How to lodge a complaint
If you have a complaint or suggestion about any aspect of our services we're keen to hear from you. We'd also like to know if you think we're doing something well. It helps us to make sure we continue to do great things with Australian Apprenticeships and the vocational training industry.
How to make a complaint
- Unhappy with something we said or did?
- Can't find the right information?
- Or it just doesn't work for you?
Don't wait till it gets worse. Contact us as soon as possible. You can do this:
- by using the STS Enquiry form
- by ringing your local State Training Services Centre on 13 28 11
- by visiting your local State Training Services Centre
- by talking to one of our Customer Services Officers on 1300 772 104.
Whatever method you choose, we will make sure your complaint reaches the right person quickly.
Complaints about an RTO, GTO or other State Training Authority should be directed to the RTO, GTO or STA in the first instance.
Consumer protection for students under Smart and Skilled
As a student, you're covered by Smart and Skilled consumer protection measures. All training providers approved to deliver training under Smart and Skilled are required to have processes to protect consumers and handle complaints.
Visit the Smart and Skilled consumer protection page for more information.
Step 1: Talk to a staff member or customer service officer - this is a good place to start, but you can go straight to step 2 if you prefer.
We will try to work out the problem together, informally. Alternatively you can email us using the STS Enquiry form. We aim to get back to you within one working day. If your query is complex our standard is to respond within five working days.
Step 2: You can lodge a formal complaint if you are not happy with the outcome of the initial contact or if you do not want to discuss the issue with a staff member in the first instance.
If you decide to pursue your complaint further, you need to write to your local Regional Manager. Contact information will be provided by the staff member assisting you, or you can find it on our STS contacts page.
Your written complaint needs to provide specific details of what you are not happy with, eg, a description of the incident, what was said or done, where it happened etc, and what you would like to happen as a result of your complaint.
Step 3: The Regional Manager will thoroughly investigate your complaint.
The regional manager will respond within 15 working days of receiving your complaint. This may vary if your complaint is complex or we need to contact you for more information or clarification.
If your complaint is upheld the regional manager will write to you and may offer an apology or an admission of error, and undertake to review and improve the situation so it does not occur again.
If your complaint is not upheld you can request a review.
Step 4: Request a review
If you are not happy will the outcome of the regional manager's investigation into your complaint, you may request a review by the Director in charge of the service who will look at your original complaint, the investigation process and the decision.
You have 10 days after receiving the results of the investigation (step 3) to lodge a request for a review. There are 2 grounds for a review:
- incorrect use of the complaint procedure, to the detriment of the complainant
- the outcome/decision is unreasonable, inconsistent, made without obvious relationships to the facts or circumstances, or is irrational.
Step 5: The Director reviews the original complaints handling process.
You can expect an answer from the Director within 20 working days from receipt of the request. This may vary if the Director needs to contact you for more information or clarification.
If your request for review is upheld the Director will write to you and advise you of the proposed action to remedy the issue.
If your complaint is not upheld you have the option to take the matter to the NSW Ombudsman (Ph: 02 9286 1000).
We will keep you informed with the progress of any enquiry or complaint by acknowledging receipt of correspondence and advising you of any delay.