terms and conditions


NON ACCREDITED COURSES 

General Information

Payment Terms: Payment by Credit Card (Visa or Mastercard), PAYPAL or EFT to Bookkeeping Institute of Australia Pty Ltd prior to the commencement date of the course.  Instalment payment plans are managed through Bill Buddy, an organisation which meets the Payment Card Industry data Security Standards.  These standards were developed by major credit card companies to safeguard customer card information and is fully ASIC compliant.  Students have the option of either using credit card or direct debit instalment options.  Course material will not be forwarded until students have registered with Bill Buddy and we have been notified accordingly.  Instalments are set up as fortnightly payments.


Training Methods: There is an old Chinese Proverb that reads "Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I’ll understand." For our trainer led courses we tell, show and involve our clients. However for our computer software courses (MYOB, QuickBooks and Microsoft) we show and involve our students by using first rate self-paced course manuals which enable our students work through a series of "hands on - real world" exercises. 
  1. Students' acknowledge that you have researched and understood the course in which you are enrolling and you have a good understanding of the assessment requirements of the course in which you are enrolling;
  2. Students must submit all of your assessment material within eighteen [18] months for the Diploma in Accounting, twelve (12) months for the Cert III/IV, 12 months for Certificate IV in Bookkeeping Fast-track and within 6 months for RPL and Certificate III in Accounts Administration TPB Skill Set 4 months, and the Dual Diploma of VET/Training Design 12 months or RPL is 6 months as shown in the letter of offer emailed to you. (Note that these periods may be longer for traineeships in some states of Australia).
  3. You have read and understood BIA's Student Support Policies.
  4. Students' deposit will be refunded less an administration fee of $99.00 if you cancel your course either before any material is provided. If you are under eighteen (18) years of age this Agreement must be signed by your parent or legal guardian.  If you are submitting this form by electronic means (e.g. as an email attachment) you agree that by typing your full name in the signature space below you acknowledge that this constitutes your legal and binding signature.
  5. Right of Modification - We reserve the right to change or modify our policies and procedures at our sole discretion at any time. Any change or modification will be effective immediately upon posting by us. 
  6. The course is not transferable to any other person.
  7. A late payment fee on declined instalment payments will be charged.  The late payment fee is $15 plus GST.
  8. Irrespective of the student's progress through the course if the instalments are dishonoured on the due date, the total outstanding balance of the course fee will become due and payable and the student will also be required to pay additional administrative and collection costs.

Guaranteed to Run

Course Guarantee: Once payment has been received and accepted the Bookkeeping Institute guarantees that we will not cancel a computer learning self-paced course.

Right of Modification:  We reserve the right to change or modify our policies and procedures and terms and conditions at our sole discretion.

Cancellations

If we do however have to cancel a course due to circumstances beyond our control we will refund 100% of your course fee to you.

If you cancel a course: Because we schedule all of our courses to run as soon as we receive the first booking there is a cost involved and should you cancel your attendance of a course at short notice, to which you may be the only participant, we are unlikely to be able to schedule an alternative course.

Consequently we will charge you a 50% cancellation fee if you cancel the course within 6 working days of the course date and a 100% cancellation fee if you cancel the course within 3 working days of the course date.

If you want to postpone your attendance to a course: We know that things happen and provided we have other participants booked on your course we are happy to give you a raincheck for a later date (up to a maximum period of 6 months) if you notify us within 2 working days of the start of the course, or if the circumstances involve personal injury or illness to either yourself or a near relative. A change in your work circumstances does not qualify for a raincheck.
Right of Modification - We reserve the right to change or modify our policies and procedures at our sole discretion at any time. Any change or modification will be effective immediately upon posting by us

Distance Learning Courses

Training Courses ordered for distance learning: Subject to stock levels we will ship your initial training course manuals and exercise files within approximately 10 working days following confirmation of payment. If we cannot meet this timeframe we will contact you to discuss your options. All training material is shipped via Australia Post parcel post or optional Express Post.

If you cancel a distance learning course or exam: Because we put together each of our distance learning courses individually there is a cost involved in preparing your order and should you cancel a distance learning course booking we will charge you a 10% cancellation fee.

Return of course manuals and exercise disks purchased for distance learning: If you decide that you do not wish to proceed with a training course after receiving all of the material we will charge you a 20% restocking fee and handling charge in addition to the 10% cancellation fee. That means that we will refund to you 70% of your course fee provided that ALL of the manuals, software and exercise disks are retuned in pristine condition - and show no signs of copying - within 14 days of the products shipping from our office.

Return of exam material: We regret that we are unable to consider a refund for an exam booking once the exam material has been mailed to you. However that material remains our property and must be returned to us within 3 days of receipt as specified in our "Distance Learning Rules" for exams.

Product Sales - Books, Software or Hardware

Shipping on software and books: Subject to stock levels you should receive any ordered software or hardware products or books within 10 working days of payment confirmation. If we cannot meet this timeframe we will contact you to discuss your options.

If you cancel a product order: Because there is a cost involved in preparing your order, should you decide to cancel an order we will charge you a 10% cancellation fee.

Return of faulty products: Should you receive a faulty product from us (e.g. an unreadable CD), please contact us by e-mail or phone immediately (i.e. within 7 days of receipt) and we will arrange for the item to be replaced with all possible haste. A faulty product is not considered to be grounds for a refund - only a replacement.

Return of software and hardware products: We regret that we are unable to accept the return of any software (not including that provided with our training courses) or hardware product for refund under any circumstances.

