© WEP 2022
WEP Australia strives to conduct itself in a transparent, ethical and positive manner. Nevertheless, we understand that sometimes those with whom we come into contact may not be happy with our conduct and may wish to submit a complaint.
WEP Australia takes complaints seriously and aims to investigate and resolve them in a thorough and timely manner. Compliance with this policy helps us fulfil this aim. All complaints are treated with an appropriate level of confidentiality.
This Policy applies to any complaint or dissatisfaction about WEP Australia’s business – our student exchange programs, the services we contract to deliver for others, the interactions we have with stakeholders such as schools, regulators and partners, and the relationships we have with suppliers and other service providers to WEP. Such complaints might be in relation to, for example: the quality, timeliness and efficiency of our programs and services; the communications and interactions with staff and volunteers; or the appropriateness and accuracy of our information.
Who can submit a complaint?
A wide range of people may submit a complaint. These are:
- A returned exchange student or a natural parent or guardian of a returned exchange student;
- An official representative of an Australian school;
- A former volunteer host family;
- A member of the public who has been contacted by WEP Australia in the ordinary course of its business.
Note: this policy does not cover grievances relating to students still on program. If the student in question is still on program, please refer to WEP Australia’s Grievance Resolution Policy and Procedures. This can be downloaded from the WEP Support Platform, or requested by sending an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
When can a complaint be submitted?
It is necessary to limit the period within which a complaint may be submitted to facilitate the thorough investigation and timely resolution of complaints. The following limitation periods apply:
- Returned exchange student or a natural parent of a returned exchange student: complaints to be submitted within four weeks of the program end date.
- Official representative of an Australian school: complaints to be submitted within four weeks of the program end date, or, if the program end date is not known, within eight weeks of the first incident giving rise to the complaint.
- Former volunteer host family: complaints to be submitted within four weeks of the program end date, or, if the program end date is not known, within eight weeks of the first incident giving rise to the complaint.
- Member of the public who have been contact by WEP Australian in the ordinary course of its business: complaints to be submitted within eight weeks of the first incident giving rise to the complaint.
How can a complaint be submitted?
Complaints must be submitted in writing. Oral complaints will not be investigated. Complaints may be submitted by:
Mail: PO Box 270, Hampton VIC 3188
When and how is the complaint assessed?
WEP is committed to managing complaints as efficiently as possible. For all complaints WEP acknowledges receipt of the complaint within three working days and will provide a response within 10 working days of receipt of the complaint. Where a complaint may be more complex in nature and requires further investigation, an update on the progress of the complaint will be provided 10 working days from receipt and will include a reason and projected response timeframe.
WEP is committed to managing complaints fairly and with integrity and will maintain impartiality and treat all complainants with respect. The complaint will be investigated in a robust, unbiased and timely fashion and an appropriate response or remedy will be provided. WEP is committed to transparency in all aspects of its complaints management process. When responding to a complainant, WEP will explain the reasons for the decision reached. Complaints will be properly recorded.
Complainants will be given reasons for any negative decisions. Complainants have an opportunity to respond and seek a review of WEP’s response. If a resolution is not reached, WEP will review the decision and consider alternative mechanisms which may be relevant. WEP may refer the complainant to external agencies, for example, Ombudsman, tribunals where this is appropriate.
Registration Authorities for Student Exchange Programs in Australia
The education departments/regulatory authorities in ACT, NSW, QLD, SA, TAS and VIC register, suspend and cancel WEP. Students and parents may contact the relevant registration authority in their state if they are concerned about the conduct of WEP Australia. For up-to-date contact details, visit: https://wep.org.au/education-department-approval/
You reserve the right to refer your complaint to your relevant federal, state or territory consumer protection agency at any time.