Information for private education providers

If you are an international student and would like information on what the Commonwealth Ombudsman does, please visit Information for international students.

What we do

The Commonwealth Ombudsman:

  • provides a free dispute resolution service
  • is independent and impartial
  • does not represent either international students or private education providers
  • can make recommendations arising from our investigations.

We also provide information about best practice complaint handling. We share this information with private education providers to help manage internal complaints.

We publish updates and issues papers on common or systemic issues identified through our investigations.

Basic dispute resolution pathway

  1. Student is unhappy with their private education provider’s decision or action.
  2. Student should:
    1. check their written agreement
    2. talk to their provider
    3. check their provider’s website for details about how to complain.
  3. Student lodges a complaint with their provider.
  4. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of their complaint, they can ask their provider to review the decision (appeal).
  5. If the student is still not satisfied with the decision, they can contact us to lodge a complaint.

What providers should consider when handling a student’s complaint

Refer students to our information for international students page.

Resources for education providers