UNIQUE STUDENT IDENTIFIER

If you do not already have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) and you want Bookkeeping Institute of Australia Pty Ltd to apply for a USI to the Student Identifiers Registrar (Registrar) on your behalf, Bookkeeping Institute of Australia Pty Ltd will provide to the Registrar the following items of personal information about you:

  • your name, including first or given name(s), middle name(s) and surname or family name as they appear in an identification document
  • your date of birth, as it appears, if shown, in the chosen document of identity
  • your city or town of birth
  • your country of birth
  • your gender
  • your contact details

When we apply for a USI on your behalf the Registrar will verify your identity.  The Registrar will do so through the Document Verification Service (DVS) managed by the Attorney-General's Department which is built into the USI online application process if you have documents such as a Medicare card, birth certificate, driver licence, Australian passport, citizenship document, certificate of registration by descent, ImmiCard or Australian entry visa. 

If you do not have a document suitable for the DVS and we are authorised to do so by the Registrar we may be able to verify your identity by other means. If you do not have any of the identity documents mentioned above, and we are not authorised by the Registrar to verify your identity by other means, we cannot apply for a USI on your behalf and you should contact the Student Identifiers Registrar.

In accordance with section 11 of the Student Identifiers Act 2014 Cth (SI Act), we will securely destroy personal information which we collect from you solely for the purpose of applying for a USI on your behalf as soon as practicable after the USI application has been made or the information is no longer needed for that purpose, unless we are required by or under any law to retain it.

The personal information about you that we provide to the Registrar, including your identity information, is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 Cth (Privacy Act). The collection, use and disclosure of your USI are protected by the SI Act. 

If you ask Bookkeeping Institute of Australia Pty Ltd to make an application for a student identifier on your behalf, Bookkeeping Institute of Australia will have to declare that it has complied with certain terms and conditions to be able to access the online student identifier portal and submit this application, including a declaration that Bookkeeping Institute of Australia has given you the following privacy notice:

"You are advised and agree that you understand and consent that the personal information you provide to us in connection with your application for a USI:

  • is collected by the Registrar for the purposes of:VET Regulators to enable them to perform their VET regulatory functions;VET Admission Bodies for the purposes of administering VET and VET programs; current and former Registered Training Organisations to enable them to deliver VET courses to the individual, meet their reporting obligations under the VET standards and government contracts and assist in determining eligibility for training subsidies
    • applying for, verifying and giving a USI
    • resolving problems with a USI
    • creating authenticated vocational education and training (VET) transcripts
    • may be disclosed to:
      • Commonwealth and State/Territory government departments and agencies and  statutory bodies performing functions relating to VET for:
        • the purposes of administering and auditing Vocational Education and Training (VET), VET providers and VET programs
        • education related policy and research purposes
        • to assist in determining eligibility for training subsidies
  • schools for the purposes of delivering VET courses to the individual and reporting on these courses
  • the National Centre for Vocational Education Research for the purpose of creating authenticated VET transcripts, resolving problems with USIs and for the collection, preparation and auditing of national VET statistics
  • researchers for education and training related research purposes
  • any other person or agency that may be authorised or required by law to access the information
  • any entity contractually engaged by the Student Identifiers Registrar to assist in the performance of his or her functions in the administration of the USI system
  • will not otherwise be disclosed without your consent unless authorised or required by or under law

Privacy policies and complaints

You can find further information on how the Registrar collects, uses and discloses the personal information about you in the Registrar’s Privacy Policy  or by contacting the Registrar on 13 38 73 or email [email protected] The Registrar’s Privacy Policy contains information about how you may access and seek correction of the personal information held about you and how you may make a complaint about a breach of privacy by the Registrar in connection with the USI and how such complaints will be dealt with.

You may also make a complaint to the Information Commissioner about an interference with privacy pursuant to the Privacy Act, which includes the following:

  • misuse or interference of or unauthorised collection, use, access, modification or disclosure of USIs
  • a failure by Us to destroy personal information collected by you only for the purpose of applying for a USI on your behalf

For information about how Bookkeeping Institute of Australia Pty Ltd collects, uses and discloses your personal information generally, including how you can make a complaint about a breach of privacy, please refer to Bookkeeping Institute of Australia's privacy policy which can be found in our student handbook and on our website at:  http://www.biau.com.au/privacy.asp 

NATIONALLY RECOGNISED TRAINING COURSE INFORMATION

(i) client selection, enrolment and induction/orientation procedures

Should student numbers be limited, selection may be made on the basis of:

  1. Your academic and/or workplace achievements

  2. The order in which enrolments are received

However, at all times the Director will only accept enrolments where the student satisfies the Institute that they have reasonable prospect of success in the qualification or units taken. This may be determined through the examination of all documentation available. The Director’s selection decision will always be guided by the access and equity principles delineated further on in this document.

When the Institute receives the completed enrolment form it will be processed by the Administration Officer and then forwarded to the Director who will approve or reject the student’s application using the process discussed above.

If an enrolment application is to be rejected, the Director will advise the unsuccessful applicant in writing about the reason for the rejection (for example, the course having reached full capacity or the student). The written notification will, wherever possible, be constructive and give advice about what the applicant needs to do if they wish to re-apply.

As part of the enrolment process, the new student may be asked to complete the Learning Styles Self-Assessment Questionnaire, which will enable the Institute to identify the student’s learning style and any special learning needs they may have.  This only applies to the FNS40211 Certificate IV in Bookkeeping and/or the FNS30311 Certificate III in Accounts Administration.

