Participant Complaints Policy and Procedure

Policy Statement  

Women and Leadership Australia (WLA) is committed to providing a collaborative and psychologically safe environment including undertaking all necessary actions to resolve complaints in a consistent and timely manner.  This Policy and Procedure is made available on the WLA website and is referred to in the Learning Management System.   



To demonstrate a clear commitment to the receipt and proper processing of all complaints relating to WLA operations. 



The policy applies to participants enrolled with or intending to enrol with WLA.  

Complaints include, but are not restricted to, a person’s expression of dissatisfaction with any aspect of WLA’s services and activities, including both learning and non-learning matters, such as:  

  • The Enrolment Process.  
  • Matters of concern to a participant relating to learning and teaching, including delivery and assessment processes and participant progression.  
  • Quality of/access to WLA’s services, materials, administration, and processes.  
  • Anyone that WLA has an arrangement with to deliver its courses or any related services.  
  • Ethical and integrity issues, unfair treatment including discrimination, harassment, victimisation, vilification, and bullying; or  
  • Handling of personal information and access to personal records.  


Associated Policies and Procedures 

This Policy and Procedure should be read in conjunction with the following policies and procedures:  

  • Participant Access and Equity Policy.  
  • WLA Policy Participant Code of Conduct Policy.  
  • WLA Privacy Policy.  


Policy and Procedure 

5.1 Introduction  

This Policy and Procedure is intended to facilitate the resolution of informal and formal complaints brought to the attention of WLA. It is recognised that in some instances participants may choose to make a complaint anonymously. While complaints reported anonymously are taken seriously and recorded, it may not be possible to investigate, provide a decision or act where the source of the complaint is unknown.  

This Policy and Procedure applies to all participants, whether prospective, deferred, current or graduands. Any complaints should be raised as soon as possible following the complainant becoming aware of the issue.   

Complaints will be managed in accordance with the principles of procedural fairness including:  

  • Decisions and processes are free from bias and conflict of interest.  
  • The respondent is provided with the details of the allegation/s made against them and is given a proper opportunity to respond before a decision is made.  
  • Staff responsible will make reasonable inquiries or investigations before deciding without unnecessary delay.  
  • All parties are informed of the decision and the reasons for the decision.  
  • Decisions are based on relevant evidence.  
  • All associated processes will be appropriately documented and securely stored, including correspondence, interview notes, evidence, and consultation advice, and  
  • All information and documentation relating to complaints will be kept confidential and will be disclosed only to those who have a right to the information because of their role in the complaints process, or as required by law.  


    WLA aims to resolve complaints in accordance with the time frames communicated to complainants at each stage of the process. In some circumstances, such as where the matter is complex, additional time may be required. All parties will be notified in writing as soon as possible and advised of adjusted timeframes.   

    Complaint information will be recorded in the Feedback Loop Folder, which also houses relevant online lodgement forms. Reports containing de-identified information about complaints and their resolution will be monitored regularly.   

    If the internal or any external complaints handling process results in a decision or recommendation in favour of a participant, WLA will immediately implement the decision or recommendation and/or take the preventive or corrective action required by the decision and advise the participant of that action.   

    Records of all complaints will be treated as confidential in accordance with WLA policy on information privacy.   

    Before an Issue becomes a formal complaint,  participants are encouraged, wherever possible, to discuss and resolve concerns or difficulties directly with the person(s) concerned. WLA Program Delivery Coordinators are available to assist participants to resolve their issues at this informal level.   

    The informal stage of the complaints process should be attempted where possible. Participants can lodge a formal complaint as their first step if they are unable to safely attempt an informal resolution, if the matter is too complex or serious for informal resolution, or if they have been advised by a staff member to lodge a formal complaint.   


    5.2 Lodging a Formal Complaint   

    All formal complaints must be lodged online using the online WLA Complaints Form.   

    During all stages of this procedure WLA will take steps to ensure that:   

    • The complainant/s and respondent/s will be given the opportunity to present their case.  
    • The matter will be reviewed by the Manager, Participant Learning Hub, and an outcome determined.  
    • All matters arising will be accurately and recorded.   
    • Records shall be treated as confidential in accordance with WLA policy on information privacy.   
    • A written statement of the outcomes will be issued at each stage of the process giving reasons for decisions reached.   
    • The complainant or any respondent will not be victimised or discriminated against  


      5.3 Principles Underpinning Complaints Procedures   

      The guiding principles of these procedures are that complaints shall be:   

      • Treated seriously and with fairness.   
      • Dealt with promptly and consistently.   
      • Subject to the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness   
      • Progressed through informal and formal stages.   
      • Dealt with and resolved wherever possible without recourse to the formal stage and  
      • The complaint resolution process will identify areas for improvement in the quality of services and support provided to participants.   


      5.4 Appeals Process  

      • If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of their complaint, they will have 14 days to submit their appeal in writing to the CEO, WLA  
      • Complaints will be reviewed, and a final outcome will be provided to the complainant within 5 business days.  


      Staff Responsibility and Confidentiality  

      6.1. Staff Responsibility   

      Improving the quality of the participant experience and reducing dissatisfaction or complaints is the responsibility of all. All staff are encouraged to informally and formally identify, report and where possible prevent or remedy problems and concerns related to the fair treatment of participants or potential participants. This may occur during general communication in the performance of their role, by discussion, participation in meetings and formally by submitting a report to their respective Function Leader/Manager suggesting process improvement.   

      The Function Leader/Manager is responsible for reviewing and approving process improvement reports, for investigating the cause(s) of potential problems identified, for initiating preventative action to eliminate the problem or potential problem, for verifying that approved process improvements have been implemented and preventative action has taken place to prevent or reduce future complaints.   


      6.2 Confidentiality   

      All parties involved in a complaint or an appeal, must maintain confidentiality. All documentation relating to complaints will be kept confidential and will be disclosed only to those who have a right to the information because of their role in the complaints and appeals process, or as required by law.  



      This Policy is reviewed every 2 years by the Director, Operations.