Although we are all getting used to living with COVID-19, it is understandable that many students have concerns around their studies and the potential impact that COVID-19 could have. We urge all students to follow the Australian Department of Health recommendations and practice good hygiene to protect against infection and prevent the virus spreading. You should keep yourself up to date with the latest recommendations from your state’s Department of Health and follow any restrictions, mandates or recommendations. All students are encouraged to be vaccinated, noting this may be mandatory in some situations or states.

Along with wearing masks, hand hygiene is one of our best defences. We have prepared a blog post on Hand Hygiene for vet clinics which you can read here.

Coronavirus Health Information Line – 1800 020 080

Call this line if you are seeking information on coronavirus (COVID-19). The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What measures does VNS have in place to maintain operations of the colleges?

This is a very reasonable question! Our students are our priority, as is the health & wellbeing of our staff.

Our programs are distance education and can be studied from the comfort of your own home, even if you are in self-isolation. Students can continue to study as normal.

Unlike many other small businesses, we are lucky that our normal operations already have 80% of our employees working remotely from home, and our office based staff can move to working form home where required. Therefore, barring illness, all staff are still able to work as normal.

We expect very minimal disruption to our student’s ability to study however due to staff absences, there may be some delays in marking. All our standard student support channels are still open as normal.

For new students starting, if there are any disruptions to us being able to send out physical resources, we will provide alternative electronic resources until we are able to send physical folders. Currently all freight operators are still functioning, but there could be a slight delay as they cope with demand.

What about work placement?

Some clinics may cancel or postpone placement due to operations being affected by COVID-19 in their area. If this happens to you, please let us know straight away and obtain a letter from the clinic that we can pop into your file. That way, we already have the evidence we need if we need to override an extension policy rule later. Keep studying your materials and don’t let the lack of placement get you down.

If vaccinations are mandatory either under clinic policy or state mandates and a student chooses to not be vaccinated, there are no course fee refunds for being unable to complete course requirements.

Are there any changes to extension policies?

All students have access to apply for extensions as long as they meet criteria. There are already stipulations in our extension policy for illness that impacts study, as well as unavoidable work commitments.

If you are affected for more than 14 days, or are seriously ill, then you will have grounds for extension, as long as you meet other extension criteria. Please have a read of the extension policy in the handbook to familiarise yourself with criteria and documents required.

Are short courses affected in any way?

No. ACVN Short courses are distance education and are completed from the comfort of your own home. They may be a welcome distraction from self-isolation for some.

There should be no disruptions to our short courses and our student support is still open as normal.

Unless restrictions which prevent us being in the office, we’ll be sending you our Printed Leaner’s Guide within a few days of your order.

If for any reason, such as Stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne, we cannot send out your physical learner’s resource, we will provide a digital PDF copy for you to be able to continue your study until we can send your resources.