TAFE and training operations

Education remains one of the essential reasons that Victorians may leave their premises, and there are a number of courses for which face to face instruction is required. TAFEs and other institutions will conduct a small number of classes on campus where necessary, and physical distancing must be adhered to at all times

Training during Term 3

On Sunday 2 August, the Victorian Government announced, in line with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer further restrictions in Victoria to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19):

  1. From 6pm on 2 August, Stage 4 restrictions will be in place across metropolitan Melbourne.
  2. From 11:59pm on 5 August, Stage 3 restrictions will be in place throughout regional Victoria, including Mitchell Shire.

This means that TAFEs, registered training organisations, learn locals and universities in metropolitan Melbourne will operate differently to those in regional Victoria.

Metropolitan Melbourne

As a result of Stage 4 restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne, from 11.59 pm on 5 August, TAFEs, registered training organisations, Learn Locals and universities will move to remote and online learning, except for critical teaching, research and ancillary activities that cannot be delivered remotely.

TAFEs, registered training organisations, Learn Locals and universities servicing particular occupations and activities are permitted to be delivered on-site, only where remote delivery is not possible.

Staff and students who are permitted to leave home for work or study can travel more than 5 kilometres from their home for this purpose.

Students must adhere to the 8pm – 5am curfew when travelling for study. The curfew will not apply to staff who are doing permitted work.

Under the Stage 4 restrictions, workplaces that remain open will be required by law to have a coronavirus (COVID-19) Safe Plan. More information about employer obligations is available on the Business Victoria website.

Use template letters to help communicate these changes to your staff and students.

Regional and rural Victoria

Regional Victoria, including Mitchell Shire, will move to Stage 3 restrictions from 11:59pm on 5 August 2020.

This means on-site attendance will be permitted for practical teaching, research and other activity that can’t be conducted remotely or online. The exception is for non-school senior secondary providers offering VCE and VCAL. This must be delivered remotely, apart from mandatory assessments that need to be delivered on-site.

Guidance for on-site attendance

Where face-to-face teaching and assessment is required, 1.5 metres physical distancing must be adhered to with staff and students at all times.

Face coverings are now mandatory for people aged 12 and over in Victoria. All TAFE and training staff and students are required to wear a face covering while at, and when travelling to and from, their TAFE or training organisations.

Teachers are not required to wear face coverings while teaching but those who wish to do so, can. Teachers should wear face coverings in other areas of the TAFE or training organisation when not teaching (for example, in the staffroom).

Resources for training organisations

The Department has published new resources on the Skills Victoria Training System (SVTS). Login to access the following resources:

  • CN 2020-05 Government Response to Novel Coronavirus – information about the arrangements under the VET Funding Contract to support continued training activity during coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Fact Sheet COVID19 - Disrupted Training and Reapportioning – helps training providers understand and comply with their reporting obligations during this period
  • Skills First and Covid-19 – Questions and Answers – answers to commonly asked questions.

Learn Local pre-accredited training

The ACFE Board has issued two fact sheets on the funding and delivery arrangements for pre-accredited training for the remainder of Term 2, 2020.  

Training remotely or online

The Department is communicating regularly with universities, TAFEs and training organisations to ensure they have the most up-to-date information from the Victorian Chief Health Officer and the Australian Chief Medical Officer.

All TAFEs and training organisations are encouraged to increase their ability to deliver training remotely or online where possible. Learn Locals should adopt these approaches to support continuity of provision of pre-accredited training where there is existing capability and capacity.

We understand that this may be difficult for some courses, such as trades. Where activities continue to happen on campus, it is recognised that physical distancing in some practical/hands-on teaching and learning spaces may not always be appropriate or practical, in this situation best efforts to maintain physical distancing should be made and other strategies to reduce risk of transmission emphasised (for example, hand hygiene and cleaning).

Any staff who can work from home should now be working from home. If this is not possible, physical distancing advice should be strictly followed at all times.

Advice for international students

We encourage international students to get the most up-to-date information by:

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides information about coronavirus (COVID-19) in many languages.

The Department is working closely with the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, and universities, TAFEs and training providers to understand and respond to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on international students.

VET delivered to school students at Registered Training Organisations

Visit the current advice at the Schools page ‘Changes to Student Learning’ under the heading 'Vocational Education and Training (VET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance note - Victorian Public Sector

All TAFEs are referred to the guidance note Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) guidance note - Victorian Public Sector

This guidance note applies to the Victorian TAFE Sector and provides useful information about safe working practices, managing leave requests and employees undertaking overseas travel.

Childcare services

There are a number of providers that also deliver childcare services.

These providers can subscribe to the Departments early childhood education and care coronavirus (COVID-19) updates.

Advice for Learn Local organisations

Learn Local organisations with a current Business Governance Status (BGS) assessment due by 31 March 2020 are advised that the ACFE Board has approved a six-month extension to this requirement until 30 September 2020.

You can find more information about this in the latest memo.