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AIM Policy: Access and Equity

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide AIM students and staff clear information about AIM’s position in relation to students having equal access to learning and assessment opportunities irrespective of their gender, age, race, religion, culture, linguistic background, marital status, geographic location, socio-economic background, disability, sexual preference, family responsibility or political conviction.

Scope

The policy applies to prospective AIM students and current AIM students enrolled in Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses with AIM. It applies to AIM staff involved in the provision of education and training products and services to students including contractors and others providing services on behalf of AIM.

Principles

  • AIM complies with the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 including the clauses related to informing and protecting students (clauses 5.1 to 5.3) and student support and progression (clauses 1.7, 5.4 and 6.1 to 6.6).
  • AIM ensures principles of access and equity are adhered to. AIM complies with the relevant national and state and territory legislation covering human rights, privacy, disability, gender equality, anti-discrimination, equal opportunity, age discrimination, racial discrimination and sex discrimination.
  • AIM seeks to provide support to students including health and wellbeing of students, language, literacy and numeracy (LLN), cultural awareness, disability needs or reasonable adjustment.
  • Students have the right to access a learning and assessment environment that is free from discrimination harassment, bullying and vilification.
  • Equity principles are implemented through the fair and reasonable allocation of resources and the right to equality of opportunity without discrimination or harassment.

Policy

  • AIM ensures fair treatment and the integration of access and equity guidelines across its operations. Operational areas include enrolment, participation, curriculum development, training delivery and assessment, student support services.
  • AIM respects students right to privacy and will ensure confidentiality and sensitivity to student needs and circumstances.
  • AIM staff will be provided with appropriate education and development opportunities ensuring they are able to fulfil their obligations regarding this policy.
  • AIM ensures staff are aware of their responsibilities to prevent, avoid and identify and report any form of discrimination and harassment including (but not limited to): sexual harassment, bullying, violence, victimisation and vilification.
  • Where a perceived instance is reported, the matter will be investigated by AIM management. If there is a substantiated claim action appropriate action will be taken. Appropriate action may include (but is not limited to) termination of employment with AIM or cancellation of student enrolment.
  • Following any percieved or alleged breach, AIM will review this policy to determine if any ammendments are required as part of a mitigation strategy.

Recruitment, admissions and enrolment

  • Enrolment into courses is carried out in an ethical and responsible manner. AIM ensures open, fair and transparent practices are in place across its operations in relation to the selection and recruitment of students.
  • Students are encouraged to advise of any personal needs or circumstances which may affect their learning and for which additional support may be required.
  • AIM endeavours to identify students with special needs at the enrolment stage to ensure early intervention, or in cases where that is not feasible as early as possible after the commencement of the course.
  • Potential students will be provided with sufficient information at enrolment to enable them to make an informed decision regarding the suitability of the course for their needs, including the level of support they may expect from AIM.
  • If AIM is unable to provide the level of support required to meet a student’s individual need, a reasonable attempt will be made to refer the student to an alternative provider that may be able to support the student appropriately.

Learning and assessment

  • The development of AIM training and assessment strategies will consider flexibility to cater for different student needs and preferred learning styles.
  • Training and assessment strategies developed by AIM will be inclusive of a range of student needs and avoid any potentially non-inclusive or discriminatory language and/or examples.
  • Whilst AIM endeavours to identify individual student needs at the enrolment stage, students may seek support from AIM at any time during their student journey.
  • Where needs are identified, it may be appropriate to develop a study plan in consultation with the student.
  • Learning and assessment materials and resources will be adapted where possible to meet student needs, provided the quality and integrity of the training and assessment is not compromised.
  • AIM seeks to promote a learning environment where all students are respected and can develop their full potential.

Guidelines for online protocol

When communicating within the AIM learning platform students are expected to follow the same standards of behaviour as in a classroom situation and comply with the guidelines of online etiquette:

  • Be respectful of fellow students and staff.
  • Value the opinions of others. Students should feel free to disagree and present points of view however this must be done in a manner that does not denigrate the opinions of others.
  • Use appropriate language and never use language that could be found offensive.
  • Do not attack others personally.
  • Do not act in a way that could constitute harassment, bullying or discrimination.
  • The use of offensive, violent and graphic content is prohibited.
  • Be careful of using CAPITAL LETTERS when posting. The use of CAPS can be interpreted as shouting.

