Complaints and appeal procedures

TAFE South Australia staff work hard to ensure that international students have a positive experience while they are studying with TAFE South Australia. Sometimes, however, students may feel concerned because of misunderstandings or because they are unsure about how things work in Australia. In general, most of these problems or complaints can be resolved quickly if you are prepared to speak with someone about the issue and as early as possible.

TAFE South Australia aims to ensure that all parties involved in a complaint are protected from victimisation and that confidentiality and privacy are maintained as far as possible.


Student complaint may be made in two ways: informal and formal. In either case, a student’s complaint may be withdrawn at any time. If the student is not satisfied with the resolution of an informal complaint, they may lodge a formal written complaint. TAFE South Australia has a documented process for complaints and appeals.

Download the TAFE SA Student Complaint Resolution Policy and Procedures, please see page 8&9 for a quick overview of the process.  

As a guide, a student can contact any of the following for further information: 


Within TAFE South Australia

  • a lecturer, who is responsible for setting the tone within a learning environment and upholding the principles of equal opportunity
  • an educational manager, who is responsible for attempting to resolve complaints in the workplace or learning environment
  • the TAFE South Australia International Office
  • the Managing Director at your Institute
  • a Student Services Officer, who has information about complaint policies and procedures and can assist in helping to resolve complaints.
    Student Services Officers may facilitate meetings between students and the lecturers of other students. A Student Services Officer is available at most TAFE South Australia campuses.

External to TAFE South Australia

The South Australian Office of the Training Advocate (OTA) offers a personalised service for international students studying in South Australia. Friendly, experienced staff will support students who are not sure how to access help by connecting them with the people best suited to resolve their concerns. The service consists of providing a contact point for assistance by:

  • working together to complement and support existing arrangements with their training provider.
  • providing an advocacy service where required.
  • referring students to the appropriate authority where necessary and offering support in this process.
  • investigating complaints where appropriate.

For more information or assistance on external complaint processes please contact the Office of the Training Advocate on 1800 006 488.
Ground Floor, 55 Currie Street, Adelaide SA 5000

An international student can expect high quality personalised service and support from the Training Advocate based on the principles of:

  • confidentiality
  • fairness
  • impartiality
  • prompt attention
  • recognition of rights; and
  • respect.


If a student is not happy with the outcome of their complaint they have the right to appeal further in accordance with the TAFE SA Student Complaint Resolution Policy (pdf).

Under the National Code, if the student has not met the course progress requirements they may be reported to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). Students have the right to appeal and their appeal must be lodged within 20 working days of the date on the Intention to Report letter sent to them.

Also see: TAFE South Australia Course Progress Policy