What is a customer complaint?
A customer complaint involves an expression of dissatisfaction about the service or action of the department, or its staff, when the customer is directly affected by the service or action.
For more information about what is and is not a customer complaint, see our
Customer complaints management framework (PDF, 1.4MB) and Excluded complaints factsheet (PDF, 227KB).
How do we handle customer complaints?
Lodge the customer complaint
If your complaint is about a school matter, you can make your customer complaint at the relevant school or regional office. You can find contact information on the schools directory and regional office contact list.
You can also make a customer complaint by:
Make sure you give
clear, complete and factual information about what happened, when and where it happened and any other supporting information. Also tell us the outcome you are seeking or the action you want the department to take.
You can make a customer complaint anonymously, however, this may limit how your customer complaint can be managed and resolved.
Reasonable assistance is provided to anyone wishing to make a customer complaint. Language assistance is provided through the
Translating and Interpreting Service. For deaf and hearing impaired customers, please contact us using the
National Relay Service.
Assessment and resolution
We will examine the issues raised and try to resolve the complaint. This includes checking your complaint is covered by the Customer complaints management framework (PDF, 1.4MB) considering any human rights implications raised by your complaint, and deciding if a specialist area in the department may need to manage your complaint.
We aim to respond and resolve your complaint as quickly as possible, taking into consideration the complexity and timing of your complaint. As a general guide:
- simple complaints may take up to 20 working days
- complaints requiring some inquiry may take up to 45 working days
- complaints that require investigation and escalation may take up to 90 working days or longer in some cases
- complaints involving human rights issues will take up to 45 business days.
For complaints involving a school or education provider, working days means school days in a school term.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome or handling of your customer complaint, you can ask for your complaint to be reviewed by the department. This is called an
internal review. For more information about the internal review process, refer to the Internal review procedure (PDF, 388KB) and information sheet (DOCX, 148KB).
Your internal review request should:
- be in writing using the
request for internal review form (DOCX, 410KB) or provided over the phone
- be lodged within 28 days of receiving your complaint outcome
- explain why a review is appropriate and provide all relevant information
- detail the action you would like taken to resolve the complaint.
We aim to complete internal reviews within 45 working days of receiving your request. If the issue is complex this can take longer to resolve. We will keep you informed throughout the process.
If after an internal review you remain dissatisfied, you can seek an
external review, which considers whether the department's management of your complaint was fair, reasonable and proper. To seek an external review, contact the
Queensland Ombudsman or
other relevant authority, such as the Queensland Human Rights Commission (for human rights matters).
What are your responsibilities as a complainant?
As a complainant, it is your responsibility to:
- cooperate respectfully and understand that unreasonable, abusive, or disrespectful conduct will not be tolerated
- give us a clear idea of the issue or concern and your desired solution
- provide all the relevant information when making the complaint
- understand that addressing a complaint can take time
- let us know if something changes, including if help is no longer needed.
The department may not proceed with your complaint if your conduct is unreasonable.
Information privacy statement
The Department of Education values complainants’ privacy. Information is only used for the purpose of responding to the complaint. Information will not be distributed to any third parties unless authorised or required by law.