TAFE and training operations

Education remains one of the essential reasons that Victorians may leave their premises, and there are a number of courses for which face to face instruction is required. TAFEs and other institutions will conduct a small number of classes on campus where necessary, and physical distancing must be adhered to at all times

Roadmap to reopening

For information about the Victorian Government’s roadmap to reopening Victoria visit: Coronavirus (COVID-19) roadmap reopening

The timing of steps in the roadmap is subject to public health advice.

Settings for metropolitan Melbourne

Staff attending training providers’ premises

In line with the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s advice, there are restrictions on what on-site work can currently take place.

For a list of permitted workplaces in the education and training sector, and the conditions of operation under current restrictions, visit: Business and industry stage 4 restrictions.

On-site delivery is also permitted for essential assessments for Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) students.

Trainers and assessors must only attend workplaces where the training activity is permitted.

Staff can go to their workplaces on an exceptional basis, such as to get critical equipment to display online, or for materials required to deliver remote learning.

Organisations should make sure that any on-site attendance by staff complies with the restrictions.

Requirements of clinical health placements

For the latest DHHS advice on clinical health placements, refer to coronavirus (COVID-19) student clinical placements.

When to issue worker permits

Employers can issue a worker permit to their employee to attend a workplace on site only if:

  • the organisation is on the list of permitted activities
  • the employee is working in an approved category for on-site work, and
  • the employee cannot work from home.

An employee must not use a worker permit, even if they have been issued one, if:

  • they test positive to coronavirus (COVID-19) and are required to self-isolate, and/or
  • they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive.

Permitted workplaces and activities

Up-to-date information on permitted workplaces and permitted activities can be found on business and industry stage 4 restrictions.

Occupations requiring first aid training for ‘COVID response’

First aid training is permitted to continue on-site for permitted industries, where remote delivery is not possible. This is to support the safe operation of permitted industries.

Refer to business and industry stage 4 restrictions for more information.

On-site training for employers in industries listed as permitted workplaces elsewhere in the directions

On-site training is only permitted to the extent it is set out in the Directions for the education and training sector.

Up-to-date information on permitted workplaces can be found on business and industry Stage 4 restrictions.

Civil construction apprenticeships and the approved construction industry apprenticeship

Apprenticeships (including civil construction) can continue, if the apprentice is employed at a permitted workplace in the construction sector.

For more information, refer to construction stage 4 restrictions.

Specific construction sector guidance is also available on the Business Victoria website.

Collecting resources or to in-person technical support

Students cannot go to their training providers’ premises to collect resources or for in-person technical support. TAFEs, registered training organisations, Learn Locals and universities have all moved to remote and online learning/support for students.

If required, the training provider should organise for support and/or the distribution of resources to students to occur remotely.

Settings for regional Victoria

Attending a training providers’ premises

In regional Victoria, training should be delivered remotely wherever possible. However, tertiary education providers are permitted to deliver training face-to-face where teaching, assessment and/or work placement cannot be done remotely.

Students can also attend onsite for access to necessary equipment that is not available at the student’s home, as well as any onsite student support for those that require assistance.

Travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria for study or work

Travel restrictions apply to all metropolitan Melbourne residents.

Staff and students cannot travel to regional Victoria to undertake activities that are restricted under Stage 4 in Melbourne.

Staff and students who are permitted to leave home for work or study can travel more than 5 kilometres from their home for these purposes.

Clinical health placement requirements

For the latest DHHS advice on clinical health placements, visit coronavirus (COVID-19) student clinical placements.

Useful websites

Below is a list of websites with information about coronavirus (COVID-19).

Useful websites

Guidance for on-site attendance

Where face-to-face teaching and assessment is required, 1.5 metres physical distancing must be adhered to with staff and students at all times.

Face masks are mandatory for people aged 12 and over in Victoria. All TAFE and training staff and students are required to wear a face mask while at, and when travelling to and from, their TAFE or training organisations.

Teachers are not required to wear face masks while teaching but those who wish to do so, can. Teachers should wear face masks in other areas of the TAFE or training organisation when not teaching (for example, in the staffroom).

Resources for training organisations

We have published new resources on the Skills Victoria Training System (SVTS). Login to access the following resources:

  • CN 2020-05 Government Response to Novel Coronavirus – information about the arrangements under the VET Funding Contract to support continued training activity during coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Fact Sheet COVID19 - Disrupted Training and Reapportioning – helps training providers understand and comply with their reporting obligations during this period
  • Skills First and Covid-19 – Questions and Answers – answers to commonly asked questions.

Learn Local pre-accredited training

The ACFE Board has issued two fact sheets on the funding and delivery arrangements for pre-accredited training for the remainder of Term 2, 2020.  

Training remotely or online

We are communicating regularly with universities, TAFEs and training organisations to ensure they have the most up-to-date information from the Victorian Chief Health Officer and the Australian Chief Medical Officer.

All TAFEs and training organisations are encouraged to increase their ability to deliver training remotely or online where possible. Learn Locals should adopt these approaches to support continuity of provision of pre-accredited training where there is existing capability and capacity.

We understand that this may be difficult for some courses, such as trades. Where activities continue to happen on campus, it is recognised that physical distancing in some practical/ hands-on teaching and learning spaces may not always be appropriate or practical, in this situation best efforts to maintain physical distancing should be made and other strategies to reduce risk of transmission emphasised (for example, hand hygiene and cleaning).

Any staff who can work from home should now be working from home. If this is not possible, physical distancing advice should be strictly followed at all times.

Advice for international students

We encourage international students to get the most up-to-date information by:

DHHS provides information about coronavirus (COVID-19) in many languages.
   
We are working closely with the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, and universities, TAFEs and training providers to understand and respond to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on international students.

VET delivered to school students at Registered Training Organisations

Visit the current advice at the Schools page ‘Changes to Student Learning’ under the heading 'Vocational Education and Training (VET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance note - Victorian Public Sector

All TAFEs are referred to the guidance note Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) guidance note - Victorian Public Sector

This guidance note applies to the Victorian TAFE Sector and provides useful information about safe working practices, managing leave requests and employees undertaking overseas travel.

Childcare services

There are a number of providers that also deliver childcare services.

These providers can subscribe to our early childhood education and care coronavirus (COVID-19) updates.

Advice for Learn Local organisations

Learn Local organisations with a current Business Governance Status (BGS) assessment due by 31 March 2020 are advised that the ACFE Board has approved a six-month extension to this requirement until 30 September 2020.

You can find more information about this in the latest memo.