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Each course we deliver has a set enrolment period for you to complete it. Most of our qualification course durations are between 1 and 2 years. Our Short Courses range between 3 and 6 months. Please refer to your Course Handbook for your particular enrolment period. Your enrolment period starts at the commencement of your intake, and not when you start submitting assessments.
You must ensure that all your assignments, including resubmissions, are submitted before your course enrolment period expires, allowing time for marking and resubmissions. You must be an active and current student for us to be marking your work. We strongly suggest you hand in your last assessment at least 6 weeks prior to expiring. This allows for marking time and time for you to resubmit if required. If you hand work in the days leading up to your expiry date, you will need to extend.
You are responsible for setting yourself a study schedule that means you can complete the course in time.
In the front of every learner’s guide, you will find a suggested schedule for that subject. Following these will mean you will finish before you expire. These timings are based on the average student putting in the recommended 10-15 hours per week of study. Following this will ensure you have the opportunity to complete your work prior to expiry.
We strongly advise you stick to the suggested due dates provided to ensure you keep on track and finishing your studies before your course enrolment expires. You do not need to request an extension for individual assessments if you’re running a little behind.
Extensions to your enrolment period are possible if you meet the eligibility criteria.
There is a fee involved and the fee will differ depending on the period of the extension that you request. Fees are detailed in the Fee section of this handbook.
To arrange an extension, you must complete and submit an Application for Extension form at least 14 days prior to your expiry. On your application, you will need to detail the reason for extension and provide evidence, the period of extension you are requesting, and summarise your plans to ensure you can complete the course requirements with the extra time.
All extensions are approved at the discretion of the Nurse Educators, if you meet the minimum eligibility criteria and they are satisfied that you have an acceptable plan in place to complete the course.
COURSE ENROLMENT EXTENSION POLICY
Any Qualification student, including accredited and non-accredited, who is wishing to extend their course enrolment duration must meet the below requirements:
- Has an acceptable reason for not completing the course requirements in the standard enrolment duration and has provided evidence of the claim
- Has logged in and submitted an assessment in the last 8 weeks
- Is at least 50% of the way through their total course work
- Has not already extended the maximum time allocated for their enrolment type
- Their course enrolment is still active and has not yet expired.
- Has completed paying their course fees in full and has no outstanding money owed to either VNS or the RTO they are enrolled under.
- Has a plan in place to ensure they can complete the course requirements in the extension period if granted.
Any Short Course student who is wishing to extend must meet the below requirements:
- Has not already extended the maximum time allocated
- Their course is still active and has not yet expired
Students who meet these requirements are able to extend for a maximum of:
- 12 months if a fee for service student
- 12 months if a non-accredited qualification student
- 6 months if a government funded student
- 6 months if a RPL student
- 3 months if a Short Course student
- For NRT qualifications that are in a teachout period, to one month prior to the teachout period ending.
To apply for an extension, students must complete an Application for Extension form and return it to us at least 14 days prior to their expiry date. Students will be emailed the Application for Extension as part of their expiry email notifications.
A Nurse Educator will review the application and provided evidence against the extension criteria. If the evidence is deemed not enough, the Nurse Educator will ask the student to provide further evidence and may interview the student prior to making a decision.
In extenuating circumstances that have led to more than a 50% course enrolment period loss of study time, the requirement to meet 50% of the workload completed may be waived by the Nurse Educator if they are satisfied that the student has an adequate plan in place to complete the course.
The Nurse Educator must look at the application holistically and make a decision that is in the best interest of the student given the information provided. Whether to approve or deny the extension is at the discretion of the Nurse Educator. Any student can appeal a decision following the normal appeals process.
Once the application for extension has been approved, the student must make payment for the extension prior to the expiry date. If payment is not made, the student will expire and need to reenrol to complete the course.
If a student does not meet the above criteria, their extension will not be approved and they will be notified. To complete their course they will need to enrol again, following normal enrolment processes including credit transfers.
If the student’s course has expired before an extension has been approved and paid, then extensions are no longer possible. To complete their course they will need to enrol again, following normal enrolment processes including credit transfers.
If a student is enrolled in superseded subjects that they have not commenced assessment in, they may be required to purchase new learners guide versions and be enrolled into the latest versions. Fees apply.
All fees charged to the student are as per the latest version of the Student Handbook.
ACCEPTABLE REASONS FOR EXTENSIONS
Extensions aren’t automatically granted.
Along with meeting the eligibility criteria, a Nurse Educator will assess your extension request holistically. As long as they are satisfied you took reasonable steps to avoid the circumstances that contributed to your being unable to complete your course work on time, your extension will be approved.
The following are acceptable reasons to apply for an extension:
UNACCEPTABLE REASONS FOR EXTENSIONS
The following reasons are not grounds for an extension:
- computer or internet problems or access difficulties
- holiday arrangements (including overseas travel)
- misreading expiry dates or due dates
- unexpected events causing less than 4 weeks loss of study time
- difficulty studying effectively or adjusting to the demands of adult education and distance learning
- normal levels of stress or anxiety associated with study (accommodations can be made for students with a mental health condition if assistance is requested at the time of enrolment or diagnosis)
- English language difficulties
- visa problems
- financial problems
- moving house or changing address
- death or ill health of pets
- social or leisure events (other than sporting or cultural activities at an elite level)
- minor events or accidents
- ordinary family events or commitments, or
- normal pressures relating to study or employment.
COVID-19 SPECIFIC EXTENSIONS
VNS will provide up to 12-month extension free of charge where a student has demonstrated that COVID-19 has impacted on their ability to complete the course work placement requirements within the normal course enrolment period (or current paid for extension period).
Extension duration applied will be dependent on the students’ progress to date and remaining placement requirements to complete, any local restrictions to their area and will be determined by VNS management on an individual basis.
For example, a student with only one placement remaining and living in a state with minimal restrictions may only receive 4 to 6 months free extension. A student with all three placements and living in a lockdown area will receive the full 12 month free extension.
Eligibility for a COVID-19 free extension is as follows:
- Your course enrolment is still active and has not yet expired or has not expired more than 7 days ago in which case a reinstatement fee will apply.
- You have completed ALL theoretical work, including any resubmissions or third attempts, prior to existing expiry date (which may already be an extension), including the work being marked.
- Where a marking delay has occurred, it is at Nurse Educator discretion whether to be lenient on the remaining piece of work.
- If there is outstanding work, you can extend under the normal extension policy to enable you to then meet the COVID-19 free extension criteria.
- Have completed paying course fees in full and has no outstanding money owed to either VNS or the RTO enrolled under.
You must provide evidence that COVID-19 has impacted your placement opportunities through either:
- A letter/email from placement confirming that existing placement arrangements are suspended or cancelled currently due to COVID-19 restrictions or policies.
- Provide letters/emails from multiple workplaces stating that they are not currently taking on work placement students due to COVID-19. If you are in a regional area with limited placement opportunities, then you only need to provide confirmation from 1 to 3 clinics, depending on what is local to you (e.g. <50km to them). If you are in metro areas, then you must provide confirmation from at least 5 clinics.
To apply, please follow the normal extension policy and submit an Application for Extension form.
This free COVID-19 extension policy will be reviewed quarterly by VNS management and adjusted to meet current COVID-19 impacts on the general Australian workforce.
The ability to obtain a free COVID-19 extension may be removed from offer at any time when VNS deems them no longer necessary. Students will be updated via the Student Handbook under Extensions, and the COVID-19 pages. Students and staff should refer to the handbook for current policy.