Glossary of Terms

For the purposes of this Complaint Handling and Resolution Policy, the following definitions apply:

Key term/ phraseDefinition
Adverse BehaviourRefers to behaviour that a reasonable person would not consider appropriate and includes, but is not limited to, bullying, discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, victimisation and vilification.
At the lowest possible levelThis means that your complaint will be considered, and decisions will be made by the most relevant person or area responsible. Investigations or decisions will only be escalated where required by policy or where a conflict of interest is identified.
BiasRefers to a pre-existing favourable or unfavourable attitude to an issue when impartial consideration of the merits of the case is required.
BriefPlease keep your information concise and to the point.
BullyingMeans exhibiting a pattern of behaviour that intimidates, degrades or humiliates a person or persons, or that causes a risk or injury to the persons targeted.
ConfidentialMeans that information will only be released to those who have a legitimate 'need to know' and not for general consumption.
Case Manager

Refers to an objective employee who has been appointed to coordinate/manage any complaint lodged through the Formal Internal Avenue and who may therefore take decisions in relation to the complaint in accordance with this policy/procedure.

Complaint/ Grievance OfficerRefers to those employees chosen by the University to be the first point of contact for receiving complaint related enquiries, providing general advice in regard to the University's Complaint Handling Processes and referring complaints to Case Managers for handling and resolution purposes.
ComplainantRefers to the person/persons who have lodged a complaint.
ComplaintRefers to an expression of dissatisfaction drawn to the attention of an officer of the University that requires review, investigation or action.
DiscriminationMeans treating a person/persons less favourably based on the actual, past, presumed or future identity or status, or some other associated characteristic or personal attribute of the person/persons, or their associates (whether the association is real or perceived).
EvidenceAny emails, letters, notes or other verifiable documentation that will support or substantiate your claims or demonstrate steps you have taken to resolve your matter.
Exceptional CircumstancesCircumstances that were outside of your control or beyond what would be considered reasonable.
FrivolousRefers to an issue that is determined to be so minor, trifling or unimportant that no further action is required.
GrievanceAnother word for complaint.
HarassmentRefers to any form of behaviour that is unwanted and offends, humiliates or intimidates a person, whether intended or not.
Independent InvestigationRefers to an investigation conducted outside the Unit or the normal reporting lines of the Unit to which the complaint relates, normally by the Complaints Resolution Unit (CRU).
Local InvestigationRefers to an investigation conducted within the Unit or the normal reporting lines of the Unit to which the complaint relates.
MisconductRefers to actions that are serious enough to be regarded as requiring referral to a formal disciplinary process constituted in accordance with a relevant University policy and/or employment agreement or contract..
RelevantOnly include information that has a direct bearing on your issue, i.e. is directly related.
RespondentIs the person who has responsibility for the decision or the behaviour
Serious Matter/ NatureRefers to matters such as those that:
involve an offence under law (e.g. assault); and/or incur on the University an obligation to act (e.g. sexual harassment, harassment, vilification, bullying, victimisation); and/or are otherwise considered to present a significant risk to the University or members of its community.
Sexual HarassmentRefers to any form of sexually related behaviour that is unwanted and that in the circumstances, a reasonable person would expect a person to be offended, humiliated or intimidated.
StalkingRefers to persistently pursuing a person or persons without any valid justification for doing so.
VexatiousRefers to an action, such as the lodgement of a complaint, that lacks substance and on consideration of the available evidence is deemed to have been intentionally fabricated.
VictimisationRefers to any form of detriment directed at a person/persons for their participation in making, supporting or resolving a complaint, whether that participation actual, intended or presumed or any form of detriment applied selectively and without justification.
VilificationRefers to a public act that incites hatred towards, serious contempt for or severe ridicule of a person or persons on the grounds of their identity or status.

The information on this site should be used in conjunction with the Complaint Handling and Resolution Policy.(opens in a new window)