Student Support Services Policy and Procedure
This policy provides a student support mechanism that provides academic and learning support services and an opportunity for students to access welfare-related support services to assist with issues that may arise during their journey at VTI.
This policy supports ‘Standard 6 – Overseas Student Support Services’ of the ‘National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities & Providers of Education & Training to Overseas Students 2018’ (ESOS 2018) which states:
“Registered providers support students to adjust to study and life in Australia, to achieve their learning goals and to achieve satisfactory progress towards meeting the learning outcomes of the course.”
This policy primarily supports Clause 1.3b, Clause 1.3d, Clause 1.7, Clause 5.4 and Clause 6.1 to 6.6 of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015.
This policy ensures that all students are given support while studying in Australia. This includes both academic and personal wellbeing support and the following procedures ensure that students are made aware of the support available.
The purpose of this policy is to provide a student support mechanism that not only provides academic and learning support services but also an opportunity for students to access welfare-related support services to assist with issues that may arise during their journey at Vocational Training Institute (VTI).
This policy and procedure applies to students currently enrolled and intending to enrol at VTI and to all associated staff.
Support Services: The services provided by VTI to students in order to assist and support the successful achievement of learning outcomes. Services may include but not limited to:
- Academic support/ one on one support from trainer and assessor
- Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN)
- Equipment and resources to increase access for learners
- Learning materials in alternative formats, for example, in large print
- Counselling services or referrals to required services
- Information technology (IT) support
- Mediation services or referrals to external services
Welfare Related Services: Services which address the mental, physical, social and spiritual well-being of students. These services may include, through direct provision or referral, information/advice about accommodation, counselling, crisis services, disabilities and equity issues, financial matters, legal issues, medical issues, mental health, peer mentoring, religious and spiritual matters and stress-management.
Academic: Study skills, time management and other information relevant to enhance academic performance for enrolled students.
5. Policy Statement
5.1. VTI is committed to provide appropriate support and welfare services to students to enable and provide them an environment, in which each student feels safe and supported, and contributes in a positive manner in their learning journey at VTI.
5.2. VTI will ensure that appropriate student support services are available and accessible to assist the student’s in completing their studies and reaching their academic goals. VTI will offer reasonable support to students, irrespective of their place or mode of study, at no additional cost to the student.
5.3 Any referrals made to external professionals by VTI at no cost to the student, but fees and charges may apply where an external service is used by the student. The service fees and charges should be clarified by the student prior to using any services outside of VTI.
5.4 VTI will ensure to give students information on, or access to, an orientation program about living and studying in Australia, including information about safety on campus and while living in Australia.
5.5 VTI has a Critical Incident Management Policy in order to manage the conflicts that could affect the student’s ability to undertake or complete a course.
5.6 VTI will ensure there are sufficient staff, in addition to academic staff, to support and advice overseas students who request assistance.
5.7 VTI ensures that all students and staff are kept informed of the current/correct contact details of the current Student Support Officer (SSO). Any changes are to be circulated immediately.
5.8 VTI has sufficient SSO’s to meet the needs of the enrolled students and has taken into consideration the number of students enrolled, the types of courses being offered and the likely needs of the students.
6. Student Support
6.1 Student Orientation Program
Orientation program is conducted prior to the course commencement. Attendance is compulsory for all students. The program includes an introduction to VTI, its services and facilities as well as an introduction to Australian culture, society and life. Students are also introduced to the academic culture and policies and procedures of VTI that will help them to complete their studies in smooth and successful manner.
This orientation program includes the following such as:
- Life in Australia
- Campus tour identifying classrooms, student areas, student administration area, and any other relevant areas within the VTI such as toilets, fire exits and restricted areas.
- Detailed outline of the course, timetable, introduction of Trainer and Assessor.
- Tuition fee payment plan and introduction of Accounts Team.
- Detailed outline of Student Support Services available at VTI and the contact details of current SSO.
- Conduction of LLN Test.
- VTI’s policies and procedures/ information (at the minimum):
- Academic and Attendance Requirements
- Code of Behaviour/student rules
- Complaints and Appeals
- Fee and Charges
- Issuance of Certification
- Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer
- Reporting Critical Incidents
- Students Rights (studding and working)
- Transferring, Deferring, Suspending or Cancelling Enrolment
- Unique Student Identifier (USI)
- Updating of Student Contact Details
- Visa Requirements
- Students are also assisted with information in the following areas:
- Australian Laws and Legal services
- Banking Facilities
- Employment Rights and Condition
- Healthcare and Emergency Services
- Public Transport System
- Telephone and Postal Services
6.2 Student Handbook
Students currently enrolled and intending to enrol at VTI will be provided with a Student Handbook containing all the essential information to adjust to life in Australia including accommodation options, public transport, information about relevant legislation and contact list of welfare related services etc. Handbook also provides elaborative information about the VTI facilities, courses, policies and procedures, services available (academic, administration), students rights and obligations including student code of conduct, visa obligations and other relevant resources to help them throughout their course of studies. Copy of the Student Handbook is also available at reception and on VTI’s website https://www.vocationalinstitute.com.au/.
