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International Students - VET Course Progression Procedure

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) Satisfactory course progress is necessary for international students with an Australian Student Visa to complete their VET course successfully within the timeframe specified in their Confirmation of Enrolment.

(2) The University is committed to supporting student success and achievement by monitoring each student’s course progression. The Pro Vice-Chancellor, Vocational Education and Training will ensure that course progression is monitored, recorded and assessed by all teaching staff at all times; this includes the implementation of appropriate intervention strategies as soon as progression issues emerge.

(3) International students who fail to meet acceptable VET course progress requirements could restrict their chance of success and may be in breach of their student visa conditions.

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Section 2 - Compliance

(4) This is a compliance requirement under the:

  1. Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015; and
  2. National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018
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Section 3 - Intent

(5) This document outlines the University’s procedures for monitoring international student, VET course progression including the details of intervention action that may be necessary for at risk students.

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Section 4 - Relevant Definitions

(6) In the context of this document:

(7) College Dean means the Dean of the College in which the student is enrolled;

(8) Compassionate or compelling circumstances means those circumstances which are generally beyond the control of the international student and which have an impact upon the international student’s course progress or wellbeing, and is further defined in the National Code; 

(9) Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) means a document issued to an approved international student by the University from the PRISMS system, which must accompany the student’s application for an Australian Student Visa; 

(10) Counselling means a process to discuss concerns and obligations and to devise strategies to meet them;

(11) Course progress means the measure of advancement within a VET course towards the completion of that course irrespective of whether course completion is identified through academic merit or skill-based competencies;

(12) CRICOS means the Commonwealth Government Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students. International students may only study a CRICOS registered course; 

(13) Department of Home Affairs (DHA) means the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs, responsible for the Student Visa program;

(14) Exclude and Exclusion means that the student cannot enrol in a course at the same or higher level for the period of exclusion;

(15) Exclusion Notice means a letter issued to a student informing the student that the University is excluding them from their course; 

(16) Full-time VET study load means a minimum of 20 scheduled course contact hours per week;

(17) Head of School means the University staff member responsible for the management of a VET School;

(18) International Student means a student of the University who holds an Australian Student Visa, and is enrolled in a CRICOS registered VET course at the University;

(19) Intervention Strategy means an individual plan to provide academic support and/or assistance to a student identified as being at risk of not achieving satisfactory course progress in the current or previous study period;

(20) Learning Management Plan (LMP) means an intervention strategy developed by a Team Leader, in consultation with the student that outlines the strategies that will be adopted and the support services that the student can access to assist the student in improving their academic performance; 

(21) National Code means the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007;

(22) PRISMS means the Provider Registration and International Student Management System used to process information given to the Department by registered providers;

(23) Satisfactory course progress means a students’ course progress is deemed to be satisfactory when a student has demonstrated competency in fifty percent (50%) or more of enrolled units of competency within a teaching period;

(24) Student means the same as ‘Student of the University’ in the Charles Darwin University (Student of the University) By-laws;

(25) Student Appeal means the student’s appeal against the Exclusion Notice due to Unsatisfactory Academic Progress where the student is given the opportunity to justify why they should not be excluded from their course;

(26) Teaching period means a term of three (3) months duration where students participate in training and assessment and demonstrate competency. There are four (4) teaching periods in an academic teaching year;

(27) Team Leader means the University staff member responsible for coordinating the delivery of VET training and assessment within the nominated training package from an industry sector;

(28) Unit of competency (Unit) means the unit of learning in a VET qualification and includes assessment requirements and the specification of the standards of performance required in the workplace as defined in a training package;

(29) Unsatisfactory course progress means a students’ course progress is deemed to be unsatisfactory when a student has not demonstrated competency in fifty percent (50%) or more of enrolled units of competency in two (2) consecutive teaching periods; and

(30) VET means Vocational Education and Training.

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Section 5 - Procedure

Course Progress Requirements

(31) International students are required to complete the prescribed units of competency in a nationally recognised qualification or accredited VET course, within the expected duration, before being eligible for the granting of a University Award. 

(32) To progress satisfactorily and maintain a full-time VET study load, international students must demonstrate competency in fifty percent (50%) or more of enrolled units of competency in each teaching period. An international student who has not demonstrated satisfactory course progress is at risk of not meeting the University’s course progression requirements, which is a breach of their student visa conditions.

Monitoring Course Progress

(33) International student course progression is continually monitored and assessed by the University in accordance with Standard 8 of the National Code. International students will be made aware of the University’s International Students – VET Course Progression Procedures upon offer and at orientation.

