Dispute and Grievance Resolution Policy

Comments, Suggestions & Feedback

a) Comments, suggestions or feedback are to be emailed to feedback@icae.edu.sg.
b) Online feedback form can be submitted on the Student Portal.
c) Students can raise their opinion towards their learning journey in the School.
d) The feedback should be filled in with either the Student’s name or the Department so that the Students’ Services Department can follow up accordingly.
e) The feedback should be constructive and professional towards the teaching methods, staff or the School.
f) Request to complain against the teaching staff, students must make an appointment with the Students’ Services Manager on an official basis.
g) The comments and suggestions received will be tabled for discussion.
h) The comments and suggestions received are private and confidential.
i) Concerns expressed anonymously will not be entertained.

Students’ Dispute & Grievance Procedures

Introduction

College of Allied Educators Singapore is committed to providing prompt and efficient channels for students to seek resolution for their dispute and grievance.

These procedures seek to ensure that complaints made against CAE staff made by students are treated seriously and, if found to be valid, are acted upon to ensure that the students’ interests are protected as far as it is possible for CAE to do so.

The procedures detailed below are designed for general student complaint.

It should be noted that these complaint procedures are not designed to deal with problems such as: missing course work; unexplained absence of a lecturer; late return of work, etc., except in so far that such concerns are not resolved through simpler procedures or are persistent.

These complaints procedures and any decisions made under them are not intended to give rise to any legal rights against CAE, or legal obligations on CAE to pay compensation either in respect of a decision made pursuant to the procedures or for a breach of these procedures. These procedures are intended to facilitate the resolution of grievances by the school. Anonymous complaints will not normally be considered.

Principles which underpin the General Student Complaints Procedures

The guiding principles of these procedures are that complaints shall be:

a) Treated seriously and with fairness;
b) Dealt with quickly, simply and at the level of the School / Students’ Services as far as is possible;
c) Treated consistently across the School;
d) Subject to the principles of natural justice;
e) Progressed through two stages – an informal stage and, if necessary, a formal stage;
f) Dealt with and resolved wherever possible, at the informal stage, and shall be without prejudice to a student’s or group of students’ rights to pursue legal remedies outside the Institute having exhausted the Institute’s complaints procedure.

Procedures

Informal Stage 1: In the first instance students who wish to make a complaint shall discuss it in the first instance with Students’ Services Department who will advise whether the complaint is best progressed through:

a) Students’ Services Department
b) Lecturer [who is appropriate/concerned with the complaint, or both]
c) Academic Director
d) College Director

Assuming it is agreed that the complaint shall be progressed as above, the member of staff consulted shall discuss the complaint fully with the student and – with the student’s consent – anyone else involved, to see if it can be resolved informally. This may involve referral of the complaint to a third party. The outcome of complaints dealt with informally should be briefly documented. Normally, complaints handled through Informal Stage 1 shall be dealt with, at most, 10 working days, briefly documented, and a copy of the outcome sent to the student.

Informal Stage 2: If the student is dissatisfied with the result of Informal Stage 1, the complaint shall be sent in writing within 10 working days of the completion of Informal Stage 1 to the appropriate Academic Director who will investigate the complaint fully and shall seek to achieve an informal resolution of the problem[s] either by correspondence or through discussion with the complainant as soon as possible.

Formal Stage: If a student is dissatisfied with the result of the two informal stages, they shall proceed to the formal stage. They shall put the complaint and the reason why they are dissatisfied with the outcome of the two informal stages in writing to the Academic Director within 10 working days of the completion of Informal Stage 2. This person shall:

a) Acknowledge receipt of the written complaint within 3 working days;
b) Advise, in writing and within 3 working days, any member[s] of staff or students involved that a formal complaint has been received; and shall
c) Consider the evidence, written or otherwise, and, if necessary, hold such discussions with the complainant and any other persons they deem appropriate in order to fully investigate the complaint.

The Academic Director, having fully investigated the complaint over a period not normally exceeding 10 working days from receipt, shall decide whether

a) The complaint should be progressed through other procedures [e.g. disciplinary procedures] in which case the complaint shall be terminated at this stage; or whether
b) There is reasonable justification for the complaint
c) There is no reasonable justification for the complaint

The Academic Director shall;

a) Make his decision known in writing to the student and to members of staff or other students involved;
b) Seek to resolve any justifiable complaint through recommendations which all parties involved in the complaint shall be invited to accept; and shall,
c) If the recommendations are agreed, take steps to ensure that they are implemented in full within the agreed time.

Appeal: If the student is not satisfied with the decision after the Formal Stage or if the recommendations made at this stage are not implemented, they may appeal to the Academic Director. The student shall submit the appeal in writing within 10 working days of receiving the outcome of the Formal Stage. The Academic Director will decide whether to involve the College Director at this stage.

The Academic Director on receiving the appeal shall;

a) Acknowledge its receipt within 3 working days;
b) Inform the College Director and Students’ Services Department that an appeal has been received;
c) Decide to enforce the implementations of the recommendations made at the end of the Formal Stage;
d) Dismiss the case, giving reasons in writing;
e) Seek agreement to an alternative set of recommendations;
f) Determine whether there are sufficient grounds to convene a Student Complaint Panel, and, if so, shall
g) Establish a Student Complaint Panel to hear the appeal.

In such cases, the decision shall be final.

The Student Complaint Panel shall involve 4 persons. These shall be the Academic Director, [or nominee], the Students’ Services, a member of academic staff, who is not involved in the case, and a student representative.

A Student Complaint Panel shall hear the complaint within 10 working days of receipt in accordance with the procedures.
The chair of the panel shall submit, within 5 working days of the last panel meeting a written report to the College Director. The decision of the panel shall be final. If necessary, the chair shall have a casting vote.

The chair of the panel shall seek to ensure that any actions arising from the decision of the panel are taken within the timescale identified in the report and shall report any failure to complete actions to the College Director.

Consideration to the procedures:

a) Reference to a student is taken to mean an individual student or groups of students; it includes CAE academic staff enrolled on academic programmes in their capacity as students;

b) In the absence [e.g. vacation or illness] of the person holding a named post in the procedures the person deputizing for them during the time of their absence shall substitute. In cases when the complaint involves the nominated deputy, a member of the CAE Management shall be consulted, and shall determine who shall be responsible for handling the complaint.

In the event that the student and College of Allied Educators Singapore are unable to resolve the dispute or grievance amicably, either party may approach CPE’s Student Services Centre (SSC) for help. The officers at SSC will review the issues and may refer the dispute to CPE Mediation –Arbitration Scheme. If the dispute is not resolved through mediation at Singapore Mediation Centre, the dispute will be referred for arbitration by an arbitrator appointed by the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators.

Committee for Private Education (CPE) is part of SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG)