Discontinuation and transition – Vocational Education (Melbourne and RMIT partners) instruction

Instruction statement

This instruction applies to discontinuations of vocational education programs at Australian campuses or delivered in partnership with approved RMIT partners. The instruction also specifies the process to be followed in the unlikely event that ASQA directs the University to cease offering a vocational education program.

The process for these types of discontinuation has the following stages.

1. Consultation with stakeholders (where the discontinuation is an RMIT decision)

2. Planning of the discontinuation

3. Where the program has active students, preparation of a transition plan and letters to students

4. Approval of the discontinuation, and of the transition plan if any

5. Actioning of the discontinuation and transition plan.

Exclusions

This instruction applies only to discontinuations of vocational education programs at Australian campuses or delivered in partnership with approved RMIT partners.

It does not apply to discontinuations of higher education programs, or to discontinuations of programs offered at an RMIT campus outside Australia or via Open Universities Australia.

Instruction steps and actions

Instruction (including key points)

Responsibility

Timeline

1. Registration of the decision to discontinue a program

Decisions to discontinue programs or program offerings emerge from periodic (external) reviews of training packages and accredited courses, or from (internal) RMIT review and planning processes. The University must also specify the process to be followed in the unlikely event that ASQA directs RMIT to cease delivery of a program. Refer to the Discontinuation of a vocational education program (or plan) form (DOCX).

1.1. To discontinue an offering with an approved RMIT partner outside Australia, first follow the Partnered delivery of coursework awards instruction (rescinded 15 June 2015 and replaced by the GPAP pilot). Once the decision to discontinue has been endorsed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) (DVC(I)), continue with step 3.1. below.

[Note: Under the ESOS legislation a program discontinuation is considered a provider default: the School may have to pay reasonable compensation to applicants who have accepted their future offer or current students if these must be transitioned into a replacement program.

It is essential that discontinuations are planned and registered well in advance, so that marketing materials can be updated and international applicants can be issued with alternative offers, and there is adequate time for consultation with students affected by the discontinuation.]

College Pro-Vice Chancellor (PVC) or nominee

Immediately after the replacement program appears on the national register; or, where the discontinuation is not the result of an external replacement program, at least 18 months before planned discontinuation of intakes.

2. Consultation with stakeholders

2.1. Where a discontinuation is the result of an RMIT internal decision (rather than the superseding of the qualification or its deletion from the training package consult with the following groups to explain the rationale for the change and understand any concerns they may have:

[Note: if the program has international students in Melbourne and is to be replaced with a new program, international students can be told that the new program is the reason for the discontinuation, but the new program cannot be marketed or officially promoted until it has received CRICOS registration.]

Program Coordinator/Deputy dean/head of school, Vocational Education (DHVE)

As soon as the decision to discontinue is made.

3. Planning the discontinuation

3.1. Review the relevant ASQA Standard and the General Direction – Transition and teach-out. The discontinuation must be planned to comply with the requirements of these in relation to:

  • when students must be transferred to a new qualification
  • the period for which a qualification may be taught out for existing students.

Note: In Victorian State Government funded programs, where the program version is superseded, all students must be taught out in the old version within one year, as study will not normally be funded beyond one year from the date at which the version is superseded.

3.2. Complete the Discontinuation of a vocational education program (or plan) form (DOCX) to ensure that all impacts of the discontinuation are identified.

3.3. If the discontinuation includes an offering at an RMIT partner outside Australia, the discontinuation coordinator consults the Assistant Director, Transnational Education to ensure that the partner is aware of the discontinuation and informed about the transition plan for active students. Any communication to the partner about the discontinuation must have the endorsement of the PVC and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) (DVC(I)).

Program Coordinator/DHVE














PVC, DVC(I)

4. Where the program has active students

4.1. Where there are applicants to the program and/or active students in the program, the discontinuation coordinator completes sections 16-18 and sections 21 onwards of the Discontinuation of a vocational education program (or plan) form (DOCX) and drafts letters to the students for attachment to the form. See Discontinuation template letters.

