Student Access, Progression and Wellbeing

Elite Athlete, Coach and Performer Program Procedure

Policy Code: SS1993

Purpose

The purpose of this procedure is to establish processes to identify elite athletes, coaches and performers, and to mandate operational activities and responsibilities that are required as a member of the Australian Institute of Sport’s Elite Athlete Friendly University Network. This includes ensuring the provision of flexible study options and support to elite athletes, coaches and performers to help them to achieve academic retention and success without compromising the academic integrity of the course or program of study.

Scope

This procedure applies to all students who have been identified as an elite athlete, coach or performer, enrolled in VET, undergraduate, Honours and postgraduate award programs offered by Federation University.

Legislative Context

  • Federation University Australia Act 2010
  • The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act) – establishes TEQSA as an agency who regulate using the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards)

Definitions

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

A further list of definitions specifically relevant to this procedure is included below:

Term Definition
Appointment An appointment, in relation to a meeting with the Disability and Learning Access Unit and the athlete/coach student, may be arranged via face-to-face, video link (skype) or phone.
Elite Athlete or Coach

A person who participates in, or coaches, sport at the level of national or international competition.

For athletes or coaches to access the supported elite athlete friendly university program, they must be recognised as an elite athlete or coach by one of the following:

  • Australian Institute of Sport (AIS);
  • State Institute or Academy of Sport (e.g., VIS);
  • AFL Players’ Association;
  • AFL Coaches Association;
  • Australian Cricketers’ Association;
  • Rugby Union Players’ Association;
  • Rugby League Professionals Association;
  • Australian Professional Footballers’ Association;
  • Tennis players who are members of the ATP or WTA or who are eligible to compete in the ITF Pro Circuit, Australian Pro Tour or have a valid International Player Identification Number.
  • Alternatively, they must be a national coach or squad member from Australian Sports Commission funded sports or participating professional sports.

If an athlete is not recognised by one the above, they must submit a request to be considered an elite athlete. In these cases, the Disability and Learning Access Unit staff will contact the Australian Sports Commission, who will be asked to investigate, verify and make a recommendation to the University as to the applicant’s elite athlete status.

Elite Performer

A person who participates in significant state, national or international performances, productions, installations, competitions or events.

For performers to access the supported elite performers friendly university program, they must demonstrate their endorsement by a State, National or International level performance organisation in one or more of the following fields:

  • Art;
  • Culture;
  • Orchestra;
  • Opera;
  • Music;
  • Dance;
  • Theatre;
  • Film; or
  • Television.

If a performer cannot demonstrate their endorsement by State, National or International level performance organisations, they may submit a request to be considered an elite performer on the basis of having:

  • Achieved significant success in a major artistic performing arts competition (outside of the applicants VCE/High School curriculum);
  • Undertaken a major role in commercial arts production as a performer and/or producer outside of their University course requirements;
  • Contracted with a major commercial music label or producer or equivalent commercial partner in any of the above fields; or
  • Achieved significant success as an independent artist/producer with a documented track record in any of the fields listed above.
Flexible study options

In the context of the Elite Athlete Friendly University Program, flexible study options include:

Assessment related needs:

  • Ability to negotiate assessment deadlines based on sporting related travel commitments
  • Ability to sit exams externally under exam conditions, within the athlete’s environment (e.g. whilst travelling, in their hotel, at their club, etc)
  • The minimum attendance at lectures, tutorials or practicals waived where student-athlete unavailable due to sporting commitments

Enrolment related needs:

  • Ability to tailor academic study load to integrate with sporting commitments, available for first year students as well. Higher Degree Research candidates may elect to enrol in either full-time or 0.5 EFTSL. The student may change their enrolment fraction from semester to semester as required ;
  • Ability to negotiate lecture, tutorial and practical timetables to accommodate sporting commitments;
  • Ability to extend minimum time to complete course due to periods of decreased study load;
  • Ability to take several leaves of absence where required due to increased sporting commitments (e.g. Olympic Games year);
  • Ability to complete cross institutional study options with interstate universities, and flexibility within this policy provided for student athletes (e.g. first year student’s eligible, increase number of subjects able to be completed by cross institutional study;
  • Provision of summer study alternatives and/or ability to swap between distance education mode and on campus mode, depending on sporting commitments;
  • Recognition of credit achieved at interstate universities

Course related needs:

  • Access to distance education materials, and/or class notes for missed lectures, tutorials or practicals.
Nominated University Contact

Each university in the Elite Athlete Friendly University program must appoint a specific staff contact person to support elite athletes and coaches within the University. The position provides the following support:

  • Advice and guidance to student-athletes on academic planning;
  • Support in negotiating necessary flexibility to meet academic requirements;
  • Advocacy for the student-athlete within the university environment;
  • Support in negotiating and/or implementing student cross institutional study or credit transfer arrangements;
  • Provision of advice and support to the athletes Career and Education Advisor (or similar position).

