TERMS & CONDITIONS

REFUND POLICY

Purpose

The purpose of this policy and procedure is to outline Cairns Business College’s approach to managing fees and refunds and to demonstrate how fees paid in advance are protected by Cairns Business College.

This complies with Clauses 5.3, 7.3 and Schedule 6 of the Standards, as well as the ESOS Act and the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018, Standard 2 and 3.

Definitions

ASQA means Australian Skills Quality Authority, the national VET regulator and the RTO’s registering body

DET means Department of Education and Training

ESOS Act means Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000

National Code means National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018

Fee Payer means the nominated payer of a students course fees, usually either the student or the employer paying on behalf of the student

Provider default means where the provider fails to start providing the course to the student at the location on the agreed starting day or after the course starts but before it is completed, it ceases to be provided to the student at the location; and the student has not withdrawn from the course before the default day.

SRTOs means the Standards for RTOs 2015 – refer definition of ‘Standards’

Standards means the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 of the VET Quality Framework which can be accessed from www.asqa.gov.au

Student default means where:

  • the course starts at the location on the agreed starting day, but the student does not start the course on that day (and has not previously withdrawn); or
  • the student withdraws from the course at the location (either before or after the agreed starting day); or
  • the registered provider of the course refuses to provide, or continue providing, the course to the student at the location because of one or more of the following:
  • the student failed to pay an amount payable to the provider for the course;
  • the student breached a condition of his/her student visa;
  • misbehaviour by the student.

A student does not default for failing to start a course on the agreed starting day if he/she does not start that course because of provider default.

Policy

1. Protection of fees paid in advance

  • Cairns Business College protects the fees that are paid in advance by both domestic and international students.
  • For domestic students, fee protection is ensured through:
  • Cairns Business College does not require a student to ever pay more than $1,500 in advance for services not yet provided, either prior to course commencement or at any stage during their course. Fees will be paid off during the course in instalments according to a set payment plan.
  • Cairns Business College provides students with the opportunity to pay their tuition fees prior to course commencement if they wish.

For international student fee protection is ensured as follows:

  • All course fees will be held in a separate bank account that can only be drawn down when the student commences. The course fees are held separately from the day-to-day operating expense accounts, so that if a refund is payable before the student commences, the refund can be made in full and in a timely way without impact on the financial operations of the business or recourse to the tuition protection system.
  • Cairns Business College does not require international students to pay more than 50% of course fees prior to course commencement. However, Cairns Business College provides students with the opportunity to pay more than 50% of their tuition fees prior to course commencement if they wish. Where a students chooses not to pay more than 50% upfront, the remaining amount will be collected according to an agreed payment schedule. Note, however, that where a course is less than 25 weeks, Cairns Business College will require students to pay the full cost of the course prior to course commencement.
  • Cairns Business College pays into the Tuition Protection Service (TPS) provided by the Australian

2. Fees and refund information

  • Fee information relevant to a course is outlined in detail on the Student Agreement and summarised on the Course Outline as well as the RTO’s website. In compliance with Clause 5.3 of the Standards, detailed fee information is provided prior to enrolment or commencement of training, whichever is first.
  • For international students, fee information is always provided prior to enrolment or receipt of payment as per the requirements of the National Code 2018 Standard 2 and 3. Fee information provided to domestic and international students includes:
  • All course fees, including both tuition fees and non-tuition fees and the period to which these fees apply
  • Any additional charges that may apply and the circumstances in which they apply
  • The potential for changes to fees over the duration of the course
  • Payment options (including that international students may choose to pay more than 50% tuition fees before their course commences)
  • The Student Agreement and the Student Handbook which are provided prior to enrolment, includes this Fees and Refunds Policy and Procedure and informs the student of their consumer rights. Students are required to sign the Student Agreement in acknowledgement of the terms and conditions of the enrolment and this policy.
  • Where an employer is paying for a student’s course, an Employer Agreement will be provided at the time of enrolment outlining the total fees, payment terms and schedule of payments applicable.

