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School operations

Anaphylaxis

5  Staff training

Clause 12 of Ministerial Order 706 requires school staff to undertake regular training in anaphylaxis management as part of the school anaphylaxis management policy.

The Department has moved to an online model for anaphylaxis training. Under this model it is recommended that all Victorian school staff undertake the online training course.

The online training course will be free to all Victorian school staff (and the general public) and can be accessed on ASCIA's website

Please note: in order to successfully complete this training staff will also be required to show the school anaphylaxis supervisor that they are able to appropriately and competently use an adrenaline autoinjector. This capability must be tested within 30 days of completion of the online training course.

Who is required to undertake anaphylaxis management training?

The Order specifies that school staff must undertake training in anaphylaxis management if they:

  • conduct classes attended by students with a medical condition relating to allergy and the potential for anaphylactic reaction or
  • are specifically identified and requested to do so by the school principal, based on the principal’s assessment of the risk of an anaphylactic reaction occurring while a student is under that staff member’s care, authority or supervision.

Schools are encouraged to consider whether volunteers at the school and regular casual relief teachers should also undertake training.

The Order states that these school staff must:

  • successfully complete an anaphylaxis management training course (either online or face-to-face) and
  • participate in the school’s twice yearly briefings conducted by the school anaphylaxis supervisor or another member of staff nominated by the principal who has completed an approved anaphylaxis management training course in the past 2 years.

How soon must the training take place?

The training should take place as soon as practicable after a student at risk of anaphylaxis enrols and, where possible, before the student’s first day at school.

If for any reason a relevant staff member has not yet completed training, the principal is responsible for developing an interim individual anaphylaxis management plan in consultation with the student's parents. The principal should also consider whether consultation with the School Anaphylaxis Supervisor, the school nurse, or the student’s treating medical practitioner is required when developing the interim plan.

What type of training should be undertaken?

(a) Online training — ASCIA Anaphylaxis e-training for Victorian Schools

The Department has worked with ASCIA to develop the online training course, which is compliant with the Order, for use in all Victorian schools (government, Catholic and independent).

The Department recommends that all Victorian school staff undertake the online training course. This course will be freely available to all Victorian school staff and has been introduced to reduce the burden of face-to-face training on schools and increase the quality and consistency of training.

The online training course includes 6 modules on anaphylaxis emergency management:

  • what are allergies and anaphylaxis
  • signs, symptoms and recommended action for allergy and anaphylaxis
  • adrenaline autoinjectors
  • ASCIA Action Plans
  • anaphylaxis management in Victorian schools
  • a final assessment module.

Completion of the online training course alone is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the Order. An appropriately qualified supervisor (for example, a school anaphylaxis supervisor, discussed in more detail below) will also need to assess a person’s competency in the administration of an adrenaline autoinjector. For more details about competency checks, please refer to the information below.

At the end of the online training course, participants who have passed the assessment module, will be issued a certificate which needs to be signed by the school anaphylaxis supervisor to indicate that the participant has demonstrated their competency in using an adrenaline autoinjector device.

School staff that complete the online training course will be required to repeat that training and the adrenaline autoinjector competency assessment every two years.

Access the ASCIA Anaphylaxis e-training for Victorian Schools

Summary of information for ASCIA Anaphylaxis e-training
  • Completed by – All school staff
  • Course – ASCIA Anaphylaxis e-training for Victorian Schools followed by a competency check by the School Anaphylaxis Supervisor
  • Provider – ASCIA
  • Cost – Free to all schools
  • Accreditation – 2 years
Competency check for online training course

It is recommended that principals identify 2 school staff per school or campus to become school anaphylaxis supervisors. These staff may include a school-funded school nurse, first aider or other health and wellbeing staff, or senior teachers. A key role of the supervisors will be to undertake competency checks on all staff that have successfully completed the online training course. These competency checks need to be undertaken by the supervisor within 30 days of a relevant member of the school staff completing the online training course.

To qualify as a school anaphylaxis supervisor, the nominated staff member(s) will need to complete an accredited short course that teaches them how to conduct a competency check on those who have completed the online training course.

St John Ambulance Australia (Vic) has been contracted by the Department to deliver training in the Course in Verifying the Use of Adrenaline Injector Devices 22579VIC for Term 3, 2021. Schools should contact St John Ambulance Australia (Vic) to register 2 staff per school or campus to attend. Training in this course is current for 3 years.

Registration for the Course in Verifying the Correct Use of Adrenaline Injector Devices 22579VIC can be accessed from St John Ambulance Australia (Vic) by phone 1300 360 455 or by visiting the St John Ambulance Australia (Vic) DET Booking Portal.