Actions

1. Registering an athlete/coach/performer student with the Disability and Learning Access Unit (DLAU)

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Initiating an appointment with the Disability & Learning Access Officer (DLAO)  Athlete/coach/performer student
  1. The prospective or current student must self-identify as an elite athlete/coach/performer.
  2. Make an initial appointment with a DLAO (Nominated University Contact) who will schedule the appointment at the earliest possible time.
  3. The athlete/coach/performer student must be present at the appointment
B. Providing flexible study options available through the DLAU DLAO
  1. A copy of the FedUni Elite Athlete, Coach or Performer Program handout together with an explanation of:
    • DLAU support services;
    • The concept of flexible study options;
    • The need to provide evidence of elite athlete/coach/performer status;
    • The need to provide evidence of compulsory training/rehearsal and competition/performance requirements;
C. Providing competition/training related information Athlete/coach/performer student
  1. Outline the impact of their competition/performance and compulsory training/rehearsal demands on their education to the DLAO.
  2. Based on the information provided, the DLAO will outline examples of appropriate flexible study options that may be implemented if the athlete/coach/performer student registers with the DLAU.
  3. A decision by the athlete/coach/performer student is then required to become a registered client of the DLAU
D. Becoming a client of the DLAU DLAO
  1. Athlete/coach/performer student information is entered into the DLAU database.
  2. A follow-up appointment is scheduled to ensure the athlete/coach/performer student submits appropriate evidence of their elite athlete/coach/performer status, and an outline of their competition and compulsory training demands (if not submitted at the initial appointment).
E. Negotiating interim flexible study options

DLAO

Athlete / Coach / Performer

Academic staff

  1. If necessary, interim flexible study options may be negotiated with relevant academic staff prior to the development of the LAP.
  2. Any agreed interim arrangements must be communicated to the Program Coordinator via email.

2. Assessing the evidence of competition / compulsory training demands

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Providing appropriate evidence Athlete/coach/performer student
  1. Source valid evidence of the calendar of competitions and compulsory training requirements (e.g., National League fixture, AIS athlete plans, club endorsed training plan, rehearsal/performance schedule, etc.)
  2. Submit the evidence to the DLAO
B. Assessing the evidence DLAO
  1. Evidence provided is assessed to ensure that:
    • The athlete/coach/performer is currently recognized as a member of an eligible national sporting body;
    • There is enough evidence about their competition / compulsory training requirements to allow for the negotiation of flexible study options;
  2. If the evidence does not meet the requirements of the DLAU to provide service, the athlete/coach/performer student will be required to provide additional evidence to meet minimum requirements.

3. Negotiating flexible study options

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Planning for flexible study arrangements

DLAO

Academic staff (if required)

Athlete/coach/performer student

  1. Undertake an assessment of the course or program the athlete/coach/performer student is enrolled in to determine course demands, environment, assessment and inherent requirements;
  2. Discuss the implications of the competitions/performances and/or compulsory training/rehearsals with the athlete/coach/performer student including the impact of these sporting/performance commitments and their own strategies which they may currently be using to support their own studies;
  3. Discuss possible flexible study options with the athlete/coach/performer student and include the necessary academic staff;
  4. Organise transition support if required. These may include:
    • Orientation to campus;
    • Accessibility requirements;
    • Information regarding internal support services;
 B. Negotiating flexible study arrangements

DLAO

Academic staff

Athlete/coach/performer student

  1. Negotiate flexible arrangements to the academic program (with the relevant academics). Including but not limited to:
    • Alternative learning and assessment tasks;
    • Adjustments to the assessment conditions (e.g., extensions on assessment dates);
    • Attendance requirements.
  2. Negotiate flexible arrangements to tests or examinations (with academics as required), including but not limited to:
    • Environmental Adjustments (e.g., alternate exam location)
    • The provision of supplementary examinations in specific circumstances.
    • The provision of deferred examinations; these will be accompanied by the DLAU Deferred Examination Notification form.
  3. Negotiate flexible submission dates for milestones, completion and submission of thesis (with academics as required):
    • HDR candidates may negotiate alteration of submission dates and milestone requirements where dates coincide with athlete/coach/performer student training, rehearsal, performance or competition requirements

