Student Access, Progression and Wellbeing

VET Special Consideration Procedure

Policy Code: SS1971

Purpose

This procedure supports and mandates the implementation of Federation University Australia’s Student Access, Progression and Wellbeing Policy. It expands on the principles outlined in the policy as they relate to special consideration and provides guidance on progressing and granting special consideration to eligible students.

Scope

This procedure applies to all students enrolled in vocational education and training (VET) programs, including VCAL students, seeking special consideration.

Legislative Context

  • Federation University Australia Act 2010
  • Statute 5.2 Entry Quotas, Admissions and Enrolments
  • Statute 5.3 Assessment The Schedule Part 1
  • Statute 5.4 Exclusion for Reasons of Unfitness
  • Statute 5.6 Admissions to Academic Awards
  • Disability Discrimination Act (1992)
  • Disability Standards for Education (2005)
  • Privacy Act (1988)
  • Educational Services to Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 (as amended), Educational Services to Overseas Students (ESOS) Regulations 2001 and National Code of Practice 2007
  • Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 2010
  • National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011
  • Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015
  • Education and Training Reform Act 2006

Definitions

A complete list of definitions relevant to this procedure is contained within the Student Access, Progression and Wellbeing Policy.

Term Definition
Delegate Delegate: A person chosen, by the Executive Dean or Education Manager, to act or represent them when assessing applications for special consideration.
Discretionary Assessment Extension An assessment extension of up to 5 University working days for one assessment and granted at the discretion of the Trainer/assessor, tutor, lecturer or course coordinator (dependent on faculty process) upon request by the student.
VET Special Consideration - General Acknowledgement by the Education Manager or delegate that a student has experienced or encountered some form of disadvantage or impediment that has prevented them from performing on their merits in an assessment task/s. In such circumstances, the particular disadvantage or impediment will be taken into account when assessing the student’s work. To enable the student to demonstrate their achievement of the course learning outcomes, they may be granted an extension of an assessment submission date or altered attendance requirements. Such allowances may be made for one or more assessment tasks or courses within any teaching semester. Grounds for a student to submit an application for VET Special Consideration include medical reasons, compassionate grounds, hardship/trauma, or other significant cause.

Actions

1. Confidentiality and Privacy

Any Discretionary Assessment Extensions and Special Consideration Applications received must be treated by all parties as strictly confidential – refer Information Privacy Policy.

Information forming part of the Discretionary Assessment Extensions and/or Special Consideration Application shall only be discussed with, or made available to, a person who is:

  • A party to the application;
  • Is or has been legitimately involved in the management of that application; or
  • Has a formal management role in following up the consequences or implications of the application

Discretionary Assessment Extensions and Special Consideration applications and all relating documentation will be stored in accordance with privacy legislation in the student’s file.

Parties must be aware of the consequences if there is a breach of confidentiality, which may include disciplinary action.

2. Communicating Discretionary Assessment Extensions and Special Consideration procedure / forms

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Communicating via Unit Outlines  Education Manager
  1. All Unit Outlines will include important information relating to Discretionary Assessment Extensions and Special Consideration.
B.  Communicating via FedUni website  Manager, Health & Wellbeing
  1. The University has developed a Special Consideration webpage which is managed and maintained by the Manager, Health & Wellbeing and outlines all aspects of this procedure as it affects students.

3. Requesting a Discretionary Assessment Extension

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A.      Accessing the Discretionary Assessment Extension Application form  Student
  1. Download the application form from the FedUni Special Consideration webpage.
B. Submit completed Discretionary Assessment Extension Application form and supporting documentation (if applicable)  Student
  1. Submit the completed application form to their trainer/assessor (email preferred, or in person) at least 2 University working days prior to the assessment submission date.
  2. Student to also submit any documentation that may support their discretionary assessment extension request (includes, but not limited to doctors certificate, assessment drafts or evidence of progress, evidence of group-work difficulties) if applicable.

4. Assessing a Request for a Discretionary Assessment Extension

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Assess the request Trainer / Assessor
  1. Trainer / Assessor to assess the request and make a decision at their own discretion based on the evidence provided and the details of the student request.

5. Notifying the Result of the Request for a Discretionary Assessment Extension

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Notify the Student Trainer / Assessor
  1. Trainer / Assessor to notify the student in writing, by email (hard-copy - optional delivered via post), of the outcome of their request within two University working days including the revised submission date. Trainer / Assessor can also inform the student verbally; however email must also be sent as an official record of the outcome.
  2. If the response is to decline the request, the student is to be referred to the formal process for applying for Special Consideration.

6. Applying for Special Consideration - General

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Accessing the Application for Special Consideration & Associated forms  Student
  1. Download the forms from the University’s Special Consideration webpage
    • VET Special Consideration – General form
    • Health Care Professional Certification form
B. Completing the Special Consideration – General form  Student
  1. Complete all personal information as directed
  2. Outline all pieces of assessment, including:
    • Course / Unit Code
    • Course / Unit title
    • Name of Trainer / Assessor
    • Assessment task
    • Request Code
    • EXT: Extension of Assessment date
    • AR: Attendance Requirements
    • Assessment due date (if applicable)
  3. Select the grounds for the application and specify the length of time that their studies have been affected.
  4. Provide additional information regarding the impact of the condition / circumstances on their studies and the request they are making.
  5. Identify whether they have had previous Special Consideration applications
  6. Sign the form
  7. Consider the type of additional documentation which they may need to source to support the Special Consideration – General application.
  8. If the student requires assistance to complete the application form, they can seek assistance from either the Student Advisory Service, ask their trainer / assessor, or the Student Counsellor during a counselling session.
C. Collating supporting documentation  Student
  1. Decide on the most appropriate additional documentation to support their application, which could include, but is not limited to:
    • Health Care Professional Certification form
    • Medical Certificate which includes a specific statement that in the health care professionals opinion (not the student’s opinion) that, as a result of the complaint or treatment, the student is impacted or unfit or unable to undertake the assessment.
    • Death Notice
    • Police report
    • Defence Reserve Service Notification
    • jury Service notification
    • Emergency Service (e.g., CFA) notification
  2. Collect supporting documentation and attach to the Special Consideration - General application.
D. Lodging a complete application

 Student

 Student HQ staff

  1. Lodge the application prior to the approved submission date unless there are exceptional circumstances including, but not limited to hospitalisation or inability to access the campus due to illness, recent death of a significant other, and/or natural disaster that inhibits access to the campus or internet connection.
  2. The recommended method for lodging the application and supporting documentation is in the following ways:
    • On-Campus: Submit the application form and supporting documentation, in person, to Student HQ.
    • Online: Submit the application and supporting documentation via email to Student HQ
  3. Student HQ staff confirm receipt of documents by signing and dating the application form and confirm whether supporting documentation has been lodged at the same time as the application.
  4. Student HQ staff scan and email the Special Consideration application and supporting documentation to the Education Manager or delegate with the responsibility for assessing the application – ensuring all pages have been scanned accurately.
  5. Provide the signed original application form and supporting documentation to the student to retain for their records.
F. Lodging an incomplete application – lodging supporting documentation at a later date.  Student HQ staff
  1. If the application is lodged without supporting documentation, confirm receipt of VET Special Consideration application form by signing and dating the form, and confirm by noting on the form that supporting documentation was not lodged at the same time as the application.
  2. Scan the Special Consideration application form – ensuring all pages have been scanned accurately.
  3. Provide the signed original application form back to the student to retain for their records.
  4. If necessary, refer the student to appropriate internal support services to obtain supporting documents (e.g., counselling)
  5. Inform the student that they have five working days to submit supporting documentation along with the receipted original VET Special Consideration application form; otherwise the application will be withdrawn.
  6. When the student returns at the later date (within the 5 working days timeframe) and lodges the receipted original Special Consideration application form along with supporting documents, Admin staff will confirm, on the form, that supporting documents have been submitted.
  7. Scan and email all forms to the Education Manager or delegate and return all forms and supporting documentation to the student to retain for their records.
  8. If the student does not submit supporting documentation within the 5 days, the original application is withdrawn.

