LAPOL09 Appeals Version-1 6/5/15

POLICY STATEMENT

Learning Options entrusts qualified assessors to make assessment decisions regarding the competency of students. These decisions may in turn have an impact on an individual’s future work and learning opportunities.

An appeals process underpins all assessments carried out by Learning Options. It is acknowledged that occasional disputes may arise in relation to outcomes awarded by assessors that cannot be resolved via informal processes. An appeals process is implemented to manage this. All students have the right to appeal assessment results if they are not satisfied with the outcome of their assessment.

Learning Options is committed to implementing a transparent appeals policy and to ensuring that all appeals are managed appropriately. The Assessment Appeals policy as set out in the Student Handbook is issued to students at the commencement of a program. The appeals policy is also made available on the Learning Options website.

APPEALS PROCEDURE

  • The following process applies once a student is notified in writing of the outcome of the marking of an assessment piece, or following formal notification of results through issuance of an academic transcript, whichever is the earlier. Appeals will generally only result from a ‘Not Yet Competent’ (NYC) outcome.
  • Where a NYC outcome is notified, the student shall be provided with sufficient information regarding the rationale for an assessor’s decision to make the judgment of NYC, in the form of an assessment feedback sheet or other written feedback. Such feedback generally includes recommendations on areas for improvement or additional requirements needed to achieve a grade of ‘Competent’ (C) if reassessment opportunities are to be provided.
  • Assessment outcomes of NYC generally only occur after a student has been given sufficient opportunity to resubmit an assessment task or otherwise provide additional evidence, and after options for supplementing or an alternative unit have been considered.
  • Students are offered two opportunities for assessment (and therefore may resubmit NYC units a second time for reassessment) before incurring additional assessment fees.
  • If the student is not satisfied with the result of the assessment and the reasons given for the NYC result, they should first discuss the issues of concern with the assessor who will endeavour to resolve them to the satisfaction of the student and Learning Options.

PHASE 1 – INITIAL REVIEW

  • Where a student disagrees with the outcome of the marking of an assessment piece, or with the assessment decision notified, they should firstly discuss the outcome with their assessor within ten (10) working days of being notified of the assessment outcome. It is anticipated that an initial discussion with the assessor will resolve most circumstances.
  • There is no formal application process at this stage although the student should make known their disagreement in writing via email.
  • The assessor then has the option of revising their assessment decision and, following consideration, advises the student in writing of their decision along with recommendations and advice on further study to assist them with development of skills.
  • The assessor must keep a record on the student file of the request for review and the decision made.

PHASE 2 – FORMAL APPEAL

  • If the student is unsatisfied with the outcome of the initial review, they may then lodge a written appeal with the Training Manager.
  • Students have twenty one (21) days from the date of the notification of the assessment outcome to lodge a formal appeal. Where the student has undertaken an initial review, 21 days is counted from the day the assessor notified in writing of their initial review outcome (31 days in total).
  • The appeal must be in writing via letter or email and set out the grounds for the appeal. It should be accompanied by any supporting documentation.
  • The formal appeal will be acknowledged in writing and entered in an appeals register.
  • The Training Manager will review all of the information relevant to the appeal, and may ask the student (now referred to as the appellant) to provide further information, either in writing or via interview.
  • The Training Manager has a number of options available for consideration of the appeal, including :
    • reconsideration of the decision by the original assessor
    • independent review of the decision by a second assessor
    • convene a panel of experts to assess the appeal
    • arrange for reassessment of the applicant
  • The appropriate action will be taken and the outcome notified to the appellant within sixty (60) days of the lodgment of the appeal. Formal records will be kept of all action taken. It should be noted that to overturn the professional judgment of the first assessor is quite a serious step and appropriate moderation activities are encouraged.
  • Where Learning Options considers that more than 60 calendar days are required to process and finalise the appeal, we will inform the appellant in writing, outlining the reasons why more than 60 days are required.
  • The appellant will be kept informed on the progress.
  • The appellant must be available during this period to attend interview or provide additional records.
  • The Training Manager may make one of the following decisions :
    • dismiss the appeal
    • uphold the appeal and amend the assessment decision.
  • The Training Manager will keep a record of the appeal in the appeal register, which records the name of the appellant, the nature of the appeal, the investigation undertaken, the decision and the date the student was advised of the outcome.
  • The student will be advised of the outcome in writing. This notification is to include copies of any reports, correspondence or judgments made by third parties. These records will be retained on the student’s file.

PHASE 3 – INDEPENDENT ARBITRATION

  • If the student considers that the appeals process was unsatisfactory and has explored all options available in both Phase 1 and Phase 2 for resolution of the appeal by Learning Options, they will be informed of their right to request a review by an appropriate party independent of Learning Options.
  • Learning Options maintains sole discretion on who the third party reviewing the decision is. This is to ensure they satisfy the requirements to be engaged as a Learning Options assessor and can make assessment decisions on our behalf under the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015.
  • Costs involved in third party review are to be met by the student and a quote will be provided.