To be eligible schools are required to participate in PACER approved programs at least three of the four Mandatory PACER Institutions. Under the COVID-19 PACER Eligibility Exemption Policy schools have the flexibility to undertake digital programs if face-to-face education programs at PACER Institutions are fully booked. More information is provided below.

The current PACER eligibility requirements state that schools must visit at least three of the four mandatory institutions and the principle purpose of the tour must be to enhance student learning in civics and citizenship education.

If in the event that a mandatory institution is fully booked, then a PACER program at an alternative institution may be booked. Written evidence that the mandatory institution is fully booked is required for this to be deemed eligible.

The mandatory and alternative institutions and their PACER approved programs are listed at Attachment A.

If a mandatory institution is fully booked, or a timeslot cannot be secured for a virtual excursion within the time frame of two weeks prior to or after the start date of the excursion, a face-to-face or virtual excursion can then be booked at one of the alternative institutions. Written evidence that the mandatory institution is fully booked out or that a timeslot for a virtual excursion is not available is required for this to be deemed eligible.

Evidence of confirmed bookings during this time, including the facilitated virtual excursions must be provided. The following documents will be accepted as written evidence:

  • Email confirmation of reservation in each institution or email confirmation that requested bookings are not available
  • Screen shot of the confirmed reservation or screenshot demonstrating that virtual excursion reservations are not available
  • Written receipts from either the national Institutions or the Book Canberra Excursions

Schools must also meet all of the following eligibility requirements:

  • Applications must be submitted at least three weeks prior to the excursion.
  • Each PACER approved institution (either mandatory or alternative) visited during the excursion in Canberra must stamp a visitation form supplied by The BUSY Group, and provided by the school during the excursion. The form will provide evidence of the total number of students that participated in the excursion to initiate payment.
  • Where schools participate in virtual excursions, evidence of participation from the institution must be supplied. A copy of the email sent to the school thanking them for their participation in the program is acceptable.

If you believe you are eligible for an exemption to the eligibility requirements, you can submit an Exemption Application

This policy remains unchanged from the standard exemptions process, which is provided on the PACER website FAQs.

The department will not reimburse the cost of cancellation fees due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schools need to make bookings directly with institutions or through tour operators. The service provider, The BUSY Group, does not assist with bookings.

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