For all approved enrolments, the director will first advise the student by e-mail and once payment has been received or the students credit card has been charged will then send the student a Letter of Offer, the Student Handbook and a tax invoice. A copy of the Letter of Offer with the students signed acceptance must be returned to the Institute before commencement of the course together with the signed last page of the Student Handbook.

Enrolment records (including the Letter of Offer) are kept on the students file.

(ii) course information, including content and vocational outcomes

This information is provided on the each web page for the course you have chosen and should be reviewed before booking.

(iii) fees and charges, including refund policy and exemptions (where applicable)

For students taking Vocational Education Training (VET) courses for competencies in the Financial Services and Business Services Training Packages:

  1. If a student cancels a tutorial course completely within 6 working days of the commencement date of the course a 100% cancellation fee will apply, less administration charges.
  2.         If a student cancels a tutorial course completely within 3 working days of the commencement date of the course a 50% cancellation fee will apply, less administration charges of $150.00.
  3.         If a student requests a postponement of their course to a later date within 6 working days of the commencement date of the course it may be granted whenever possible - but it is at the discretion of the CEO.  If the student decides that they wish to cancel the course after paying for the course and enrolling, without receiving any course material then an administration fee of $150 [GST inc] will be deducted from their enrolment fee.
  4.         If a tutorial student, attends the first days lecture and decides at the end of that day that they do not wish to proceed with the course - and they have not written in their course books and they are still in a pristine condition - we will charge a 15% cancellation fee, plus an administration charge of $150 and refund the balance of the course fee and retain all of the Course Material. This option does not apply to any other BIA course – including MYOB and other short courses.
  5.         If a student is taking a course by distance and decides that he/she does not wish to proceed with the course after receiving all of the material BIA will charge the student a 20% handling charge in addition to a 10% cancellation fee. This means that BIA will refund to the student 70% of the deposit made provided that ALL of the manuals, software and CD/DVD's are returned to BIA in a pristine condition - and show no signs of copying - within 14 calendar days of the products shipping from our office.  If the Course Materials are received in an un-merchantable condition the student will be charged a further 20% cancellation fee.
  6.         If a student fails to notify BIA of the Cancellation Request within 14 calendar days of the Agreement Date, the student will be liable to pay the Course Fee to BIA in full.
  7.         A deposit will be refunded less an administration charge of $150 if the course is cancelled before the first class commences or before any material is shipped.
  8. The course is not transferable.

RIGHT OF MODIFICATION:  We reserve the right to change or modify our policies and procedures at our sole discretion at any time. Any change or modification will be effective immediately upon posting by us.  

(iv) provision for language, literacy and numeracy assistance 

All vocational education and training (VET) qualifications offered by the Institute have embedded units of competencies incorporating basic language, literacy and numeracy skills. Therefore in delivering these units of competencies, the Institute will be assisting students to develop these skills in an industry/vocational context (eg bookkeeping or business administration) 

The Institute gathers information about the individual learning needs of students from the Enrolment form and the Learning Styles Self-Assessment Questionnaire, which will enable the Institute to identify the student’s learning style and any special learning needs they may have so that the training and assessment methods can be adapted to ensure the student is not disadvantaged. Further language, literacy and numeracy assistance is available on request from the Training Manager, who will either appoint someone from within the organisation or from an external provider to assist the student with those needs. The cost of this external assistance will be borne by the student.

The Institute has an open-door policy regarding the counselling of students. The offices of the Director and Training Manager are always available to discuss any issues students may have. The first point of contact for all student enquiries is the student’s trainer or assessor. They will provide support to all students in academic matters, privacy and child protection matters, access and equity rights and local environmental matters (eg where to buy what). Students are of course free to contact any other BIA staff member, including the Director, should you choose.

If necessary, the Director will make arrangements for external assistance to be available to you. For example, the Institute has direct access to a qualified TESOL teacher. 

We will provide an assessment tool in accordance with the Australian Core Skills Framework  that has accounting industry coverage and has been designed for self-assessment by potential students for the Certificate III, Certificate Iv and Diploma Level.  The self assessment targets core skills such as learning, reading, writing, oral communication and numeracy.  Interaction with potential students during the enrolment process provides an opportunity to assess students' oral communication and writing skills.  Please contact [email protected] to arrange a self-assessment.  

(v) client support, including any external support the RTO has arranged for clients

Welfare, guidance and counseling services are available through the BIA Director. Staff can provide advice, assistance and support on the following matters:

Matters

Including…

Initial contact person

Academic

Dissatisfaction with assessment outcomes

Individual learning needs

The content or administration of a course

Learning resources

The student’s trainer/assessor

Educational assistance

Learning support

Orientation

The student’s trainer/assessor

Administrative

Enrolment

Finance

Privacy

Access, Equity and Discrimination

Health matters

Administration Officer

Language, literacy, numeracy & learning support

Individual learning needs

English as a second language

Learning and study techniques

Study skills
LLN Assessemnt students 

The student’s trainer/assessor

Welfare and guidance services

Privacy

Counseling

Disability services

Indigenous services

Child protection

Discrimination

Access and equity

Harassment

Education and job pathways

Learning Support & Welfare officer

The Institute has an open-door policy regarding the counselling of students. The offices of the Director and Training Manager are always available to discuss any issues students may have. The above list is not exhaustive and students are encouraged to raise any issues with any BIA staff member or the Director at any time.

(vi) flexible learning and assessment procedures

  1. Currently all of the Institute’s assessments will occur in a simulated training environment rather than in the workplace.
     
