Important information for online students including COVID-19 information

Important information for online students including COVID-19 information

In response to COVID-19, ACAP moved all students to an online study model to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the ACAP community. Until notified, all classes will be delivered online using Zoom, Moodle, and the student portal.

During the last few months, we’ve focused on finding ways to support our ACAP community through this challenging period.

Please check this page for regular updates, COVID-19 advice, FAQ’s, online study assistance and who to contact.  

LATEST UPDATES

  • Check out details regarding Stage 4 lockdown in Melbourne - Campus Update below.
  • To give our students and staff more time to adjust to unforeseen personal circumstances arising from this health crisis we have made the decision to adjust the 2020 Academic Calendar. The commencement date for Trimester 2 has been pushed back three weeks to Monday 15 June 2020.
  • ACAP will continue with an online learning model throughout Trimester 2 2020
  • Great news for ACAP students accessing FEE HELP or VET Student Loans to help fund their studies in T2 this year! You will be exempt from paying the 25% FEE HELP loan fee – or 20% VSL loan fee – from April to September 2020. The exemption, passed this week in Parliament, is part of the Australian Government’s COVID-19 Higher Education Relief Package. Click here for more information.
  • ACAP is preparing for a phased return to campus. See further information below.

RETURN TO CAMPUS

  • While classes will remain online at the start of T2, we will be ready to return to face-to-face lessons once government restrictions ease further.
  • In the meantime, libraries will be open from early T2 and we’ll be running interactive groups on campus for those who need extra support.
  • Although dates for the above are still being confirmed, we are looking forward to welcoming back students to campus as soon as it is safe to do so and will contact you via your student email when more information becomes available.

Latest Updates

 August 26, 2020 - Return to campus plans for Trimester 3, 2020

Dear students,

We hope you are keeping well.

As we near the end of Trimester 2 we wanted to update you on our plans for Trimester 3 delivery.

Because the COVID-19 pandemic is continually changing, we must regularly reassess our plans so that we can provide you with the safest and best possible learning experience. Again, we want to thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we navigate this situation.

As always, our plans are based on the advice of authorities and experts, and in consultation with our regulators and professional accrediting bodies.

Melbourne and Sydney Campuses

Due to the current COVID-19 situation in Victoria and NSW, we have made the decision to continue online delivery for Trimester 3. The Melbourne campus will remain closed until further notice. The Sydney campus will remain temporarily closed with limited access to staff and students for essential services.

We know many of you are keen to get back to campus, however, we have made this decision to ensure your health and safety and minimise COVID-19 community transmission. Please remember that we are still here to support you; our Virtual Reception, Library and Student Learning Support, are available online for you to access.

Perth, Brisbane, and Adelaide Campuses

At this stage, classes will return to face-to-face on campus delivery on our Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide campuses for Trimester 3.  Our plans are very much dependent on what happens over the coming weeks, and we ask for your patience and understanding as these scenarios evolve.

Our return to campus will be supported by our COVIDSafe Plan to protect the health and wellbeing of our communities. It details our commitment to physical distancing, hand hygiene, attendance registers and increased cleaning measures, to ensure the safety of all. Further detailed information on our COVIDSafe Plan and the process for returning to campus will be sent to you in the coming weeks.

If you are vulnerable or have other concerns about returning to campus, please let us know so we can support you.

Re-Enrolments 

Re-enrolments for Trimester 3 are open and have been updated to reflect Sydney and Melbourne units being offered via online delivery mode. Students that have already re-enrolled for on-campus classes in Melbourne for T3 have been automatically moved to a comparable online session. Please check your Student Portal, selecting the Enrolment tab, to review any possible changes that have been made.

Further communications on the correct re-enrolment processes will be shared soon. We will also be sharing more detailed information regarding placement, workshops and examinations.

Stay Connected 

From all the team at ACAP we would like to thank you for your continued resilience during this time.

If you have any questions or concerns about our approach to returning to campus, please do not hesitate to contact your Campus Manager.

We will keep you updated so please regularly check your student emails and our Online Campus website. Please stay connected with one another and reach out to the ACAP Student Engagement Team with any questions.

Kind regards,
George Garrop

 August 02, 2020 - Stage 4 lockdown Melbourne - Campus Update

Dear students,

The ACAP Melbourne campus will be temporarily closed from Monday 3 August 2020, until further notice following the Premier’s announcement of a Stage 4 lockdown and declaration of a State of Disaster.

