Open all

1.1 This policy provides the framework for the appointment of an independent arbiter for the review of final decisions under the Student Appeals Policy or Student Complaints Policy, where students have exhausted all internal avenues of review or appeal and no external avenue exists.

2.1 This policy applies to situations where:

  1. a student has exhausted all internal avenues of review or appeal under the Student Appeals Policy and the Student Complaints Policy; and
  2. there is no external avenue of appeal, or complaint mechanism available to the student as legislated in the relevant State or Territory or at the Commonwealth level.

2.2 The Independent Reviewer will not review any decision made on the performance of a student in any component of assessment which is based solely on academic or professional judgement.

2.3 The Overseas Students Ombudsman has jurisdiction over matters relating to ACU’s international students, excluding complaints about the quality of the education provider, under the Ombudsman Act 1976.

3.1 The Independent Reviewer will be appointed:

  1. by the Chair, Audit and Risk Committee on the recommendation of the Corporation Secretary;
  2. for a 3-year term and is eligible for reappointment where the successive terms would not exceed a period of 12 years.

3.2 The Independent Reviewer will be remunerated in return for services rendered to the University under this Policy in accordance with a separate agreement entered into between the University and the Independent Reviewer.

3.3 Where the Independent Reviewer is unavailable for a period of more than 20 working days, the Corporation Secretary will appoint an acting Independent Reviewer.

4.1 Unless the Vice-Chancellor otherwise directs, a student may continue in their program of study until they are notified of a final decision in the following circumstances:

  1. a request for an independent review has been lodged under this policy; or
  2. a complaint has been lodged with the Overseas Students Ombudsman about an intention to report to Immigration for unsatisfactory course progress or attendance; or
  3. an external jurisdiction has made a legally binding order staying the implementation of a decision.

4.2 A student may be prevented from enrolling in particular units by the Executive Dean until the final decision of the Independent Reviewer, the Overseas Students Ombudsman or the external jurisdiction is notified to the student.

4.3 The Independent Reviewer is the final avenue of review in respect of internal appeals and complaints. However, nothing in this policy affects the right of a student to access any other appeal/complaint mechanism or legal right available to them as legislated in the relevant State or Territory or at the Commonwealth level.

4.4 There is no fee to lodge a request for review of an appeal or complaint with the Independent Reviewer.

Date Major, Minor or Editorial Description of Revision(s)
30 November 2016 Minor Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 compliance review and process consultation amendments
9 December 2019 Major Policy and role retitled and conditions for appointment included. Procedural updates including changes to time limit, and acknowledgement/ notification.
4 February 2021 Minor Amendments to Procedure following report from the Independent Reviewer in Oct 2020. Amendments include ability for Academic Registrar to make the procedural assessment as to whether internal avenues of appeal of complaint have been exhausted.

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs