Complaints management

UOW welcomes complaints and recognises that complaints provide the University with an opportunity to rectify a problem and to make improvements. UOW is committed to fostering a culture of trust, integrity, ethical behaviour, accountability, and transparency, empowering all individuals to report serious wrongdoing.

Formal complaints

UOW welcomes complaints and recognises that complaints provide the University with an opportunity to rectify a problem and to make improvements to our services, policies and processes.

If you have experienced issues with a UOW service, product, staff member, or student, we encourage you to submit a formal complaint. While we investigate anonymous general complaints, insufficient information may limit our ability to address your concerns.

You can request a formal review a mark or grade if you have first sought to resolve your concern with a relevant staff member such as your subject coordinator or tutor. For example, you can ask to see an exam paper and seek an explanation of your mark. If you are not satisfied with the informal response, you can submit a formal request for a review by the Head of School or their nominee.

If you have a concern about an academic decision that has affected your academic progress, you can lodge a formal request for a review of that decision provided you have first sought to resolve your concern with an appropriate staff member. Academic decisions are typically those that relate directly to teaching, learning and the delivery of subjects in which you are engaged.

The University aims to treat any concern or complaint seriously, and will seek a resolution as quickly as possible. 

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction made to UOW about us, our services, products and or complaint handling where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly or legally required.

If you have general feedback and not requesting a formal investigation, please submit your feedback via UOW's feedback portal.

Complaint resolution process

Step 1 - Resolve informally (self managed)

Wherever possible we encourage you to informally resolve the issue at the first level before lodging a formal complaint. We encourage you to work through any matters of concern that you have with the individual closest to your situation as this is often the most effective way to resolve issues without further escalation.

Step 2 - Formal complaint (university managed)

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome at the self-managed stage or, if you are not comfortable in attempting to resolve the issue yourself you may choose to lodge a formal complaint. The CMC will assess your complaint and refer the matter to the appropriate area for investigation. Please refer to the relevant policy in relation to your complaint. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint at this stage, and you have exhausted any relevant internal appeal options that may apply to your circumstances, you may decide to refer your complaint to an external organisation.

Step 3 - External review

You can request an appeal of the outcome of the internal review if you are not satisfied with the outcome. The following external agencies may be able to assist you further:

What is a complaint?

The University recognises a complaint as an expression of dissatisfaction about us, our services, products and or complaint handling where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly or legally required.

I don't feel comfortable talking about my matter with my immediate supervisor. Who else can I speak to?

UOW has people who can assist you with advice and guidance:

How long will it take to investigate my complaint?

Your complaint can take up to 28 days before a decision is reached.

Can I remain anonymous?

Anonymous complaints will be investigated; however, if there is insufficient information UOW may decide not to pursue your complaint.

I have tried to resolve this informally but nothing has been done. How do I proceed?

If you have tried to manage the situation yourself but have not reached a suitable resolution, you can lodge a formal complaint.

Formal complaints are managed confidentially by University staff.

I didn't feel comfortable about making a complaint when it happened. Is it too late to do so now?

There are strict guidelines as to when you need to lodge an academic complaint. The University will not investigate any other matters that have occurred greater than 12 months.

Who else will know about my complaint?

Your identity will not be disclosed unless you give permission to the individual managing your complaint to do so.

Information about your complaint will only be disclosed to those individuals directly related to the situation.

Are there any good tips to lodging a complaint?

  1. Be clear about the nature of your complaint. Summarise it succinctly and explain your expected outcome or what you hope to achieve.
  2. Gather all the information and evidence. Always submit copies of evidence, not the original.
  3. Create a timeline, if you think this will help.
  4. Complete all aspects of the University's internal complaints and appeals procedures or if unsure seek guidance from the Complaints Management Centre.
  5. Stay focused and positive.

Is there any support available to LGBTQ+ staff who would like to submit a complaint?

All Complaints Management Centre (CMC) staff are trained in LGBTQ+ awareness and inclusion.

For advice and guidance on LGBTQ+ related grievances, please reach out to a CMC staff member:

Serious wrongdoing

Serious wrongdoing as defined in the NSW Public Interest Disclosures Act 2022 includes behaviours such as corrupt conduct, fraud, serious maladministration, government information contravention, privacy contravention and serious and substantial waste of public money. Reporting serious wrongdoing may also be known as whistleblowing, or a Public Interest Disclosure (PID).

You can report serious wrongdoing, including anonymous reports, to UOW's external whistleblowing service, WBS. Every report is taken seriously and treated confidentially.

Report serious wrongdoing online (24/7)

  1. You will need to enter the unique key (UOW2021) and client reference number (8yu9j2021) to commence the report.
  2. Make a report to WBS.

Report serious wrongdoing by phone (8 am to 5 pm AEST)

Call 1300 687 927.

Report serious wrongdoing to a UOW Nominated Disclosure Officer (NDO)

Refer to UOW’s Serious wrongdoing internal reporting procedure for NDO contact details.

Contact the Complaints Management Centre

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