Please note that:

Classes will continue to be delivered online according to current schedules. If you have any questions about your classes this week, please contact: studentcentral@acap.edu.au.

During this challenging time, we will provide additional support, including granting extensions to those impacted by COVID-19 and/or the new lockdown restrictions. If you require support, please contact studentcentral@acap.edu.au.

I ask for your patience as we work to continue delivering a quality learning experience. There will be challenges along the way I’m sure, but our priority continues to be on supporting you to successfully complete your studies.

All Victorian students will be granted an automatic one week extension. Please note all cumulative extensions cannot exceed 2 weeks in total, and you will get your marks late at the end of the trimester.

Take care everyone. We are thinking of you all and encourage you to do everything possible to protect your health and wellbeing – and that of our community.

For more information about the restrictions, please visit https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/statement-changes-melbournes-restrictions

Best wishes,

George

 July 21, 2020 - Return to campus update

Dear students,

I hope you are all safe and healthy and settling into your classes.

I’m sure many of us, myself included, are experiencing a level of anxiety as our nation battles a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. Again, I would like to extend my support to our Victorian students and wish you a speedy recovery and return to low case numbers.

It is important that we each do our bit to protect the broader community and minimise community transmission. With all of us doing our part we can return to a point where restrictions are being lifted.

What this means for our phased return to campus plan

In June, we updated you on our phased return to campus plan, however, due to the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation we are currently reviewing these plans based on the advice of the Australian Government and Health Authorities.

The escalating situation in Melbourne demonstrates how quickly things can change, and we recognise that this could happen in any state owing to the contagious nature of the virus. There are many factors to consider in our return to campus, however, ensuring your health and safety, and preventing community transmission remain our priorities. 

We will keep you updated with our progress on our return to campus plan, but for now please keep yourselves safe and follow the guidance given by your local authorities.

A reminder that students who do not need to be on campus should study from home until further notice. For those who have planned to be on campus for end of trimester workshops, we will provide further information next week.

Please reach out to our ACAP community if you are in need of assistance during these times, we are always available if you are in need of academic and personal support or just someone to talk to.

Best wishes,
George

 June 12, 2020 - Information about course delivery at ACAP in Trimester 2

Firstly, I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new students. We are excited to have you as part of our ACAP community and look forward to connecting with you virtually over the coming weeks.

To our existing students, we thank you for embracing our transition to online learning during Trimester 1 (T1), as it has allowed us to protect the health and wellbeing of our ACAP community. We know this transition has presented unique opportunities and challenges for all students, and recognise that each student has different learning styles and needs. I’ve been heartened to see the way you have adapted to new ways of studying and connecting.

Supporting you during online study

During the last few months, we’ve focused on finding ways to support our ACAP community through this challenging period. This has included introducing new initiatives such as opening class spaces earlier than normal, making extensive adjustments to the scheduling of assessments, waiving pre-requisite and co-requisite rules and relaxing normal requirements to allow assessment extensions to be more easily granted.

Easing physical distancing restrictions – what does that mean for a return to face-to-face classes?

As you would be aware, the Australian Government continues to ease restrictions as part of its three-step framework for a COVIDSafe Australia.

We are mindful of these changes and planning for a phased return to campus. While classes will remain online when T2 commences, we are preparing for a return to on campus classes as soon as we can. In the meantime, we will be opening libraries at each campus in the first few weeks of T2, with student engagement staff also onsite to support you. We will let you know when these services are available.

We will also be delivering on-campus interactive groups on campus during the trimester to assist students who are finding online study challenging – especially those undertaking asynchronous units. An academic from each Discipline will be available in person for two hours each week, at designated times, to support students with key concepts. We aim to commence these in week four.

Workshops will be held face to face on campus at the end of T2.

Supporting your health and wellbeing

Our phased return to campus will be supported by a COVIDSafe plan with measures in place to protect the health and wellbeing of our communities. I look forward to sharing more information with you soon.

Importantly, I assure you that while we perceive the risk of COVID-19 to be very small at ACAP, we are prepared to act quickly in the event of a positive case of COVID-19 in our community.

When it does come time to return to campus, please ensure that you stay away from the campus if you are unwell or have been coughing - and seek medical attention and self-isolate if you are experiencing any coronavirus or flu-like symptoms. Please remember to let us know if you are unwell so we can support you while managing risk to others.