3. Course fee inclusions

  • The Student Agreement will clearly itemise all course fees, including both tuition and non-tuition fees.
  • Tuition fees include:
    • All of the training and assessment required for students to achieve the qualification or course in which they are enrolling within the attempts allowed.
    • One copy of the required text books and learning materials for each student unless otherwise stated on the Course Outline.
    • Issuance of one set of certification documents including the testamur (certificate) and record of results and/or a Statement of Attainment (in the case of withdrawal or partial completion).
  • Non-tuition fees include:
    • Additional fees that apply for re-assessment, where a student fails to achieve a satisfactory outcome after three attempts at an assessment task.
    • Re-issuance or additional copies of certification documents will attract a fee of $25 per document.
    • Fees for deferral of study, late payment of tuition fees, or other circumstances in which additional fees may apply.
  • Otherwise course fees (tuition or non-tuition) do not include:
  • Any optional textbooks and materials that may be recommended but not required to complete a course.
  • Replacement textbooks if original copies are lost or misplaced. Costs for replacement textbooks are outlined on the Student Agreement.
  • Stationery such as paper and pens.
  • Uniform (if required for placement).
  • Overseas Student Health Cover
  • Airport pick ups
  • Re-assessment if required, as outlined above.
  • Direct debit setup, transaction and dishonour fees (where applicable).
  • Credit card payment surcharges.
  • Cairns Business College cannot guarantee that students will successfully complete the course in which they enrol regardless of whether all fees due have been paid.

4. Payments

The following section is not mandatory but recommended.  Change as necessary.

  • Payments can be accepted by EFTPOS, electronic transfer, credit card or direct debit.
  • Credit card payments incur a surcharge of 1.5% per transaction.
  • Students who are experiencing difficulty in paying their fees are invited to call our office to make alternative arrangements for payment during their period of difficulty.
  • Debts will be referred to a debt collection agency where fees are more than 60 days past due.
  • Cairns Business College reserves the right to suspend the provision of training and/or other services until fees are brought up to date. Students with long term outstanding accounts may be withdrawn from their course if payments have not been received and no alternative arrangements for payment have been made.
  • International students who do not pay their fees will receive two warnings regarding non-payment of fees and thereafter will be reported to DET via PRISMS under student default.
  • Receipts of payments made by international students will be kepts for at least 2 years after the person ceases to be an accepted student.

5. Refunds for domestic students

All course fees for fee-for-service students include a non-refundable deposit which is detailed on the Course Outline and Student Agreement. The deposit is non-refundable, except in the circumstances detailed below.

  • A full refund of any fees paid (including the deposit) will apply if Cairns Business College is required to cancel a course before it commences due to insufficient numbers or for other unforeseen circumstances.
  • In the unlikely event that Cairns Business College or any third parties responsible for delivering training and assessment on its behalf, is unable to deliver the course or any portion of the course as promised, the student will be issued with a refund for the course or portion of course that was not provided.  This includes the following situations:
    • Where Cairns Business College or any third parties delivering training and assessment on its behalf ceases to operate.
    • Where Cairns Business College ceases to deliver the course in which a student is enrolled and the agreement is terminated.
    • Where Cairns Business College needs to make a change to the terms of the student agreement (such as the way the course is delivered or conditions of enrolment) and a new agreement cannot be reached with the student to account for changes.
  • In any of the above situations, Cairns Business College will automatically conduct a refund assessment of all affected students and issue the refunds due accordingly. In these cases there is no need for a student to make an individual application for a refund.  Refunds will be issued within 28 business days.
  • Students who withdraw from a course may seek a refund or a reduction in fees owing by making an application for a refund in writing using the Application for Refund Form. The application must include the details and reason for the request. Students who have not completed a Withdrawal Form are not eligible for consideration of a refund or reduction in fees.
  • The refund assessment will be based on reviewing the services provided to the student and the costs incurred by Cairns Business College to provide those services.
  • The outcome of the refund assessment will be provided in writing to the student’s registered address within 28 business days, outlining the decision and reasons for the decision along with any applicable refund or adjustment note. Refund decisions can be appealed following our Complaints and Appeals Policy and Procedure.
  • A student not achieving the qualification or unit/s in which they enrolled due to exhausting their attempts at assessment, does not entitle the student to a refund.
  • RPL application fees are non-refundable.

