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Educational and professional development entitlements

Educational and professional development entitlements

The education and registration of nurses and midwives is regulated by legislation and underpinned by professional standards, codes and guidelines to ensure safe care.

Professional development is fundamental to maintaining up-to-date, competent nursing and midwifery practice. All registered practising nurses and midwives are required to meet the minimum CPD standards set by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia for registration.

What assistance does ANMF provide members?

All ANMF (Vic Branch) fully financial members are entitled to $400 online CPD credits per financial year. Students and Associate Members receive $80 credit per financial year, and $120 online CPD credits for those on primary carers membership.

Our online CPD is accessible via the CPD Portal on the ANMF website cpd.anmfvic.asn.au

Currently there are 29 online courses on offer with more being developed and added. Members are also able to access significant discounts to ANMF (Vic Branch) seminars, workshops and courses offered face-to-face through our Education Centre, as well as our conferences and seminars. Details are available on our website.

The ANMF federal office currently offers 62 online continuing professional education courses at a reduced rate of $7.70 per topic for ANMF members. There are also telehealth courses available free of charge from the federal ANMF website

 Professional development leave

The ANMF (Vic Branch) negotiates enterprise agreements for members which include provisions entitling you to professional development leave:

 Public sector (general)

Professional development leave – payment for a professional development day (at your normal shift length)

All public sector nurses and midwives working full-time are entitled to five days professional development leave per year (pro-rata for part-time). A nurse practitioner is entitled to a further 10 hours professional development leave per year.

You need to apply for professional development leave at least six weeks prior to taking the leave. Your do not need to use your professional development leave to undertake mandatory employer education, and there are no conditions attached, unless you’re taking leave for home study, in which case your application must detail the relevance of the study to your employment.

Your employer is required to respond in writing to your professional development leave application within seven days. If your employer denies the application, they must provide a reason in writing and cannot reject an application unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Where a valid application is made, but no leave is granted during a calendar year, one day’s leave will be added to your annual leave, or the leave can be taken in another manner as mutually agreed between you and your employer. This entitlement does not accrue year to year.

Study leave

Paid study leave is available to all full-time and part-time employees where a component of the course is relevant your work.

Your employer cannot unreasonably refuse a request for study leave and should respond within seven days of your application for leave. Paid study leave may be taken as mutually agreed – for example, four hours per week, eight hours per fortnight or blocks of 38 hours at a residential school. Part-time employees are entitled to paid study leave on a pro rata basis.

Applications must be made in writing as early as possible prior to the leave date. The request should include details of the course and institution in which you are enrolled or propose to enrol and how the course is relevant to your employment.

Exam leave

You are entitled to five days paid examination leave in any one year for undertaking or preparing for exams, usually in a tertiary institution.  Examinations include major assessments tasks, take home exams and other methods of student assessment. Leave entitlements do not accumulate from year to year.

This leave is available to full-time and part-time employees employed for an average of at least three shifts or 24 hours per week who have been employed with your current employer for 18 months immediately prior to the taking of examination leave. The employer cannot unreasonably withhold approval for such leave.

Public sector mental health

Professional development/study leave – payment for a professional development day (at your normal shift length)

If you work at least three shifts per week as a you are entitled to five days paid professional development/study leave per year.  All other part-time employees are entitled to two days paid leave. You may access all or part of a subsequent year’s entitlement during one year and the subsequent year’s entitlement will reduce accordingly. Otherwise, this entitlement does not accrue year to year. A nurse practitioner is entitled to a further 10 hours per year. The other requirements and conditions are the same as those above for nurses covered by the general EBA.

Study leave

Full-time nurses are entitled to paid study leave equivalent to 104 hours/year (pro-rata for part-time).  Paid study leave may be taken as mutually agreed. Study leave must only be used for research and/or studies in relation to post-graduate courses at a tertiary education institute, directly relating to your employment.

An enrolled nurse may also access study leave to undertake study in mental health. An enrolled nurse may also be eligible to receive two weeks leave to undertake clinical placements where enrolled in an undergraduate course leading to registered nurse registration.

Applications must be made in writing as early as possible prior to the leave date and the request should include details of the course and institution in which you are enrolled or propose to enrol, as well as details of the relevance of the course to your employment. Your employer is required to respond to the application within seven days. Leave is not cumulative from year to year.

Exam leave – the same entitlements apply to nurses working in mental health as apply to the general public sector (see above).

I work in the private sector. Am I entitled to paid professional development/study/exam leave?

 Private acute and aged care sector employees should check their enterprise agreements. Many agreements provide paid study leave for post-graduate study and three to five days examination leave. Most agreements also provide paid professional development leave for both full-time and part time nurses and midwives.

You can find your enterprise agreement at the Member Portal.

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