188.8.131.52 ACCS (transition to work) - Activity Requirements
This topic describes the activity requirements for ACCS (transition to work). To meet the ACCS (transition to work) activity requirements an individual (1.1.I.90) must meet at least 1 of the study requirements, job search requirements, or work/training requirements, which include other programs to improve an individual's employment prospects.
CCS recognised activity types that meet these requirements are:
- paid work,
- unpaid work,
- setting up a business,
- approved course of education or study,
- training course, or
- actively looking for work.
This topic covers:
- activity requirements - study,
- activity requirements - job search,
- activity requirements - work, and
- activity requirements - training and other programs.
Activity requirements - study
To meet the study requirements for ACCS (transition to work) an individual must be undertaking at least 1 approved course of education or study and be making satisfactory progress.
An approved education course for the purposes of ACCS (transition to work) must be a secondary course, a preparatory course or a course between levels 2 to 8 of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).
An individual may be eligible for ACCS (transition to work) if they are studying full-time or part-time.
Study load requirements for ACCS (transition to work) are the same as the study load requirements for income support payments for study activities. If an individual meets the study load requirements for their income support payment (1.1.I.50), they will also meet the study load requirements for ACCS (transition to work). In general, to be eligible for ACCS (transition to work), an individual needs to be studying at least:
- 25% of the full-time study load to be considered part-time,
- 75% of the full-time study load to be considered full-time.
If an individual meets the exceptional circumstances requirement of their income support payment, such as for Austudy where 66% of the full-time study load is considered full-time, they would also be eligible for ACCS (transition to work) for a full-time study activity.
If an individual is studying less than a 25% of the study load, they will not be eligible for ACCS (transition to work).
To qualify for a study activity, the level of study must be above any level the individual has completed in the last 10 years, and at the same or above any level the individual has already studied at in the last 10 years.
Skill shortage exemption
On a single occasion, an individual may begin studying at a lower level than what they have in the past 10 years if that course of study will qualify them for an occupation on the Skill Shortage List.
Step up rule
Once an individual has completed a level of study whilst in receipt of ACCS (transition to work), or has exhausted the time limit for the level of study, they are no longer eligible for ACCS (transition to work) for that level of study. To be eligible for further assistance under ACCS (transition to work) in the future, they are required to 'step up' to a higher level of study.
There is an exception to the step-up rule which is the 6-week rule. On a single occasion, an individual studied a course of education or study at a higher level than the level at which they are currently studying for a period of less than 6 weeks. This means that this higher period of study will not be counted when applying the step up rule.
Example: Anna enrols in a diploma course but finds it too demanding and withdraws from the course after 4 weeks. Anna then enrols in a Certificate III. The step up rule is not applied because Anna withdrew from her diploma within 6 weeks. She will be able to receive ACCS (transition to work) to study her Certificate III.
Transferring courses at level
An individual may change their course of study (within the same level) any number of times, as long as they provide notification of this change.
However, transferring courses will not increase the time limit for the period during which the individual is eligible for ACCS (transition to work). This means that an individual that changes courses will not have their time limit changed or extended as a result of their course transfer. The time limit for that level of study will continue to apply.
Studying at a higher or lower level
If an individual starts studying at a level higher than level 2 of the AQF, or progresses to a higher level of the AQF, they cannot access ACCS (transition to work) to study at a lower level. This is the case even if they have not completed a qualification or exhausted the time limit, or have not previously accessed ACCS (transition to work) to study at that level (unless the skill shortage exemption applies).
Satisfactory progress requirement
If an individual is studying a course from Level 2 to 8 of the AQF they have to be making satisfactory progress in that course to meet the ACCS (transition to work) activity requirements.
Satisfactory progress means an individual is participating in the course and achieving the minimum requirements of that course to the satisfaction of the course provider (such as achieving a pass grade for at least 1 of their subjects).
Any individual enrolled in a course that is 12 months or longer, will be required to provide evidence of their progress towards course completion to continue to be eligible for ACCS (transition to work) for that activity. If an individual is attending their course, they will have the opportunity to provide evidence to demonstrate progress.