  2. The candidate submitting for assessment will be briefed on the purpose, context and process of the tool. The student will be given an Assessment Information statement form which needs to be submitted with each assessment.
     
  3. The evidence gathering process and assessment tool is planned and prepared, with referencing to BIA Assessment Matrices that map unpacked and contextualised Performance Criteria against specific assessment tasks, using a variety of modes (questioning, observation, demonstration, project) and forms (direct and indirect or supplementary).
    • The Training Manager organises the development of an assessment tool
    • The Training Manager and the developer of the assessment tool complete the Assessment Checklist form.
       
  4. The assessment is conducted and the evidence is collected. A sample of candidate assessment is retained by the Institute for thirty years as per the Records Management procedure. 
     
  5. The assessor considers the evidence and makes an informed judgment about whether there is sufficient evidence to deem the candidate competent in the work submitted.
     
  6. Feedback is provided to the candidate, via the back page of the Assessment Cover Sheet and Outcomes Record. Feedback compromises the following:
    • Competency outcome: competent, not yet competent and/or further evidence required
    • Additional evidence required
    • Suggestions for improvement
       
  7. The competency outcome is recorded on the Student Assessment Record.
     
  8. Feedback is gathered from the candidate about the assessment process. The assessment process and tools are validated annually, as per the assessment procedure.
     
  9. If applicable the Institute facilitates candidates submitting for re-assessment on appeal, following the processes provided for by the Complaints & Appeals procedure.
Teaching and assessment techniques commonly used by the Institute include:
  • Practical activities
  • Oral and written questions
  • Demonstrations (by other students and/or the trainer)
  • Observation
  • Research (e.g. web-based searches)
  • Individual and/or group project work
  • Exams

(vii) welfare and guidance services

Welfare, guidance and counseling services are available through the BIA Director. Staff can provide advice, assistance and support on the following matters:

Matters

Including…

Initial contact person

Academic

Dissatisfaction with assessment outcomes

Individual learning needs

The content or administration of a course

Learning resources

The student’s trainer/assessor

Educational assistance

Learning support

Orientation

The student’s trainer/assessor

Administrative

Enrolment

Finance

Privacy

Access, Equity and Discrimination

Health matters

Administration Officer

Language, literacy, numeracy & learning support

Individual learning needs

English as a second language

Learning and study techniques

Study skills

The student’s trainer/assessor

Welfare and guidance services

Privacy

Counseling

Disability services

Indigenous services

Child protection

Discrimination

Access and equity

Harassment

Education and job pathways

Learning Support & Welfare officer

The Institute has an open-door policy regarding the counseling of students. The offices of the Director and Training Manager are always available to discuss any issues students may have. The above list is not exhaustive and students are encouraged to raise any issues with any BIA staff member or the Director at any time.

(viii) appeals and complaints procedures

If you have a complaint or appeal about any matter, you are entitled to download and lodge a Complaints & Appeals form from the web site and to have it dealt with under the Institute’s complaints and appeal procedure. For example, you may have a complaint or appeal concerning:

  • Discrimination or another access/equity issue
  • Receiving an outcome from the Recognition/Credit Transfer process that you think is unfair
  • Inappropriate application of legislation, such as the Privacy Act 1988 or VETE Act 2000
  • Being treated unfairly or improperly by a BIA staff member or another person in the Institute

Receiving an assessment result that you think is unfair. Please note that appeals against assessment outcomes must be lodged within seven (7) working days of receiving written notice of the outcome. If you are still dissatisfied with the outcome you may appeal that decision within seven (7) days of the date of the earlier outcome and an independent assessor will be appointed.

The Institute will assess your appeal or complaint within seven (7) working days and advise you of the outcome in writing within that time. You may nominate a support person to accompany you at any stage of the dispute resolution process.

If it is still not possible to resolve the dispute internally, via the process detailed above, the Institute will make arrangements for independent mediation to resolve the dispute.  Independent mediation is available through the Dispute Resolution Branch, Department of Justice and Attorney-General.  There are six Dispute Resolution Centres throughout Queensland.  The Brisbane Centre is located on the 13th Floor, Central Courts Building, 170 North Quay, QLD 4000.  Contact details are: Telephone +61 7 3239 6269; Fax: +61 7 3239 6284.  Students outside Brisbane may use the Toll Free No: 1800 017 288.  At present there is no fee for use of this service, but this may change.

(ix) disciplinary procedures

The following is our Student Code of Conduct:

Proscribed Drugs

Any student found in possession of a proscribed drug or an implement for using them will be reported to the Police and expelled immediately from the course.  There will be no refund of any fees. The use of glue, solvents and other inhalants will also be treated in the same manner as any proscribed drug or drugs.

Alcohol & Smoking

Alcohol is not permitted on BIA premises. Smoking is not permitted inside any BIA building or within four metres of a doorway to the premises. 

Academic misconduct (plagiarism; cheating)

Students must conduct their studies honestly and ethically. Academic misconduct is specifically:

  • Assisting another student to present his/her work in a manner that is contrary to the guidelines or instructions for that particular piece of work;
  • Present falsified, copied or improperly obtained work as if it were the result of a field trip or any other type of investigatory work;
  • Cheat (dishonest conduct in an assessment of any kind);
  • Plagiarise (presenting work of another person as if it was yours)
  • Present work which is the result of significant assistance from another individual where the instructions or guidelines do not allow for this.

