VET sector guidance

VET sector guidance aligns with updated NSW Health advice and community settings. The guidance links to various sources of truth for accurate and timely advice.

two site workers discussing a project down at the dock yard two site workers discussing a project down at the dock yard

Returning to VET in 2022

Guidance is provided to support the VET sector to deliver training in 2022 in a COVID-19 safe way.

Masks - are no longer required except for public transport and planes, indoors at airports, hospitals, aged and disability care facilities, correction facilities and indoor music festivals with more than 1,000 people. To ensure a safe environment for staff and students, masks are still encouraged for:

  • indoor settings where physical distancing of 1.5 metres is not possible.
  • close personal work where staff with students or visitors interact (student clinics – beauty, massage, hair or training that occurs within the 1.5 meter socially distanced requirement)
  • customer-facing retail staff to protect vulnerable people who must access these premises.

Learn more about face mask guidance.

Density limits - While density limits no longer apply, where possible, physical distancing of 1.5 meters is still encouraged to manage transmission of the virus.

VentilationVentilation is the deliberate introduction of fresh air and removal of stale air from a space. This guidance aims to support training providers to understand why outdoor and well-ventilated indoor spaces reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, and to take action to stay COVID-safe. Consider your premises and the types of activities that will be carried out. The steps you can take will depend on your specific circumstances. Use outdoor settings whenever possible. For indoor training options use large, well ventilated spaces. Improve ventilation with open windows, fans, not using reverse cycle air conditioning and consider HEPA filters where possible. More information about ventilation.

If you can’t modify the ventilation or choose an outdoor location, you could consider

  • reducing the number of people in an indoor space at any one time
  • avoiding peak activity times and the places where people gather together indoors
  • reducing the length of time that people spend indoors together.

You may also reduce your risk by asking staff and visitors to wear a well-fitted face mask whenever indoors.

QR Codes - QR code check-ins are no longer required for most premises. Hospitals, aged care and disability facilities may use their existing systems for recording visitors. Trainers, Assessors and students may be required to check in at these sites.

Training providers are encouraged to consider how they will keep track of attendance if there is a positive case at their premises or a training site.

Further information about QR code check-ins is available here.

Working together to stay safe - All employers or businesses have an obligation under work health and safety laws to assess and manage the risk of COVID-19 to workers and customers. COVID-19 Safety plans are no longer mandatory for all sectors but providers could continue to meet their requirements in managing the transmission of COVID-19 at their sites.

COVID-19 Safety Plans outline actions to minimise the risk of a person with COVID-19 entering a workplace and spreading it to other people.

Notification requirements have changed. Notification under the Public Health (COVID-19 Self-Isolation) Order is no longer required. Further information on these requirements can be found here.

Employers and businesses must comply with NSW public health orders and follow the business rules. Providers should regularly check the information on the above links to ensure they are aware of the latest requirements.

Unvaccinated staff and student policy – Providers may consider whether a workplace policy about coronavirus vaccinations is necessary for their workplace. Before implementing a new workplace policy or changing an existing policy about vaccinations, employers should consider their workplace circumstances and whether they need legal advice about their obligations.

Specific sectors including: aged care, disability, early childhood, NSW Health and NSW Police, and for those visiting schools during school hours require VET students and the VET workforce to be fully vaccinated.

Vaccination tracker – Workers, students or other visitors accessing a VET facility are encouraged to be fully vaccinated and if eligible, receieve the booster. Vaccination evidence can now be linked to Service NSW QR safe check-in codes. Students and teachers visiting specific workplaces will also require a mandatory vaccination in many instances. Further Information on these requirements is available here.

Staff, students and other visitors who are unable to be vaccinated – Providers should consider the management of VET staff and students that are unable to be vaccinated, noting that Service NSW will enable vaccination exemption certificates to be uploaded into the Service NSW app. Providers may choose to not permit unvaccinated individuals into a VET facility and should seek legal advice to support this decision. Providers will need to have procedures in place to support students who cannot be vaccinated because of a medical contraindication. Providers should consider alternate methods of training delivery (e.g. online) for these cohorts, noting that they may not be able to attend some workplace components of their training.

Vaccinations for international students – A purpose-built website can assist international students to find the information and help they need to get vaccinated www.scfintakesupport.org.au.

Cleaning regimes – Providers should consider enhanced cleaning regimes and sanitising across the indoor and outdoor elements of the training site. It is recommended that staff are encouraged to be fully vaccinated if conducting cleaning services.

Rapid Antigen Testing – Providers may choose to implement the use of Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) as a screening measure to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Students and teachers attending high risk sites (for placements and assessment activity) may require a negative RAT test prior to entry and are encouraged to check with the site in question prior to attendance. Anyone returning a positive COVID-19 RAT test must report it here.

VET Delivery in School Settings

VET staff delivering face-to-face training in schools must be double vaccinated. Staff are strongly encouraged to access booster doses if eligible. To check if you are eligible for the COVID-19 booster vaccination, make an appointment or learn more, visit the NSW Government website.

Visitors to the school site will need to follow any requirements under the schools layered COVID-19 safe risk mitigations. Visitors to government schools will be asked to sign-in using the School Visitor Check-In. Staff delivering VET in schools should reach out to their local school for further advice or for more information refer to the department’s website: Advice for families (nsw.gov.au)

Use of Rapid Antigen Testing in Schools

Rapid Antigen Testing will continue to occur in school settings and Trainers and Assessors accessing a school site for the purposes of VET should discuss their their requirements with the school before attending the site. More information for schools can be found here.

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