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Progress, Completion and Attendance Policy

Progress, Completion and Attendance Policy

1         Purpose

This policy provides a documented process for monitoring students’ academic progress and completions, with a view to ensure completion within the expected CoE duration and the consequent procedures for reporting to the relevant Immigration and Education departments of international students’ unsatisfactory performance.

This policy has been developed to satisfy the requirements of The National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018, known as ‘the National Code 2018’  Standard 8 – Overseas student visa requirements

2         Scope

This policy applies to all overseas students’ current and prospective students as well as those continuing study.

This policy is relevant to Future Academy as a registered training organisation required by the regulators and Australian Department of Home Affairs to report upon students’ academic progress and attendance.  Within this policy are policy items (Section 3.5 Attendance Monitoring) for attendance monitoring requirements since Future Academy is required by ASQA to use attendance based monitoring. (8.10)

The attendance of each client enrolled with the RTO will be monitored closely to ensure there is full-time study activity, as attendance is necessary for satisfactory course progress. Moreover, the Progress, Completion and Attendance Policy requires the RTO to report unsatisfactory attendance under the RTO’s Registration Conditions. As part of our academic support and monitoring, our internal policy is that students must attend classes and we record attendance at every class.

3         DEFINITIONS

Academic performance 

Assessment of competency as a student progresses through the qualification

CoE

Confirmation of Enrolment

Course

Refers to the specific course a student is enrolled

Intervention Strategy

Systematic plan of action consciously adapted in an attempt to address and reduce the causes of academic failure to complete studies within the course duration

Learning Contract

Intervention strategy

Satisfactory course progress

Attending scheduled classes and successfully completing all assessments and obtaining a Competency (C) in all the units in the prescribed study period.

SSO

Student Support Officer(s)

Unit 

Unit of Competency

Unsatisfactory course progress 

Where the student is deemed Not Competent (NC) in 50% or more of the units attempted in any study period

VET

Vocational Education and Training

SMS

Student Management System

Study Period

A study period is the regular scheduled term of study between study breaks, often of ten weeks duration

4         Policy Statement

The monitoring and awareness of student progress plays an essential role in ensuring that international students experiencing academic difficulties and who are at risk of failing can be identified in sufficient time and provided with appropriate academic support and counselling and access to appropriate student services.

All overseas students are clearly informed about the requirements to achieve satisfactory course progress and, where applicable, attendance in each study period, prior to their commencement in any course. (8.5)

4.1       Attendance Forms

Future Academy will use attendance forms in every training session scheduled to be run by Future Academy trainers.  These attendance forms are used to determine last point of contact with students and assist students who don’t achieve competency on assessments regarding intervention strategy meetings. (8.1)

Attendance forms are updated by Student Support Officer and issued at the beginning of the term; they are handed to the trainers  who are required to email the completed attendance sheet at the end of each session. Students must indicate the time they have come to class and the time they have left the class. Trainers must also sign each attendance sheet before submission. Attendance progress is updated weekly by the SSOs. Please reference Monitoring Attendance Flowchart.

4.2       Course Completion Within the Expected Duration of Study

4.2.1         Future Academy is required to manage student’s course progress and workload to ensure they complete within the specified timeframe as outlined in the Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) and in accordance with the CRICOS registered course curriculum. (8.2)
4.2.2         In addition, Future Academy must monitor each student’s enrolment to ensure that they:

  • Take no more than one-third of their course Online or by Distance learning, and
  • Are enrolled in at least one face to face subject in each compulsory study period.

4.3       Monitoring and Tracking Course Progress and Completion
4.3.1    Maintains and tracks academic progress via the Moodle platform, which in turn allows SSO’s to update the Student Management System. (8.1, 8.9, 8.9.1)
4.3.2         Each course is setup within the Student Management System, with the required units, qualification rules, timeframes, delivery methods and sessions for delivery. 
4.3.3         Students are then enrolled into the course and a Class Schedule is issued and provided to the student this includes all term breaks and each term is a study period. (8.9, 8.9.1-3)
4.3.4         The Class Schedule is, in addition to the Training Plan, provided during orientation.
4.3.5         The class schedules for each study period are then monitored to ensure that students are meeting the minimum 50% competency requirement and is achieving satisfactory academic progress.