Thank you

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for continuing to engage so positively with your studies and our college community during what has been a challenging time for us all.

I very much look forward to seeing more of you on campus as soon as it is safe to do so.

If you have any questions or concerns about our approach to returning to campus, please do not hesitate to contact your Student Engagement team on StudentCentral@acap.edu.au or via phone on 1800 061 199.

Regards,
George

Online Study Information

 Assessment and attendance

Q: What if I’m having trouble submitting my assessments on time?

We understand that sometimes, circumstances arise that impact on your ability to complete your assessments and meet due dates. In order to receive additional time (7 days) to complete an assessment, you will need to submit an online extension request form. Please see the online Assessment Extension Request form here.

Q: What do I need to get an assessment extension granted?

Students will be asked to summarise the reason for requiring an extension, and to provide evidence. Given the current COVID-19 situation, students will not be required to provide medical evidence for requests of a medical nature.

Q: What if I wish to query my assessment mark?

For a dispute with respect to assessment appeals, students should initially discuss the matter with their Educator. If the dispute is not resolved at that initial stage, students should follow the procedure for appealing an assessment result or final result.

This is a formal request which requires students to complete the Assessment Appeal Application form. In the event that the appeal is approved, the assessment will be graded by an external assessor. In order to be approved, students will need to demonstrate that the assessment was not marked in accordance with the assessment marking criteria. You can find the Assessment Appeal Application on the following link. Students can email their application to studentcentral@acap.edu.au.

If you submit an appeal, it is important to be aware that there is also a possibility of your grade going down if the new mark is found to be lower than the original mark.

Q: What is the difference between Special Consideration and Special Circumstances?

Special Consideration applies when you may have missed an assessment due date, were too late in applying for an extension or a usual extension request would not be suitable for you. Special consideration applications must be submitted no later than 10 working days of the due date or completion date of the assessment concerned or in some cases, by the date agreed with the applicable Unit Coordinator. You can also apply for special consideration for Discipline of Psychological Sciences Examinations should you need approval to sit the exam at the supplementary session set by the college or should you need extra time during the exam.

Special Circumstances is when you are applying for a re-credit of FEE-HELP or refund of tuition fees paid up-front and/or annulment of the academic results for a unit or units as a result of special circumstances effecting your ability to successfully complete a unit/s. We explain this process and how to submit this application in more detail under the ‘Your Enrolment’ section below.

A detailed explanation of each situation and the eligibility criteria required can be found on the relevant application forms:

 Your enrolment

Q: Can I add or drop unit/s without penalty?

Before Census date, you can add units to your enrolment during the first week of Trimester only. You can drop units up to the Census date without academic or financial penalty.

New Students

Students who are in their first trimester of study looking to vary their enrolment in any way can complete the Variation of Enrolment form.

Re-enrolling Students

Students who are in their second term or beyond who wish to drop units from their enrolment can do so by removing the units via the student portal under the ‘enrolment’ tab.

Q: What if I need to defer or withdraw before the Census date?

We understand that sometimes students may need to defer or withdraw their studies before the Census date. The Census date is the last date that you can do this without academic or financial penalty.

New Students

Students who are in their first trimester of study looking to defer their studies can complete the online Deferral of Study form.

Students who are in their first trimester of study looking to withdraw can complete the online Withdrawal from Course of Study form.

Re-enrolling Students

Existing students can defer study for a trimester by simply not enrolling in any units via the portal for the trimester that they wish to defer. We do ask that they touch base with the Student Experience team prior to determine if there are any other options that may assist with study, and so we can record intended return to study date.

International Students 

International students looking to defer their studies need to complete the International Students Application for Deferral of Studies form.

International students looking to withdraw from their studies need to complete the International Student Application to Withdraw from Course of Study form.

Did you know, you do not have to withdraw from your studies to take a break. Students can defer their studies or speak with the Support teams who can assist you through your studies. Students may defer their studies for up to one year. If students pass this one year threshold, students must re-enrol with the college using the same process as a new student going through admissions.

Q: I missed the Census date and now need to drop a unit/s. What should I do?

Students may withdraw after the census date; but it is important to remember that doing so will mean that you will remain financially and academically liable for the subjects that you are enrolled in.

To withdraw after the census date, you need to complete the online Withdrawal from Unit/Module and/or Course (post census) form.

Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances can impact on your ability to complete your studies. In this case, you can apply for Special Circumstances and may be eligible for a re-credit of FEE-HELP or refund of tuition fees paid up-front.

You must be able to provide evidence to demonstrate that the circumstances were:

  • Beyond your control; and
  • Did not occur or make their full impact on you until on or after the census date; and
  • Made it impracticable for you to successfully complete the requirements for the unit(s)

Applications must be submitted by using the Special Circumstances form. Don’t forget, your application must be accompanied with supporting documentation to be considered.

 Personal support

Q: I am feeling overwhelmed generally with my studies. Who I should talk to?

Success Advisers are a great first point of contact when you are feeling overwhelmed by your studies. They can help clarify where you are having trouble and can then refer you on to other college services if needed.

Contact one of our Success Team via StudentCentral@acap.edu.au or find the details for your best contact here.

Q: I am having a hard time at home or work. Who can I talk to?

ACAP have dedicated Student Counsellors who can provide personal support that is professional, confidential and free for all students. Our Counsellors can help you with a range of issues, including:

  • Relationship difficulties
  • Self-esteem
  • Motivation
  • Family issues
  • Crisis

For more information about this service or to make an appointment, please visit this page.

There may also be times when it is not possible for you to reach a Counsellor (e.g. on weekends or after hours). It’s important to remember that there is still help available should you need it, such as:

Beyond Blue (National) - Support with Depression and Anxiety
www.beyondblue.org.au  
1300 224 636

Lifeline (National) - Suicide Prevention
www.lifeline.org.au 
13 11 14

Q: I need help with academic and study skills. Who can I talk to?

Our Student Learning Support (SLS) team have a huge collection of resources to help you feel supported academically throughout your studies. You can access information on how to structure, format and reference your assignments successfully and view links to useful writing, reading, critical thinking and study skills resources. They also run skill development workshops and webinars each Trimester, can talk you through different types of assessments and offer one on one support opportunities for students.

You can view their extensive list of resources on the SLS website here

To make an online appointment visit this page.

Q: I have a disability or chronic health condition. What support can ACAP give me?

ACAP is committed to providing appropriate and reasonable adjustments to students with a disability or chronic health condition. If you have a disability, illness, injury or health condition that impacts on your academic studies, or if you care for someone in these circumstances, then you may be eligible to register with the AccessAbility Service.

To register with the service, please email Accessability@acap.edu.au with your Student number, contact information and any questions you may have. After this point, an AccessAbility Adviser will be in touch for a confidential conversation. If deemed eligible for the service, your adviser will provide you with relevant forms to register with the service and subsequent support will be provided.

More information about the AccessAbility service can be found here.

Q: What if I have a formal grievance or complaint?

It is recognised that from time to time disputes may arise. We ask that students attempt to resolve all disputes informally before progressing on to the formal process. If you have tried informally to resolve your issue and have had no luck, students can submit a formal grievance or complaint in line with the college policy.

The policy is available on this page and should be read in conjunction with the Grievances, Complaints and Appeals Procedure, which can be found here.

We are committed to resolving all disputes between students, the College and its staff as quickly and as sensitively as possible. This policy has been put in place to assist all parties to resolve any issues that arise and reflects College expectations and responsibilities of the College, staff and students in resolving student grievances, complaints and appeals.

Q: I am struggling to pay my mobile phone bill. What can I do?

Many of the Australian telephone companies have provided relief at this time. View more information on this here.

 Important health messages for online study
 ACAP campus library update

The ACAP Library provides access to ebooks and other online library resources such as journal databases and streaming video services. Library staff are available online to support and assist students to find and access the online resources they need.

Stay connected with ACAP Library staff and services through https://libguides.navitas.com

  • The library has extended the hours of the LibChat service for library support and assistance. The service is now operating Monday to Sunday 8.30am to 8.00pm.
  • 1:1 Zoom research support sessions with ACAP Librarians. Book here: https://navitas-professional.libwizard.com/f/student-request
  • Please confirm library opening hours before coming in by contacting library staff on text: 0439 633 437, chat, or email: ask@navitas.libanswers.com. You do not need to return any items you have borrowed until further notice. We look forward to assisting you online.
  • Due to staffing capacity and limited access to campus print collections, postal loans, delivery of items between campus libraries, and hold requests are suspended. Library staff can assist you online to find a digital version of the resource or an alternative.

