Advisers registered to take industry exams next month have been advised to attend as normal if they are healthy and have not travelled overseas, but this could change as government restrictions continue to evolve.
In an announcement posted to the FASEA website on Friday, exam administrator ACER said it was “actively responding” to the risks of COVID-19, which had so far infected over 150,000 people worldwide according to World Health Organisation statistics, and that it was taking action “guided by publicly available information from the Australian government’s Department of Health”.
“The outbreak is an evolving situation and advice to candidates will be regularly updated in the coming days and weeks,” ACER said.
“As a pandemic has now been declared by the WHO, the Australian government may require large gatherings to be cancelled. If this is the case and ACER is required to cancel a test, participant fees for cancelled events will be refunded and/or the event will be offered at an alternative time, as may be appropriate.”
A spokesperson for FASEA told ifa the authority was currently in daily contact with ACER to determine the most appropriate course of action, but as no exam session had so far had more than 150 people attend, the scheduled sessions did not fall under the government’s new ban on gatherings above 500 people.
The statement said at this point FASEA exams scheduled from 2 April to 7 April would be going ahead, but that this could change at the last minute. The spokesperson said further communications could be expected from the authority this week due to evolving government guidelines and recommendations.
“If there is a need for any change to the scheduled exam we will advise directly by email – please ensure the email listed on your candidate account is up to date,” the statement said.
However, ACER said it had added hygiene restrictions to exam attendance, including the exclusion of candidates who had been overseas, had had a confirmed COVID case in their household, had flu symptoms or were undergoing mandatory self-isolation. Supervisory staff in these situations were also being told not to work.
“If you do not wish to attend, the exam team will provide you with a refund or deferral to a future exam cycle. [However] if you present on the exam day and complete the registration process but decide to leave the exam venue you are not entitled to apply for a refund,” the statement said.
Candidates could also wear protective masks during the exam but would need to remove these during registration for ID purposes.
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