Making a Complaint

Canterbury Institute of Management (CIM) is committed to developing and maintaining an effective, timely, fair and equitable grievance handling system, academic or administrative in nature, which is easily accessible to all current students including international students.

CIM aims to:

  • Develop​ a culture that views grievances as an opportunity to continuously improve the policies, programs, procedures and services of organisation
  • Set in place a grievance handling system that is client focussed and helps CIM to prevent grievances from recurring
  • Ensure that any grievances are resolved promptly, objectively and with sensitivity and in complete confidentiality
  • Ensure that the views of each student and respondent are respected, not discriminated against or victimised
  • Ensure that there is a consistent response to grievances

Formal Grievance Management Procedure (As per CIM “Student Grievance Management Policy”)

  1. This procedure can be used by students (and persons seeking to enrol in a course of study with the Institute) to submit a grievance of an academic or non-academic nature. Grievances of an academic nature include matters related to student progress, assessment, curriculum and awards in a course of study. Grievances of a non-academic nature cover all other matters including complaints in relation to personal information that the Institute holds in relation to the student.
  2. During all stages of this procedure the Institute takes all necessary steps to ensure that:

a. the complainant and the respondent are not to be victimised or discriminated against;
b. the complainant (and, where relevant, the respondent) has an opportunity to formally present his or her case and each party to the grievance may be accompanied and assisted by a support person at any relevant meeting;
c. a full explanation in writing for decisions and actions taken as part of the process are provided if so, requested by the complainant or the respondent;
d. where the internal or external complaint handling or appeal process results in a decision that supports the complainant, the Institute immediately implements any decision and/or corrective and preventative action required and advise the complainant of the outcome;
e. there is no cost to the complainant for using the internal or external grievance and appeals process.

5.3 Stage one – Formal Grievance

5.3.1 For a complaint to be treated formally, the student must put his or her grievance in writing and make an appointment with the Student Support Manager to discuss the issue. The student may nominate another person to attend the meeting and speak on his or her behalf.

5.3.2 The Student Support Manager reviews the grievance. If the Student Support Manager has, or perceives there to be, a conflict or a potential conflict of interest in the handling of the grievance, the Student Support Manager refers the matter to the Program Director. Where the grievance involves the Campus Director & Dean, the grievance is handled by the Chair of the Academic Board. Within ten (10) working days from the date the Institute receiving the grievance and supporting information, the Student Support Manager and/or Program Director attempt to resolve it through investigation and conciliation, consulting with relevant staff and students.

5.3.3 The Student Support Manager and/or Program Director may determine that no further inquiry is necessary. The student must be advised in writing of this decision.

5.3.4 Where further inquiry is deemed necessary, the Student Support Manager and/or Program Director may call a meeting with the relevant parties to find a resolution. The meeting is held within ten (10) working days of the conclusion of the review and investigation. Where an investigation or conciliation cannot be concluded within ten working days, the Student Support Manager and/or Program Director keep the student informed of the status of the matter and the reason for any delay.

5.3.5 The Institute maintains formal records in accordance with the Records Management Policy of the actions taken and notifies the student in writing of the outcome of the grievance process, giving reasons for any decision.

5.3.6 The Institute maintains a register in accordance with the Records Management Policy of formal complaints and grievances and actions taken.

5.4 Stage two – Internal Appeal:

5.4.1 If a complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of his or her complaint, he or she may lodge an appeal with the Campus Director & Dean. The Campus Director & Dean appoints a Grievance Committee to consult with the complainant and other relevant parties within ten.

5.4.2 Where possible such consultations should take the form of face-to-face interviews. The complainant or the respondent may ask a support person to accompany him or her to these interviews. This support person should not be a legal professional.

5.4.3 Following the consultation, the Campus Director & Dean, or his or her nominee, provides a written report to the complainant advising of further steps taken to address the grievance, including the reason for the decision, within ten (10) working days of consultation having concluded. The report further advises the complainant of his or her right to access the external appeal process where the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the internal appeal.

5.5 Stage three – External Appeal – Domestic Students:

5.5.1 If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the internal appeal, the complainant may request the Institute that the matter be dealt with through an external dispute resolution process. There are several avenues for external dispute resolution which can be followed by any person who believes that a complaint has not been satisfactorily resolved. Unless otherwise stated, first lodgement of a complaint with an external agency is free of charge.

5.5.2 2 Should the student consider the matter is not resolved as a result of Internal Appeal, the student may seek external mediation by an independent third party. The Institute’s Student Support Officer provides clear information and support to the student on external mediation and dispute resolutions options.

Where the student wishes to have the matter reviewed by an independent third-party the Institute refers the matter to the Resolution Institute. The Resolution Institute is an independent national association of dispute resolution.

Level 1, 13-15 Bridge Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Phone: +61 2 9251 3366

Fax: +61 2 9251 3733

Free call: 1800 651 650



5.5.3 If a complainant/student is of the opinion that their issue is of the nature that they do not wish to go to mediation and rather choose to go to arbitration through Resolution Institute, CIM facilitates and pay for that. Details of arbitration process can be found on the link below:

Resolution Institute arbitration rules can be viewed at link:

A complainant/student can submit online arbitration application at the link below:

5.5.4 Once complainant/student has submitted their arbitration application online, they should forward Resolution Institute invoice or payment link to for payment of arbitration application fees. However, if complainant/student have paid the charges, they can get the paid fees reimbursed from CIM by providing an application for refund with the bank account details. All paid arbitration fees are refunded within 7 days.

5.5.5 Other appeal options:

The other options available to students include:

NSW Fair Trading safeguards the rights of consumers and advises business and traders on fair and ethical practice. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) provides independent review of a wide range of administrative decisions made by the Australian government and some non-government bodies. The AAT aims to provide fair, impartial, high quality and prompt review with as little formality and technicality as possible. Both individuals and government agencies use the services of the AAT.

5.6 Stage three – External Appeal – International Students:

5.6.1 If an international student is dissatisfied with the outcome of the complaint or appeal at the end of the internal appeals process, the student may wish the matter to be dealt with through an external dispute resolution process facilitated by the Overseas Students Ombudsman (OSO).

5.6.2 Things international students should know about complaining to the OSO:

a. In Australia, you have the right to complain.
b. The OSO’s services are free.
c. In some cases, the OSO may decide not to investigate your complaint. This might happen where another organisation can help you, or if you have not spoken to your provider about your complaint.
d. If the OSO decides not to investigate, they will tell you why and may refer you to another organisation that can help.
e. The OSO is independent and impartial. If the OSO does decide to investigate your complaint, they will contact the education provider and ask what happened.
f. The OSO will treat your information with privacy and respect, and collect, store, use and disclose your personal information only in accordance with Australian privacy laws.

5.6.3 How to make a complaint:

a.Online (International Students)

Overseas students can make a complaint online via the following link:


Overseas students may write a letter and post it to:

Overseas Students Ombudsman
GPO Box 442
Canberra ACT 2601 AUSTRALIA

5.7 Where, the outcome of the internal and external complaints and appeals process, supports the student, the Institute implements the decision or corrective action as soon as possible and advise accordingly.

5.7.1 A de-identified summary of the internal and external complaints grievances with the outcomes are reported and presented to relevant governance committees, including Teaching & Learning Committee, Academic Board and Governing Council.

For further details, please refer to the Student Grievance Management Policy.

    Student Declaration:- I declare that the information provided in this form is accurate. I have read and understood the information provided in the Student Grievance Management Policy available on the CIM Website.