Student Access, Progression and Wellbeing

Elite Athlete, Coach and Performer Program Procedure

Policy code: SS1993
Policy owner: Dean of Students and Registrar
Approval authority: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Approval date: 15 February 2017
Next review date: 02 November 2025


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.


This procedure applies to all students who have been identified as an elite athlete, coach or performer, enrolled in TAFE 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)


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 may be arrangement via face-to-face, video link or phone.
Elite Athlete or Coach

To be eligible as an elite athlete or coach you must be currently competing or coaching at a minimum level;

  • State Squad member from a Sport Australia recognised sport
  • Listed in the top grade or underage level of a State League competition such as: Victorian Football League (Australian Rules), State League 1 (Football Federation Victoria), Premier Grade Cricket, Victorian Netball League or NBL1.

Each application is judged on its merits in consultation with the relevant sporting organisations, if you don't meet the above criteria but feel you are competing at an elite level then we encourage you to apply.

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
  • Consideration given to the scheduling of placement to accomodate 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 Athlete Wellbeing Manager (or similar position).


1. Application for the Elite Athlete, Coach and Performer Program

A. Complete an application form found through the University website  Athlete/coach student
  1. The prospective or current student must self-identify as an elite athlete/coach.
  2. Complete the application form.
B. Submit a written application including reference to how the student meets the eligibility criteria to Performer student
  1. The prospective or current student must self-identify as an elite performer
C. Assess the application and provide a decision. Sport & Clubs Coordinator
  1. An email and letter of acceptance with an explanation of:
    • 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;
  2. Enter student into the Elite Athlete database
D. 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
  2. Based on the information provided, discuss appropriate flexible study options that may be implemented

2. Assessing the evidence of competition / compulsory training demands

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 Sport and Clubs Coordinator and Academic Program Coordinator.

3. Negotiating flexible study options

A. Planning for flexible study arrangements

Sport and Clubs Coordinator

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;
    • Information regarding internal support services.
 B. Negotiating flexible study arrangements

Sport and Clubs Coordinator

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.
    • Placement dates and locations.
  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.
  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. Implementing flexible study arrangements

A. Implementing the negotiated flexible study arrangements

Academic staff

Examinations Team Leader

  1. Academic staff are to implement flexible study arrangements as negotiated with the student.
  2. Examinations Team Leader to implement flexible study arrangements when required.
  3. HDR Team Leader to implement flexible study arrangements negotiated with the student.
 B. Identifying issues or barriers

Sport and Clubs Coordinator

Academic staff


  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. Implement the flexible study arrangements.
C. Identifying eligible students within systems Sport and Clubs Coordinator
  1. Adding elite athlete marker to approved students in student systems.

5. Reviewing eligibility

A. Conducting a review

Sport & Clubs Coordinator


  1. Application is completed on a yearly basis to ensure that the student is still competing at the required level.


  • The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) (as the Approval Authority) is responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this procedure.
  • The Dean of Students and Registrar (as the Policy Sponsor) is responsible for maintaining the content of this procedure as delegated by the Approval Authority.


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. School Meetings
  4. Academic Induction Program
  5. Elite Athlete Program brochure and dedicated webpage
  6. Student Senate Meeting


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
Supporting documentation The University’s approved policy management system Sport and Clubs Coordinator Destroy 2 years following completion of service