Inherent Requirements Diploma of Higher Education

Diploma of Higher Education

James Cook University is committed to enhancing student access, participation and success in higher education and embracing the diversity of the communities we serve. The inherent requirements listed for the each course are designed to assist prospective students and all current students to make informed decisions for study.

Inherent requirements

Inherent requirements are the identified abilities, attributes, skills, and behaviours that must be demonstrated, during the learning experience, to successfully complete a course. These abilities, attributes, skills, and behaviours preserve the academic integrity of the University’s learning, assessment, and accreditation processes, and where applicable, meet the standards of a profession.

Reasonable adjustments

JCU assists students who are experiencing a disability to participate in this course, and achieve the inherent requirements of the course, on the same basis as someone who is not experiencing a disability. To do this, JCU works with our students and placement providers to develop agreed reasonable adjustments in accordance with the Student Disability Policy.

A reasonable adjustment is an arrangement, support, or modification, agreed in an Access Plan  to enable participation in learning and achievement of course requirements. Contact JCU’s AccessAbility Services to discuss possible adjustments. Please note that the process of negotiating and implementing reasonable adjustments may take several weeks.

In assessing whether an adjustment is reasonable, the University is entitled, in accordance with the Disability Education Standards, to maintain the inherent requirements of a course. If inherent requirements cannot be met with reasonable adjustments, the University provides guidance regarding other study options.

How to interpret the inherent requirements

Inherent requirements are presented below as domains and sub-domains and contain the following information:

  • The definition of the inherent requirement
  • A rationale as to why it is an inherent requirement
  • Examples of the knowledge, skills, and capabilities that are required to satisfy the inherent requirements of this course.

There are additional inherent requirements for certain undergraduate courses, and you should read them in conjunction with the Course and Subject Handbook when enrolling into a bachelor’s degree.

The inherent requirements of the Diploma of Higher Education are:

Inherent requirement: Demonstrate knowledge of, and engage in, ethical and professional behaviour consistent with all relevant standards
Rationale:Compliance with standards, codes, guidelines, and policies that facilitate safe, competent interactions and relationships for all students/graduates and the people they engage with, supports the physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing of all.
  • Uphold academic and non-academic standards, codes, and guidelines.
  • Demonstrate honesty and integrity in academic settings.
  • Engage in respectful communications with staff and other students.
Inherent requirement: Safe practice sufficient to meet professional and academic performance standards.
Rationale:Safe practices protect the rights, interests, and safety of all stakeholders.
  • Contribute to safe professional and academic environments, including adhering to the requirements of informed consent, privacy, and confidentiality.
  • Uphold relevant workplace health and safety policies.
  • Identify and respond to alarm systems in a time-sensitive manner.

Knowledge and cognitive skills

Inherent requirement:Demonstration of the necessary knowledge and cognitive skills to meet academic standards.
Rationale:The ability acquire information, accurately convey messages, and read, decode, interpret and comprehend multiple sources of information is necessary for effective academic practice.
  • Capacity to locate, recall, and process appropriate and relevant information.
  • Capacity to fulfil assessment tasks in a time-constrained environment.
  • Ability to integrate knowledge of the diversity of cultures and peoples, their differences, and their commonalities.


Inherent requirement:Apply English literacy skills to accurately acquire and interpret information and convey appropriate messages to meet the academic standards required in the Diploma of Higher Education.
Rationale:The ability to read, decode, comprehend, interpret, and apply multiple sources of information are essential competencies required by students.
  • Ability to interpret written and spoken language to enact verbal or written directions in a time-constrained environment.
  • Ability to develop a range of texts including digital, written, and visual texts.
  • Capacity to identify, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information, claims and evidence from a range of sources.


Inherent requirement:Accurate processing and reasoning with numbers and numerical concepts for effective academic practice.
Rationale:Competent reasoning and reliable accuracy with numerical concepts are essential competencies required by students.
Examples:Demonstrate competency in applying mathematics knowledge and skills in academic tasks.

Information and communication technology (ICT)

Inherent requirement:Apply ICT processes and tools fundamental for effective academic practice.
Rationale:Competent knowledge and application of ICTs is necessary for effective academic practice.
  • Select appropriate ICTs to interpret and solve problems in a range of academic contexts.
  • Effective and ethical use of ICTs in academic environments.
  • Engage with an online learning management system to access resources and messages, and complete assessment tasks.

Verbal communication

Inherent requirement: Effective, respectful, and professional verbal communication in English to meet academic standards.
Rationale: Effective interaction with spoken English is required for effective learning and to interact appropriately in different situations.
  • Ability to process verbal information, convey instructions, and respond clearly, accurately, and appropriately, in time-constrained academic environments.
  • Ability to engage in discussions and participate in tutorials and group work.
  • Convey spoken messages accurately and effectively, and communicate in a sensitive manner that responds to cultural and individual differences.
  • Ability to communicate in a timely manner when speed and interactivity of communication are critical for individual safety and/or assessment.

Non-verbal communication

Inherent requirement: Ability to communicate appropriately and respectfully when interacting with others.
Rationale: The ability to recognise and engage in appropriate communicate with congruent and respectful behaviour, and be sensitive to individual and/or cultural variations in verbal and non-verbal communication is required for safe and effective academic interactions.
  • Convey behaviour that is respectful of others and consistent with the nature of discussions and presentations in academic environments.
  • Demonstrate sensitivity to cultural and individual differences when using verbal and non-verbal communication.

Written communication

Inherent requirement: Ability to produce English text to a standard that provides clear and professional communication, with language usage and style that can be tailored to a specific audience.
Rationale: Effective written communication, in English, is an essential academic capability.
  • Construct and communicate academic perspectives in writing, and in a time-constrained environment, using appropriate formatting and referencing when required.
  • Ability to produce discipline-specific written reports and assessment items.


Inherent requirement:Sufficient visual acuity to meet professional and academic performance requirements.
Rationale:Aspects of the teaching, learning, and working environment are delivered by visual means, and the ability to learn from, or respond to, these inputs is required to provide safe and effective academic performance.
Examples:Ability to process, and respond to, the visual information required to provide safe and efficient academic environments.


Inherent requirement:Capacity to interact with auditory inputs sufficiently to meet academic performance requirements.
Rationale:Aspects of the learning environment are delivered by auditory means, and the ability to learn from, or respond to, these inputs is required for effective academic performance.
  • Actively listen, and contribute to, academic discussions.
  • Capacity to acquire auditory information accurately and effectively.
Inherent requirement:Sufficient physical, cognitive, and psychosocial performance for safe and complete academic performance in a time-constrained environment.
Rationale:Sufficient physical and mental endurance is an essential requirement needed to perform multiple tasks in varying periods of time.
Examples:Capacity to maintain academic performance, and complete all required tasks throughout a designated period of time.
Inherent requirement:Demonstrate behaviour that adapts to diverse and changing situations in academic environments.
Rationale:Behavioural adaptability is required to work individually and in teams in changing and unpredictable environments.
  • Be receptive and respond appropriately to constructive feedback.
  • Maintain effective working relationships with staff and students, for example through participating in group tasks and online discussions.