If academic misconduct has taken place, the penalty imposed will be one of the following:

  • A reduced or nil result for the assessment affected by the academic misconduct;
  • A not yet competent grade for the whole unit in which academic misconduct occurred;
  • Exclusion from enrolment in the program for a specified period;
  • Exclusion from the program; readmission is at the discretion of the Institute director based on the outcome of a request by the student for readmission.

Should a student be found guilty of academic misconduct on more than one occasion and has previously been penalised as per above, the student shall normally be excluded from the program unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Mobile Telephones

Mobile phones may remain switched on (in silent mode) in the Institute training environment, however students are asked to leave the room to answer a call. No responsibility is accepted by BIA for damage or theft of any units.

Property Damage

If you become aware of damage to BIA property, you are required to report it to your facilitator or the Institute Director immediately. Students willfully damaging property will be held liable for cost and may be disciplined and/or expelled. 

Security

All students are expected to maintain and protect BIA property and to immediately report any suspicious behaviour to a lecturer or the Director of the Institute.  Students are advised to securely lock all cars and bicycles.  The Institute is not responsible in any way for private property of students or staff.  Do not leave valuables in unattended bags. 

Expulsion

The expulsion of a student from BIA is a serious matter.  A student may be expelled if they have committed a very serious misdemeanour, for example using, dealing or possessing proscribed drugs or equipment used in any of those activities.  A student may also be expelled for: being in possession on BIA property of a dangerous item/s such as a weapon/s, bomb threat or hoax, committing a criminal act under Queensland law (for example vandalism; theft; assault – this is not an exhaustive list), repeated major misbehaviour such as repeated failure to attend class and/or repeated failure to achieve satisfactory academic. 

The Director will interview you and you will be advised both verbally and in writing that your enrolment has been terminated.  There is no refund of fees in these circumstances.

(x) staff responsibilities for access and equity as provided for in the RTO’s code of practice or similar document

Discrimination occurs if a person treats someone differently on the basis of an attribute or characteristic such as gender, sexuality, race, pregnancy, physical or intellectual impairment, age, culture or religion. The Institute strives to meet the needs of each student through incorporating access and equity principles and practices which acknowledge the right of all students to equality of opportunity without discrimination. Relevant access and equity legislation is listed in the student handbook. 

Overview of discrimination

The below information is sourced from the Anti Discrimination Qld website.

What is discrimination?

In general terms, discrimination is any practice that makes distinctions between individuals or groups so as to disadvantage some and advantage others. The Act establishes certain areas of life in which discrimination is prohibited, as well as detailing the attributes on the basis of which discrimination is prohibited.To decide whether discrimination has occurred involves a comparison between how the person has been treated, and how another person without that "attribute" or with a different attribute is treated.

Refer http://www.adcq.qld.gov.au/main/faq.html - pagecontent#pagecontent

What is indirect discrimination?

Indirect discrimination describes a situation or condition, which on its face appears to be neutral or the same for everyone. In fact a person with an attribute (e.g. parental status, impairment, religion, race) is unable, or less able, to comply with that condition than someone without that attribute. The Act defines indirect discrimination at section 11 and provides examples.

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is any form of unwelcome sexual attention.  It includes unwelcome touching or other physical contact, remarks with sexual connotations, smutty jokes, requests for sex, or the display of offensive materials such as pictures, posters or computer graphics.

Sexual harassment is against the law wherever and whenever it occurs.  The Institute will not tolerate sexual harassment in the training environment or in any work-related context including conferences, work functions and business trips.

Sexual harassment has nothing to do with mutual attraction.  Such friendships are a private matter. Sexual harassment can be a single incident - it depends on the circumstances.  Obviously some actions or remarks are so offensive that they constitute sexual harassment in themselves, even if they are not repeated.  Other single incidents, such as an unwanted invitation out, may not constitute harassment if they are not repeated and are polite and respectful.

There is no onus on the person being harassed to say he/she finds the conduct objectionable.  Many people find it difficult to speak up.  All employees and students are responsible for their own behaviour. 

What is vilification?

Vilification is behaviour that:

a)      Happens in a public place; and

b)      Incites others to hate, to have serious contempt for or to severely ridicule individuals or groups because of their race, religion, sexuality or gender identity.

Workplaces can be considered public places.  This means that any conduct which can possibly be observed by the public or any sort of communication either verbal or in writing to the public can be considered to have happened in a public place.

Some examples of vilification are:

  • Placing a poster or sticker on the customer service counter which incites others to hate people because of their race, religion, sexuality or gender identity.
  • Hate graffiti written on work toilet walls which incites hatred because of race, religion, sexuality or gender identity.
  • Wearing of symbols, badges or clothing in the workplace with slogans that incite hatred.
  • An employee abusing a person because of their race, religion, sexuality or gender identity in the workplace which encourages others to hate people of that race,  religion, sexuality or gender identity.
  • A work colleague making a speech in the work cafeteria that incites hatred of people because of their race, religion, sexuality or gender identity.

Discrimination may be on the basis of:

  • sex
  • relationship or parental status
  • race
  • religious belief or activity
  • political belief or activity
  • impairment
  • trade union activity
  • lawful sexual activity
  • pregnancy
  • breastfeeding needs
  • family responsibilities
  • gender identity
  • sexuality
  • age

Source: Anti Discrimination Commission Qld, 2006, Anti Discrimination Legislation, accessed 18/04/06, available from: http://www.adcq.qld.gov.au

Harassment

All of us have a right to work and study in an environment free from the demoralizing effects of harassment or unwelcome offensive or improper conduct. Sexual harassment or harassment based on race, gender, colour, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status or any other status protected by law will not be tolerated at the Institute.  The types of improper behaviour includes: verbal abuse, swearing, bullying, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, obscene gestures, displaying sexually graphic magazines, calendars, or posters, sending sexually explicit, racially offensive or derogatory e-mails or voice-mails, and other verbal or physical conduct.

