How to make a complaint

We want all our students to have positive relationships with our staff and enjoy their experience at Monash University. So if you're experiencing any issues while you're studying with us, we’ll try to resolve them.

We treat all complaints sensitively and you won't be disadvantaged by raising a concern. If you're an international student, there's no risk to your enrolment or visa status due to making a complaint.

Who can submit a complaint

You can only submit a complaint about something that you’ve experienced or has impacted you. Complaints can’t be made on behalf of others or by groups of affected students.

Assessment-related complaints

You won’t be able to contact teaching staff directly about an assessment-related issue during the marking process for that assessment. If you make a formal complaint about an assessment (or thesis examination), the matter won’t be investigated until the marking process is complete.

Feedback

If you’d just like to give us some feedback, follow stages 1 and 2 and make it clear that your purpose is to provide feedback. You can also submit feedback through other avenues, such as unit evaluations.

Stage 1: Informal direct complaint

In most cases, you’ll be able to resolve an issue informally.

Your first action is to try speaking directly to the staff member or administrative area involved or write to them about the complaint. If that’s not possible, you should speak to another staff member in the same department, school, faculty or administrative area. Make sure you raise the complaint as soon as possible.

Stage 2: Informal escalated complaint

If your complaint couldn’t be resolved at stage 1, you can take your complaint to a senior staff member who’s responsible for the unit, course or service (e.g. a chief examiner, course director, head of school or department or director of the administrative area). You can do this in person or in writing. If you're not sure who to contact, get in touch with Monash Connect.

Before you can move on to stage 2, you need to have attempted to resolve the issue through stage 1, unless there’s a compelling reason not to. For example, the staff member is on leave. The fact that a staff member has been involved in teaching a unit does not constitute a reason in itself to bypass stage 1.

Stage 3: Formal complaint and investigation

If your complaint hasn’t been resolved through stages 1 or 2, you can lodge a stage 3 complaint. This is a formal, written request for resolution and involves a formal investigation by complaints officers who have no previous involvement in the complaint.

Timing

You’ll need to submit your formal complaint within six months of the issue (and as soon as possible after attempting a stage 1 and 2 resolution). If your complaint relates to a unit taught for a period longer than six months, you must submit it within six months of the event or four weeks from the release of results for that unit, whichever is later.

Support and advice

You may want to get some support and advice from your student association to help you prepare a formal complaint. See student advocacy and support – this advice is confidential and independent of the University.

For students at Monash University Malaysia, support and advice is also available from the University’s Student Advisory and Support service.

Submit a formal complaint

Based on what your complaint is about, choose the relevant option below.

Confidentiality

Your complaint is confidential. Staff members can discuss it with someone else only in very limited circumstances. See sections 4.11 and 4.12 of our Student Complaints Procedure (pdf, 0.18 mb) for details.

Anonymous complaints

You can choose to submit a complaint anonymously, but it does limit our ability to investigate the issue, verify all facts and offer a resolution.

Our student complaint policies and procedures don’t automatically apply to anonymous complaints, so we can only investigate it if:

  • it relates to University operations or policy in a general way
  • there’s documentary evidence to support the complaint (and it can be independently verified), and
  • it’s not necessary for the subject of the complaint to be aware of your identity so they can respond.

What happens next?

Here’s what to expect after submitting a stage 3 formal complaint.

Within five working days

You’ll receive an email acknowledging that we’ve received your complaint.

Within 10 working days

We’ll start a formal investigation of the complaint and let you know if we need further information.

If we can’t investigate your complaint, we’ll let you know why and what you need to do next.

Within 20 working days

We’ll email you with the outcome of our investigation. You’ll then have 10 working days from this point to accept or decline any recommendations we may have made – if you accept them, they’ll be implemented immediately.

If the investigation is taking longer than expected, you’ll receive an update on when to expect an outcome.

Stage 4: Internal review by the University Student Ombudsman

If you’ve submitted a formal stage 3 complaint but still feel the matter is unresolved, you can request a review by the University Student Ombudsman. You’ll need to do this within 20 working days of receiving the outcome.

The Ombudsman will not get involved until you've taken all reasonable steps to resolve the complaint (by completing stages 1, 2 and 3).

Stage 5: External review by the Victorian Ombudsman

If you're not satisfied with the University Student Ombudsman's decision, you can request a review by the Victorian Ombudsman.

Policy and procedures

Got a question? Monash Connect can help