  1. Four (4) weeks prior to end of each study period a SSO will complete an End of Study Period Report. This report will enable the RTO staff to send out letters via Axcelerate to students at risk and advise them hand in any outstanding assessments for processing. Assessors will mark units and student submissions on Moodle as per the memo sent out by the CEO at the beginning of every term, and SSO’s in turn update Axcelerate.
  2. This process enables Future Academy to identify any students at risk of not completing within the expected duration on their CoE, and promptly reminds them to hand in assessments, helping to minimise any adverse effects to the student. (8.3, 8.4)
  3. At the immediate end of each study period, this process is repeated and students who are failing to achieve better than 50% completion rate are sent a warning letter. The warning letter notifies the student about options for connecting with a SSO to plan an effective intervention strategy for the student to progress to a positive academic progress that enables the student to complete their studies as per the duration stated on their CoE. (8.3, 8.4, 8.9, 8.9.1-5 )
  4. Every student that receives a warning letter will be recorded on a register to ensure all students have an effective follow up plan. This register also enables the RTO staff to manage the response from students in an appropriate and unbiased procedure.
  5. Students who fail to achieve satisfactory academic progress in two consecutive study periods and fail to engage in an intervention strategy will be issued with an intention to report letter as soon as practicable, notifying them of:
  • Our intention to report the overseas student to Australian Department of Home Affairs for unsatisfactory course progress (8.13.1-2)
  • Their right to access our complaints and appeals process, in accordance with Standard 10 (Complaints and appeals), within 20 working days. (8.13.3)

4.4       Reporting for Unsatisfactory Academic Progress
4.4.1         Future Academy will report unsatisfactory course progress in PRISMS and advise the Australian Department of Home Affairs in accordance with section 19(2) of the ESOS Act if: (8.14)

  • All internal and external complaints/appeals processes have been completed and the decision or recommendation supports Future Academy as the registered provider, or (8.14.1)
  • the overseas student has chosen not to access the internal complaints and appeals process within the 20 working day period, or (8.14.2)
  • The overseas student has chosen not to access the external complaints and appeals process, or (8.14.3)
  • The overseas student withdraws from the internal or external appeals processes by notifying the registered provider in writing. (8.14.4)

4.4.2         Only when the above criteria are met the student’s case may be referred to the Admissions Manager for cancelation of CoE and the subsequent updating to Australian Department of Home Affairs as soon as practicable. (8.13, 8.3-4, 8.9, 8.9.1-5)
4.4.3         In instances of misconduct and allegations of misconduct, these are addressed in the Deferment, Suspension and Cancellation Policy. (8.9.1)
4.5       Attendance Monitoring
4.5.1 Whereby directed by ASQA as the ESOS Agency, it is a student visa requirement for overseas students to attend campus for a minimum of 80% of the scheduled course contact hours.
4.5.2         As required by ASQA to monitor overseas student attendance, monitoring and recording attendance of the overseas student will be conducted. (8.12)
4.5.3         Each students’ attendance is recorded and calculated over the period of a term/study period using information from class attendance sheets which are input to the Attendance tracking documents on Google Sheets. (8.12.1)
4.5.4         Using this information in the Sheets the weekly attendance records are reviewed and a report is generated to identify Students at risk of not satisfying attendance requirements. (8.12.2)
4.5.5         The students identified as being at risk are notified by email and their current attendance percentage is given in the form of an Attendance Warning.  This notification is recorded in the SMS against the contacted students’ contact log.
4.5.6         Students with falling attendance percentages will be notified by email when their attendance level reaches the 80% minimum. In each contact the Attendance warning issued will include:

  • A request that the student contact student support staff for assistance in getting back on track with the options for intervention processes and any other assistance that may be viable
  • A statement explaining that Future Academy is obliged to monitor attendance and notify the Australian Department of Home Affairs of students with attendance below 80%, which may ultimately result in the cancellation of the student’s visa.

4.5.7         Should the student be absent for five consecutive days without prior approval, they will be contacted by email and may also be phoned to initiate an intervention process and book an intervention interview. (8.12.3)
4.5.8         Should the attendance rate of a student fall to 80% a Final Attendance Warning Letter is sent to the student requesting an immediate intervention interview with student support staff and further warning the student of the imminent risk of reaching attendance percentages under the 80% minimum rate. (8.12.3-4)
4.5.9         At five consecutive days absent without our prior approval, or having reached attendance levels below 80% the student is sent an Intention to Report letter outlining our intention to report the student to Australian Department of Home Affairs, the reasons and their right to access the appeals and complaints process within 20 days. (8.13, 8.13.1)
4.5.10      Australian Department of Home Affairs will be notified only after the student has received an Intention to Report Letter and has been afforded the opportunity to internally appeal within 20 days. (8.12.4)
4.5.11      If the student uses the 20-day period after receiving an Intention to Report Letter to appeal and is successful, Australian Department of Home Affairs will not be notified at this time; however, the attendance breach and all correspondence and appeal process will be recorded and retained.  Future appeal processes for unsatisfactory attendance will review this information to make decisions on whether or not to report the student to Australian Department of Home Affairs. (8.12.4)
4.5.12      We may decide not to report the overseas student for breaching the attendance requirements if the overseas student is still attending at least 70 per cent of the scheduled course contact hours and is maintaining satisfactory course progress. (8.15, 8.151-2)
4.6       Reporting for Unsatisfactory Attendance
4.6.1         Future Academy will only report unsatisfactory attendance in PRISMS and advise Australian Department of Home Affairs in accordance with section 19(2) of the ESOS Act if: (8.14)

