Feedback and complaints procedure

VIT seeks to provide stakeholders with experiences that meet their needs. We value complaints and feedback, as they assist us to improve our processes and user experience.

VIT is committed to being responsive to the needs and concerns of our stakeholders and to resolving complaints as quickly as possible.

Our feedback and complaints procedure has been designed to provide guidance on the manner in which VIT receives and manages your complaint. We are committed to being consistent, fair and impartial when handling your complaint.

Through proper evaluation of the feedback we receive, VIT can gauge what we are doing well, what areas need to be improved and can evaluate suggestions for improvement that we may not have considered.

The emphasis for complaint handling in VIT is on problem solving and improving our services, not assigning blame.

This procedure has been drafted based on the learnings from the Victorian Ombudsman guide to complaints: Good Practice for Public Sector Agencies (September 2016).

Guiding principles

1. Commitment

We are committed to resolving complaints and have a culture that recognises an individual’s right to complain.
We value complaints and recognise them as being part of our business of serving our communities and improving service delivery.

2. Accessibility

People with a range of needs can easily complain and staff actively assist them to navigate the complaints process.

3. Transparency

We make it clear how to complain, where to complain and how the complaint will be handled. The steps taken to respond to a complaint are recorded and will stand up to scrutiny.

4. Objectivity and fairness

Complaints are dealt with courteously, impartially, within established time-frames and are assessed on merit.

5. Privacy

Complaint information is handled according to privacy laws and other relevant legislation. We provide clear information about how we handle personal information. 

Complaint data is de-identified if reported on more widely.

6. Accountability

We are accountable internally and externally for our decision making and complaint handling performance. We provide explanations and reasons for decisions, and ensure that our decisions are subject to appropriate review processes.

7. Continuous improvement

Acting on, learning from and using complaint data helps us identify problems and improve services.

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How to make feedback or a complaint

A person can provide feedback or make a complaint in a number of ways.

Mail
Victorian Institute of Teaching
Feedback and Complaints
PO BOX 531
Collins Street West VIC 8007

Telephone
1300 888 067

Email
feedback@vit.vic.edu.au 

In person
Complaints Manager
Level 9 628 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000 

Internet
www.vit.vic.edu.au/forms-and-publications/forms/feedback/

Accessibility

Anyone who has been affected by a decision or action (including a failure to make a decision or take action) can make a complaint.

We accept and respond to anonymous complaints, provided we have received enough information to do so.

Complaint handling approach

We take a four-tiered approach to complaint handling.

1. Frontline resolution: frontline staff who receive complaints directly from the public will assess and resolve the complaint immediately, if possible.

All serious complaints, regardless of whether they are resolved quickly will be reported to SEC Manager (in their capacity as Complaints Manager) for recording in Complaints register.

2. Investigation, if required: if frontline staff cannot easily resolve the complaint, they will refer it to the SEC Manager (in their capacity as Complaints Manager) and / or their branch Director for investigation and resolution.

3. Internal review: if the complainant is aggrieved with the process or outcome of the frontline resolution or investigation, they can request an internal review.

4. Access to external review: if the complainant is aggrieved with the process or outcome of the internal review, we inform them of any available external review options.

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Complaint handling procedure

Frontline resolution

  • we will acknowledge all complaints within 10 business days of receipt
  • frontline staff will receive the complaint
  • frontline staff will clarify the complaint and the outcome the complainant is seeking
  • frontline staff will assess the complaint to determine how it should be dealt with
  • if VIT is not the right organisation to respond to the complaint, frontline staff will advise the complainant of an organisation that may be able to help.

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Investigation

  • if frontline staff cannot resolve the complaint, or it is a serious / complex complaint, it will be assigned to SEC Manager (Complaints Manager) and / or relevant branch Director, if necessary, for investigation
  • the person responsible for handling the complaint will advise the complainant who the contact person is and how long it will take to respond to the complaint
  • the person responsible for handling the complaint will aim to resolve all complaints within 28 days
  • if it takes longer than 28 days to resolve a complaint, the person responsible for handling the complaint will contact the complainant prior to or at this time and explain why
  • complaints that are not resolved within 28 days may be escalated if necessary to ensure that a resolution is expedited
  • the person handling the complaint will write to the complainant to advise them of the outcome (including reasons for the decision made and their contact information)
  • the person handling the complaint may contact the complainant to discuss the outcome of their complaint prior to sending the outcome email / letter
  • in most cases, the person responsible for handling the complaint will be the SEC Manager or relevant branch Director, if necessary (under exceptional circumstances, other SEC staff members may be required to handle the complaint).

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Internal review

The Complaints Manager will be responsible for internal reviews unless the Complaints Manager was involved in the original decision. In these cases, a relevant branch Director will be responsible for internal reviews.

Regular communication (every 4 weeks), will be provided to the complainant until the internal review has concluded.

An outcome letter signed by the Complaints Manager and / or relevant branch Director will be provided to the complainant at the conclusion of every internal review.

The outcome letter will advise the complainant of any avenues of external review available in relation to the matter, such as the Victorian Ombudsman.

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Complaints about contractors

We recognise that VIT retains a level of responsibility for services carried out by contractors on our behalf.

Contractors will respond to the complaint directly.

If a complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint, he or she can ask VIT to review the decision.

All outcome letters written by contractors in relation to complaints will include the name and contact details of the Complaints Manager to whom the complainant may escalate their complaint if they are not satisfied with the outcome provided by the contractor.

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Remedies

Where we have found that VIT has made an error, we will take steps to redress the situation.


Possible remedies include, but are not limited to

  • an explanation of why the error occurred and the steps taken to prevent it happening again
  • a reversal of a decision
  • an ex gratia payment or compensation
  • disciplinary action taken against a staff member
  • providing the means of redress requested by the complainant.

Where we identify an error, we will consider offering a genuine apology to the complainant, in addition to any other remedies offered, irrespective of whether the complainant specifically requests this.

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Privacy

When gathering information to respond to a complaint, we will only

  • use it to deal with the complaint or to address systemic issues arising from the complaint
  • disclose it in a de-identified format when disclosing data to the public
  • share it with staff on a need-to-know basis.

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Complaint handling flowchart (adapted from the Victorian Ombudsman complaint handling procedure)

PDF, 385.24 KB