Complaints, unsatisfactory performance and misconduct

For Teaching Service policy and guidelines click: Teaching Service 


The Department is committed to a high performing workforce and to providing safe and supportive work environments where excellence is pursued, underperformance is managed, diversity is valued and everyone is treated with respect, fairness and dignity.  Discrimination, sexual and other forms of harassment, bullying, violence and threatening behaviour are unacceptable.

Every day, principals and managers may deal with a range of challenges such as workplace conflict, grievances, and policy issues.  These matters are dealt with in accordance with the needs and requirements of the particular workplace, taking into account Department of Education and Training (“Department”) policy and best practice.  The Department has developed comprehensive guidelines to assist with managing complaints, unsatisfactory performance and misconduct involving employees.  The guidelines are not intended to regulate the day-to-day management of ordinary workplace issues and challenges.

A positive workplace climate, including recognition that misconduct and unsatisfactory performance will be dealt with promptly and fairly and within the context of an improvement focussed set of procedures, is an integral component of a healthy, successful and fulfilling working environment. It is therefore incumbent on a manager to act where a complaint, unsatisfactory performance or misconduct involving an employee is observed or brought to his or her attention, whether or not a formal complaint has been lodged.

In determining the appropriate action the principal or manager, subject to satisfying any legal or policy requirements, should use his or her professional judgement to decide whether the matter should be dealt with as a complaint, unsatisfactory performance or misconduct.

Where the matter involves alleged serious misconduct, unsatisfactory performance or sexual harassment the Employee Conduct Branch must be contacted for advice regarding the appropriate course of action.

Advice is also available in relation to the managing of complaints.

Detailed information regarding the handling of complaints, misconduct and unsatisfactory performance is in the guidelines available under “Policy & Guidelines’ below.  

Other Resources

Policy and Guidelines

  • Managing Complaints, Misconduct and Unsatisfactory Performance - Public Service  (PDF) (WORD)

Procedures & Forms

  • Complaint Procedures: FAQs (PDF) (WORD)


Related Topics

Further Information

For Victorian Public Service (VPS) employees

Contact Information