CCP offers by far the most flexible study options of any local photography programme, art school, and probably accredited school of any kind. We understand that most students work full-time, and many students have commitments with kids.
Students can study part—time, with after-hours classes and facility access, and a broad range of elective subjects. Students can study as little as one subject per term, and can take a term off if absolutely required.
This will always be the philosophy of the CCP as it is for the benefit of students, in concert with our mission to teach and promote the highest level of photographic practice.
These policies were designed to allow great flexibility to students, however there is also an expectation of consistency in students' commitment. Most students understand the intention of our flexible policies and undertake one subject per term, every term. Others pursue a heavier workload including full-time study. We very much appreciate these students' understanding of the spirit of the CCP's flexible study options, and this majority of students will not be affected by the following updates.
In recent years though, too many Cert IV and Diploma students have understood flexibility to mean they can complete a qualification with as little as one subject per year. This is not sustainable. The following updates formalise the spirit in which the flexible policies were designed.
Important: Two updates to enrolment policies
First Policy Update: Maximum three-year qualifications
• CCP is implementing a three-year time limit on completing each qualification. Both qualifications, the Certificate IV and the Diploma, consist of nine subjects. Students can still take one subject per term, and take one term off per year if need be.
• CCP students can choose to not complete an entire qualification, and that is not
changing. But those students who are undertaking the qualification, or even leaning towards doing so, must adhere to a reasonable study plan. This is in students' best interest given that the Training Packages do change, and the individual competencies for each subject are subject to more frequent change. More on this below.
• There will be students who are already nearing or have exceeded the three-year limit. These students will not be adversely impacted. Our guidance is to maintain at least a one-subject-per-term study load and CCP will provide academic counselling if needed, which may involve tracking your progress across updated qualifications post-2019/2020.
• Students might not complete within three years for understandable reasons e.g. long-term illness, moving elsewhere—please keep CCP apprised of such circumstances. These students can re-enrol in the programme. Despite the time limit, of course no student will ever be turned away. There may be negative consequences—in this over-three-year situation a student would likely be re-enrolling in a different award programme (more on this below). CCP can help, and provide students with resources to track academic progress if transitioning to a new qualification, but may not be able to track every student.
Why This Update?
• This is not so much a change as a codification of the spirit of the CCP's flexible enrolment policies. The intention of offering part-time and after hours options has been for Certificate and Diploma students to be able to take one subject per term—not one subject per year. The system was never designed for Certificate and Diploma students to take the better part of a decade to complete each qualification.
• There is a time limit of sorts on completing your qualification. The qualification Training Packages are reviewed every four years. The changes can be big or small. Last time, reconciling new packaging rules with our course structure meant the Certificate IV went from eight subjects to nine.
• The next review period is at the end of 2019, and there is usually a one-year Transition period for currently-enrolled students to complete the qualification they enrolled in. Doing the maths, you can see how a student commencing studies now in mid-2018 would actually have less than three years to complete the current qualification. We will keep students updated and give plenty of notice of these changes and Transition periods once we know. We will advise students to complete qualifications within the Transition period.
• Transitioning from an old to a new qualification academic tracking is required and can be complex. We are not able to track every student and the burden of mapping your transition may fall on you.
• Tracking students across changing qualifications, while also taking into account more frequent changes to the individual competencies that make up subjects, creates an unmanageable administrative burden.
• When scheduling classes, CCP takes into account the subjects that current students need, and creates a timetable suited to the maximum number of students possible. Inconsistent enrolment has negatively impacted many students' study plan, and makes schedule planning problematic.
• The CCP course pricing is based on past patterns of most students undertaking one subject every term, as intended. The formalised three-year qualification time frame will hopefully allow for a slowing of the rise in tuition fees. If the pattern of students taking more time off persists, course fees will rise faster to maintain services.
Second Policy Update: No more "pencilling in" or waiting lists
• This is more of an amendment to our practices than policies. We can note students' interest in a class. But this will not hold a place in the class.
• The only way that a place in a class will be recognised is by enrolling with full payment, or the $100 non-refundable deposit. Students can enrol online (online only accepts full payment), in person, or with a PDF enrolment form (new student form PDF).
• If enrolling "offline", you can secure a place with just a $100 deposit. No further payment is required until the term starts. The only catch is missing out on the $40 early payment discount. Fee by Instalment is also an option. As always, read the Terms & Conditions before signing.
Why This Change?
• We are sorry about this; "pencilling in" has become a sort of CCP tradition. But, sad to say, people are taking advantage. Far too often we have held a place for a student who will wait until the last moment to tell us they cannot attend, or they just don't show up for class.
• Pencilled in students who have not shown up have sometimes caused other students to miss out on a place in a class, when that place was the last available. This is unfair. In other cases, classes have been closed because students did not even mention their interest until days before the term start.
• This also disrupts the budget for the term—keep in mind that with four terms per year, the CCP only pays the bills four times per year. Late enrolments and "pencilling in" wreak havoc with our planning, from quarterly budgets to long-term aspirational goals, and it has gotten worse in recent terms.
• Gavin and Aaron spend an inordinate amount of time chasing up students, especially during the term break, to remind them to enrol for the next term. This is critical time that should be spent planning and making improvements to the CCP. We can no longer afford the time chasing up and reminding people of the term's commencement. Continuing your education is your responsibility –please be proactive.
• We literally cannot plan anything without certainty of class enrolments for the upcoming term. We need to know as early as possible how the budget is looking for the quarter. Our fee-for-service business model dictates this because the CCP is unable to access any Government funding whatsoever.
• This year we will undergo re-accreditation, which involves a mandatory audit, and requires a huge amount of time managing compliance. We are a small business and will not have time to handle the usual chasing up students and reminding you to enrol. Please help by enrolling for Term 3 and 4 promptly.
• As has been explained above, the qualifications are updated every four years and the "building block" competencies that make up subjects are updated more frequently. The qualifications can undergo major changes, with adverse impacts to students. Tracking students across changing qualifications is also a huge administrative burden. Prompt enrolment and a consistent study plan assist by making administration operate smoothly.
• With surety about the budget, quarterly and annually, we can make longer-term plans. These plans will make the CCP ever better for everyone going into the future. We truly want CCP students to feel this is your school—Gavin often says at the term's commencement that "without students we don't have a school". To bring you along on the journey, we have published a blog post, Onward: Building the CCP Together, outlining a vision for our future plans, which will be achievable with a solid and consistent study body.
We're all in this together. The CCP is your school, we want it to be the greatest school possible, and we can't do it without you.