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:

Student e-Services

All students have the right to timely access to their study records. TAFE NSW provides an internet service for students to view their study records via Student e-Services. In Student e-Services you may:

  • view your current and past study records and results
  • check how much credit you could receive in your course from previous TAFE NSW studies
  • check and update your current contact details
  • request an official TAFE NSW transcript of your results
  • view notifications from your college and calendar information, such as schedules for TAFE NSW final examinations.

To log on to Student e-Services, 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.

Freedom of information (FOI)

The Freedom of Information Act 1989 (FOI Act) was replaced on 1 July 2010 by the Government Information (Public Access) Act (GIPA Act).

Applications for access to information received prior to 1 July 2010 will be processed under the FOI Act; however, applications received on or after 1 July 2010 will be processed under the GIPA Act.

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.

You need to take particular care if workplace clients are people who may be in vulnerable circumstances – for example, people who are frail, children, young people, people with a disability or people who are receiving a type of service which may put them in vulnerable circumstances (e.g. massage therapy or nursing care).

A Prohibited Employment Declaration must be signed by students in courses where contact will be made with children and young people. Your teacher will give you more information about this.

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.

Your teacher or an enrolling officer can provide you with more information about this policy. If you are unsure about whether it may prevent you from completing a course you could discuss the matter with a staff member of TAFE NSW Counselling and Career Services. In some circumstances students may be required to undertake a criminal records check or a Working with Children Check.

Making a complaint

If you have a problem with, or complaint about TAFE NSW, you may report it to any staff member. They will record your concerns so they can be dealt with confidentially and promptly.

You may also submit your complaint on a Suggestion or Complaints Form, available from teaching and administration staff.

For more information see the NSW Department of Education and Communities' Complaints Handling Policy Guidelines:

Occupational 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 occupational health and safety relevant to your training.

To help us provide a safe environment for all staff and students, occupational 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 occupational health and safety, visit a TAFE NSW library or ask your teacher, or:

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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