(34) Academic teaching staff will use a number of measures to determine whether an international student is ‘at risk’ of unsatisfactory course progress by: 

  1. Recording student attendance/non-attendance in roll books; 
  2. Completing competency based assessments and recording results;
  3. Storing evidence of assessment, assessment outcome and feedback provided to the student together in a secure accessible location in accordance with the University’s Records Management Policy;
  4. Discussing any concerns directly with the student and provide assistance where necessary to help prevent the student falling behind in their course progress; 
  5. Liaising with the Team Leader regarding student performance and progress, reporting any concerns as soon as they are evident and before the student reaches the point of being at risk; and  
  6. Regularly review Graduation Selection Reports (GSRs) or practical performance of individuals.

(35) The Team Leader must identify students that are failing to achieve satisfactory course progress. If an international student has failed to achieve satisfactory course progression, the Team Leader will issue a Course Progress Warning Letter using the international student’s official University email address and notify International Services.

(36) The Course Progress Warning Letter will require the international student to meet with the Team Leader to discuss their course progress and if necessary, activate a Learning Management Plan for the next study period.

Intervention Strategies

(37) Where necessary, the Team Leader will develop a Learning Management Plan in consultation with the student and International Services. The Learning Management Plan will outline the strategies to be adopted and the support services that the student can access to assist in improving their academic performance.  

(38) In the meeting to develop the Learning Management Plan, the Team Leader should consider any compassionate or compelling circumstances that may have contributed to the student becoming at risk, including personal circumstances and any language, literacy and numeracy support requirements, as this will help to determine the appropriate strategies to be implemented.

(39) A Learning Management Plan may include, but is not limited to:

  1. Support for implementing effective study strategies and time management skills;
  2. Accessing counselling support services; and
  3. Referral to any other support services available.

(40) It is the international student’s responsibility to follow through on any assistance offered and to maintain contact with the nominated staff member/s identified to provide assistance and the Team Leader (or delegate). Dates for review meetings should be agreed as part of the Learning Management Plan consultation process.

(41) If a temporary suspension of enrolment is considered necessary due to compassionate or compelling circumstances, International Services will be consulted in accordance with the International Students – Changes to Enrolment Procedures. 

Course Progression Review

(42) The Team Leader will monitor the course progress of a student with a Learning Management Plan for the remainder of the next teaching period, and review results at its end. 

(43) An international student, who demonstrates competency in more than fifty percent (50%) of the units of competency undertaken in the next (second consecutive) teaching period, will no longer be considered at risk and the Team Leader may cancel the Learning Management Plan.

(44) An international student who is deemed to have unsatisfactory course progress in the next (second consecutive teaching period) will be reported to the Head of School/College Dean, who will issue an Exclusion Notice and notify the International Services. 

(45) A student will have twenty (20) working days from the date of the exclusion notice to appeal the decision, in accordance with the Students - Academic Grievance Procedures. The exclusion will be from the start of the current Teaching Period. If the exclusion is appealed, the student enrolment will be maintained during the appeals process. If the appeal is rejected or not successful, the exclusion will apply from the date in the original exclusion notice. 

(46) International Services will notify the Department of Home Affairs of the cancellation of the student’s enrolment via the PRISM system. 

(47) An international student, whose enrolment has been cancelled by the University, may be in breach of the conditions of their Student Visa and the ESOS Act.


(48) An international student who has been excluded cannot enrol in a course at the same level or a higher level for the period of exclusion. An international student who wishes to apply for re-admission into a course after the period of exclusion must apply through International Services. The application will be considered in relation to the entry requirements and the overall demand for places in that course.

Reporting and Records

(49) The University may be required to make available any information provided by international students to the Commonwealth and State Governments, and law enforcement agencies. 

(50) In accordance with Section 19 of the ESOS Act, International Services will notify the Department of Home Affairs via the PRISMS system of any changes to an international student’s enrolment, or any non-compliance matter.

(51) Copies of Course Progress Warning Letter, Exclusion Notice and records of intervention measures discussed and implemented will be retained electronically on the student’s file in accordance with the University’s Records Management Policy.

Complaints and Appeals

(52) An international student can access the University’s complaints and appeals process to appeal the Exclusion Notice, in accordance with this procedure through the Complaints Policy - Students.

(53) Cancellation of a student’s enrolment will not take place until the expiry of the twenty (20) working day complaint period, or if an appeal is lodged, until after the appeal has been finalised.

(54) Decisions by the Student Appeals Committee are final and there are no further avenues of recourse within the University system. 

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Section 6 - Non-Compliance

(55) Non-compliance with Governance Documents is considered a breach of the Code of Conduct – Staff or the Code of Conduct – Students, as applicable, and is treated seriously by the University. Reports of concerns about non-compliance will be managed in accordance with the applicable disciplinary procedures outlined in the Charles Darwin University and Union Enterprise Agreement 2022 and the Code of Conduct – Students.

(56) Complaints may be raised in accordance with the Code of Conduct – Staff and Code of Conduct - Students.

(57) All staff members have an individual responsibility to raise any suspicion, allegation or report of fraud or corruption in accordance with the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Whistleblower Reporting (Improper Conduct) Procedure.