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Elite Athlete, Australian Defence Force (ADF) Reserve and Emergency Services Volunteer Students Procedures

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) The University supports Students who are formally recognised Elite Athletes, or who are members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Reserves and/or an Emergency Services Volunteer and provides strategies that ensure that they are not unduly disadvantaged academically or financially as a consequence of their participation in these activities.

(2) These procedures are made under the General Rules and establish processes to:

  1. apply and register for Elite Athlete status; and
  2. enable flexible study options, refund of fees and support available to Elite Athletes, Student Reservists and/or Emergency Service Volunteers who are on full-time call-out service.
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Section 2 - Scope

(3) These procedures apply to:

  1. Students who are registered with the University Elite Athletes Program;
  2. Students who are members of the Australian Defence Force Reserves;
  3. Students who are volunteer members of an Emergency Service Organisation; and
  4. UNE Representatives.
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Section 3 - Procedures

Elite Athletes

(4) The University of New England is endorsed by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) as an Elite Athlete Friendly University (EAFU). The University supports the Australian Institute of Sports (AIS) Guiding Principles for Implementation of the National Network of Elite Athlete Friendly Universities.

Applying for Elite Athlete Consideration

(5) An Elite Athlete is a Student who is identified and recognised by one of the following organisations as an Elite Athlete representing Australia, or a State or Territory of Australia:

  1. Australian Institute of Sport
  2. State Institutes or Academies of Sport
  3. Australian Cricketers' Association
  4. AFL Players' Association
  5. Rugby Union Players' Association
  6. Rugby League Professionals' Association
  7. Australian Professional Footballers' Association
  8. alternatively, they must be a national squad member from Australian Sports Commission funded sports

(6) Students must self-identify and apply at the beginning of their first trimester at the University or the first trimester in which they meet the criteria for recognition as an Elite Athlete.

(7) The Student must complete and submit the Elite Athlete Program application form, accompanied by training and competitive program duly endorsed by the Athlete Career Education (ACE) Advisor of the relevant national sporting body.

(8) The University Elite Athlete Program Coordinator will confirm the Elite Athlete's status by referring to the list provided by the ASC prior to the start of each trimester, which lists the names of recognised Elite Athletes from the AIS and other academies of sport. These Students automatically qualify and are approved as Elite Athletes.

(9) If a Student cannot demonstrate their endorsement by one of the organisations in clause 5 they may submit an Elite Athlete Program application form for consideration, together with supporting documentation. Supporting documentation is to be in the form of letters by:

  1. Sporting authorities
  2. Coaches or managers
  3. Membership to sporting institutions
  4. Evidence of training/sporting commitments for the relevant trimester

(10) In these cases the Elite Athlete Program Coordinator will contact the ASC, who will be asked to investigate, verify and make a recommendation to the University as to the applicant's Elite Athlete status.

(11) Approval for Elite Athlete status is only valid for the current trimester and Students are required to re-apply for consideration for each subsequent trimester of study. Elite Athlete status may not be applied retrospectively.

(12) Approved Elite Athlete status will be noted on the Student's record with the acronym EAC (Elite Athlete Consideration) for the relevant trimester.

(13) Student Experience will confirm the Elite Athlete's status and notify the Student by letter. The Student is required to provide the letter to the relevant Head of School and/or Course Coordinator and/or Unit Coordinator when seeking flexible study options. Students must submit applications for special consideration and/or special assessment in accordance with clause 21.

Nominated Staff Contact for Elite Athletes

(14) The University will provide an initial point of contact for applicants and an appointed advocate who will liaise with various UNE Representatives to provide:

  1. advice and guidance on academic planning;
  2. support in negotiating flexibility to meet academic requirements; and
  3. support in negotiating and/or implementing cross-institutional study or advanced standing arrangements.

Emergency Services Volunteer Undertaking Continuous Full-Time Call-Out Service

(15) An Emergency Service Volunteer is a Student who is registered as a member of any formally endorsed state, territory or federal emergency services or humanitarian organisation or other competent authority under a State Disaster Plan.

(16) An Emergency Service Volunteer who is called upon for continuous full-time service shall provide the Head of School with a statement signed by an authorised emergency service officer detailing the expected duration of full-time service.

(17) The Head of School will ensure that Unit Coordinators for units being undertaken by the Student are notified of the approved absence and that clause 20 is applied where possible. Students must submit applications for special consideration and/or special assessment in accordance with clause 21.