Sexual exploitation

Sexual exploitation is a serious offence. Sexual exploitation can include solicitation of sexual material, any sexual content involving minors, threats to share intimate images and offers of sexual services. For the safety of its students, the AIM student platform is moderated by AIM staff. AIM discourages the creation of external forums and sites by students for the purposes of between student academic dialogues. AIM is unable to monitor these sites and ensure student safety in these external environments.

Language, literacy and numeracy needs

Students with special needs regarding language, literacy or numeracy will be provided with assistance to maximise the possibility of a successful outcome to the training. Details can be found in the AIM Enrolment Policy located on the website in the student information section.

Disability needs

Everyone with a disability will have different needs, so it is not possible to implement a set of specialised services which will suit all students with disabilities. Each student will be managed on a case by case basis. Details can be found in the AIM Disability Policy located on the website in the student information section.

Students who need support

Students may seek support from AIM at any time throughout their student journey. If a student has any type of individual need, the student should contact AIM student support on 1300 761 700 or via email studentsupport@aim.com.au.

Reporting

Students and staff are encouraged to report any perceived instances of harassment, sexual exploitation, bullying, victimisation or unfair treatment to the attention of AIM by contacting AIM Student Support on 1300 761 700 or via email studentsupport@aim.com.au.

Definitions

Disability

The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) defines disability as:

  • total or partial loss of the person’s bodily or mental functions
  • total or partial loss of a part of the body
  • the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness
  • the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person’s body
  • a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction
  • a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment, or that results in disturbed behaviour;

and includes disability that:

  • presently exists
  • previously existed but no longer exists
  • may exist in the future

is imputed to a person (meaning it is thought or implied that the person has disability but does not).

Reasonable adjustment A measure or action taken to assist a student with a disability to participate in training on the same basis as other students. An adjustment is reasonable if it considers the student’s learning needs and balances the interests of all parties affected, including the student, the provider, staff and other students.
Discrimination Any practice that makes distinction between individuals or groups to arbitrarily advantage one and disadvantage the other. Discrimination occurs when somebody is treated less favourably on the grounds of the following attributes: • sex • imputed characteristics (stereotypes) • parental status • lawful sexual activities • marital status • race • age • impairment (physical or intellectual) • disability • religion • political belief or activity • trade union activity • pregnancy or lactation Discrimination may involve: • offensive jokes or comments about a person’s racial or ethnic background, sex, sexual preference, age, disability or physical appearance • display of pictures, cartoons or posters that may be offensive or derogatory • expressing negative stereotypes for a particular group • judging someone on their religious beliefs rather than their work performance • using stereotypes or assumptions to guide decision making about someone’s career • undermining a person’s authority or work performance because you dislike one of their personal characteristics.
Sexual harassment, victimisation and bullying and harassment Sexual Harassment, Victimisation and Bullying Sexual harassment is defined as any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour which makes a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. Sexual harassment as defined under the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act 1984 occurs when: • a person makes an unwelcome or uninvited sexual advance, or an unwelcome or uninvited request for sexual favours, to the person harassed, or • engages in other unwelcome or uninvited conduct of a sexual nature in relation to the person harassed; and • the person harassed is offended, humiliated or intimidated. Examples of sexual harassment include: • unwelcome or uninvited physical touching • sexual or suggestive comments, jokes or innuendoes • unwelcome or uninvited request for sex • intrusive questions about a person’s private life • the display of sexually explicit material (e.g. posters, pictures) • unwanted invitations  • staring or leering • sex based insults or taunts • offensive communications, including telephone calls, letters, faxes and email Sexual harassment may be a single incident or repetitive behaviour. For example, an unwanted invitation or compliment may not constitute harassment if it is not repeated. However, some actions or remarks are so offensive that they constitute sexual harassment in themselves such as unwelcome or uninvited physical contact.

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