6. Refunds for international students

  • All course fees for international students include a non-refundable enrolment fee which is detailed on the Course Outline and Student Agreement. The deposit is non-refundable, except in the circumstances detailed below.
  • A full refund of any fees paid (including the deposit) will apply if Cairns Business College is required to cancel a course before it commences due to insufficient numbers or for other unforeseen circumstances.
  • Circumstances in which a refund will be paid – FULL REFUNDS APPLY

A full refund of any course fees paid will be provided to students in any of the following circumstances:

  • Where a course does not start on the starting date outlined in the Letter of Offer.
  • If a student cannot commence the course because of illness, disability or where there is death of a close family member of the student (parent, sibling, spouse or child).
  • At the discretion of Cairns Business College’s General Manager or approved representative, when other special or extenuating circumstances have prevented the student from commencing their studies including political, civil or natural events.
  • If an offer of a place is withdrawn by Cairns Business College and this is not due to incorrect or incomplete information being provided by the student.
  • Refund process for full refunds
    • In any of the above situations, Cairns Business College will automatically conduct a refund assessment of all affected students and issue the refunds due accordingly. In these cases there is no need for a student to make an individual application for a refund.  Refunds will be issued within 28 business days.
  • Circumstances in which a partial refunds will be paid – PARTIAL REFUND
    • Partial refunds will be paid in the event of provider default. The refund will be calculated from the day of the default as per section 7 of the Education Services for Overseas Students (Calculation of Refund) Specification 2014.
    • Partial refunds will also be provided in the same manner as for provider default (as above) where Cairns Business College fails to enter into a written agreement with a student or the Student Agreement is not compliant with the requirements of the ESOS Act or the National Code.
    • If an international student is refused a visa (student default) before commencing their course, Cairns Business College will refund the total amount of all course fees (tuition and any non-tuition fees) received for the course less whichever is the lower amount of 5% of the total amount of the fees (tuition and non-tuition) or the sum of $500.
    • If an international student is refused a visa (student default) but has already commenced their course, non-tuition fees will not be refunded. However, tuition fees will be refunded from the day of the student default as per Section 7 of the Education Services for Overseas Students (Calculation of Refund) Specification 2014.
    • If a student has supplied incorrect or incomplete information and as a result Cairns Business College withdraws the offer prior to commencement of the course, the student will be eligible to receive a refund of all course fees paid less a 20% administration fee.
    • Where a student has not met the conditions included in the Letter of Offer and withdraws 0 – 28 days before cause commencement, the deposit paid will be refunded less a 20% administration fee.
    • Where a student withdraws from a course 0 – 28 days before the course commencement, except for the reasons set out in 9.1, 50% of the deposit paid will be refunded.
    • If a student withdraws or defers their course after the course has started and they have paid for units/clusters that have not been commenced. This will be calculated on a per unit or cluster cost calculated as the course fee less administration fees of 20%, less textbook fees divided by the total number of units or clusters in the course.
  • Refund process for partial refunds
    • Students who withdraw from a course may seek a refund or a reduction in fees owing by making an application for a refund in writing using the Application for Refund Form. The application must include the details and reason for the request. Students who have not completed a Withdrawal Form are not eligible for consideration of a refund or reduction in fees.
    • The refund assessment will be based on reviewing the services provided to the student and the costs incurred by Cairns Business College to provide those services.
    • The outcome of the refund assessment will be provided in writing to the student’s registered address within 28 business days, outlining the decision and reasons for the decision along with any applicable refund or adjustment note. Refund decisions can be appealed following our Complaints and Appeals Policy and Procedure.
    • A student not achieving the qualification or unit/s in which they enrolled due to exhausting their attempts at assessment, does not entitle the student to a refund.
  • Circumstances in which a refund will not be paid – NO REFUND
  • A student is not entitled to a refund in the following circumstances:
    • Where a student is refused a visa and the reason for the refusal was because the student did not start the course at the location on the agreed starting day or the student withdrew from the course at that location or the student did not pay the fees due.
    • Where Cairns Business College terminates the student’s enrolment because of a failure to comply with Cairns Business College policies, misbehaviour or unsatisfactory course progress.

