With the removal of the Advanced Diplomas of Naturopathy, Western Herbal Medicine, Nutritional Medicine and Homoeopathy, from the Health Training Package at the end of this year, training providers initially thought they had 18 months to teach out students already enrolled in December 2015. That was then extended to 2 years with some recent changes to the rules around teach out. Now ASQA, due to significant lobbying by the NHAA and others on behalf of students and institutions, has given an additional 12 months, bringing the total teach out period to 3 years.
The NHAA issued a notice on the 9th April stating that requests to the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) for an extended teach out period had been successful. The concern has been that students, enrolled in some cases in programs approved for a 3 year full time delivery, would only be allowed 18 months to 2 years to finish. If these students undertook the program part time or had reasons why they couldn’t progress at a full time rate, they would be at considerable disadvantage in terms of being able to complete their course. As a result the NHAA and other groups have been lobbying for a longer and fairer teach out period since the cancellation of the Advanced Diplomas was first discussed.
ASQA clearly recognised the genuine disadvantage to students, and thus made a formal exception for the teach out period for aforementioned Advanced Diplomas. That teach out period now runs until 31 December 2018 (see here for the details on the ASQA website). This means that whilst students will not be able to commence one of these Advanced Diplomas after December 2015, they will be able to remain enrolled and complete their qualification up until 31 December 2018. This is an excellent outcome for students and institutions alike.
For more information on the whole deletion of the Advanced Diplomas, why this decision was made, and what it means for students and the profession, please read these posts: