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DET - Learn Local - 17 September - 2021 COVID-19 ACFE Board support for Learn Locals

Department of Education and Training
Higher Education and Skills

Participation, Inclusion and Regional Engagement — Branch Memo


  • Registered Learn Local providers
  • Statewide providers
  • ACFE Board
  • ACFE Regional Councils
  • PIRE Branch staff

From: Jeanette Nagorcka, Executive Director, Adult Community and Further Education

Date: 17 September 2021

Subject: 2021 COVID-19 ACFE Board support for Learn Locals

Actions/Critical dates

  • The ACFE Board has approved support for Learn Local providers by changing the threshold for release of 2021 pre-accredited delivery payments and the recoupment of under delivery.
  • Providers are encouraged to continue delivering pre-accredited programs, as best they can, against their original targets, as the Department will make the necessary adjustments.

2021 Learn Local provision and COVID-19

The ACFE Board and the Department acknowledge the significant impact COVID-19 is having on Learn Local providers and the many challenges facing staff and learners.

ACFE Board Consultation

The Department and the ACFE Board have consulted extensively with Learn Local providers via the eight online ACFE Board and Sector Sessions held during July and August, the recent online COVID-19 information sessions hosted by the VET Development Centre and last week’s Learn Local COVID survey. These have offered valuable insight into the challenges providers are facing and how the Board may best support learners, providers and their staff.

The information collected has shown that while some Learn Locals are on track with their training delivery, or even ahead of expectations, others are facing difficulties in engaging learners, which could be further exacerbated should the current lockdowns continue.

All Learn Locals are asked to deliver as much training as possible for the remainder of this year.

ACFE Board Decisions

The Board has made a number of decisions with respect to Learn Local training delivery. The current funding model for the delivery of pre-accredited training will remain in place for the remainder of 2021, along with the current guidelines for delivery. However, there will be changes to the assessment of delivery against agreed targets which will be applied to milestone payments.

Assessment of Achievement against Target

As a one-off adjustment, the Board will apply a 30% tolerance in assessing the achievement of targets. Recoupment for non-delivery of training will still occur at the end of the year, but this will also apply a tolerance of up to 30% on the original target.

  • Milestone 1: No change to threshold for Milestone 1 (contract signing for 35 per cent payment) with no recoupment irrespective of final delivery output.
  • Milestone 2: The threshold for Milestone 2 (17.5% of delivery for a cumulative 60% payment) will have recoupment applied only where final delivery output does not reach 42% of original target.
  • Milestone 3: The threshold for Milestone 3 (38.5% of delivery for a cumulative 80% payment) will have recoupment applied only where final delivery output does not reach 56% of original target.
  • Milestone 4: The threshold for Milestone 4 (52.5% of delivery for a cumulative 100% payment) with recoupment only applied where final delivery output does not reach 70% of original target.

These measures will apply to the reconciliation, release of payments and recoupment processes for pre-accredited training only.


LEAP will continue to be paid according to actual delivery against allocation, with a recoupment for any under-delivery, as per current contract arrangements, noting that wherever possible delivery of short modules should be encouraged in the context of COVID-19.

Literacy, Numeracy and Employability Initiative Program Extensions

As per the Department Memo of 31 August 2021, the Skills for Work and Study pilots, Pathways to TAFE and Learn Local TAFE Support programs contracted for delivery in 2021 will be extended to December 2022.

Return of Hours and Additional Hours

With respect to the August 2021 Expression of Interest for Return and Reallocation of Pre-accredited Student Contact Hours (SCH), the Board has decided not to accept returned hours, in order to reflect the one-off changed payment arrangements referenced above. However, Learn Locals who have asked for additional hours in the August 2021 Expression of Interest will receive them shortly, subject to appropriate assessment of their capacity to deliver.

Exceptional Circumstances

A ‘just cause’ process will be designed and implemented for Learn Locals to apply for special consideration, where thresholds and targets cannot be met due to circumstances beyond their control. Submissions will require a strong evidence base and the criteria that will be used to assess applications and associated instructions will be made available at the appropriate time. Where applicable, this process will take place after final data is submitted, in January 2022.


These one-off measures will allow Learn Locals facing challenges during this period, due to increased cost of delivery, resourcing and other factors, to better support their community. However, the Board encourages those who can deliver their entire allocation to do so for the expected payment, as per usual business practice. This will ensure that wherever possible, our learners can access the training they need.

In the light of ongoing COVID-19 circumstances, Learn Locals are encouraged to carefully review their proposed delivery plans for 2022, as part of the current EOI process, to ensure they are achievable.

For further information regarding the specific actions associated with this advice, please contact your relevant Regional Manager in the first instance:

Regional office contact details