4.2. In the event that ASQA direct the University to cease delivery of a vocational education program, the transition plan will include individual counselling to students on their options to continue their study at other providers. The School will approach other providers to facilitate this transfer on the students’ behalf.

4.3. If the discontinued program has an offering at an RMIT partner outside Australia, the discontinuation coordinator seeks the input of TNE in drafting the letters.

Program Coordinator/DHVE




Program Coordinator/ DHVE




Program Coordinator/ DHVE, TNE

5. Approval of the discontinuation, and of the transition plan if any

5.1. Submit the Discontinuation of a vocational education program (or plan) form (DOCX) to the College or Academic Services Group (AD/SG) for submission to the College Deputy Director, Vocational Education (DDVE) for approval. If the program has active students, the communications to applicants and/or active students are included with this submission. [Note: if a replacement program is being submitted for approval, and requires a CRICOS code, transition letters to international students must also be attached to the CRICOS code application.]

5.2. If the discontinuation includes an offering at an RMIT partner, the AD/SG submits the discontinuation form to the RMIT manager of the partner contract for endorsement before it is submitted to the DDVE for approval. In the case of partner programs outside Australia, this is the Assistant Director, Transnational Education. The partner contract manager endorsement must be received before the form can be submitted to the PVC for approval.

5.3. The DDVE approves the discontinuation, or requires adjustments to the transition plan, or declines to approve the discontinuation.

5.4. If the DDVE approves the discontinuation, the AD/SG forwards the discontinuation form to Course and Program Administration (CPA) in the Academic Registrar’s Group (ARG), and to International Admissions. CPA record the discontinuation on the Program Proposal Tracking List (PPTL), so that it is visible to units who will need to take actions in relation to it.

Program Coordinator/
DHVE, AD/SG






AD/SG, RMIT partner contract manager (or Asst Director, TNE)




DDVE


AD/SG, CPA

6. Actioning of the discontinuation and transition plan

6.1. The following units of the University are expected to monitor the PPTL, to ensure that they are aware of impending program/plan discontinuations:

  • ARG Admissions
  • ARG Enrolments and Records
  • College Marketing Managers
  • Global Quality, Regulation and Compliance
  • International Admissions and Business Services (International Admissions)
  • TNE
  • University Marketing
  • Web Services

6.1.1. On approval of the transition plan by the DDVE, the transition of students to replacement programs, or to study at other institutions, is actioned, as follows.

6.1.2. CPA discontinue the program for admissions.

6.1.3. International Admissions discontinue the program for online international admissions (if offered via the international online admission system).

6.1.4. The ESOS Compliance unit cancels the CRICOS code, if there is one.

6.1.5. The College AD/SG makes the required changes to the program guide for the discontinued program/plan and (if there is one) the replacement program/plan.

6.1.6. Where students are to be transitioned to a replacement program or plan:

  • the Program Coordinator or DHVE emails the ARG Vocational Education Records team (at tafe.records@rmit.edu.au) a spreadsheet of active students in the program whose enrolment is to be transferred to the replacement program/plan. [Note: it is essential that this step occurs before commencement of re-enrolment.]
  • International Admissions sends letters to offered international applicants for study in Australia, and international students in Melbourne, informing them of arrangements for the transition.
  • The School academic services team (or, in the College of Business, the Academic Services Group) sends letters to currently enrolled domestic students in Australia and to students in offerings at RMIT partners outside Australia – including any students on leave of absence, excluded for reasons of academic progress or suspended for misconduct.

6.1.7. Where the program/plan is to be discontinued without replacement, the School (or, in the College of Business, the Academic Services Group (ASG) ) writes to all students, including international applicants for study in Australia.

6.1.8. Where students are to be transitioned to a replacement program, the program team and School academic services team (or, in the College of Business, the ASG) hold a formal change of program event for applicants and active students to support them in completing a Change of program form.

6.1.9. Once there are no more active students in the program/plan, CPA inactivate it.




















CPA

International Admissions


ESOS


College ADG/SG






Program Coordinator/ DHVE, ARG HE Records


International Admissions


School / ADG/SG






School




Program team / School / ASG




CPA

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