student handbook


A condition of enrolment is that students inform themselves of VNS’s rules and policies affecting them and conduct themselves in accordance with these at all times. The rules and policies are found in this Handbook and Help Box.


Students will act with integrity and respect in all academic work and ensure that this work is always carried out ethically and safely and will never unfairly advantage themselves, or disadvantage another student.


Students will act honestly in all assessments and will not plagiarize the work of others, collude when writing assessments, and will always reference appropriately using the Harvard Referencing System.

This means students will ensure that submitted work is in their own words, not copied from another student or resource and is referenced appropriately where they have utilized external sources or the ideas of others. All work, both practical and theoretical, will be carried out with respectful treatment and care for animals, staff, students and supervisors. Students not abiding by this regulation will be subject to the Academic Dishonesty Procedure.


Students will observe standards of equity and respect in dealing will all members of the College community and extend this respect to all staff members and clients in the workplace (placement or employed).

This means students will treat all staff, other students and work placement personnel equally with respect and without bullying or discrimination based on age, gender, disability, race, education, culture or any other reason. VNS Staff will extend this same standard to students.


Students have an obligation to use VNS resources in a respectful and lawful manner at all times. Resources published or distributed by VNS will only be used for personal learning and reference and not copied, duplicated or distributed without VNS’s prior consent.

This means students cannot use their provided learning and assessment resources for any other purpose than their course. Students cannot share them with students of other providers, or their colleagues at work. They cannot be copied and distributed to anyone else without our permission. Of course, students can show their mentors as part of obtaining help, but they cannot provide them with copies to keep.


Students will actively endeavour to maintain and support VNS’s reputation of excellence, respect and equity throughout their enrolment both in the learning environment and the wider community.

This means through their behaviour and conduct, students will strive to maintain VNS’s reputation for excellence and be mindful of this at all times by being respectful, using manners, being polite, punctual, treating everyone fairly and without discrimination (See point 3). Students will follow all reasonable directions promptly and without argument whenever they are involved in activities that represent VNS (when studying, completing practical skills or placements, seeking advice or discussing their learning and assessments).


Students will actively participate in the learning process and submit assessment tasks regularly, unless unforeseen or exceptional circumstances arise.

This means students agree to commit a reasonable amount of time each week to completing their studies. Students will complete all studies within the enrolment period and log in and submit assessments regularly to remain active. Students will contact us if they’re expecting to take a break from study for more than 2 weeks so we can make a note in their file.


Students will be familiar with the program and resources made available or recommended by VNS to assist students in conducting their studies, including resources to avoid plagiarism.

This means students will utilise VNS resources and recommendations to complete their study. Resources available include the Learner’s Guides, Self Assessment Tasks, Reference Text books, Learning Centre, Facebook groups, Student assist, Plagiarism (copying) checkers and workplace supervisors.


Treat all VNS staff, other students and the extended learning support persons with courtesy, tolerance and respect. This extends to teaching and supervisory staff in clinical placement.

Students agree to show respect, use manners and exercise tolerance towards other students, VNS staff and extended learning support persons (RTO employees, workplace supervisors) when communicating with them in any format. If a student verbally abuses a VNS or clinical placement location employee or shows significant disrespect, they may abort the conversation and raise a complaint which may lead to an investigation under the Student Misconduct Procedure.

It is important to realise that everyone involved is trying their best and we should all assume positive intent. Assuming positive intent means consciously choosing to assume that staff and students are operating to the best of their ability and are acting with the best interest of the student, college and their colleagues in mind.

When confronted with what we see as criticism, such as assessment feedback, or receive support where we are not given the easy answer, it’s very easy to get defensive or feel attacked in some way.

Instead, try to take a step back and look at it from a different point of view. What is the Educator trying to say? Rather than being suspicious motives and think they are unwilling to help, instead assume that they are doing the best they can and that their intentions are to help us grow and be more successful. Assuming positive intent is to believe that the other person doesn’t have a hidden agenda and truely is trying to help.

If we assume intentions are negative and are directed at attacking us then we are immediately defensive, which means we are less likely to trust them and less likely to listen to what they are saying, missing out on valuable learning opportunities.


Students must comply with any reasonable request from all staff members at clinical placement and work experience locations and perform duties within the placement and practical skills assessment without argument, attitude or disrespect. This includes any contact with VNS Educators for the same.

The rules and policies of the placement venue will be followed at all times with regard to appropriate clothing, meal breaks, personal conduct, use of personal communication devices and respect to staff and clients at all times.


Students will comply with workplace health and safety policy of VNS and any work placement location in all respects and follow all verbal and written directions.

This means students will comply with workplace health and safety policy of both VNS and their workplace (whether employed or placement) in all respects and follow verbal and written directions of staff members.


Students are responsible for the actions of any third party who is acting on their behalf and the the third party is held to this same code of conduct.

This means if a student’s partner, parents, or friends are talking to us on their behalf, they must also act with respect and courtesy. Any actions on their behalf which are against this code of conduct may reflect on the student’s enrolment and any discipline procedures under the Student Misconduct Procedure, even though the student was not the one acting without courtesy or respect.


All animals will be treated and handled with respect and care and to ensure their welfare and safety at all times.

This policy is supported by the unreasonable conduct policy that outlines the behaviours and conduct that are not tolerated in students. Please read this here.