Important terms

We've provided definitions of terms that are commonly used throughout the complaints process.

  • Complainant: the person who has lodged the complaint.
  • Complaint: statement of dissatisfaction made by a complainant about the educational environment or learning experience under the direct control of the University where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected or legally required.
  • Informal complaint resolution: resolving a matter directly with the person or area involved. It is expected that most complainants will take this approach where it is reasonable and they feel safe and comfortable to do so.
  • Formal complaint resolution: resolving a matter that has not been resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction through an informal resolution process, or the complainant feels unsafe or uncomfortable to attempt to resolve the matter directly with the person or area concerned.
  • Internal review: review by the University of a decision made in relation to a formal complaint on one or more of the following grounds: breach of procedural fairness, breach in relation to authority to act, substantial new evidence is available.
  • External review: review by external agencies of a decision made in relation to a complaint where a complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of their complaint, or the way it has been handled by the University.
  • Frivolous complaint: a formal complaint that is lacking in any substance or merit.
  • Vexatious complaint: includes a complaint that makes false, inflammatory, irrational or unjustified statements as the basis of the complaint, is one of multiple complaints about the same issue or is rude, threatening or intimidating.
  • Procedural fairness includes the right for parties to have a reasonable opportunity to present their cases and the right to an impartial decision.