If you are thinking about doing a Professional Year program we are sure you’ll have some questions. From our experience of working with more than 21,000 Professional Year students, we have compiled these Frequently Asked Questions. Our friendly team would also love to discuss your queries and help you to become another successful PE graduate.
What IELTS score is required for the Professional Year program?
The Professional Year program requires an overall IELTS score of 6.0, or the equivalent score from the Pearsons (PTE), TOEFL, iBIT or Cambridge Advanced English tests. For individual IELTS bands (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking), the accounting PY stream requires a score of 6 or above for each, while the IT PY stream requires individual scores of 5 or above for each.
I have completed my tertiary qualification in Accounting or IT overseas. Can I enrol in the PY program?
To be eligible for the PY program, students must have completed at least two years of tertiary education in an Australian educational institution in a related accounting or IT field. The program is designed to develop employability skills of international graduates from Australian universities.
Do I need to undertake a Skill Assessment? I already have a 485 visa.
Students looking to study the Accounting PY program must provide a formal Skills Assessment to be eligible for enrolment into the program.
However, students looking to study the IT PY program are not required to provide a formal Skills Assessment, as long as they have completed at least two years of tertiary education in Australia in a related IT field.
Can I take leave during the program?
Sure, we understand life happens and flexibility is required. You are able to take leave, but please be mindful that the longer you are away, the longer your program will be extended, which can be a concern for visa duration, particularly if your graduation date is pushed back. You will be required to make up any subjects or assessments you have missed, which may incur additional fees.
I am on a bridging visa and still don’t have my 485 visa. Can I enrol in the PY program?
The good news is – yes! You can enrol in the PY program as soon as you get your bridging visa.
Can I pay my program fee in instalments?
Yes. Students have the option to pay their program fee over nine monthly instalments. Performance Education offers the most flexible payment options of any Professional Year provider so you can easily manage your finances.
Is there any extra charge if I choose the instalment payment option?
No. The fees will be the same regardless of the payment option chosen. We are aware of the financial difficulties that some students may face, so the instalment option is simply an alternative to regular full fee payment. We want to help you reach your goal with as much ease as possible.
Can I change my study day?
For our Sydney and Melbourne campuses, we have two study day groups available to students (Mon, Tue, Fri, Sat) and (Wed, Thu, Sun). If you change to a study day outside the group (and there is space available for student changes), your graduation may be delayed and you will be charged a fee. Students who change from a weekday to a weekend will also need to pay any difference in fees.
When can I change my study day?
Students can change at the commencement of each new subject/intake, depending on class availability on the chosen day.
How do I change my study day?
It's easy. You can request a change of study day form by requesting one at reception or emailing your relevant campus for a copy. All requests for change of study day must be submitted by 5pm on Sunday of Week 1, before the start of the next subject.
I have already completed an internship. Can I be exempt from completing the internship stage of the PY program?
No. To complete the PY program and get the most of out the experience, you need to follow the stages in order and fulfil the 44 week duration requirement. By having exposure to another internship, you will be provided with further experience that can help increase your employability and chances of landing your dream job.
I already have a job. Do I need to quit my current job and have you place me with one of your host companies?
No, you could potentially keep your current job. As long as your current position meets the following basic criteria, it can be substituted in place of your internship. The criteria includes: (1) The role is 80% related to the IT or accounting fields (whichever is relevant to your PY program); (2) you have your own desk at the company; and (3) you are supervised in that role.
I already have a job. Can I complete the program earlier?
The minimum duration of the program is 44 weeks; this has been determined by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). PY programs that run less than this do not meet DHA’s guidelines. Although the minimum program length is 44 weeks, if you already have a job in IT or accounting you may be able to use your existing employment for the internship component of the program. We offer this flexibility to suit your situation while at all times ensuring your workplace experience meets Fair Work Australia guidelines.
If I have to move to another state, can I continue the program at one of your other campuses?
Yes. To accommodate your life changes, we allow transfer to any of our other campuses during the length of the program without any disruptions – as long as you complete the current subject which you are studying. We have campuses in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane.
I am a current student at PE. Is there a referral bonus if I convince my friends to join the PY program at PE?
Yes! There is nothing more powerful than hearing from the experience of people you know so we definitely encourage you to share your experiences with your friends. If they decide to enrol direct with us we will reward you with $500 for each person you refer once their enrolment is complete. For more information about our Refer-a-Friend program, please click here.
Can I join the PY program if I have less than 12 months left on my 485 visa?
No. It is a requirement that all students must have 12 months left on their visa to be eligible to join the program.
What are the most important things I should consider when comparing PY providers?
On the surface Professional Year programs may look the same. They go for the same length of time, have a similar structure and cover mostly the same content. That is because all PY providers must be approved and must follow a set of guidelines. However, within those guidelines, PY programs can vary widely in the following areas:
Internships. The internship component of the PY program is the opportunity to experience a professional workplace and apply everything you learn during the first 7 months of the PY program. For most PY students, it is the most exciting and nerve wracking part as well – and this is where PY providers probably differ the most. How many host companies does the PY provider work with and how many PY students have they placed in internships? How many team members does the provider have dedicated to delivering internships? PE currently has 5,750 host companies which we are growing at a rate of about 750 per year. Our specialist internship division, Readygrad, has a team of 36 team members who have placed over 19,500 students in internships. Beyond the PY, we are also a trusted internship provider to some of Australia’s top universities!
Experience with PY. Like anything, the more you do something the better you get at it. How long has the provider been delivering the PY program and how many students have graduated from the program? PE was one of the first accredited providers in 2009 and is now one of the largest in Australia having worked with over 21,000 PY students.
Student satisfaction and outcomes. At the end of the day, a provider should be judged mostly on what they have achieved for their students and how satisfied their students are. Does the provider have measured outcomes in terms of student satisfaction and employment outcomes? How are they measuring these outcomes? At PE we get these measures (and others) from a yearly survey of graduates conducted independently by respected research firm, McCrindle Research….so you know that you can trust the results -we don’t make them up!
Expertise and content. Providers create their own content, lessons and workbooks which can be very different depending on the expertise and backgrounds of those involved. So make sure you check out the background and expertise of the people behind the PY provider. You want to make sure you are getting the best advice on how to prepare for the Australian workplace and navigate the job market! Do they bring deep experience in the Australian employment market, recruitment, HR as well as professional services (accounting & IT)? PE’s Founder and CEO, Owen Firth, is an Accountant who worked in IT and ran a well-respected recruitment firm in Australia for 12 years. Over the past 12 years, PE has grown to 170 people drawn from recruitment, business, professional services, HR and careers backgrounds. Our class-based content is unique, developed using our deep experience in the Australian employment market and daily interaction with employers. Classes are heavily activity driven and interactive to maximise your learning and engagement.
Why? Why is the provider delivering the PY program? Are they passionate about helping international students to create a better life in Australia? Is the PY program a core business for them or is it one small part of what they do? What are their purpose, vision & principles? PE started in 2006, before there was a PY program, because we saw that international students were struggling in the job market after graduation and no one was helping them. Our purpose is to revolutionise graduate employability in Australia and we have a vision that one day, every graduate will have the skills and opportunity to pursue the career of their choice.
Price and payments. Prices charged for PY programs and payment plans are up to each provider to set, and they can vary widely. Obviously, you need to consider your own personal financial situation and what you can afford. But when comparing providers it is important to balance price against what the provider and program offers. If you are considering the cheapest providers, ask yourself: How do they deliver a high quality program at that price? What will my experience be like? Remember that once you enrol you are with that provider for 10 months as students cannot swap between PY providers. At PE, we have always aimed to be the best, not the cheapest. Over the years, we have certainly refined the way we deliver our high quality program so as to make it as affordable as possible to the most students, because we believe that all students should have this opportunity. Being one of the largest providers allows us to deliver both value and a high quality program and outcomes. We were the first to offer monthly payment plans and still have the most flexible and simple plans in the market.
rate the Quality of Trainers as 'Outstanding', 'Very Good' or 'Good'
of PE grads got a job with their host company
of PE grads improved their understanding of the workplace
I am truly impressed with the way PE operates exactly according to one of its mottos, ‘your career success is our goal’ which has guided me all the way through in pursuing my dream career.
Christine Sarmali, Accounting PY Graduate
Need more information?
Please contact us with your questions or for more information