Australian Catholic University strongly supports the right of all people to pursue studies. The University embraces diversity and endeavors to accommodate all students.

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or unit that demonstrate the capabilities, knowledge and skills to achieve the core learning outcomes of the course or unit.

Yes, Australian Catholic University is committed to making reasonable adjustments to teaching and learning, assessment, placement and other activities to enable students’ to participate in their course. Reasonable adjustments must not fundamentally change the nature of the inherent requirement.

Consideration must also be given to a student’s cultural and religious background/beliefs, which may impact on participation in their course or unit.

Inherent requirements ensure the academic integrity of a course is maintained and preserves the university’s learning, assessment and accreditation processes. They must be met by all students.

No, Inherent requirements are specific to a particular course. In the University context, compulsory requirements are broader and can include both compliance with the policies, procedures and regulations which are applicable to all students at the University but also the mandatory requirements associated with the course of study e.g. attendance, completion of assignments.

Examinations

No. Examinations are a means of assessing learning; they do not constitute inherent requirements. Alternative assessment arrangements can be implemented in lieu of exams in some circumstances.

English language requirements (e.g. EAL)

No. These are prerequisites or entry requirements and cannot be accommodated via reasonable adjustments.

Working with Children / National Police Record Check

No. These requirements are non-negotiable and do not provide any scope for reasonable adjustments. They are prerequisites for professional experience placements. As such, they are not the same as inherent requirements – but, like inherent requirements should be made clear to prospective students prior to application. Further, as a student’s status can change, consideration should be given to ensuring that enrolled student’s status in relation to legal requirements is confirmed each year.

Similarly, programs that have professional registration should ensure that students are made aware of the Practice Standards and Codes of Conduct for the Board prior to undertaking professional experience placements.

Group Work

No. Group work is a learning activity. Functionally, a student may require verbal and social communication skills to participate in group work. However, reasonable adjustments or alternative assessment arrangements can be implemented to support students who may have difficulty participating in group work.

Full time Clinical, Practicums and placements

No. Clinical, Practicums and Placements may be a compulsory part of a program, particularly in Health, Medical and Education areas due to professional registration requirements. However, most registration bodies can accommodate students undertaking part time placements. The logistics of part time professional experience placements however do need to be considered when such arrangements are put into place.

To successfully complete a course at ACU, a student will need to be able to meet all the inherent requirements. If they are applying for a course, they should read the inherent requirements carefully to ensure they are able to meet them. If they have a disability or chronic health condition, they can contact a Disability Adviser to talk about the adjustments that may be put in place so they can meet the requirements.

No. However all students must meet the course entry requirements.

Students may require reasonable adjustments to demonstrate that they can meet the inherent requirements of a course. Students must be given an opportunity to demonstrate their capacity to meet inherent requirements in their chosen course.

Inherent Requirements are a guide for students, to assist them to make informed decisions about the course they select. They are not designed to exclude students from courses.  They are designed to fully articulate the course requirements to enable discussions regarding the appropriate support and adjustments to be implemented to increase student’s opportunities for success.

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) through the Disability Standards for Education (DSE) 2005 requires institutions to take reasonable steps to enable a student with a disability to participate in education on the same basis as a student without a disability.

An adjustment is considered ‘reasonable’ if it balances the interests of all parties affected.

Therefore, in assessing whether a particular adjustment is reasonable, consideration should be given to:

  • the student’s disability and his/her views
  • the effect of the adjustment on the student, including the effect on his/her ability to achieve learning outcomes, participate in courses or programs and achieve independence
  • the effect of the proposed adjustment on anyone else affected, including the education provider, staff and other students
  • the costs and benefits of making the adjustment

An adjustment is a measure taken to minimize the barriers to participation experienced by a student with a disability, in order to facilitate their equitable access to learning and assessment etc.

Examples of adjustments:

  • modifications to the physical environment e.g. provision of a wheelchair accessible bench in a laboratory
  • changes to assessment tasks e.g. provision of an alternative assessment; extended period of time to submit assessments; adjustments to examinations
  • changes to lecture schedules or arrangements e.g. relocating classes to an accessible venue; locating professional experience placements within reasonable travelling distance of a
  • student’s place of residence
  • modifications to computer equipment in the Library e.g. provision of large monitors
  • provision of information or course materials, including required texts, in alternative format e.g. e- format, MP3, Braille
  • provision of specialised equipment or software e.g. text-to-speech (JAWS, Natural Reader) or speech-to-text programs (Dragon Naturally Speaking), Zoom text,  ergonomic chair
  • provision of specialised services e.g. Auslan interpreters, note-taking
  • changes to teaching practices e.g. wearing an FM microphone to enable a student to hear lectures.

Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA), it is unlawful to refuse to admit a person to a University course on the basis that they are unlikely to be able to gain employment because of their disability.

The University is only able to provide prospective or current students with the inherent requirements of its programs which, in some cases are accredited by registration bodies /regulation agencies and are thereby aligned with industry requirements.

Whilst it is not incumbent upon the University to outline the inherent requirements of associated professions to completing students, information regarding employment requirements can and should be integrated into program content.

If staff have concerns that a student is unlikely to meet the requirements of the profession, it is recommended to discuss this with the student and provide information that can help them make an informed decision about their future.

Students, who are provided with this information and with an understanding of their condition, can make decisions based on their personal circumstances, regarding their employment pathway following completion of their studies.

No. Students can choose to continue in a program, despite a recommendation (after rigorous exploration of reasonable adjustment options) that they may not be able to meet the inherent requirements. However if a student’s capacity to succeed in a course is impacted by their inability to meet inherencies in that course, their course progression will be impacted and they will not meet all the requirements to complete the course.

Inherent requirements do not pose an alternative to Academic Progress or Conduct processes.

Inherent requirements information for each program of study will be available on the ACU website in an accessible format for future and continuing students and staff.

Prospective students

Prospective students will be directed to the inherent requirements of their program via the marketing program summary on the ACU website, under ‘Entry Requirements’.

Commencing students

Staff will refer students to the inherent requirements during Orientation. Schools may also opt to publish the program inherent requirements in the relevant Course Guide.

Should students have concerns about their ability to fulfil the inherent requirements of their chosen program, they will be directed to the School and Disability Services for a further discussion about what reasonable adjustments can be implemented to support them to meet the inherent requirements.

Current students

As inherent requirements are developed and published on the website for each Course, Course staff are responsible for ensuring that current students are made aware of this information.

Page last updated on 23/01/2020

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