Campus Libraries

Please check this link for any changes to opening hours before coming to a campus library https://libguides.navitas.com/contact_us

Following the advice of authorities and medical experts, we strongly urge you to study online and reconsider your need to come to campus. All campuses currently have minimal staff onsite from Monday to Thursday, given all classes are now being taught online. Note that only levels 4 and 8 remain accessible at the Sydney campus (255 Elizabeth Street) during normal hours. The library area can be used as a study space for students from Monday to Thursday for those who cannot study from home, though it will not be staffed, as library services are being provided online.

 Who to contact

Virtual reception desk

We are offering an Online Reception Desk via zoom so that current students can speak to one of our Student Experience team face to face, the same as you would if you were coming onto campus. This will be available from 9.30am-5.30pm AEST Monday to Friday, and all you need to do is follow this zoom link https://acap.zoom.us/j/660235497. This works like a virtual waiting room and your zoom is private between yourself and the Student Experience Adviser. If you zoom in and the Student Experience adviser is on a zoom with another student, you will be put in the queue until the student leaves and then you be in the virtual reception. We will monitor the waiting room to see how busy this gets.

Student Experience Team

Contacting The Student Experience team via email on StudentCentral@acap.edu.au is the most efficient method. Alternatively, you can call 1800 061 199, however, please keep in mind we are likely to experience a high volume of calls which we will attend to as a matter of priority.

FAQs

 FAQs for staged return to campus

Q: Why are schools returning full time, but you are not yet doing so?
The Australian government has advised that all child care centres, primary and secondary schools can open as per state and territory plans. However, the government has advised Universities and technical colleges to only increase face-to-face learning where possible. While we are unable to run all classes on campus given the current physical distancing requirements, we are preparing to return to face-to-face teaching as soon as we can.

Q: I feel online study has compromised my learning, what is ACAP doing about it?
We understand that these are challenging times for everyone and we are doing the best we can to support our ACAP community through this. We are continuing to look at new ways to engage and support our students. Based on feedback from students, we’ve implemented the following new initiatives:

  • Opening class spaces earlier than normal, relative to the start of trimester date
  • Making extensive adjustments to the scheduling of assessments
  • Waiving pre-requisite and co-requisite rules
  • Relaxing normal requirements to allow for more assessment extensions.             

Q: Does this mean we can come back to class in T2?
While classes we be online from the start of T2, we are planning for a return to face-to-face teaching on campus as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will be opening libraries early in T2, and providing on-campus access to student engagement staff. We’ll also be running interactive groups to support students who are struggling with online study. More details are coming soon.

Q: Do I have to come back to class if I don’t feel comfortable doing so?
Your health and wellbeing are paramount. We will have a COVIDSafe plan in place to support your safe return to campus - with specific consideration for the needs of vulnerable people. If you are still feeling concerned about coming back to campus when restrictions ease, please get in touch with us and we will work with you to find a solution.    

Q: Will attendance be compulsory once campuses re-open? 
Once governments and health officials advise that it is safe for us to fully re-open our campuses, we will re-assess attendance requirements, with consideration for the needs of all vulnerable students and staff.  We will keep you updated and provide time to make any transition back to campus.

Q: What cleaning processes will you have in place?
As soon as we begin our return to campus, we will enforce strict protocols to maintain cleanliness and support physical distancing. These include the following:

  • Increased cleaning, particularly of communal areas
  • Provision of hand sanitiser
  • Facilitation of physical distancing
  • Reconfigured classrooms and timetables to allow physical distancing
  • Security services to ensure campus protocols are being adhered to.

A COVIDSafe plan will be shared with students and staff in the coming weeks.

 FAQs for online study

Q: Will assessments, examinations or my timetable change?
If additional resources are needed, we will communicate separately via your specific units. Similarly any changes to timetables will be communicated directly to students, should they occur. Where possible, all face-to-face classes will transition to an online study model, utilising the existing timetable, so you don’t have to rearrange your life.

Information on examination timetables has been issued on 31st March 2020. 

