Formal Complaint and Grievance Resolution Processes

If a complainant has been unable to resolve their issue or concern at the local level, they may consider escalating it to a formal complaint or grievance. However, before engaging in the formal complaint or grievance process the complainant is required to review the Complaint and Grievance Resolution Procedure to understand the process, and its limitations.

Preparation is essential for the timely and efficient assessment of the issue or concern. Before engaging in a formal complaint or grievance process complainants are required to:

  1. determine if the issue or concern is a formal complaint or grievance;
  2. understand the process that they wish to engage in;
  3. identify the relevant facts that relate to their issue or concern;
  4. collect all supporting documentation; and
  5. determine a reasonable resolution or remedy to their issue or concern.

For assistance in understanding the process, please contact your support area.

Formal Complaint

A formal complaint is an issue or concern of a moderate nature. In engaging in the formal complaint process, the complainant will complete a UON Complaint and Grievance Record form (PDF, 1.5 mb) and submit it by email to the relevant Faculty or Business Unit Manager that has responsibility for the subject matter of the formal complaint.

For assistance in identifying the relevant Faculty or Business Unit Manager, please contact your support area.

Grievance

A grievance is an issue or concern of a serious nature. In engaging in the grievance process, the complainant will complete a UON Complaint and Grievance Record form (PDF, 1.5 mb) and submit it to the Director, Assurance Services by emaiing complaints@newcastle.edu.au.

Appeal

A complainant may appeal a formal complaint or grievance process in which they were involved. Appeals may be considered, within the appeal period, on the following grounds:

  1. inaccurate or incomplete application of a UON policy or process;
  2. denial of procedural fairness; or
  3. additional information becomes available to the complainant.

The appeal process is detailed in the Complaint and Grievance Resolution Procedure. Complainants are required to read this prior to submitting their appeal.

To appeal a formal complaint process the complainant will be required to complete a UON Appeal Record form (PDF, 1.1 mb). A formal complaint appeal will be assessed by the Director, Assurance Services and is to be submitted by emailing complaints@newcastle.edu.au.

To appeal a grievance process the complainant will be required to complete a UON Appeal Record form (PDF, 1.1 mb). A grievance appeal will be assessed by the Vice-Chancellor and is to be submitted by emailing complaints@newcastle.edu.au.

For assistance in the appeal process, please contact your support area.

External Review

A complainant who is unsatisfied with a formal complaint, grievance or appeal process may wish to submit their issue or concern to an external agency, including the NSW Ombudsman. For further detail about the relevant external agencies, go to the External Agency page.

If a complainant initiates an external review and UON is still assessing the issue or concern, UON will cease the formal complaint, grievance or appeal process.

FAQ's

Yes, a formal complaint can be escalated to a grievance if:

  • there is a conflict of interest with the Complaint Officer; or
  • the Complaint Officer believes the complaint is of a serious nature, warranting a grievance process.

No, UON is unable to assess anonymous complaints.

Please send you feedback to complaints@newcastle.edu.au with the subject of ‘feedback’.

If your formal complaint has not been acknowledged after 5 working days, as detailed in the Complaints and Grievance Resolution Procedure, please email complaints@newastle.edu.au with the UON Complaint and Grievance Record form and the details of who you sent this to in the first instance.


Privacy

The University of Newcastle (UON) is committed to protecting and maintaining the privacy of your personal and/or health information provided in a formal complaint or grievance process. Further information on privacy at UON can be found in the University's Privacy Management Plan and on the University's privacy site. If you have any further questions with regard to your privacy, this notice or the University’s compliance with privacy laws, please contact the University's Privacy Office at privacy@newcastle.edu.au.