ADF Reserves

(18) A Student who is a member of the ADF Reserves and is required to undertake Reserve Service, attend compulsory camps of continuous training in a year and occasionally a non-compulsory camp or course, other intensive training or is called into continuous full-time service shall provide the Head of School with a statement signed by an authorised officer of the Defence Reserves detailing the times when attendance at a camp or training course is to take place or the expected duration of full-time service.

(19) The Head of School will ensure that Unit Coordinators for units being undertaken by the student are notified of the approved absence and that clause 20 is applied where possible. Students must submit applications for special consideration and/or special assessment in accordance with clause 21.

Flexible Study Options

(20) Subject to the limiting provisions of any applicable University rule, policy or course rules and within constraints for academic accreditation requirements and the Student achieving all requirements for the unit and course, some of the following adjustments or modifications may be approved for a Student who is an Elite Athlete, ADF Reservist or Emergency Service Volunteer, however are exclusive of guarantee:

  1. Unit and Course Coordinators where possible will incorporate individualised study sequences, which take into account an Elite Athletes sporting commitments;
  2. where appropriate, waiving of minimum attendance requirements at lectures, tutorials or practicals;
  3. where possible the Unit Coordinator shall arrange to provide learning materials in alternative formats if the Student is unable to attend face-to-face classes during their sporting, ADF Reserve or emergency service activity;
  4. special consideration in the form of extensions or variation of time normally required to complete an assessment task or unit, where possible, on the grounds of being required to attend training or competitions, ADF Reserve commitments or emergency situations;
  5. special consideration for Unit examinations will be granted where sporting requirements, ADF Reserve commitments or emergency situations have negatively impacted examination performance and may include the granting of a special examination by the Head of School;
  6. where attendance at national or international level major sporting competitions, ADF Reserve commitments or volunteer emergency service impact negatively upon their attendance and assessment performance, they may apply in writing to the Head of Schoolfor special consideration to withdraw from the unit/s without academic penalty (i.e. without a grade of fail on their academic record for units being undertaken in the current trimester) before the end of the relevant trimester;
  7. completion of some studies as a cross-institutional Student at an approved university; and
  8. extension of the maximum period of candidature required to complete their course due to reduced study loads.

(21) Applications for special consideration and/or special assessment must be submitted in accordance with the relevant School's extension policy and/or in compliance with any applicable University Rule, policy or course rule. The University recognises the nature and extent of commitments for Elite Athletes, Defence Reservists and Emergency Service Volunteers can be unpredictable and outside a Student's control. A Student is expected to plan for known commitments in advance and is required to seek assistance as soon as possible to ensure the best outcome, as the timing of requests may have an impact on the University's capacity to provide assistance.

(22) It is recognised that academic standards must and will be rigorously applied.

Remission of HELP Liability and Refund of Upfront Tuition Fees

(23) In the event an Elite Athlete, an ADF Reservist or an Emergency Service Volunteer is forced to withdraw from Unit/s after the census date of the Unit/s to participate in training or sporting commitments or in order to undertake full-time service, they can apply for remission of their Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) liability and/or refund of Student contribution amounts or tuition fees (if paid upfront) in accordance with relevant legislation. Students should submit their application on the relevant forms with the required documentation to Student Experience.

Records Management

(24) Electronic records of all correspondence and decisions related to Students under these procedures are to be retained in accordance with the University Records Management Rule.


(25) The Student is responsible for;

  1. declaring their status as an Elite Athlete, ADF Reservist or Emergency Service Volunteer to the relevant UNE Representatives;
  2. providing appropriate supporting documentation of their status;
  3. identifying possible conflict between study requirements and involvement in the above activities, as they become apparent in a timely manner;
  4. negotiating realistic alternative study options with relevant UNE Representatives.

(26) The University Elite Athlete Program Coordinator is responsible for confirming a Student's Elite Athlete status.

(27) The Course and/or Unit Coordinator is responsible for negotiating realistic and reasonable flexible study options to enable Students to continue and complete their course of study in consultation with relevant UNE Representatives where required.

Authority and Compliance

(28) The Procedure Administrator, the Executive Principal Student Experience, pursuant to the University's General Rules makes these procedures.

(29) UNE Representatives and Students must observe these Procedures in relation to University matters.

(30) These Procedures operate as and from the Effective Date.