7. Assessing the Application

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A.      Reviewing and assessing the application  Education Manager or delegate
  1. A complete application will be received from the Student HQ staff via email.
  2. Consider the following key factors:
    • The type of condition/ circumstances
    • The impact of the condition/ circumstances on their ability to undertake their course/program
    • The duration of time that their ability to undertake course/program is impacted
    • The specific request made by the student
    • The strategies that the student has identified that they will implement in combination with the Special Consideration application to minimise the condition/circumstance in the future (if applicable).
    • The recommendations made by the Health Care Professional (if applicable).
    • The authenticity of the Health Care Professional credentials (AHPRA registration details or university stamp).
    • The impact that special consideration adjustments may have on program time constraints.
    • The impact that special consideration adjustments may have on funding arrangements.
  3. Make a professional assessment regarding the outcome of the Special Consideration Application based on all evidence presented.
  4. Complete the VET Special Consideration Outcome Letter template
  5. Sign and date the application form
  6. Input details of the Special Consideration into the student’s record on the university database, including details of the outcome.

8. Notifying the Applicant

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Notifying the Applicant Education Manager or Delegate
  1. Provide notification using the letter template, to the applicant of the outcome of the Special Consideration application, including any alternative arrangements made via their Federation University student email. Student must be informed within ten (10) University working days.
  2. It is optional to send hard copy letter to the student’s postal address but may be suitable in some circumstances..

9. Notifying the Faculty

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Contact all trainers /assessors  identified in the application to inform them of an approved application for Special Consideration (General)

 Education Manager or

 Delegate

Student

  1. Education Manager or Delegate to input the details of the Special Consideration application (General) into the student’s record on the University database, including details of the outcome.
  2. Education Manager or Delegate to contact all trainers / assessors identified in the applications to inform them of an approved application for Special Consideration.
  3. Student to contact the relevant trainers / assessors to finalise the adjustments to their assessment in accordance with their application (if applicable – in cases where the student has been advised to negotiate new assessment submission date(s)).

10. Appealing the Outcome

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
 A. Lodging an appeal

 Student

Student Advisory Service

  1. Students may lodge an appeal against a Special Consideration outcome within 10 University working days of the adverse decision. Appeals must be submitted, in writing, to the Appeals Committee.
  2. Students must ensure they include all relevant documentation to support their appeal.
  3. The Student Advisory service can assist students to compile their documentation when submitting an appeal.

Supporting Documents

Forms

Responsibility

  • Academic Board is responsible for the monitoring implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this procedure
  • Chair, Academic Board is responsible for maintaining the content of this procedure as delegated by academic board
  • Manager, Health & Wellbeing is responsible for the administration support for the maintenance of this procedure as directed by the Chair, Academic Board

Promulgation

The VET Special Consideration Procedure will be communicated throughout the University via:

  1. an Announcement Notice via FedNews and on the FedUni Policy Central’s Policy Library ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page to alert the University-wide community of the approved Procedure;
  2. the University website
  3. Moodle module
  4. Notification to Faculties

Implementation

The VET Special Consideration Procedure will be implemented throughout the University via:

  1. an Announcement Notice via FedNews and on the FedUni Policy Central’s Policy Library ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page to alert the University-wide community of the approved Procedure;
  2. Staff induction sessions
  3. Training sessions
  4. Moodle Training

Forms/Record Keeping

Document Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period
VET Special Consideration Application form and supporting documentation

For electronic records, the University’s approved records management or student management system.

Where hard copy, records should be stored on the student file.

Education Manager Destroy 7 years following completion, withdrawal or deferment of program
Decision documentation and notification of outcome

For electronic records, the University’s approved records management or student management system.

Where hard copy, records should be stored on the student file.

Education Manager Destroy 7 years following completion, withdrawal or deferment of program.
Appeal Application and supporting documentation Appeals Committee filing system  Appeals Committee Executive Officer Retain as per relevant Appeals Committee disposal class