Expectations for VET level study
Studying Vocational Education and Training (VET) is different to studying at Higher Education level. There are few or no timed exams and no variations in grading (eg. no grading of Distinction, Credit, P1, P2, etc).
Passing a unit awards a student a CA (Competency Achieved) grade, and the temporary grade of NYC (Not Yet Competent) means the student needs to resubmit work. This can be changed to a CA grade if resubmitted work is up to the expectation of the assessor and course content.
Further, VET education also puts more emphasis on being able to ‘perform’ certain tasks and duties. Many units require students to ‘actively demonstrate’ that they can physically or verbally complete functions of their chosen work field that are cognisant with the expectations of industry. This might include demonstrating “active listening” or “culturally competent communication”. Many of these tasks and duties can be demonstrated on student placement under the mentoring of third party supervisors, who are the compulsory co-assessors for the practical element of many VET qualifications.
With this overall picture in mind, VET students should allow the following time in their work schedules for course work:
HOURS OF STUDY: 6-9 hours of contact time (Lecture/Tutorial based or online study)
HOMEWORK: 2-3 hours of readings/tasks per week
ASSESSMENTS: Each unit would have between 3-8 hours of assessment tasks (this is highly variable as some lecturers choose to assess the competencies of internal students within the classroom)
Students should read the assessment instructions of each unit and assessment within the unit, because some requirements for writing or assessments may be variable (eg. dot points, numbered paragraphs, 250 word essay or submission of an audio recording). There is the expectation that students will properly reference work where necessary, using either footnoting or the Author-Date (Harvard) method of referencing. This is to ensure that copyrighted work is properly referred to within the body of essays or reports.
ASSESSMENT DUE DATES:
Students should endeavour to submit their assessments on or before the due date. Extensions are available for compassionate or illness-related reasons (or by prior arrangement with the assessor). These must be accompanied by an Extension Form and any other relevant documentation (eg. Medical Certificate)
Students need to prioritise time for the student placement within their academic calendar. The day of Friday has been left clear so that students can use this day for placement as a matter of course, should it be required. Many workplaces have highly lenient arrangements time-wise, so students may have the option of completing half days, or even a full-time load of two to three weeks of work experience. This should be in consultation with the workplace supervisor, who may need to ‘clear’ such arrangements with Human Resources (HR) or their own management.
Due to the legal nature of insurance, police checks and first aid recognition for students, it is imperative that students prepare for placement as early as possible (police checks can take a varied amount of time to process depending on the time of year). Students need to also be aware that they will not be able to attend placement without completing (1) the core units required and (2) the paperwork denoting their suitability for entering placement (eg. insurance form complete, First Aid complete, etc).