. Where appropriate the Group Manager or Trainer may decide to re-assess the student to ensure a fair and equitable decision is gained. The Group Manager or Trainer should inform ARA Retail Institute Student Management division regarding the reason for re-assessment outlining the reasons why assessment was or was not granted.
        • If this is still not to the student’s satisfaction, the student shall formally lodge an appeal by submitting a written letter outlining their reasons for the appeal. They shall lodge this with Student Management division and the appeal shall be entered into the ‘Complaints and Appeals Register.’
        • The Student Management division shall be notified and shall seek details from the Group Manager and/or Trainer involved and any other relevant parties. A decision shall be made regarding the appeal either indicating the assessment decision stands or details of a possible re-assessment by a ‘third party’. The third party shall be another Group Manager or Trainer/Assessor appointed by ARA Retail Institute.
        • The student shall be notified in writing of the outcome with reasons for the decision, and the ‘Complaints and Appeals Register’ updated. The student shall also be provided the option of activating the external appeals process if they are not satisfied with the outcome. The student is required to notify ARA Retail Institute if they wish to proceed with the external appeals process

Further information

If a client (student or other client) is still dissatisfied with the decision of the RTO, they may wish to seek legal advice or place a complaint about the ARA Retail Institute to ASQA directly (Please be aware that ASQA does not act in a mediation capacity).

If, after the ARA Retail Institute’s internal complaints and appeals processes have been completed, the complainant still believes the RTO is breaching or has breached its legal requirements, complainant can submit a complaint to ASQA by completing the online complaint form:

Except in exceptional circumstances, the complainant must attach evidence to your complaint form showing:

  • that you have followed your RTO’s formal complaints procedure, and
  • the RTO’s response.

ASQA’s processes require you to identify yourself to ASQA as a complainant, although you may request that your identity is kept confidential throughout any investigation that ASQA undertakes.

  • Australian Skills Quality Authority
  • Melbourne—Level 6, 595 Collins Street
  • Brisbane—Level 7, 215 Adelaide Street
  • Sydney—Level 10, 255 Elizabeth Street
  • Canberra—Ground Floor, 64 Northbourne Avenue Canberra City
  • Perth—Level 11, 250 St Georges Terrace
  • Adelaide—Level 5, 115 Grenfell Street
  • Hobart—Level 11, 188 Collins Street


Ph: 1300 701 801



Download Complaint and Appeal Form