Q: Will my graduation ceremony still take place?
Graduation Ceremonies in Melbourne, Adelaide & Brisbane have been postponed. These ceremonies will now be held in November in consideration of the health and safety of our staff, graduates, family and friends. All testamurs and statements of results will be sent by post from 30 March onwards, and all graduates will be invited to attend the ceremonies in November.  The ceremony dates for November are as follows:

Sydney – Friday 6th November
Melbourne – Tuesday 10th November
Adelaide – Wednesday 11th November
Brisbane – Friday 13th November

Q: Will the accreditation of my course be affected?
No, accreditation of your course will not be affected. We have been approved by our accrediting bodies – AASW, ACA, APAC, ICF and PACFA – to deliver short-term flexible learning (including online delivery). This flexible approach has also been endorsed by the Australian tertiary education regulatory authorities, ASQA and TEQSA.

Q: Is my timetable still accurate? 
Yes. We are following the same timetable to minimise the disruption to your schedule. This means that you will attend your classes online at the same time that you would usually attend your on-campus classes.

Q: Where can I go for up to date information and new developments? 
Rest assured you will be notified via your student email should an urgent or important message need to be communicated to you. The same information will also be available on the Student Portal. Keep in mind that you can continue to use the Student Portal as per normal. This resource will not change in functionality.

Q:Who do I contact if I have a question that hasn’t been answered?
Contacting The Student Experience team via email on StudentCentral@acap.edu.au is the most efficient method. Alternatively, you can call 1800 061 199, however, please keep in mind we are likely to experience a high volume of calls which we will attend to as a matter of priority.

Q: What should I do if I need Counselling support?
ACAP is committed to supporting our students and helping reduce anxiety, now more than ever. If you would like to seek Counselling support, please visit the ACAP Counselling Support page for more information and campus specific contact details.

 FAQs for COVID-19

Q: What safety precautions have been taken on each campus to ensure the health and safety of students?
ACAP will facilitate regular classes through online means to aid in social distancing efforts and to accommodate for the vulnerable. ACAP has also engaged professional cleaning services to routinely deep clean each campus.

Q: Will I be notified if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus on my campus? 
ACAP is closely monitoring each campus and will provide a daily status update. If there is a confirmed case of a student or staff member with coronavirus, the ACAP community will be informed via multiple communications, including email and a post on this web page.

Q: What do I do if I am considered high risk or need to apply for special consideration? 
ACAP understands that students could be adversely impacted, so measures have been put in place to ensure student support is paramount. If you require additional support at this time, please complete the Application For Special Consideration Form and email it to StudentCentral@acap.edu.au. If you are already registered with AccessAbility, please continue to liaise with the AccessAbility Advisor as per your usual requirements.

 FAQs for Counselling Students

Q: What about attendance requirements?
In short term, assessment of attendance at classes will be responsive to individual needs. As we have shifted to remote learning, attendance at real time (synchronous) classes will continue to be monitored as usual. 

Q: What if I have already missed the attendance requirements for my on-campus units?
You need to register your missed attendance via this online form for On Campus classes now – the form needs to be completed per affected unit. You will be contacted at the end of the trimester for makeup work for relevant units as required.  

Q: What is blended delivery?
Please see this document for all FAQs relating to blended delivery. A video explanation is also available below. 

Q: What if I have already missed the attendance requirements the 2-day blended workshops?
You will need to complete a 2-day make-up workshop or alternative tasks at a future time. You need to register your missed attendance via this online form for Blended classes now – the form needs to be completed per affected unit. You will be contacted at the end of the trimester for details of the make-up workshop.

Q: What is asynchronous study?
Please see this document for all FAQs relating to asynchronous learning.

Q: Do I need to submit a special consideration for attendance? 
No, you need to register missed attendance as above. 

Q: Have requirements for the Online Hurdle Tasks changed?
No, the requirements remain the same as this task is completed fully online. Refer to your unit outline for details of the task.  

Q: What are PACFA placement guidelines? 
Should students be unable to complete the required 40 hours of face-to-face client contact and 10 hours of supervision due to the coronavirus emergency, client hours and supervision may be completed by video conference (not telephone). The full practice placement must be completed, allowing for this alternative medium, in order to graduate. If graduates have completed some or all of their supervised client contact via video conference and wish to apply for PACFA Provisional membership, face-to-face client hours must be completed and logged after graduating to make up for the client hours completed by video conference during training. This is a membership requirement rather than an accreditation requirement. For example, if 30 of the required 40 client hours are completed via video conference, 30 hours of face to face counselling would need to be completed and logged prior to applying for PACFA Provisional membership. While completing these faces to face client hours, all graduates may apply for PACFA Affiliate membership.  