7. Recording and payment of refunds

  • Refunds will be paid to the person or organisation that made the original payment.
  • Refund assessments can be appealed following our Complaints and Appeals Policy and Procedure.
  • Records of refund assessments and issuance of refunds will be stored securely on the student’s file and in our accounts keeping system.

8. Publication

  • Cairns Business College will publish in a prominent place on its website the following:
    • All tuition and non-tuition fees (as shown on Course Outlines).
    • This Fees and Refunds Policy.

COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS POLICY

Purpose

The purpose of this policy and procedure is to outline Cairns Business College’s approach to managing dissatisfaction, formal complaints and appeals of students, clients, staff and other members of the community. It provides a transparent approach for all complaints and appeals to be addressed in a fair, efficient and confidential manner.

This policy and procedure ensures compliance with Standard 6 of the Standards, as well as compliance with the of the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018, Standard 10.

Definitions

ASQA means Australian Skills Quality Authority, the national VET regulator and the RTO’s registering body.

Appeal means a request for a decision made by Cairns Business College to be reviewed.

Complaint means a person’s formal expression of dissatisfaction with any product or service provided by Cairns Business College.

DET means Department of Education and Training.

Overseas Student means someone who is studying in Australia on a student visa. An overseas student is also called an international student.

PRISMS means Provider Registration and International Students Management System.

RTO means Registered Training Organisation.

Services means training, assessment, related educational and support services and/or activities related to the recruitment of prospective learners. It does not include services such as student counselling, mediation or ICT support.

Standards means the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 from the VET Quality Framework.

 

Policy

1. Nature of complaints and appeals

  • Cairns Business College responds to all allegations involving the conduct of:
  • The RTO, its trainers and assessors and other staff.
  • Any third party providing Services on behalf of Cairns Business College and including education agents.
  • Any student or client of Cairns Business College.
  • Complaints may be made in relation to any of Cairns Business College’s services and activities such as:
  • the application and enrolment process
  • marketing information
  • the quality of training and assessment provided
  • training and assessment matters, including student progress, student support and assessment requirements
  • the way someone has been treated
  • the actions of another student
  • An appeal is a request for a decision made by Cairns Business College to be reviewed. Decisions may have been about:
  • course admissions
  • refund assessments
  • response to a complaint
  • assessment outcomes / results
  • other general decisions made by Cairns Business College

2. Principles of resolution

  • Cairns Business College is committed to developing a procedurally fair complaints and appeals process that is carried out free from bias, following the principles of natural justice. Through this policy and procedure, Cairns Business College ensures that complaints and appeals:
  • Are responded to in a professional, consistent and transparent manner.
  • Are responded to promptly, fairly, objectively, with sensitivity and confidentiality.
  • Are able to be made at no cost to the individual.
  • Are used as an opportunity to identify potential causes of the complaint or appeal and take actions to prevent the issues from recurring as well as identifying any areas for improvement.
  • Cairns Business College will inform all persons or parties involved in any allegations made as well as providing them with an opportunity to present their side of the matter.
  • There are no charges for students to submit,a complaint or appeal to Cairns Business College, or to seek information or advice about doing so.
  • Nothing in this policy and procedure limits the rights of an individual to take action under Australia’s Consumer Protection laws and it does not circumscribe an individual’s rights to pursue other legal remedies.

3. Making a complaint of appeal

  • Complaints about a particular incident should be made as soon as possible after the incident occurring and appeals must be made within thirty (30) calendar days of the original decision being made.
  • Complaints and appeals should be made in writing using the Complaints and Appeals Form, or other written format and sent to Cairns Business College’s head office at 91 Mulgrave Road, Cairns, QLD 4870, Australia attention to the General Manager.

