Student rights and responsibilities

Close-up of a student in a classroom

Know your rights and responsibilities

TAFE NSW students have rights and responsibilities which they need to be aware of. When you begin a TAFE NSW course you will be advised of these, and you will be provided with a student guide that provides further information.

Some of your rights and responsibilities are detailed below.

For more information:


Consumer protection

TAFE NSW has a reputation as a safe, progressive and dynamic place to study. TAFE NSW aims to provide an environment to support quality vocational education and training to benefit individuals, industry, business and the wider community.

As a TAFE NSW Student you have the right to:

  • expect that the education and training will be consistent with the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) regulations and Smart and Skilled Contract requirements
  • be informed about personal information that is collected about you and the right to review and correct that information
  • access to TAFE NSW feedback and complaints handling process.

With rights come responsibilities and as a student in TAFE NSW your responsibilities include:

  • providing accurate and complete information to TAFE NSW
  • behaving in a responsible and ethical manner.

Learner Portal

All students have the right to access their study records. TAFE NSW provides an internet service for students to view their study records within their current Institute of study, via the Learner Portal.

In the Learner Portal you may:

  • view your current and past study records and results
  • check and update your current contact details
  • check and update your current contact details
  • request your teacher for an official TAFE NSW transcript of your results
  • view notifications from your college, such as notifications of your next schedule fee payments as well as a history of your fee payments
  • view notifications of calendar information, such as the schedules for TAFE NSW final examinations.

To log on to the Learner Portal, you need the username and password issued to you when you enrolled. Contact your campus if you are unsure.

Privacy and personal information

When you enrol at TAFE NSW, the collection, storage, use and disclosure of any personal information you provide is protected under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998. Any health information you provided is protected under the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002.

Any information we ask you to provide will only be that which is necessary for the purposes of your course enrolment, learning and study records. Information provided will be held securely and disposed of securely when no longer needed. You may access your personal information and request amendments by contacting your campus of enrolment.

Government Information (Public Access) Act (GIPA Act)

The GIPA Act gives you the right to request access to documents held by most government agencies, including TAFE NSW. Some documents may be informally available; others will require a formal application to be made.

For more information call the Department's Information Access Unit on (02) 9561 8159 or see How to access information on the Department's website.

Protection of children and young people

In line with NSW Government legislation, TAFE NSW is committed to promoting the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and young people (defined legally as people under 18 years of age) whether they are students, apprentices or trainees in schools, colleges, workplaces or programs conducted by TAFE NSW or under the auspices of TAFE NSW.

TAFE NSW employees are required, by law and/or by departmental policy, to report children and young people suspected to be at risk of significant harm to Community Services within the NSW Department of Human Services under new procedures for "Keep Them Safe: a Shared Approach to Child Wellbeing".

Student responsibilities in work placement

In many TAFE NSW courses, some of the learning and assessment occurs in the workplace or a simulated workplace environment.

TAFE NSW has a responsibility to protect members of the public(and the students themselves) from being harmed by students taking part in workplace or simulated workplace learning. If there is evidence that your skills or behaviour could present a risk to yourself or other people in the workplace, you may not be allowed to participate in a work placement, at least for a period of time.

To help you understand your responsibilities in the workplace, you will be given a code of practice which indicates expected standards of behaviour.

Your teacher will explain to you and your workplace supervisor the range of duties for which you have the skills and knowledge. You must not carry out duties other than those indicated by your teacher.

Students who have committed a breach of discipline or who are assessed as presenting a significant risk to themselves or others during work placement may be prevented from undertaking or continuing further work placement. This may mean they will not complete the course where successful completion of work placement is required.

There are TAFE NSW courses which have a compulsory work placement component where you are required  to comply with some(or all) of the following.

1. HEALTH - NSW MINISTRY OF HEALTH

Before you undertake a clinical work placement:

  • If you are over 18 you will be required to undertake a National Criminal Record Check. Visit NSW Police Force's website.
  • You will be required to sign the NSW Health Student Undertaking where you agree to notify NSW Health if your status changes after the date of issue of your National Police Certificate or during the completion of your course.
  • You will be required to undertake Occupational Assessment, Screening and Vaccination against Infectious Diseases and provide your Health Care Worker/Student Vaccination Record Card.
  • You will be required to read and sign the NSW Health Code of Conduct form. Visit NSW Ministry of Health's website and type 'clinical placement' in search area.

2. AGED CARE WORK

As per NSW Health requirements for the National Criminal Record Check. Visit NSW Police Force's website.

3. COMMUNITY AND CHILDREN’S SERVICES

Anyone in child-related work(including student placements and volunteers) MUST have a current Working with Children Check (students/volunteers free) in line with the Office of Children’s Guardian phase-in schedule and processes. Visit website of Office of the Children's Guardian.

4. STUDENT READINESS FOR WORK PLACEMENT

Generally work placements will only occur after there has been a reasonable amount of student/teacher contact and when the teacher is satisfied that you are ready to benefit from workplace learning and perform workplace duties. Your teacher can provide further information.

Making a complaint

If you have a problem with, or complaint about TAFE NSW, you may report it to your Institute's Consumer Protection Officer. They will record your concerns so they can be dealt with confidentially and promptly.

You may submit your complaint on a Suggestion or Complaints Form, available from teaching and administration staff, or online via your Institute website.

If your issue cannot be resolved at the Institute, you can also contact the Smart and Skilled Customer Support Centre to seek assistance, ask for advice, make a complaint or provide feedback. You can do this by phone on 13 28 11, or in person at a State Training Services Centre.

For more information see:

Work health and safety

TAFE NSW has a duty to provide a safe and healthy workplace for all employees, students and visitors.

At enrolment you will be informed of any course requirement for you to provide and wear protective clothing and equipment. During an orientation session on your first attendance you will be given information on what to do in case of an emergency or if you are injured and require first aid. All our courses include instruction and training on work health and safety relevant to your training.

To help us provide a safe environment for all staff and students, work health and safety legislation also reinforces your duty to take reasonable care for the health and safety of others. You must not interfere with or misuse anything provided for you in the interest of health and safety. You should report any safety issues or concerns to your teacher or campus staff as soon as possible.

For further information about work health and safety, visit a TAFE NSW library or ask your teacher, or visit the WorkCover NSW website.

Anti-discrimination

Discrimination means treating someone unfairly or less favourably than another person or group because of a characteristic specified under anti-discrimination or human rights legislation.

Discrimination is against the law. It is unlawful to discriminate against people on the grounds of:

  • age (including compulsory retirement)
  • carers' responsibilities (caring for or supporting some adults or children)
  • disability (physical, intellectual, psychiatric, learning and sensory) well as infectious diseases and HIV/AIDS.

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