Schools will need to determine their own anaphylaxis training strategy and implement this for their school staff.

Summary of information for Course in Verifying the Correct Use of Adrenaline Injector Devices
  • Completed by – 2 staff per school or per campus (school anaphylaxis supervisor)
  • Course – Course in Verifying the Correct Use of Adrenaline Injector Devices 22579VIC
  • Provider – St John Ambulance Australia (Vic)
  • Cost – Free from St John Ambulance Australia (Vic) (for government schools)
  • Accreditation – 3 years
School anaphylaxis supervisor role

Each supervisor will:

  • ensure they have currency in the Course in Verifying the Correct Use of Adrenaline Injector Devices 225579VIC (every 3 years) and the ASCIA Anaphylaxis e-training for Victorian Schools (every 2 years)
  • ensure that they provide the principal with documentary evidence of currency in the above courses
  • assess and confirm the correct use of adrenaline autoinjector (trainer) devices by other school staff undertaking the ASCIA Anaphylaxis e-training for Victorian Schools
  • send periodic reminders to staff or information to new staff about anaphylaxis training requirements and liaise with the principal to ensure records of the anaphylaxis training undertaken by all school staff are stored on-site at the school
  • provide access to the adrenaline autoinjector (trainer) device for practice use by school staff
  • provide regular advice and guidance to school staff about allergy and anaphylaxis management in the school as required
  • liaise with parents or guardians (and, where appropriate, the student) to manage and implement individual anaphylaxis management plans
  • liaise with parents or guardians (and, where appropriate, the student) regarding relevant medications within the school
  • lead the twice-yearly anaphylaxis school briefing
  • develop school-specific scenarios to be discussed at the twice-yearly briefing to familiarise staff with responding to an emergency situation requiring anaphylaxis treatment, for example:
    • a bee sting occurs on school grounds and the allergic student is conscious
    • an allergic reaction where the student has collapsed on school grounds and the student is not conscious
  • develop similar scenarios for when staff are demonstrating the correct use of the adrenaline autoinjector (trainer) device.

The school anaphylaxis supervisor checklist is provided in the Resources tab.

(b) Face-to-face training

For schools wanting to retain face-to-face training, the Order also recognises that completion of one the following 2 alternative face-to-face training courses will meet the anaphylaxis training requirements.

Summary of information for Course in First Aid Management of Anaphylaxis
  • Completed by – School staff determined by the principal
  • Course* – Course in First Aid Management of Anaphylaxis 22578VIC
  • Provider – Any RTO that has this course in their scope of practice
  • Cost – Paid by each school
  • Accreditation – 3 years
Summary of information for Course in Anaphylaxis Awareness
  • Completed by – School staff determined by the principal
  • Course* – Course in Anaphylaxis Awareness 10710NAT
  • Provider – Any RTO that has this course in their scope of practice
  • Cost – Paid by each school
  • Accreditation – 3 years

Please note: General first aid training does not meet anaphylaxis training requirements under Ministerial Order 706.

Twice-yearly school briefings

In addition to the training outlined above, an in-house anaphylaxis school briefing with all school staff must be conducted twice a year, and should preferably be led by the school anaphylaxis supervisor or another member of staff who has current anaphylaxis training. For the purposes of these Guidelines and the Order, this means that the member of the school staff has successfully completed an anaphylaxis management training course in the previous 2 years.

This ensures that the designated staff member conducting the anaphylaxis briefing has current knowledge relating to anaphylaxis management and, importantly, in the correct use of an adrenaline autoinjector.

The briefing should include information on:

  • the school’s legal requirements as outlined in Ministerial Order 706
  • pictures of the students at your school at risk of anaphylaxis, their allergens, year levels and risk management plans that are in place
  • signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis
  • relevant anaphylaxis training
  • ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis and how to administer an EpiPen® and an Anapen®
  • your school’s First Aid Policy and Emergency Response Procedures
  • how to access on-going support and training.

The Department has developed a template presentation for the briefing that can be downloaded.

Although the Order only specifies that relevant school staff must be briefed regularly, the Department strongly recommends that schools brief all school staff on a regular basis regarding anaphylaxis and the school’s anaphylaxis management policy (including hands on practice with adrenaline autoinjector trainer devices by all staff).

*Schools only need to complete one of these courses to meet the requirements of Ministerial Order 706.

Chapter 5 of the Anaphylaxis Guidelines outlining staff training requirements in relation to anaphylaxis management

Reviewed 01 October 2021

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