Complaints and concerns

We aim to address all complaints and concerns in accordance with the principles of natural justice. We also work hard to make sure you feel safe and supported in raising a complaint or concern.

Complaints and Concerns

Our process is designed to make sure you are not academically disadvantaged as a result of making a complaint, while also protecting our staff from frivolous or malicious complaints.

Our Complaints Resolution Policy differentiates between concerns and formal complaints, and focuses on resolving concerns and complaints.


We define this as the act or process of resolving a concern or formal complaint to the satisfaction of both parties.

Open Polytechnic will advise the learner if they have exhausted all options and a resolution has not been reached.


We define this as a matter that is impacting on a student’s learning, which has been raised with an Open Polytechnic staff member, but which the student does not wish to be escalated to a formal complaint.  

Resolving concerns

We are committed to resolving concerns quickly, efficiently and at the appropriate level, as far as possible.

If you have any worries or concerns that you believe may impact on your studies or any other concerns about our service to you, please contact us as soon as possible. We will work to find a resolution.

If you are unhappy with how your issue is dealt with, you can take it further by raising a formal complaint.


Formal complaints

We define this as a signed, written statement or email about a matter that requires formal consideration and resolution, and which is submitted to the Academic Registrar. The complaint must contain sufficient detail to enable investigation.

We recommend that before you raise a formal complaint that you contact the Academic Registrar by email to see whether the problem can be resolved informally. Often disputes are a result of a misunderstanding, and these can often be quickly resolved.

If the issue you have raised cannot be resolved informally, you can advise the Academic Registrar that you want to proceed to lodge a formal complaint.

The Academic Registrar will acknowledge your complaint in writing. They will refer the complaint to the appropriate manager. That manager will investigate the issue and report back to the Academic Registrar.

You may be contacted to let you know what has been done or to talk about any further action that may be needed. The Academic Registrar will formally notify you of any action to be taken or any decision made.

If you do not agree with the Academic Registrar’s decision you may seek a review by writing to the Executive Director Academic Services.


Other avenues

Other avenues for resolving complaints you might find helpful are NZQA, the Disputes Tribunal, the Human Rights Commission, or the Office of the Ombudsman.

If the complaint relates to financial or contractual matters NZQA may refer you to a Disputes Resolution Scheme.

Please note, all of these will have expected that you would have exhausted the Open Polytechnic complaints processes in the first instance before they will investigate.


Related information


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