Reviews and Appeals

Confidentiality is maintained in all appeals. This means that apart from disclosure to essential people involved in the appeal, your name and details of the situation are kept private.

To whom and about what are you able to appeal?

Your college

  • Assessment result for a task (eg. assignment, essay, test, etc.)
  • Procedures used to calculate unit grades and scores and course scores

The ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies (ACT BSSS)

  • Your college's published procedures for calculating a unit grade or score, or course score not being followed, or being applied unfairly or incorrectly
  • Your college's published appeals procedures not being followed, or being applied unfairly or incorrectly, or being unreasonable

The Discipline Committee of the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies

  • How your college has penalised you because you have been judged to have broken its rules of assessment
  • Penalties imposed by the Board chair for Breaches of Discipline in the AST

Appeals within your college

If you are dissatisfied with the assessment result for a task (eg assignment, essay, test, etc) or the procedures used to calculate unit grades or scores, or course scores, you should follow these steps in the review of your result:

  1. Discuss the result with your teacher
  2. If still dissatisfied, discuss the result with the relevant head of department at your college
  3. If you still have concerns, you may start a formal appeal to your college.

For each unit, details of the assessment are provided in a Unit Outline which should be given out within the first two weeks of the unit. For each task you should be advised on how it is to be assessed. The Unit Outline will also indicate where you can find course information and procedures for calculating course scores. The college will also have policies about assessment, appeals procedures, and deadlines for appeals. This information is often printed in college handbooks or other college publications, and you should follow the procedures outlined in the college appeals policy when making a formal college appeal. You are also entitled to seek, from your college, information about your ranking amongst other students. This information may help you to prepare your appeal or to decide whether or not you wish to appeal.

College staff, such as course advisers, counsellors, student contact or pastoral teachers, would be happy to explain more to you about the appeals process in your college and your rights.

Time Limits For Appealing Assessment Items, Unit Scores and Course Scores

Except in Semester 2 Year 12, appeals should be lodged within five working days of the results being published.

In Semester 2 Year 12 appeals against assessment items should be lodged within two working days of results being published.

Appeals against course scores should be lodged within one working day after publication.

Appeals to the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies

After your appeal at the college, if you still consider that your college's unit grade or score or course score procedures, or published appeals procedures, have not been followed, or have been applied unfairly or incorrectly, you can apply to the BSSS for further consideration.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, an appeal to the ACT BSSS will only be accepted if an appeal has first been heard by the college.

There is no appeal to the ACT BSSS against its policies on aspects such as calculation of AST scores, scaled course scores or ATAR. If you are concerned about any aspects of the calculation of these scores, contact the Certification Officer at the ACT BSSS.

Here are some steps to follow before you decide to appeal:

  1. Read the following procedures which are published by your college:
    1. assessment task outlines, unit outlines
    2. procedures to review assessment tasks, unit grades and scores, and course scores.
  2. When applied to what you are appealing about, check if the college procedures:
    1. are reasonable procedures
    2. have been followed
    3. have been applied fairly and
    4. have been applied correctly.

If you are not satisfied with any of these you may appeal to the ACT BSSS.

Write down the following information to submit to the ACT BSSS:

  1. your name and college
  2. a statement that there has been a college appeal on the matter of the BSSS appeal and the result of that college appeal OR The exceptional circumstances under which you are appealing directly to the ACT BSSS without first having had an appeal at the college level
  3. supporting information, including:
    1. a statement setting out the details for each ground
    2. the particular unit/course/assessment procedures and/or task(s) being appealed against
    3. the procedures used to calculate the mark, grade, unit/ course score that you feel have not been followed or have been applied unfairly or incorrectly
    4. the published college assessment appeal procedures that you feel have not been followed or have been applied unfairly or incorrectly, or are unreasonable
    5. what you think should be the result of the appeal, ie what your mark, grade, unit/course score should be
    6. a statement in support of your appeal.

Send or deliver the above information to the Office of the ACT BSSS

Time Limits For Appeals To The BSSS

You must lodge your written appeal application to the BSSS within thirty (30) days of the date of the written decision of the college appeal committee. However, if you appeal within the final term of your year 12 at college, the final date for appeal is set sometime in early December. Ask at your college what the date is for this year.

What Happens In The Appeal?

The ACT BSSS passes your appeal to its Appeal Committee. You will be advised of a hearing date. You may bring a friend or parent to any Board hearing and you or a representative will be able to put your case at the hearing. The college will also put its case to the Committee and the Committee will come to a decision. The Committee may ask you questions but there is no cross examination. The outcome may be a change of score or grade (either up or down) or there may be no change. You will be formally advised of the outcome.

Appeals to the discipline committee of the BSSS

All colleges have their own published rules and instructions about assessment of unit and course work.

If your college believes that you have broken one or more of these rules and instructions (called 'a breach of discipline') it may apply some penalty. Examples of broken rules include cheating in a test or submitting plagiarised work.

Penalties which a college might impose include cancelling part or all of an assessment task, requiring you to re-submit some work, or a reprimand. See Academic Integrity for more information.

Time Limits For Appeals To The Discipline Committee

The college principal will notify you in writing, within 14 days, of the imposition of any penalty which has affected assessment results. You must also be informed of the right to appeal to the Discipline Committee.

You may then appeal to the Discipline Committee by applying in writing for a hearing. In your application you should include:

  • your name and college
  • details about the situation, including the tasks, unit(s) and course(s) involved, and the penalties imposed by the college
  • your concerns about the situation.

What Happens In The Appeal?

Before the appeal, the Committee can seek any information or advice it needs. You or your representative will then receive the opportunity of being heard at a meeting with the Committee. After also considering a written report from the college principal, the Committee will make a decision. It may decide to confirm the penalty imposed by the college, to reject the penalty, or to alter what the college has decided.