With the help of our employees, we will continue to nurture a climate that encourages all of us to contribute our best to the accomplishment of our goals – by respecting each other’s dignity, recognizing each other’s merit and providing equal opportunity for employment, development and advancement.

Inclusion

Inclusion is defined as:

  • the process whereby enrolled students with identified special needs, or needs arising from their membership of target groups, can have equal access to the complete learning environment
  • providing the most appropriate education for each enrolled student in the least restrictive environment
  • maintaining and enhancing the participation of all enrolled students in appropriate regular learning programs
  • requiring the negotiation of an appropriate program which is flexible and supportive
  • ensuring an appropriate and acceptable learning/training environment for all enrolled students.

Access and Equity practices at the Institute

The Institute strives to meet the needs of each student by incorporating access and equity principles and practices which acknowledge the right of all students to equality of opportunity without discrimination.

For example, the following principles have been applied

  1. All students will be actively encouraged to participate in BIA qualifications, irrespective of background/cultural differences. The Institute will treat all students equally regardless of background/culture/other differences and all students will be made to feel valued through the delivery of appropriate training/assessment methods and support structures.
     
  2. BIA qualifications will be adequately resourced, with facilitators who have the relevant vocational competencies and training qualifications, in order to ensure you have quality educational outcomes.
     
  3. VET training and assessment will consistent with industry standards to ensure quality outcomes for students. In addition, a variety of training/assessment methods will be used to cater for the different ways in which students learn.  The Institute has a procedure for Identifying and Responding to Individual Learning Needs and styles.
     
  4. Literacy/numeracy is integrated throughout all BIA qualifications.  For further detail, refer to Language, literacy and numeracy assistance and student support on page 18.
     
  5. Any complaints or appeals will be treated seriously, in line with the Institute complaints and appeals procedure. For further detail, refer to Appeals and complaints on page 23.

Some terms defined. The following terms associated with access and equity have been included so as you can develop an understanding of what they mean.

Process for dealing with anti-discrimination complaints

There are a number of options.  Students can choose the course of action they feel most comfortable with.  Students should not ignore discrimination, sexual harassment or vilification, thinking it will go away - often it just gets worse.

If a student wishes to raise a complaint about access and equity in any aspects of the Institute’s operations (including administration, training, assessment and communications with staff), please talk to the Director or Learning Support & Welfare officer as soon as possible  or lodge a Complaints & Appeals form – downloadable from the web site. All matters will be treated with strict anonymity.

Alternatively, students may call the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland on 1300 130 670 or TTY on 1300 130 680 for information about how to make a complaint.  The Commission has offices in Brisbane, Rockhampton, Townsville, and Cairns or call the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission in Sydney on freecall 1300 369 711.  students might also want to check the Commission’s website onwww.adcq.qld.gov.au for more information.

All policies are reviewed yearly, and be distributed to staff regularly. If a student has English language difficulties, the Institute will arrange for a person to help you. 

Vicarious liability

Under state anti-discrimination law, the Bookkeeping Institute of Australia can be liable for discrimination, sexual harassment and/or vilification which happens in the workplace, unless we can show we have taken reasonable steps to prevent it. 

Managers and supervisors therefore must ensure that all employees are treated fairly and are not subject to any of these behaviours.  They must also ensure that people who make complaints, or who are witnesses, are not victimised in any way.

Any reports of discrimination, victimisation, sexual harassment and vilification will be treated seriously and investigated promptly, confidentially and impartially.  (See our grievance policy for more information).

Disciplinary action will be taken against anyone who discriminates against, victimises, sexually harasses or vilifies a co-worker.  Discipline may involve a warning, transfer, counselling, demotion or dismissal, depending on the circumstances.

(xi) recognition of prior learning (RPL) arrangements and credit transfer.

Introduction to Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Assessments and Recognition of Current Qualifications

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) may be defined in a number of ways, some more expansive than others. However, all definitions include the key notion that RPL involves the assessment of previously unrecognised skills and knowledge an individual has achieved outside the formal education and training system. RPL assesses this unrecognised learning against the requirements of a qualification, in respect of both entry requirements and outcomes to be achieved. By removing the need for duplication of learning, RPL encourages an individual to continue upgrading their skills and knowledge through structured education and training towards formal qualifications and improved employment outcomes.

The Certificate III in Accounts Administration and the Certificate IV in Bookkeeping are qualifications that are recognised by the Financial Services industry to cover various roles within this field. Working in the Financial Services industry is extremely rewarding with many opportunities in various positions within an organisation. These may include a bookkeeper, small business consultant, payroll officer, accounts payable/receiverable officer or an office administration manager. These roles have many responsibilities and are considered important within the organisational network. They form part of a team to ensure the successful running of a business.

The Certificate III in Accounts Administration is made of 4 compulsory core units and 9 electives, all of which must be completed - a total of 13 units of competency.

The Certificate IV in Bookkeeping is made of 4 compulsory core units, 5 compulsory sectoral core units and 2 electives, all of which must be completed - a total of 13 units of competency plus one pre-requisite unit.

