COVID-19 (Coronavirus) information

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) information updates

Department of Training and Workforce Development Executive and TAFE Managing Directors are working together to ensure the vocational education and training (VET) sector in WA is well placed to manage COVID-19 developments. We are working closely with lead agencies including the WA Department of Premier and Cabinet and Department of Health to ensure our approach is informed by, and aligns with, central coordination points.  
 

Please visit the Jobs and Skills WA website for information on support available for individuals and jobseekers, businesses, apprentices, trainees and employers.
 

COVID-19: Keeping you informed.
1590029408

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

WA's recent low numbers are encouraging, and the WA Government thanks the community for playing their part and taking this seriously.

We cannot be complacent and need everyone in WA to stay the course. This will give us the best chance of protecting every Western Australian.

Information and advice on the COVID-19 coronavirus for the community and business in Western Australia is available on the WA Government website.

Go to wa.gov.au

Jobs and Skills Centres: Changes to services

To ensure we are looking after the wellbeing of our JSC staff and their clients, and minimising the risk of illness, we ask that you call the centre first, before visiting. All JSCs can provide support and assistance over the phone, which is the best option at present. If you have an appointment to meet with a JSC staff member in person, please be aware that they will be practising social distancing – this means the staff member will not be able to shake your hand to greet you, and they will sit around two metres away from you.
 

TAFE classes resume

In line with the COVID-19 Roadmap for WA and further easing of restrictions, TAFE colleges are returning to normal arrangements for training delivery where possible — in accordance with health guidelines. Face to face delivery is resuming where adequate social distancing measures can be implemented. For further information, please refer to your TAFE college's website.

1590454957

Frequently asked questions about COVID-19

In response to reported cases of COVID-19 in Australia and overseas, the Department of Training and Workforce Development and TAFE are acting on national public health advice from the Australian Department of Health

The WA Department of Health website has further information and fact sheets for parents, students and staff, and access to a helpline on 1800 300 243.

The following frequently asked questions provide general advice and information for students, staff, parents/carers and all other visitors to TAFE campuses and Department of Training and Workforce Development workplaces, and publicly funded RTOs in WA. Information will be updated as advised by the relevant authorities.

WA TAFE colleges

Is TAFE open? 

Yes. Western Australian TAFE colleges remain open.

From the beginning of Term 2, Western Australian TAFE colleges adapted their training delivery to enable students to continue their studies. In line with the COVID-19 WA roadmap and further easing of restrictions TAFE colleges are working on the return to normal arrangements where possible and in accordance with the health guidelines. Face-to-face delivery will resume where adequate social distancing measures can be implemented.

Are online courses continuing?

Yes. If you are currently doing your course online, this will continue. 

In line with the COVID-19 WA roadmap and further easing of restrictions TAFE colleges are working on the return to normal arrangements where possible and in accordance with the health guidelines. Face-to-face delivery will resume where adequate social distancing measures can be implemented.

How are TAFEs preventing the spread of COVID-19?

Hygiene practices and social distancing is being practiced in accordance with the most current health advice.

Lecturers are advising students to practice social distancing measures, and are applying and monitoring social distancing during classes.

In line with the COVID-19 WA roadmap and further easing of restrictions TAFE colleges are working on the return to normal arrangements where possible and in accordance with the health guidelines. Face to face delivery will resume where adequate social distancing measures can be implemented.

What are the cleaning arrangement for TAFE colleges?

TAFEs have increased cleaning across all campuses, in line with the current advice from the Department of Health.

How are international students being assisted?

International students can ask their lecturer or the International Centre on their campus for more information about their specific circumstance.

As always, TAFE International is available to provide personal assistance to students who are unsure about any issue. Assistance is available by phone on 08 9218 2100 and by email via admissions.tiwa@dtwd.wa.gov.au.

Are Jobs and Skills Centres still open?

Yes. Jobs and Skills Centres are open and available to provide free career and training information and advice to students and members of the community. Please visit the Jobs and Skills WA website to find out more about services available at your local JSC.

General questions

What is COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a type of virus that can affect humans and animals. Some coronaviruses cause illnesses similar to the common cold, and others cause more serious illnesses,including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The current coronavirus originating in Hubei Province, China, is called ‘novel’ because it is new and had not been detected before this outbreak. 
How can I prevent the spread of COVID-19?

The risk of COVID-19 transmission in Australia remains low, but to minimise your risk:

  • follow good hygiene practices, such as washing your hands with soap and covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing; and
  • avoid close contact (maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres) with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms.

For students

Can I attend classes, if I don't need to self-isolate?
If your classes are via face to face training but you're unwell, you should not attend class — even if you haven’t had contact with a person who may have COVID-19.  It is important that you stay home and only return to class when you are well again.
Will I miss out on my studies or fail my course if I have to self-isolate, or if I get sick?

