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AIM Policy: Assessment Appeals

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide AIM students and staff clear information about AIM’s handling of assessment appeals. AIM seeks to provide a positive student experience, however, there still may be occasions when a student experiences dissatisfaction, or discontent about an assessment process or outcome. This policy is to address any such concerns.

Scope

The policy applies to AIM students enrolled in Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses with AIM. The policy refers to assessment activities conducted by AIM staff including contractors providing services on behalf of AIM.

Principles

  • AIM complies with the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 including the clauses related to supporting and informing learners; and managing complaints and appeals (clauses 1.7, 5.4 and 6.1 to 6.6).
  • AIM complies with all relevant Commonwealth, State and Territory legislation and regulatory requirements relevant to its operations.
  • AIM is committed to and guided by principles of access, equity, fairness and ethical behaviour.
  • The rules or principles of natural justice, also known as procedural fairness, will be considered in appeals handling at AIM.

Policy

  • Assessment at AIM is conducted in accordance with the Australian Vocational Education and Training (VET) Framework and meets national standards as articulated in relevant training packages.
  • AIM strives to provide a positive student experience to its students, and seeks to prevent the occurrence of appeals by ensuring that students are fully prepared for assessment through:
    • ensuring that assessment items are clear and unambiguous
    • monitoring student participation in assessment
    • requiring that students acknowledge that their submission is their own work or that activities are being undertaken under supervision.
  • Any Assessment Appeal will be treated seriously, sensitively, and impartially. The student should be confident that there will be no negative consequences, and that the procedures followed will be seen as fair by everyone involved.
  • The assessment outcome granted by an assessment appeal review will be officially recognised as the final result for that unit.
  • Confidentiality will be strictly observed by all participants and at all stages of the Assessment Appeals process.
  • AIM will ensure fair and equitable management of assessment appeals by providing a transparent, timely and consistent process for resolving assessment appeals.
  • All students will be encouraged to read this policy prior to enrolment into a course with AIM.

What is an appeal?

An appeal is a request by a learner for reconsideration of an unfavourable assessment. An appeal must be made in writing and specify the particulars of the decision or finding in dispute. Appeals must be lodged within 10 business days of the decision being notified to the learner.

Early Resolution of appeals

In all cases, issues that arise during training and assessment that are the source of frustration or are in dispute should be resolved at the time they occur between the persons involved. It can often be the case that a learner’s decision to make an appeal can be avoided by proper communication and consultation with learners at the time a decision is made.

Relationship to continuous improvement

The appeals handling process may expose weaknesses in the training and assessment or administrative systems of AIM. In these cases, this data will flow into AIM’s continuous improvement system as an opportunity for improvement.

Assessment appeals handling at AIM

If a student disagrees with an assessment outcome, he/she may commence the Assessment Appeals process by application through the Head of Faculty.

How to lodge and assessment appeal

A student has the right to appeal an assessment decision if:

The student has been assessed as Not Yet Competent in an assessment against specific competency standards, and;

The student feels they have sufficient grounds and evidence entitling them to be assessed as competent or granted RPL (if applicable).

Each assessment outcome will feature a date on which the assessment judgement was made. This date will be used as the one from which the official Appeal Time is calculated.

Assessment Appeals must be made within 10 business days of the date of the assessment judgement.

To commence that process, the student needs to apply to the Head of Faculty. The Head of Faculty can be contacted via AIM Student Support by phone on 1300 761 700 or via email at studentsupport@aim.com.au

Action that will be taken

The review process will start within 10 business days of the receipt of the application.

The Head of Faculty will ensure that the relevant assessment is submitted for re-marking, and:

  • care is taken to ensure that this marking is undertaken by a qualified person other than the original assessor;
  • the re-mark is to be done in the absence of the student; and
  • the second assessor is not to sight the original marking notations or marking sheet used by the first assessor.

On completion of the re-mark, the assessor will submit the outcome to the Head of Faculty who will retrieve the first marking sheet and undertake a comparison of the outcomes. He/she will compile a brief written report, addressed to the student, which will identify any changes made as a result of the re-mark.

The Head of Faculty will discuss this report with the student, including the reasons for the finding.

The Head of Faculty will follow-up to ensure that the student is satisfied with the outcome of the Assessment Appeal. If the student is not satisfied, the Head of Faculty will provide information on the Internal Case Review option. 

Practical assessments

If the Head of Faculty decides that a review of a practical assessment is justified, the review process will start within 10working days of the receipt of the application. The Head of Faculty will ensure that the relevant assessment task is re-performed, and:

  • care is taken to ensure that the re-mark is undertaken by a qualified person other than the original assessor; and
  • the second assessor is not to sight the original marking notations or marking sheet used by the first assessor.

Where it is not possible for the practical activity to be fully re-constructed for one student, the student will be required to provide detailed information on the steps within the practical activity to satisfy the second assessor that competency has been attained.

On completion of the re-performance, the assessor will submit the outcome to the Head of Faculty who will retrieve the first marking sheet and compare the outcomes. He/she will compile a brief written report, addressed to the student, which will identify any changes made as an outcome of the re-performance.

The Head of Faculty will discuss this report with the student, including the reasons for the finding. If the student is not satisfied, the Head of Faculty will provide information on the Internal Case Review option.

Internal Case Review

If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome of the Assessment Appeal or the way in which it was conducted, he/she has 20 days from the date on the written notification by AIM in which to lodge an Internal Appeal to have the case reviewed.

Time limits

AIM is unlikely to consider an Assessment Appeal which is lodged after the expiry of the 20 working days of the Assessment Appeals period.

Assessment appeal records

The student’s files will be updated to record the outcome and any subsequent actions.

A copy of all related documentation, including a statement of findings demonstrating the reasons behind the decisions made at each stage of the appeal(s), will be retained on the student’s file.

A copy of the statement of findings will be provided to the student.

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