In the case that a course is less than 12 months long an individual will still be required to provide evidence of their progress, if requested.
If an individual is not attending their course, they are not participating in their activity and are ineligible for ACCS (transition to work).
Example: Although Jill has been attending classes, she fails her first semester subjects. Jill meets with her course provider and discusses her options for semester 2. She is advised that she will meet the requirements to continue to study in semester 2, if she also participates in a study support program. She enrols in a study support program, and continues to participate in her course. At the end of semester 2, she has passed 3 of her 4 subjects and can provide proof of progression in the form of an academic transcript showing her results for the year, and notification from her course provider provided at the end of semester 1 that confirms their support for her continued study dependent on enrolment in a study support program. Jill continues to be eligible for ACCS (transition to work).
A Centrelink officer (1.1.O.10) can initiate a review of progress at any time and on any ground. If evidence has been requested, and not provided within 28 days or is unsatisfactory Centrelink may determine that the individual is no longer eligible for ACCS (transition to work) from the Monday of the next CCS fortnight (1.1.C.10).
Activity requirements - job search
To meet the job search requirements for ACCS (transition to work), an individual must be actively looking for work and be able to provide evidence of doing so.
Activities that meet the job search requirements include:
- looking for job vacancies,
- preparing resumes and job applications,
- contacting potential employers,
- preparing for, and attending, job interviews.
If an individual is in receipt of an income support payment with a mutual obligation requirement to look for work, those requirements will meet the requirements for ACCS (transition to work). However, an individual must still be able to provide evidence if requested.
Act reference: CCSMinRules section 22 Actively looking for work
Activity requirements - work
To meet the work requirements for ACCS (transition to work) an individual must be engaged in:
- paid work,
- unpaid work (including a work experience placement or an internship, or voluntary work which could reasonably be expected to improve their work skills or employment prospects), or
- actively setting up a business.
Activity requirements - training & other programs
To meet the training requirements for ACCS (transition to work) an individual must be undertaking vocational training, or be participating in another program which has a reasonable likelihood of improving their employment prospects.
Courses should have a direct impact on the individual's professional development, including, for example, training courses on:
- adult literacy,
- English language (e.g. Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) or the AMEP),
- improving computer skills,
- guidance on starting a small business,
- community based, work skill focused training as listed on myskills.
This activity would not include courses catering primarily to hobbies or personal interests, such as short cooking courses, art appreciation classes, foreign languages or alternative therapies. Individuals who are studying for an industry recognised certificate in 1 of these activities would be studying an approved course of education or study.
While some government funded work experience activities (LMPs) and additional support programs, such as:
- the Department of Jobs and Small Business' Transition to Work program,
- the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet's Community Development Program (CDP), and
- the Department of Education and Training's New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) and language, literacy and numeracy programs such as SEE,
will meet the activity requirements for ACCS (transition to work), and be recognised as a training activity.
For other LMPs such as ParentsNext:
- only specific components of the program will meet the activity requirements for ACCS (transition to work) (for example, participating in a playgroup with their child may be an appropriate activity for ParentsNext, but it does not meet the ACCS (transition to work) activity requirements),
- in these cases, the specific activities parents are participating in would be assessed against the most beneficial ACCS (transition to work) activity, such as job search, work, study, training or other programs depending on the activity they are participating in to meet or exceed their ParentsNext requirements.
Activities that do not meet the ACCS (transition to work) activity requirements may meet the recognised activity requirements for CCS, and contribute to the individual's total activity test result.
Other programs may include, but are not limited to, government funded rehabilitation, drug and alcohol programs, parenting courses.
Note: ACCS (transition to work) is available to participants of the AMEP with school age children. ACCS (transition to work) is not available to participants of the AMEP with under school aged children, as the AMEP provides free child care services for under school aged children, while participants are participating in AMEP classes.
Act reference: FAAct section 85CK(1) Eligibility of individual receiving transition to work payment
CCSMinRules section 13 Additional eligibility requirements for ACCS (transition to work)