To gain competency in the compulsory units of the certificate you need to be able to demonstrate that you currently:

  • Have a sound working knowledge of relevant legislation;
  • Have a sound working knowledge of codes of practice for the Financial Services industry;
  • Understand and can implement Occupational Health and Safety procedures;
  • Can communicate effectively and efficiently to a variety of audiences;
  • Have a sound knowledge of organisational and industry policy and procedures;
  • Have the ability to read data and input accurately;
  • Can operate an accounting system to process transactions


  What is RPL?

“Recognition of prior learning, also referred to as RPL or recognition of current competencies, is the formal recognition of a person's current skills and knowledge, no matter how, when or where the learning occurred. Even if you have never formally studied or trained in a particular area, you may have gained knowledge and skills through your education, training, work and life experience.”                                                                                                          Source:  DETA Qld , 2006

RPL is an assessment process that assesses the individual's non-formal and informal learning to determine the extent to which that individual has achieved the required learning outcomes, competency outcomes, or standards for entry to, and/or partial or total completion of, a qualification.

RPL is about recognising existing learning outcomes, rather than how, when or where the learning occurred.  For example, if you are a Financial Services student, and you have already worked in that field, you will know some of the content of the course. RPL is a way of getting credit for this learning, which may reduce the amount of time you spend studying. RPL gives you credit for your life skills – skills and knowledge you have acquired at work, home or through clubs and hobbies.

 

  RPL assessment processes

In order to recognise prior learning it is necessary to:

  • Compare the informal or non-formal learning the individual has achieved against the learning outcomes or performance criteria of the course or qualification for which the student is using as a basis for seeking entry or the award of credit, and
  • Determine appropriate evidence to support the claim of prior learning.

The processes used to assess RPL applications may take the following forms, which are not mutually exclusive:

  1. Participation in exactly the same or modified versions of the assessment unit (i.e. recognition of a current competency);
     
  2. Assessment based on a portfolio of evidence;
     
  3. Direct observation of demonstration of skill or competence;
     
  4. Reflective papers, journals or portfolios that relate past learning to the learning or competency outcomes of the current course or qualification;
     
  5. Provision of examples of the student's work drawn from the workplace, social, community or other setting in which the student applies their learning, skill or competence;
     
  6. Testimonials  of learning, skill or competence; and combinations of any of the above.

 
 
Steps in the RPL process

Step 1 – Provide information of your skills and experience

Complete the RPL questionnaire and provide as much information of your previous experience in the financial services and bookkeeping industries as you can. This is your first opportunity (but not the last) to provide proof of your variety of experience in the industry. Here you can supply examples of your work history which could include:

General employment documents

  • detailed CV or work history
  • position descriptions
  • certificates/results of assessment
  • details of in house courses, workshops, seminars, orientation or induction sessions
  • references/letters from previous employers/supervisors

Workplace documents (NB: please block out any confidential client information)

  • task sheets / job sheets
  • documents you have produced that show you can use software eg. letters, memos, spreadsheets
  • copies of equipment maintenance registers you have completed (eg. organising printer repairs and service, equipment log books)
  • financial reports and period-end financial statements you have prepared
  • taxation documents and reconciliations you have completed
  • working papers for operational budgets you have prepared
  • asset and inventory records you have maintained
  • file notes or memos showing where you have provided advice in a legal contex
  • any other documentation that may demonstrate industry experience

Depending on the industry you have worked in, you may or may not have documentary evidence available. This should not deter you from seeking RPL as the Assessor will work with you during the RPL process.

You will also need to supply contact details of two work referees who can confirm your skills in the industry.

 

Step 2 – Conversation with Assessor

An assessor will review the information you have provided (usually with you) and begin to match up your skills to the units/subjects in the qualification. At this point, you will have the opportunity to discuss and identify your previous experience with the assessor who will understand your industry experience and conduct a competency conversation with you. You will be required to answer financial services industry related questions to identify your current skills.

If you are not located in the same city as your assessor this conversation will take place over the telephone.

 

Step 3 – Practical demonstration of your skills

If appropriate and possible the assessor will conduct a practical skills test at your workplace or at another suitable venue. This, again, is an opportunity to demonstrate your level of competence. This assessment will be focussed on skills that are required in the qualification. Your assessor will identify the skills that he/she will want you to demonstrate.

 

Further steps

After you have completed the above steps, your assessor will give you information about the skills that have been recognised and whether you have gained the full qualification. If you do have skill gaps, these may be addressed through flexible training and specific assessments.

 

  Why should I apply for RPL?

  1. RPL may allow you to complete the course in a shorter period of time and at a lesser cost.
     
  2. RPL means that you do not need to spend time being taught what you have  already  learned.
     
      

  Is RPL for me?

Anyone can apply for RPL however not all applications are successful. Successful applicants generally have a reasonable amount of experience in the area their course covers. This usually means having worked in that field, however relevant life skills (eg from a hobby or club membership) may also attract credit.

If you are coming to the Institute course from high school or you have limited work or life experience, you should carefully consider whether you have sufficient existing skills to make an RPL application worthwhile. If you are a mature age student with relevant experience, your skills are likely to have some value for credit through RPL.

 

  How much does it cost to apply for RPL?

Provided that you supply sufficient evidence with your application to justify assessment by RPL there will be a flat charge for the whole qualification (which can be found on the RPL booking page at http://www.biau.com.au/products.asp?cat=36#BI-595) which will include the review of your application, your assessment interview and the assessment questions to cover the gaps in your knowledge.

In the event that your application is rejected for insufficient evidence you can either elect for the fee to go towards the cost of the full course (without penalty) or you can withdraw your application. In which case an administration fee of $110 will be charged and the balance refunded.

