Complaints and Grievances
The University of Newcastle recognises an individual’s right to raise an issue or concern regarding the conduct of the University’s operations, services, staff and facilities, and the applications of its policies and procedures. The University encourages an organisational culture that responds to issues and concerns in a receptive and constructive manner and in accordance with the principles of procedural fairness and natural justice. The University welcomes your feedback and provides a comprehensive Complaint and Grievance framework to ensure best practices and support as you engage in a resolution process.
Before you submit a formal complaint or grievance, we encourage you to try and resolve the issue informally with the person or area responsible, provided you feel comfortable to do so. The formal complaint and grievance will require you to outline the history and provide evidence of the issue or concern.
Complainants will need to review the Complaint and Grievance Policy and the Complaint and Grievance Resolution Procedure prior to lodging a complaint or grievance. We encourage all complainants to seek support and guidance in order to understand the process in which they are engaging, as detailed below.
What is a Complaint?
A complaint is a minor issue that is resolved between individuals at a local level, if comfortable to do so. This is the first step before escalating to a formal complaint or grievance process. A complaint is not a formal process covered by the Complaint and Grievance Resolution Procedure.
What is a Formal Complaint?
A formal complaint is a moderate problem or concern raised by an individual who considers themselves wronged because of an action, decision or omission that relates to any aspect of their UON experience
What is a Grievance?
A grievance is a serious matter of dispute or concern. This may include the discriminatory or negligent application of a UON policy, process or procedure, and incidents or behaviour that may be considered a breach of UON policy, process or procedure, or a criminal offence.
Issues and concerns that are not a Formal Complaint or Grievance
The Complaint and Grievance Framework supports a broader University policy framework. Your issue or concern may be of a specific nature and best dealt with under a relevant rule, policy or procedure. Below are some examples of additional resolution and reporting processes:
- academic and non-academic misconduct matters will be referred to the Student Conduct Rule;
- research misconduct matters will be referred to the Responsible Conduct of Research Policy;
- sexual assault and sexual harassment reports will be referred to the Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment; and
- academic progression matters will be referred to the Course Management and Assessment Procedure Manual.
If you are unsure which policy, procedure or rule relates to your issue or concern, please contact the relevant support area as listed below.
What support is available?
The University encourages complainants may seek independent advice and support regarding the processes in which they intend the engage in. The following are some of the advice and support options available:
- the Office of the Dean of Students for UON Students;
- the Dean of Graduate Research for HDR Students;
- a Human Resource Business Partner; or
- Assurance Services (email to: firstname.lastname@example.org) for members of the UON Community who are not current students or staff.
If you believe your issue or concern is a formal complaint or grievance please proceed to the Complaints and Grievances Process page.
Reporting fraud and corruption
If you suspect or become aware of any fraud, corruption, misconduct or maladministration in relation to any aspect of UON’s operations, this is a matter of public interest and you have a responsibility to report it. The reporting process for fraud and corruption is different from that outlined above.
Reporting fraudulent or corrupt practice is also known as ‘whistleblowing’ or making a public interest disclosure (PID). UON does not tolerate corrupt conduct and takes any reports of such behaviour very seriously. UON's PID policy and the associated reporting processes are in place to protect and support whistleblowers.
Reporting through the correct channels will ensure you are not disadvantaged for raising your concern. To be afforded this protection, it is important that you report your concerns correctly.