It is your responsibility to attend all your class sessions as required by your program. A medical certificate is usually not required for absence unless an assessment is to be held in the class you miss.

Please note that:

  • although there are no compulsory attendance requirements for most students, regular attendance will be a factor in effective participation and successful completion where this forms part of the module or unit’s assessment criteria
  • if you are an apprentice or a trainee, you are required to attend off the job training as part of your agreed training plan
  • if you are an international student, you are required, as a condition of your student visa, to attend classes regularly
  • if you receive Centrelink benefits, there are attendance requirements through mutual obligation arrangements.
  • Centrelink Full Time Study Load FAQs

    • Where does Centrelink obtain information on the duration of a course?

      Centrelink uses the TAFE SA Website to measure the duration of a course. This means that if course duration is defined on the website as 6 months full time, a student would be expected to enrol in all the units required to complete the course within that 6 months (one semester).  Centrelink uses this duration to measure the period for which beneficiaries may continue to receive payments (“allowable time”).  Allowable time varies between courses and payment types.

      If a student enrols as an external student or flexible delivery student for the above course, they would be expected to undertake all the units and be assessed in all the units within 6 months of enrolling, if they wish to meet the requirements for a Centrelink benefit as a full time student.  External/ flexible delivery students often enrol in one unit at the beginning of a semester and then fail to enrol in further units, incurring large debts as a result.

    • What if a student enrols in all the units to complete the course within the specified period but is granted RPL for some of the units?

      Under current legislation a student is required to be enrolled in and undertaking a full time workload.  RPL cannot be regarded as part of the workload for Centrelink purposes as the student would not be fulfilling the requirement to be undertaking this component within the course.  
      The reasoning behind the current Centrelink policy is that students seeking RPL for a particular competency are claiming that they have, through previous experience, already achieved the required skills and hence do not need to undertake any further study/practical experience in that area.  They must provide evidence for their claims to achieve the competency, but this does not constitute study/ work/ etc. as this has already been done.  Although they are enrolled in the unit, they are not undertaking it, and it is therefore not part of their current study load.

      Although TAFE SA staff recognise that RPL is more involved than a credit transfer agreement/mutual recognition arrangement - and sometimes requires a student to invest as much time in preparing their evidence for RPL as it would to undertake the unit, Centrelink does not consider RPL as part of a full time load.

      It is similar to granting credit from previous study.  Centrelink would not count the workload of the study that has been granted credit.

    • Why does Centrelink ask for student enrolment details when auditing a student’s entitlement to benefits?

      Historically, nominal/ curriculum hours were used by Centrelink as a means to calculate study load, independent of the mode of course delivery (face-to-face, distance learning, etc.). The nominal hours for the units of competency are provided by the Regulation unit. To determine study load for enrolments since 2007, Centrelink takes the modules/ units in which a student is enrolled in a given number of weeks, and divides the sum of the module hours by the number of weeks.
    • Why do students receive overpayment notices from Centrelink?

      Where a student intends to complete a qualification as a full time student and enrols in sufficient units to meet that requirement but then decides to only participate in a couple of units at a time for example, they will not be able to demonstrate that they are full time. Entitlement to a student support benefit will therefore be false and an overpayment will be raised.
    • What action will Centrelink take if a student claimed benefits as a full time student but enrolment details show that they were not full time?

      Students who falsely claim that they are studying full time and fail to notify Centrelink of any changes to their enrolment as a full time student, will be issued with an overpayment (if indeed they are not full time students) and may well be prosecuted. It is absolutely critical that staff in TAFE SA provide students with accurate information about what constitutes a full time study load in a course and assist them to enrol in the appropriate units to complete the qualification within the duration specified on the web for that course. Under no circumstances should TAFE SA staff provide students with information on whether or not they are entitled to claim a Centrelink benefit as a full time student.
    • Where can I find more information?

      To learn more, visit the Centrelink website.

      As additional conditions may apply, and noting these FAQs are not relevant for other Centrelink benefits and what constitutes full time study, students are encouraged to contact Centrelink to discuss their situation where necessary.


You need to make every effort to be punctual for your classes and work placements. It is unacceptable to arrive late or to leave class early on a regular basis. If you are unable to attend or will be late for a class, it is a matter of courtesy to notify your lecturer.

Persistent late arrival and absenteeism may affect your eligibility for merit-based results and may call for counselling with the course coordinator or Educational Manager.

If you are an apprentice or a trainee, you may be required by your lecturer to report to your program's administration office when late for classes. Your employer may seek disciplinary action for breaches to the contract of training.


If you are unable to attend classes due to illness, please notify your lecturer by phoning the program administration office before your class begins. A medical certificate for the period of absence may be required when:

  • you have been absent for a prolonged period due to illness
  • applying for special consideration in assessment
  • requesting to sit for a missed assessment.

Dress Code

A dress code of appropriate industry standard is expected when you are participating in:

  • simulated businesses
  • field practicum, vocational placements or work experience
  • industry forums (either on or off campus)
  • other course or industry related activities.

In order to access workshops, you will need to wear appropriate personal protection, such as safety footwear, clothing and safety equipment, as prescribed by the program and the occupational health, safety and welfare policy.

Vocational placement

A vocational placement is a valuable opportunity for you to obtain first hand experience working in industry, to test your skills and establish potential employment contacts.

If you are required to attend a vocational placement as part of your course, TAFE SA will provide a formal agreement to the parties involved. The vocational placement agreement and accompanying information packages establish clear expectations of both you and your host employer's obligations. The training record books identify the experiences and competencies you have demonstrated on the job. These books form an important part of your work experience and should be maintained and stored carefully.

It is essential that you conduct yourself in a manner that does not reflect poorly on TAFE SA and is in accordance with the guidelines provided by the educational program. See the Student code of behaviour  for more details.

A workplace experience or placement supervisor in your program will explain the range and limits of your duties in the workplace. For the safety of all parties, it is essential that you only carry out only those duties approved by your supervisor.

Please note that participation in work placements may be subject to:

  • evidence of your skills and abilities
  • your ability to work safely and appropriately by yourself or with others
  • evidence of misconduct on campus or in the workplace
  • obtaining, where necessary, a Prohibited Employment Declaration, a criminal record check or other such documentation if working in contact with children and young people.

Lecturers can provide more information about work placement requirements and discuss any concerns you have. You may also wish to discuss your circumstances confidentially with a Student counsellor.

These resources are a guide to good practice which will make the vocational placement safer and more satisfying for students and host employers, and ensure that training providers are aware of their responsibilities and potential risks. You will also find contact details for lecturers who can assist.

Special consideration in assessment

If you have special needs, or if there are circumstances beyond your control, such as unanticipated and unavoidable disruptions in personal circumstances or medical conditions, you may receive special consideration in assessment. Special consideration may include:

  • variation in examination/test/assessment schedule
  • variation in methodology or environment
  • additional time to complete assessments, examinations and major tests.

You can directly negotiate special consideration with your lecturer, or you may need to complete a local campus or program form. Contact your education program office, Student Services or Client Service Centre for further details.