6.3 Nominated SSO
Whilst all VTI staff have responsibility to provide support to students, although VTI has sufficient number of nominated ‘SSO’s’ who will be available directly or via student administrations, on an appointment basis, through the standard VTI hours of operations at campus and can contacted via email: email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org whereas in case of emergency during after hours, student can contact at +61 430 093 904 and +61 452 630 786.
7. Student Support Services at VTI
VTI ensures to provide the required support to students during their studies and services may vary case by case however, few are the prime areas where VTI is committed to provide the required support.
7.1 LLN and Academic Support
LLN Test would be conducted on the day of orientation. The main aim of the test is to identify particular skills of the student such as literacy, numeracy and english language, in order to meet the requirement of qualification they wish to enrol in. If a gap is identified, learners would be recommended to undertake foundation skills courses or other strategies would be adopted to make support available, prior to enrolment or commencement in that qualification. During training, Students who have concerns with their attendance, academic performance or other related issues that are placing them at risk of not achieving the requirements of their program or completing within the expected duration, the Trainer and Assessor will identify the need for additional learner support and discusses the available support strategies with the SSO. If the strategies involve the amendments or modification of existing training and assessment practices will be formally discussed and requires approval from CEO/Delegate.
7.2 Personal and Social Issues
There are many issues that may affect a student’s social or personal life and students have access to SSO to gain advice and guidance on personal issues, accommodation issues, or family/friend issues. Where the SSO feels further support should be gained, a referral to an appropriate support service will be organised at no cost. Details of the available services can be obtained from the Student Handbook.
While VTI does not offer accommodation services or take any responsibility for accommodation arrangements, the SSO is able to refer students to appropriate accommodation services and is always available to discuss any issues or concerns a student may have with their accommodation arrangements. All students are encouraged to have accommodation organised prior to arrival in Australia. Details about accommodation options can be obtained from Student Handbook.
7.4 Healthcare and Emergency Services
SSO will always have an up to date list of medical professionals and services accessible to student and any student with medical concerns should inform the SSO who will assist them in finding an appropriate medical professional. The details for the healthcare and emergency services can be found in Student Handbook.
7.5 Legal Services
VTI is able to provide some advice and guidance on a limited range of situations. Where the SSO feels it is appropriate to gain professional legal advice they will refer the student to an appropriate legal professional.
Names and contact details for legal advice and a lawyer is provided in Student Handbook. VTI will not charge for a referral.
7.6 Reasonable Adjustment
VTI acknowledges the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education 2005, and its obligation as an education and training provider to support the rights of students with disability to participate in educational courses and programs on the same basis as students without disability.
Students who wish to apply for adjustments to teaching or assessment methods on the basis of a disability should contact Trainer and Assessor or SSO in the first instance.
VTI can do the following to assist with reasonable adjustment:
- Make training and assessment materials and methods more accessible.
- Training and assessment methods that suit most students may hinder access for some students with a disability.
VTI is able to present information through a range of methods to assist students with a disability.
- Adapt the physical environment and equipment to better suit the student with disability.
7.7 Complaint and Appeals Process
Student has right to appeal against a decision made with respect to the support services provided by VTI. Appeal must be lodged in writing according to the processes for appeals as detailed in the VTI’s Complaints and Appeals Policy and Procedure available on the website and made available to students in the Student Handbook Refer to VTI’s Complaints and Appeals Policy and Procedure at website: https://www.vocationalinstitute.com.au/). VTI ensures to deal the complaints and appeals in a timely and fair manner however, where VTI considers more than 60 calendar days are required to process and finalise the complaint or appeal, VTI will:
- informs the complainant or appellant in writing, including reasons why more than 60 calendar days are required
- regularly update the complainant or appellant on the progress of the matter.
7.8 Critical Incident Policy
VTI has a documented Critical Incident Policy together with procedures for managing critical incidents that could affect the student’s ability to undertake or complete a course (Refer to Critical Incident Policy at website: https://www.vocationalinstitute.com.au/).
Critical incidents are not limited to, but could include:
- Missing students
- Severe verbal or psychological aggression
- Death, serious injury or any threat of these
- Natural disaster
- Issues such as domestic violence, sexual assault, drug or alcohol abuse
SSO, Administration Staff, Academic Staff are the responsible persons for effective implementation of this policy and procedure.
The CEO is responsible for the monitoring its effective implementation and review of this policy as well as provision of information on ways to resolve complaints of breaches of this policy.
9. Relevant Documents
- Student Handbook
- Complaints and Appeal Policy and Procedure
- Critical Incident Policy
- Application Form
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