Q: What is PACFA’s position on telephone counselling hours being included in placement hours?
As of 29 April 2020, PACFA considers that client contact via video conference is preferable to telephone counselling. This is because video counselling comes much closer to replicating the face to face counselling context than does telephone counselling. In exceptional circumstances, where telephone counselling is the only placement option available for a particular student, telephone counselling is allowed.

Where client contact hours are completed by telephone, the student may graduate but there will be additional practice requirements for graduates to join PACFA (see below). In light of the additional requirements where telephone counselling is undertaken, training providers are encouraged to seek placements where students can undertake client contact hours via video rather than telephone.

Where students undertake telephone counselling on placement, the training provider is requested to provide PACFA with evidence that students have been trained in the use of this platform, either before or during the placement.

Use of an alternative platform for completion of client contact hours must be demonstrated to be consistent with the philosophy of practice of the program.

If in your placement the only viable way of working with clients is telephone counselling, please email the placement team – studentplacement@acap.edu.au -  so that they can assess your situation for telephone hours to be counted in your placement. Note this will be from 29 April onwards.

Q: How will ACAP’s addition of online counselling and telephone counselling in placement impact graduates’  PACFA Membership?
In order to be flexible but as a temporary measure due to the pandemic, graduates whose client contact hours are by completed by video will be able to join PACFA at Provisional level. However, to progress to PACFA Clinical membership, evidence must be provided that the graduate has logged at least 40 hours of face to face client contact after graduating.

If a graduate has completed some or all of their supervised client contact as telephone counselling and wishes to apply for PACFA Provisional membership, face to face client hours must be completed and logged after graduating to make up for the client hours completed by telephone during training.

This is a membership requirement rather than an accreditation requirement. It is not an additional placement; it is post-qualifying professional practice. For example, if 30 of the required 40 client hours are completed by telephone, 30 hours of face to face counselling or psychotherapy would need to be completed and logged prior to applying forPACFA Provisional membership. This could take place in a paid or voluntary capacity. While completing these face to face client hours, these graduates may apply for PACFA Affiliate membership.

Q: Will there be opportunities to make up missed placement? 
We are looking at alternative options available to students. Rest assured we are committed to ensuring all our students will meet the necessary requirements to ensure they can graduate and register for professional practice as this is a requirement of our Counselling degrees.

 FAQs for Psychology students

Q: Will my upcoming examinations be adjusted?
Information regarding examinations was sent to students on March 31st. Click on this date under 'Latest Online Communication Updates' on the right hand side of this page to view further information. You can also reference the examinations page for more updates.

Q: I need access to SPSS and don’t have it on my own computer. What can I do?
Campuses remain open and for you to access SPSS on computers as usual. If this situation changes, we will let you know.

Q: My course is Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) accredited. Will it matter if I study online instead of on campus?
APAC have advised that we can apply adjustments to course delivery during this time and it will not adversely affect the accreditation status of the courses. We will ensure that we advise them of changes we make to delivery.

 FAQs for Social Work students

Q: Will the weekend block courses be affected?
Contingency planning of weekend workshops is currently being planned. We will advise applicable students if there are updates to this.  

Q: What will happen with social work placements?
There are active adjustments that are being discussed, and separate communications will be sent in relation to the addition information.

 FAQs for Criminology students

Q: Will the 50% tutorial attendance requirement remain in place?
Yes, attendance is still expected in lectures and tutorials, including the minimum requirement of 6/12 (50%) tutorials. Should you not be able to attend and have a valid reason, as per the usual process, submit a Class Absence Request form (available from the Resources page of the Information Hub on Moodle) or a Application For Special Consideration Form. Both processes require supporting documentation, e.g. a medical certificate. See your unit guides for further information. 

Q: Will my placement go ahead? 
For the upcoming break between T1 and T2, all placements are cancelled. Whilst unfortunate, this decision seeks to minimise risk and thereby maximise your safety. In lieu of placement, students undertaking JALE3004 Practicum will be required to complete an alternative assignment. This will be discussed once the unit gets underway in Trimester 2.

Placement information

 Placement advice

Please see this guideline for the most up to date information in regards to student placements. Please make sure all your hours this trimester are entered into Sonia and signed off by your superviser so that records are up to date. We will keep you updated if any changes come through.