- On July 14, 2020
- July / August 2020
Navigating Training and Employment
Navigating employment arrangements can be difficult at any time, but when you add the requirements of a vocational training program it becomes even more complex.
THE FOLLOWING is an overview of some of the policies you should be aware of during your training. Please remember each training program has its own policies and procedures in place and you will need to familiarise yourself with those that apply to you.
It is important to keep up to date with your training requirements and the requirements of relevant policies. Policies are subject to regular review and changes to training are occasionally made. If you do not stay up to date and rely on an outdated policy or process this may be to your detriment. Copies of handbooks and policies are available online.
If you are not sure which requirements apply to you, contact the College to clarify as soon as practicable.
Your training handbook will set out the essential details of the training program, including learning and assessment tools, examinations, applying for fellowship, and relevant College Policies that apply to your training.
Progression through training policies
Your College will require you to complete your training within a certain period of time and may also require you to progress through the stages of training within specified timeframes. For example, if your training program takes six years (full time) to complete, you may be given 12 years within which to complete the six years of full-time training.
You should be offered an employment contract, the term of which should correspond to the minimum time it takes to complete your training course. This does not mean that extensions or further contracts will not be agreed or offered, but they are not automatic.
Trainees in Difficulty / Remediation
Many Colleges have a policy for the provision of extra support for trainees experiencing difficulties, such as not progressing as expected, not performing in keeping with expected standards, or health issues.
The provision of support and remediation may be resisted but it assists many trainees to meet training expectations and attain Fellowship.
Interruption to training policies
While you should have a good understanding of the training requirements before commencing training, life happens and there will be times and events in a trainee’s life that may necessitate a break from training. These could include employment-related issues or remediation terms.
Make sure you know what the requirements of your College are if you are seeking to interrupt your training. For example, when do you need to complete the necessary paperwork? Or, who needs to sign the application?
In addition to applying for an interruption to training, you may also need to seek leave from the hospital where you are working. Make sure you know how much notice you must provide and how the College and hospital positions on these matters intersect.
Flexible / Part-time training policies
Most training programs will accommodate part-time training for at least some of your training time. Progression through training policies should be considered together with flexible / part-time training policies.
If you wish to train part-time and work part-time, part-time employment will be subject to approval by your hospital.
Make sure you know what you need to do and when if seeking to train and work part-time.
Examination / Assessment policies
Most Colleges will have an Examination or Assessment policy that outlines how assessments are planned, implemented, evaluated and governed.
These policies usually provide information on eligibility, fees and the application processes to sit exams.
Make sure you are familiar with these policies prior to sitting an exam or taking a break from training. Often these policies provide information on exam structure, so it is worth taking the time to carefully read through them in order to prepare and manage your time efficiently. It is also important to note that you may be unable to sit an examination if you are on a break from training. Check to see if such rules apply to you, prior to taking a break from training.
Colleges will have a policy which sets out the circumstances in which you may seek and be granted special consideration if unwell
when completing an examination or assessment or if there is an irregularity during an examination, such as a power outage.
You may be asked to complete a declaration that you are well before sitting for examination. If you declare yourself to be well when you are not you may be precluded from later making an application for special consideration.
Be aware that applications for special consideration must usually be made before an examination or assessment or must be made within a relatively short time period thereafter.
Reconsideration, Review and Appeals
Colleges will have a Reconsideration, Review and Appeals policy.
If you are adversely affected by certain decisions made during your training, you may be able to seek a review of the decision. Reconsideration and Review processes precede more formal appeals processes.
There are time limits to seek a review; for example, within 30 days of being advised of the decision. It is not possible to seek a review of adverse decisions after this period has lapsed. If in doubt, seek advice about your options and make an informed decision at the time.
The AMA (NSW) Workplace Relations Team is here to help you navigate
the requirements of training and employment. Please contact the team for assistance on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contributed by Dominique Egan, Director of Workplace Relations, AMA (NSW)