  • All internal and external complaints/appeals processes have been completed and the decision or recommendation supports Future Academy as the registered provider, or (8.14.1)
  • The overseas student has chosen not to access the internal complaints and appeals process within the 20 working day period, or (8.14.2)
  • The overseas student has chosen not to access the external complaints and appeals process, or (8.14.3)
  • The overseas student withdraws from the internal or external appeals processes by notifying the registered provider in writing. (8.14.4)

4.6.2            Only when the above criteria are met the student’s case may be referred to the Admissions Manager for cancelation of CoE and the subsequent updating to Australian Department of Home Affairs as soon as practicable. (8.13, 8.3-4, 8.9, 8.9.1-5)
4.7       compelling or compassionate circumstances
4.7.1         Future Academy will only consider complaints and appeals on a case by case basis and may grant approved leave retrospectively to students with valid compelling or compassionate circumstances. Some of these circumstances may be:

  • Illness (provided with a valid medical certificate)
  • Mental health issues (provided with a valid certificate from a psychologist or other mental health professional)
  • Illness of a friend or family member (provided with a medical certificate)
  • Death of a close friend or family member (provided with valid evidence)
  • An experience of adverse nature which impacted the student’s ability temporarily such as being a victim of a crime or witnessing one or being part of a serious accident.
  • Emergency travel due to major problems in home country (return ticket should be provided)
  • Any other reasons of adverse nature upon the discretion of the CRICOS Coordinators provided these reasons are compelling and compassionate.

4.7.2         Some reasons which may not be considered compelling or compassionate are the following:

  • Course requirements not as expected
  • Minor illnesses not covered by a medical certificate
  • Homesickness, unless proven as a valid reason for lack of attendance by a psychologist or mental health professional
  • Problems with adjusting to life in Australia
  • Commutation distance from home/work to class
  • Financial issues
  • Work commitments
4.7.3    The flowchart below details the attendance monitoring and warning procedure. 

4.8       Extension to Course Duration
4.8.1         Future Academy will only extend the duration of the student’s study where the student is assessed as not being able to complete the course within the expected duration, as specified on the students COE, as the result of: (8.16)

  • Compassionate or compelling circumstances as assessed on the basis of demonstrable evidence, or; (8.16.1)
  • Implementing or being in the process of implementing, an Intervention Strategy for students who are at risk of not meeting satisfactory course progress, or; (8.16.2)
  • Approved deferment or suspension of study has been granted in accordance with Standard 9 (see Deferral Suspension Cancellation Policy) (8.16.3)
  • All Intervention Strategies or Extensions will be assessed individually, taking into account the circumstances of the student.

4.8.2         Except in the circumstances listed above, the expected duration of study specified in the students COE must not exceed the CRICOS registered course duration.
4.8.3         If an extension to the duration of the student’s enrolment is granted, Future Academy will advise the student in writing of this decision and of the need for the student to contact Immigration immediately for advice on any potential impacts on their visa, including the need to obtain a new visa. (8.17)
4.9       Publishing and Dissemination Of Course Progress Monitoring
4.9.1         Course Progress Monitoring information will be published in all student information so that students and/or future students will be notified of:

  • The requirements for achieving satisfactory course progress
  • The process for assessing satisfactory course progress
  • The Intervention strategies that will be implemented for students at risk of failing to achieve Satisfactory course progress
  • The process for determining the point at which the student has failed to meet Satisfactory Course Progress
  • Procedure for notifying students that they have failed to meet satisfactory course progress requirements

4.9.2         Future Academy will also make this policy and intervention strategy readily available to staff and will instruct trainers and student service staff appropriately.

Policy items and processes for attendance monitoring requirements should Future Academy be required by ASQA to use attendance based monitoring now or in the future (8.10)

(Please note this is relevant only if ASQA have the monitoring of minimum attendance requirements set as a condition of RTO registration. Where this is not the case at the present time, disregard this section 4.5 Attendance Monitoring.)

5         RESPONSIBILITIES

Trainers and SSO will be responsible for:

  • reminding students of their visa attendance obligations;
  • Reminding students of their requirement to maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • informing students of the availability of counselling and support services should
  • they be experiencing study and/or personal problems; and to
  • informing students that further action will be taken should they make unsatisfactory academic progress

The SSO are responsible for monitoring the progress of the students.  As soon as SSO become aware of any student who fails to meet the intervention strategy the SSO must inform Training Manager.

SSO or the Training manager shall be responsible for correspondence to or meetings with students at risk, at the behest of the Training Manager.

The Training Manager is responsible for final decisions about students at risk and those who have been deemed to have made unsatisfactory academic progress.

4      RELATED LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS

  • Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000
  • *The National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018, known as ‘the National Code 2018’ Standard 8
  • Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015

Attendance Reporting Flowchart

Course Progress Reporting Flowchart

Non-Commencement Reporting Flowchart

Payment Default Reporting Flowchart

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