If you are required to self-isolate, or become ill with Coronavirus, you can arrange other ways to continue your  studies.

Please make phone or email contact with your trainer/lecturer, or contact your training provider directly if you would like more information about available options.

I am very stressed and worried about the Coronavirus. Can someone help?

It's reasonable to be concerned about the Coronavirus, but try to remember that experts here in Australia and all around the world are working hard to keep people as well as possible. You should also feel assured that your TAFE college is taking all necessary steps to minimise the risk for their students.

The Beyond Blue website has some useful tips and information that may help with your concerns.

Your lecturer/trainer may be able to help, or you could also phone the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 for free advice.

For publicly funded RTOs

If I cannot deliver training, undertake assessments or visit the workplace of an apprentice or trainee because the employer won’t release them or allow me access to the workplace, what do I do?
Discuss the situation with the apprentice/trainee and their employer, to determine if there are alternative options to continue training. These options may include the following.
 

Extend the duration of the training contract
A training contract expires if it reaches the nominal term without the apprentice or trainee having attained all of the required competencies. If the apprentice/trainee requires more time to complete their training, parties should extend the training contract. All parties should agree to extend the training contract before a request is made to Apprenticeship Office.

Extending the training contract provides more time for the apprentice/trainee to complete on and off the job training requirements. This may assist in periods where apprentices or trainees need to take an extended absence from work.

Vary the training contract
The parties to a training contract may vary it from full time to part time, provided that all parties agree to the details of a variation prior to notice being given to Apprenticeship Office.

The parties to a training contract may vary from one RTO to another, provided that all parties agree to the details of a variation, prior to notice being given to Apprenticeship Office.

Varying the training contract from full time to part time may provide continuity of employment for the apprentice/trainee.

Suspend the training contract
A training contract may be suspended following agreement between the parties (employer and apprentice/trainee) involved in that training contract. Suspension of a training contract ceases the training contract obligations for both the employer and the apprentice/trainee for an agreed period. At the conclusion of the agreed period, the training contract will resume.

Suspending the training contract would allow you to recommence the apprentice/trainee at a later date, when conditions improve; without the loss of continuity for the apprentice/trainee.

Assign/transfer the training contract to a new employer

An employer may assign (transfer) a training contract to a new employer if the apprentice or trainee and the new employer consent to the assignment, and the training contract is still in effect. Assigning the training contract to a new employer allows the apprentice/trainee to continue their apprenticeship/traineeship and to remain in paid employment.

Please note the Department recognises that the above situations may prevent you from meeting your minimum two visits annually of an apprentice or trainee in the workplace..

If I cannot deliver training, undertake assessments of visit the workplace of an apprentice or trainee because I no longer have trainers available or capacity to offer alternative training options such as online, what do I do?

Please refer to the answers provided for the question above.

What do I need to do if I have to make adjustments to, or suspend, my training and assessment arrangements for publicly funded students?

Contact your case manager to outline your proposed arrangements, prior to communicating these changes to students. 
Once the proposed arrangements have been approved, communicate the changes to students. Please retain a copy of these communications, for audit purposes.

Can I change my face to face delivery to online delivery using options such as Skype, Virtual Classroom, teleconferences etc?

Yes, as long as these delivery options continue to meet the learning outcomes defined for the qualification in the associated training package. 

Can training delivered by online options be reported as Outcome 5 — In training with evidence?

Yes, as long as you have evidence of the students' participation in the training along with notes confirming delivery of content relevant to the unit(s) delivered during the session/s being reported with Outcome 5.

What will be the impact on my contract if I am unable to meet my monthly reporting obligations?

Not meeting your monthly reporting obligations during this period will not be considered when reviewing your contractual performance. However please note that payments for training delivery can only be made on receipt of a valid lodgement.

Will the Department take into account the impact of COVID-19 when auditing and/or reviewing an RTO's contractual performance?

Yes. When auditing, there will be an expectation that RTOs will still have evidence of training and/or assessments, in line with Attachment B of the 2020 business rules, and that the required fees and charges are adhered to. Consideration will also be given when examining other contractual obligations.

When reviewing contractual performance, the Department will be mindful of the impact relating to UoC/qualification commencements, withdrawals and completions.

Where a qualification has a mandatory work placement requirement, and employers are either not considering students for work placement or not allowing existing students to continue their work placement, what do I do?

If the student has not commenced all the required units of the qualification, you could consider commencing these while continuing to explore work placement opportunities.

Notifications posted by the regulators have indicated that RTOs could consider alternative arrangements to meet workplace requirements mandated within specific qualifications. Contact your regulator to discuss, if you are considering alternative arrangements. 

Enterprise Training Program: What if an employer requests current training be scaled back or suspended, and future scheduled training be delayed?

Contact your case manager to discuss the situation. There is an opportunity to request an extension to the commencement and completion dates of the approved training programs.

1590455232

Useful resources and links

1589756320
Page last updated January 13, 2020