If you decide to take the full course but also ask for certain criteria (such as the recognition of a current competency) to be considered for RPL there will be no additional charge – or refund – to your full course fee.

 

  How long will my RPL application take to be processed?

If you submit sufficient evidence, RPL applications are usually assessed within a month. You will receive notification via email, advising

  1. If your application has been successful

  2. If successful a suggested date and time for an interview (which will be by telephone if an assessor does not live close to you)

  3. An indication with regard to gap training and assessments


 
  How do I check my skills against the course information?

You should first read through the course outlines on our website (www.biau.com.au) and determine if you can demonstrate or provide evidence that you have the skills and knowledge in the areas covered in the units.

Then you should read the detailed information on the units and the competency/learning outcomes that you wish to be assessed against, and then compare them with your own knowledge and skills before deciding whether you want to apply for RPL. This detailed information can be found by searching on the unit code at the National Training Information Service web site at http://www.ntis.gov.au/Default.aspx?find.  The National Training Information Service (NTIS) is a database on vocational education and training in Australia. NTIS is the official national register of information on Training Packages, Qualifications, Courses, Units of Competency and Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).

Once you have completed your electronic application for RPL with BIA (at  http://www.biau.com.au/products.asp?cat=36#BI-595 ) we will Email you an RPL kit and application form which contains details of all of the competency units including the elements, performance criteria, skills and knowledge required for all of the units.

 

  Available support

The RPL Process is designed to be as fair, flexible and supportive as possible. If at any time throughout the application process you require additional information or clarification, please contact your trainer/assessor at first instance, or if the matter cannot be answered/resolved, the Director, BIA.

 

  Who can apply for Recognition of Prior Learning?

Anyone who believes they have the skills and knowledge identified in the outcomes of a unit is encouraged to apply for RPL. The following factors may help you in deciding whether an application will be successful.

  • Do you have the underpinning knowledge required in the unit?
  • Can you demonstrate the skills required in the unit?
  • Can you apply the knowledge and skills in a work situation?
  • Can you apply the knowledge and skills in a range of work situations?
  • Are your knowledge and skills current?
  • Can you provide evidence of your skills and knowledge ?

 
  Guidelines for supplying evidence

Evidence plays a critical role in the Recognition of Prior Learning process as it is on this basis the decision to grant RPL is made. When supplying evidence to support an RPL application it is important the evidence is:

  • Valid. Evidence must focus on the specified skills and knowledge in the Performance Criteria and Evidence Guide of the unit of competency.
  • Sufficient. Evidence must satisfy all elements of the unit of competency taking into account the Range of Variables and Evidence Guide. To ensure you are supplying enough evidence it may be necessary to use supplementary sources such as – verbal confirmation, written testimonials, completed performance appraisals, certificates, job descriptions or third party reports.
  • Authentic. Evidence must relate to the performance of the person applying for RPL, not that of another person.
  • Current. This is a particularly important aspect as you must be able to demonstrate your evidence is still relevant and current according to the competency requirements. As a general rule, if evidence is over two years old it’s probably too old, unless you have been continually working in that environment and applying those skills and knowledge.

 
 Tips and hints to help you prepare for recognition

To have your skills formally recognised in the national system, assessors must make sure you have the skills and knowledge to meet the industry standard. This means you must be involved in a careful and comprehensive process that covers the content of all unit/s or qualification/s you can be recognised for.

Assessment happens in a variety of ways. Being prepared can save you valuable time and hassle and make the recognition process stress-free for you.

Here are some tips and hints for you:

  1. At your interview be prepared to talk about your job roles and your work history. Bring your resume and jot down a few points about where you have worked, either paid or unpaid, and what you did there.
     
  2. Bring your position description and any performance appraisals you have from any finance industry offices or facilities you have worked in.
     
  3. Consider the possibilities for workplace contact. Are you in a workplace that is supporting your goal to get qualified? Would you feel comfortable to have the assessor contact your workplace or previous workplaces so your skills can be validated?
     
  4. Think about who can confirm your skill level. Think about current or recent supervisors who have seen you work in the past 18 months and will be able to confirm your skills. The assessor will need to contact them. You may also have community contacts or even clients themselves who can vouch for your skill level.
     
  5. Collect any certificates from in-house training or formal training you have done in the past.
     
  6. You can speak with your training organisation (BIA) about other ways you can show your skills in the financial services industry. These could be letters from employers, records of your professional development sessions, employers or clients in related industries or government agencies, acknowledgements, workplace forms (as long as they don’t show client details) or other relevant documents.

 
  Evidence guide

Please include as much evidence as possible with your RPL application, to give your trainer/assessor enough information to assess your competencies. 

The following are the main types of evidence you should include where appropriate

  • Your CV or resume
  • Signed, original references and letters from past employers outlining your responsibilities and achievements.
  • Certified copies of AQF qualifications you have already obtained, eg Statements of Attainment; Certificate; Diploma; Degree.
  • Awards or certificates you have obtained at work or through your prior studies.
  • Examples of work you have completed (this evidence may be documents, photographs, or videos)
  • Observation. The Institute may arrange for you to demonstrate your competency to BIA trainers/assessors.

Note – this is not an exhaustive list. 

 
  Appeal options

Applicants will have the opportunity to appeal RPL decision made by the Institute via the Compliments, Complaints & Appeals procedure.  See further information about complaints and appeals in this Student Handbook or on the Institute website.

(xii) Employability Skills

Students should be aware that Employability Skills Summaries for Training Package qualifications can be downloaded from www.employabilityskills.training.com.au