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Study Assistance Procedures

This is the current version of this document. To view historic versions of this document click the link in the main navigation (grey) bar above or contact policies@scu.edu.au for versions that expired pre August 2012.

Purpose and Context

(1) These Procedures give effect to the uniform application of the Study Assistance Policy.

Approval Authority

(2) Director, Human Resources or their nominated HR Manager, on the recommendation of the Head of Work Unit, has the authority to approve a course of study for study assistance purposes.

(3) The nominated HR Manager has the authority to approve study time for professional employees in accordance with the Study Assistance Policy and these Procedures.

(4) The Head of Work Unit has the authority to approve the actual taking of study time and is subject to the operational needs of the work unit being met.

Eligibility

(5) Employees with continuing appointments who have six months continuous service at the commencement of the study period are eligible to apply for study assistance.

(6) Employees who are employed in at least their second consecutive fixed term appointment with SCU, and their appointment extends beyond the completion of their approved course, may request consideration be given for study assistance based on exceptional circumstances. Requests will be considered by the Director, Human Resources on a case by case basis.

(7) The study being undertaken must be:

  1. directly related to the employee's current or planned work responsibilities at the University; and
  2. be either:
    1. a tertiary course leading to an award at or above Certificate level; or
    2. a relevant non-award unit/s of study.
  3. approved for study assistance purposes by the Director, Human Resources or delegate (on the recommendation of the Head of Work Unit); and be either
    1. a tertiary course leading to an award at or above Certificate level; or
    2. relevant non-award unit/s of study.

Course Approval

(8) Eligible employees who meet the study assistance criteria, should initially discuss their intention to apply for study assistance with their supervisor and Head of Work Unit and have it recorded in their annual PRP plan.

(9) Details of the proposed study and how it directly relates to the employee's current or planned University work responsibilities should be clearly stated on a Study Assistance - Course Approval form.

(10) Course approval is only required once, before any study assistance will be considered.

Study Assistance

(11) Approval for study assistance must be obtained before the study period commences.

(12) A Study Assistance Application form must be submitted.

(13) Completed applications (including the Head of Work Unit's recommendation) must be received by HR Services before the study period commences. Ideally, applications should be received at least two weeks before the study period commences.

(14) The application will be reviewed in accordance with the policy. The employee and Head of Work Unit will be formally advised of the outcome.

(15) The employee's study progress will be monitored as part of their annual PRP plan and further grants of study assistance will be subject to:

  1. the employee providing evidence of successful completion of the units/course; and
  2. satisfactory performance of duties.

(16) Retrospective claims will not be considered.

(17) Study assistance will not be available for repeat units and will cease if employment ceases.

(18) A 'unit' is defined as a unit of study entered in the Unit Register of the University or the equivalent at another tertiary institution, with a credit weighting of 1/8 (0.125) of a normal full-time annual study-load for single units or 1/4 (0.25) for double weighted units.

(19) Double weighted units are treated as two units of study for the purposes of study time allocation under this Procedure.

(20) Study Assistance is available for a maximum of two units per session, or equivalent.

Financial Assistance

(21) Financial assistance is paid as a taxable allowance, with income tax (PAYG) deducted, through the University's payroll system.

(22) The following amount of assistance is available:

Approved course Financial assistance (taxable allowance amount)
VET Certificate I-IV, Diploma Courses, Undergraduate Degrees and Postgraduate courses 50% of the tuition fees to a maximum of $1,000 per successfully completed unit, $2,000 per successfully completed double weighted unit, and to a maximum of $10,000 per course.

(23) Assistance will only apply where the employee has incurred the expense for unit/ course tuition fees. Assistance is not available to employees receiving University funded scholarships.

(24) The cost of financial assistance for study purposes is met by the employee's work unit.

(25) Employees are responsible for retaining documentation relating to their study to enable them to comply with their personal taxation obligations.

Reimbursement

(26) Reimbursement is made at the end of the study period. Requests for reimbursement together with evidence the units/course have been successfully completed are to be emailed to hr@scu.edu.au (and copied to the employee's supervisor) with a scanned copy of either:

  1. evidence the tuition fees have been paid for the units/course completed during the study period; or
  2. the relevant Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) confirming a commonwealth debt has been incurred for the units/course fees.

(27) Requests for reimbursement must be received by HR Services no later than two months after the study period ends.

(28) HR Services will authorise payment of the appropriate taxable allowance through the University payroll.

Study Time

Academic employees

(29) Academic employees undertaking approved study may have an appropriate allocation of time for study purposes negotiated and approved by the Head of Work Unit as part of the annual workload allocation process.

Professional Employees

(30) Full-time professional employees undertaking approved study at advanced diploma/associate degree (AQF 6) levels and above are eligible for study assistance up to a maximum of 24 hours per unit, per study period, for a maximum of two units.

(31) The employee must submit a schedule of proposed leave for the study period with their request. It is expected that study time will normally be taken on a regular, weekly basis of up to two hours per week. Study time may be taken in an accumulated form of larger blocks of time, for instance to attend block residential schools, provided that this is agreed by the Head of Work Unit.

(32) Employees who are eligible for study assistance under Study Assistance Policy provisions will also be granted paid leave to attend examinations as required, as follows:

  1. leave to attend an examination may cover the time necessary to sit the examination plus one half day for each unit undertaken, to be taken in the week immediately prior to the examination.
  2. an application for Exam Leave should be completed in MyHR and a copy of the examination timetable submitted to the employee's supervisor at least two weeks before the examination.

(33) Part-time employees and full-time professional employees undertaking other approved courses will be eligible for an equivalent pro rata amount of time.

(34) Requests for study time form part of the employee's Study Assistance Application and are submitted to HR Services before the study period commences.

(35) After reviewing the employee's study assistance application against the provisions of the policy, HR Services will advise both the employee and the Head of Work Unit of the total study time granted for the study period.

(36) The actual taking of study time is approved by the Head of Work Unit and is subject to the operational needs of the work unit being met.

(37) Employees should initially discuss any request for study time with their supervisor and complete a leave application in MyHR before making arrangements to commence the leave.

(38) Approval of study time for further periods of study is subject to:

  1. the employee providing evidence of successful completion of the study period; and
  2. satisfactory performance of duties.

Upfront Payment of Student Contribution Amount (SCA)

(39) Eligible employees who are enrolled in an approved course may apply to have the University pay their up-front Student Contribution Fees for the study period and repay the University, by instalment, during the study period in which the study is undertaken.

(40) A completed 'Application for Upfront Student Contribution Fees' is to be emailed to Payroll Services (payroll@scu.edu.au), together with a copy of the employee's proof of enrolment and the tuition fee invoice.

(41) Upfront fees will not be paid directly to the employee.