4. Completing the LAP

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Providing detail to the LAP template document DLAO
  1. Ensure the athlete/coach/performer has been engaged in the process of negotiating flexible study arrangements;
  2. Input all appropriate details in the LAP template;
  3. Save the LAP document in accordance with the University’s approved records management procedure;
  4. Schedule an appointment with the athlete/coach/performer student to read through the LAP and ensure all information regarding their competition and compulsory training commitments, their impact, and the negotiated flexible study arrangements are accurate.
 B. Authorising the final LAP DLAO
  1. Signature of the DLAO and the athlete/coach/performer student are required to authorize the negotiation process to formalize the LAP as the flexible study arrangements communication tool.
  2. Provide both digital and hardcopy of the LAP to the athlete/coach/performer student
  3. Determine, in consultation with the athlete/coach/performer student, the method by which the LAP will be communicated to appropriate academic and general staff. Methods include, but not limited to:
    • Emailing LAP to relevant academics; or
    • The student distributing the LAP to relevant academics.
  4. Arrange for the athlete/coach/performer student to complete the Consent to Share Documentation form

NOTE: The athlete/coach/performer student is in control of the communication method used.

C. Communicating the LAP to relevant academic staff

DLAO

Athlete/coach/performer student

  1. The student to provide the DLAO with a list of relevant lecturers / supervisors whom they want the LAP communicated to.
  2. The DLAO or student to email LAP to identified lecturers / supervisors to ensure the flexible study arrangements are implemented.
D. Updating database/s DLAO
  1. Store the LAP on the DLAU database in accordance with the University’s approved records management procedure.
  2. Activate LAP box on the University approved database with the athlete/coach/performers student’s permission.

5. Implementing flexible study arrangements

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Implementing the negotiated flexible study arrangements

DLAO

Academic staff

Examinations Team Leader

  1. DLAO to implement flexible study arrangements in the LAP for which they are responsible.
  2. Academics staff are to implement flexible study arrangements in the LAP in the course or program for which they are responsible.
  3. Examinations Team Leader to implement flexible study arrangements in the LAP for which they are responsible.
  4. HDR Team Leader to implement flexible study arrangements in the LAP for which they are responsible.
B. Identifying issues or barriers

 DLAO / Academic staff

Athlete/coach/performerstudent

  1. Identify any issues or barriers to the implementation of specific flexible study arrangements
  2. Communicate any identified issues/barriers
  3. Renegotiate flexible study arrangements to resolve issues/barriers as required
  4. Create an updated LAP and arrange for signatures to authorize the re-negotiation process and formalize the LAP as the flexible study arrangements communication tool.
  5. Communicate the LAP in accordance with procedural expectations.
  6. Implement the flexible study arrangements.

6. Reviewing the LAP

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Conducting a review DLAO
  1. Meet with the athlete/coach/performer student on an as-needs basis or annually to review the LAP or renegotiate flexible study options.
  2. Renegotiate the flexible study arrangements with relevant staff as required to meet the specific demands of any new courses
  3. Update the LAP as required and obtain signatures to authorize the re-negotiation process and formalize the LAP as the flexible study arrangements communication tool.
  4. Communicate the LAP in accordance with procedural expectations.
  5. Implement the flexible study arrangements.

Responsibility

Promulgation

The Elite Athlete Program Procedure will be communicated throughout the University via:

  1. an Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the ‘Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University’ website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Procedure;
  2. Learning and Teaching Committee
  3. Faculty Meetings
  4. Academic Induction Program
  5. Elite Athlete Friendly Program brochure and dedicated webpage
  6. Student Senate Meeting
  7. Student Health & Wellbeing meetings

Implementation

The Elite Athlete Program Procedure will be implemented throughout the University via:

  1. an Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the ‘Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University’ website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Procedure;
  2. Information sessions
  3. Training sessions
  4. Moodle training

Records Management

Document Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period
Elite Athlete Learning Access Plan including any re-negotiated EALAP The University’s approved records management system Manager, Health & Wellbeing Destroy 2 years following completion of service
Supporting documentation The University’s approved policy management system Manager, Health & Wellbeing Destroy 2 years following completion of service