When making a complaint or appeal, provide as much information as possible to enable Cairns Business College to investigate and determine an appropriate solution.  This should include:

  • The issue you are complaining about or the decision you are appealing – describe what happened and how it affected you.
  • Any evidence you have to support your complaint or appeal.
  • Details about the steps you have already taken to resolve the issue.
  • Suggestions about how the matter might be resolved.

4. Timeframes for resolution

  • The complaint or appeal will be acknowledged in writing within 3 business days.
  • The complaints and appeals process will commence within 10 business days of receipt of the application. Complaints and appeals will be finalised as soon as practicable or at least within 30 calendar days unless there is a significant reason for the matter to take longer.
  • In matters where additional time is needed, the complainant or appellant will be advised in writing of the reasons and will be updated weekly on the progress of the matter until such a time that the matter is resolved.

5. Resolution of complaints and appeals

  • Some or all members of the management team of Cairns Business College will be involved in resolving complaints and appeals as outlined in the procedures.
  • Where a complaint or appeal involves another individual or organisation, they will be given the opportunity to respond to any allegations made.
  • Where a third party delivering Services on behalf of the RTO is involved, they will also be included in the process of resolving the complaint or appeal.
  • Each party involved in the complaint or appeal may have a support person of their choice present at meetings scheduled to resolve the issue.
  • In the case of an assessment appeal, an assessor who is independent from the original decision will assess the original task again. The outcome of this assessment will be the result granted for the assessment task. The complainant or appellant will be advised in writing of the outcome of the process and the reasons for the findings made.
  • The enrolment status of student will be handled as follows:
  • For domestic students that choose to access this policy and procedure, Cairns Business College will maintain the student’s enrolment while the complaints and appeals process is ongoing.
  • For international students, Cairns Business College will maintain a student’s enrolment throughout the internal appeals processes without notifying DET via PRISMS of a change in enrolment status. In the case of an external appeals process it will depend on the type of appeal as to whether Cairns Business College maintains the student’s enrolment as follows:
    • If the appeal is against Cairns Business College’s decision to report the student for unsatisfactory course progress or attendance, the student’s enrolment will be maintained until the external process is completed and has supported or not supported Cairns Business College’s decision to report.
    • If the appeal is against Cairns Business College’s decision to defer, suspend or cancel a student’s enrolment due to misbehaviour, Cairns Business College will notify DET via PRISMS of a change to the student’s enrolment after the outcome of the internal appeals process.

6. Independent Parties

  • Cairns Business College acknowledges the need for an appropriate independent party to be appointed to review a matter where this is requested by the complainant or appellant and the internal processes have failed to resolve the matter. Costs associated with independent parties to review a matter must be covered by the complainant/appellant unless the decision to include an independent party was made by Cairns Business College. Domestic students may also access the external complaint avenues indicated below free of charge.
    • For international students, the independent party is the Overseas Students Ombudsman. This service is free of charge. Where an international student is not satisfied with the outcome or conduct of the internal process, they are referred to the Overseas Students Ombudsman (OSO). See information under external complaint avenues.
    • Cairns Business College will provide complete cooperation with the external mediator investigating the complaint/appeal and will be bound by the recommendations arising out of this process.
    • The General Manager will ensure that any recommendations made are implemented within twenty (20) days of being notified of the recommendations. The complainant or appellant will also be formally notified in writing of the outcome of the mediation, and any recommendations being actioned by Cairns Business College.

7. External complaint avenues

  • Complaints can also be made via the following avenues:
  • National Training Complaints Hotline:

The National Training Complaints Hotline is a national service for consumers to register complaints concerning vocational education and training.   The service refers consumers to the appropriate agency/authority/jurisdiction to assist with their complaint.  Consumers can register a complaint with the National Training Complaints Hotline by:

  • Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA):

Complainants may also complain to Cairns Business College’s registering body, Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).

