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Assessment – Appeals

Standards: Clause 6.2, 6.3, 6.4

6.2. The RTO has an appeals policy to manage requests for a review of decisions, including assessment decisions, made by the RTO or a third party providing services on the RTO’s behalf.

6.3. The RTO’s complaints policy and appeals policy a) ensure the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness are adopted at every stage of the complaint and appeal process b) are publicly available c) set out the procedure for making a complaint or requesting an appeal d) ensure complaints and requests for an appeal are acknowledged in writing and finalised as soon as practicable; and e) provide for review by an appropriate party independent of the RTO and the complainant or appellant, at the request of the individual making the complaint or appeal, if the processes fail to resolve the complaint or appeal.

6.4. Where the RTO considers more than 60 calendar days are required to process and finalise the complaint or appeal, the RTO a) informs the complainant or appellant in writing, including reasons why more than 60 calendar days are required; and b) regularly updates the complainant or appellant on the progress of the matter.

Related documents/links

ASQA website: Managing complaints and appeals

Contents of an appeals policy

Written in easily understood language:

  1. Define ‘assessment appeal’
  2. Option of making an informal appeal
  3. Process for making a formal appeal
  4. Information to include in a formal appeal
  5. Who investigates the appeal
  6. What happens once the appeal is received
  7. Timeframe for response, including any extension
  8. What happens if the appeal is successful
  9. What to do if appeal is not successful.

QCI considerations


  • Is your RTO’s appeals policy publicly available on the website?
  • Is your RTO’s appeal policy publicly available in the Learner Handbook?
  • How are candidates reminded of the appeal policy at assessment time?


  • Does your RTO have a documented process for staff once they receive an appeal?
  • How does your RTO maintain confidentiality about the appeal (procedural fairness)?
  • Does the process ensure that the investigator contacts anyone else who was mentioned by the appellant (natural justice)?
  • Who develops the written response and ensures the appellant receives it in under 60 calendar days?
  • What option for a review of the decision is available to the appellant?
  • Who summarises the appeal in Complaints and Appeals register?

Scenario 1

XYZ RTO has a very comprehensive Complaints policy and procedure that is readily available to all learners. They do not mention appeals because they regard an appeal as a complaint and treat it exactly the same way.

Does this scenario cover the requirements of the standards?

No. The Clause makes it clear that appeals are about reviewing decisions. Therefore, their current process must include an appeals mechanism.

Scenario 2

XYZ RTO has an Appeals policy and procedure that explains how they manage requests for a review of an assessment decision. This is in addition to their Complaints policy and procedure.

Does this scenario cover the requirements of the standards and why would they want to have a separate appeals policy and procedure?

Yes, it covers requirements. It is possible that the RTO has different steps and timelines for appealing an assessment decision, so it is much clearer if these are explained in a separate document.