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Academic Appeals Policy

1. Purpose

To ensure that Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) has a fair, equitable and accessible academic process to appeal an assessment outcome or final unit result.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the Standards for RTOs 2015 and Academic Appeals Procedure (PDF 297Kb).

2. Scope

Where this policy refers to CIT, it includes CIT Solutions.

This policy applies to:

  • appeals regarding assessment outcomes and final unit results
  • all courses or components of courses delivered by CIT
  • all students enrolled at CIT
  • staff responsible for designing, administering and making decisions, and reporting related to assessment of nationally recognised training products on CIT’s scope of registration
  • parents and guardians of enrolled students under 18 years of age
  • a third-party providing services on CIT's behalf
  • management of academic appeals for internal assessments, special consideration and recognition of prior learning (RPL).

3. Principles

CIT is committed to:

  • transparent assessment practices, reflecting the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness, including that students have the right to:
    • present their case and provide further evidence to support their claims in relation to the appeal
    • request their assessment evidence is presented to an independent assessor
    • seek guidance, advice and support when appealing an assessment result
  • addressing issues identified during appeals, through internal business improvement processes
  • maintaining strict confidentiality of information associated with academic appeals
  • maintaining CIT's academic standards and integrity
  • strict confidentiality regarding assessment appeals processes.

CIT offers a transparent, fair, and equitable internal appeals process, and will refer students to an external review process where satisfactory resolution of appeals cannot be achieved by following this policy and the associated procedure.

CIT expects staff to fulfil their professional duty to address student concerns and to act responsibly when dealing with appeals.

CIT will promptly handle all appeals against assessment results, without discrimination, victimisation, prejudice or bias, and will be honest and fair in dealing with students requesting an appeal of an assessment result.

Appeals against an assessment outcome, or final unit result, can be lodged either informally or formally. Informal appeals relate to assessment results for individual assessment tasks. Formal appeals relate to assessment outcomes for individual assessment results and final unit results.

All formal appeals will be conducted by an independent and impartial panel, appointed by the relevant College Director, in accordance with the principles of natural justice.

An appellant student may be accompanied or assisted by a third party during any part of the internal appeals processes.

A student, whose academic appeal is unsuccessful, may apply for a review referring to the CIT Student and Community Members Complaint Policy.

3.1. Grounds for academic appeals

The following are grounds for appeals of an assessment outcome or a final unit result:

  • apparent inconsistency in applying the rules of the assessment to the conduct of the assessment
  • apparent inconsistency when allowing the application of reasonable adjustments to assessment practices
  • a perceived inconsistency in issuing assessment decisions
  • disputed decision on academic misconduct, such as plagiarism, cheating or misuse of generative artificial intelligence
  • perceived departure from unit or course content, as stated in the curriculum, course outline or underpinning knowledge and skills identified within the relevant subject guide or nationally accredited training product
  • personal conflict with CIT teaching staff, which the student perceives as precluding them from meeting unit or course requirements
  • failure of staff to comply with assessment requirements, as stated in the unit or subject guide
  • medical reasons
  • personal reasons.

3.2. Roles and responsibilities

3.2.1  Educators

Educators are responsible for:

  • providing information about academic appeals as part of student induction
  • taking action to resolve the matter, by engaging with students, requesting an informal review of assessment outcomes and attempting to negotiate an outcome
  • keeping notes of informal appeals
  • escalating unresolved issues regarding assessment outcomes and final results to the relevant Head of Department
  • sharing information about informal academic appeals at staff meetings.

3.2.2  Head of Department

The Head of Department is responsible for:

  • case management of informal academic appeals:
    • actively engaging in discussions with students/appellants, appraising the situation and attempting to negotiate a satisfactory outcome for an informal academic appeal
    • offering students the opportunity to make a formal written academic appeal
    • engaging an independent assessor to review the assessment decision
    • ensuring all documents relating to academic appeals are attached to the student’s file
    • ensuring results are updated when the appeal is successful.

3.2.3  College Director

The College Director is responsible for ensuring all formal academic appeals processes are conducted in a timely and equitable manner, including:

  • ensuring college staff understand their roles and responsibilities in relation to academic appeals
  • convening and chairing the Academic Appeal Panel, or nominating an independent person to undertake the appeal process
  • engaging with the appellant and, where appropriate, parents/guardians
  • communicating Academic Appeal Panel deliberations and outcomes to the parties, and advising Awards and Programs if final unit results are impacted by the decision
  • advising the appellant of options to seek an independent external review.

3.2.4  Education Design and Delivery Lead

The Education Design and Delivery Lead is responsible for initiating institute-wide preventive and corrective action to eliminate the root cause of appeals against assessment results, and improve the quality of products and services.

4. Documentation

4.1 Related Legislation/Regulation

4.2 Related policy and procedures

4.3 Related Documents

  • Academic Appeal Application Form

5. Definitions

All terminology used in this policy is consistent with definitions in the CIT Definitions of Terms. Specific terms referred to in this procedure are:

Academic Panel

A panel of impartial educators, convened by the College Director, who have not been involved in the delivery of the assessment or the informal appeal


A process a student can use to contest an assessment outcome or final result they are dissatisfied with


A person who is appealing a decision made under this policy or procedure

Assessment outcome

A satisfactory or not yet satisfactory assessment judgement for a single assessment task

Assessment result

An assessment outcome or final unit result

Final unit result

The result entered into the student management system for a unit of competency or subject

Formal Appeal

May be:

  • an appeal relating to assessment   outcomes for individual assessment tasks
  • appeals relating to final unit   results
  • a formal appeal is made using   the Academic Appeals Application Form.

Where unresolved the appeal may escalate to the CIT complaints process.

Informal Appeal

An appeal relating to assessment outcomes for individual assessment tasks.

6. Policy Contact Officer

Executive Director, Education Futures and Students.

Contact CIT Student Services on (02) 6207 3188 or email for further information.

7. Procedures

This policy is implemented through the associated procedures. Authority to make changes to the procedures is with the policy owner.