ASQA can investigate complaints about Cairns Business College in relation to:

  • the quality of our training and assessment
  • our marketing and advertising practices

For students:

For other stakeholders:

International students may complain to the OSO if their complaint is in relation to Cairns Business College:

  • refusing admission to a course
  • course fees and refunds
  • course or provider transfers
  • course progress or attendance
  • cancellation of enrolment
  • accommodation or work arranged by your provider
  • incorrect advice given by an education agent.
  • if you believe we have failed to take action or are taking too long to take some action. This might include (for example), failing to provide your results in the normal timeframe, or failing to provide services included your written agreement with Cairns Business College.

The OSO may not be able to investigate your complaint if you have not already exhausted our formal internal complaints process as above.

Please refer to the following website if you are considering making a complaint: http://www.ombudsman.gov.au/making-a-complaint/overseas-students#quality-of-education-provider

8. Records of complaints and appeals

Cairns Business College will maintain a record of all complaints and appeals and their outcomes and reasons for the outcomes on the Complaints and Appeals Register, which will be securely stored according to the Privacy Policy and Procedures.

9. Publication

This policy and procedure will be published in the Student Handbook and on Cairns Business College’s website.

STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT

All students are expected to abide by this Code of Conduct during their participation in their course with the Cairns Business College. Students who do not abide by this Code of Conduct will be followed up through the disciplinary procedures.

1. Students’ rights

All students have the right to:

  • Be treated fairly and with respect by all students and staff.
  • Learn in a supportive environment, which is free from harassment, discrimination and victimisation.
  • Learn in a healthy and safe environment where the risks to personal health and safety are minimised.
  • Have their personal details and records kept private and secure according to our Privacy Policy.
  • Access the information the Cairns Business College holds about them.
  • Have their complaints and appeals dealt with fairly, promptly, confidentially and without retribution.
  • Make appeals about procedural and assessment decisions.
  • Receive training, assessment and support services that meet their individual needs.
  • Be given clear and accurate information about their course, training and assessment arrangements and their progress.
  • Access the support they need to effectively participate in their training program.
  • Provide feedback to the Cairns Business College on the client services, training, assessment and support services they receive.
  • Be informed of any changes to agreed services, and how it affects them as soon as practicable.

2. Students’ responsibilities

All students, throughout their training and involvement with the Cairns Business College, are expected to:

  • Treat all people with fairness and respect and not do anything that could offend, embarrass or threaten others. Respect the opinions and backgrounds of others.
  • Not harass, victimise, discriminate against or disrupt others.
  • Treat all others and their property with respect.
  • Follow all safety policies and procedures as directed by staff.
  • Report any perceived safety risks as they become known.
  • Not bring into any premises being used for training purposes, any articles or items that may threaten the safety of self or others.
  • Not attend the premises under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Notify us if any of their personal or contact details change.
  • Provide relevant and accurate information to the Cairns Business College in a timely manner.
  • Approach their course with due personal commitment and integrity.
  • Complete all assessment tasks, learning activities and assignments honestly and without plagiarism or infringing on copyright laws.
  • Make regular contact with their Trainer/Assessor.
  • Prepare appropriately for all assessment tasks, visits and training sessions.
  • Notify the Cairns Business College if any difficulties arise as part of their involvement in the program.
  • Notify the Cairns Business College if they are unable to attend a training session for any reason at least 12 hours prior to the commencement of the activity.
  • Make payments for their training within agreed timeframes, where relevant.

3. Legislation

This Student Code of Conduct is informed by the following pieces of legislation, with which all students must comply.

Commonwealth

  • Age Discrimination Act 2004
  • National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011
  • Privacy Act 1988
  • Copyright Act 1968
  • Age Discrimination Act 2004
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992 – Education Standards 2005
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1984
  • Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986

Queensland

  • Anti-Discrimination Act 1991
  • Education and Training Legislation Amendment Act 2009
  • Fair Trading Act 1989
  • Information Privacy Act 2009
  • Right to Information Act 2009
  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011