A new National VET Data Policy was agreed by Skills Ministers at the COAG Industry and Skills Council meeting on 24 November 2017. The policy is the result of a sector−wide public consultation process, and closes information gaps by clarifying regulatory requirements and streamlining some reporting exemptions.
The new policy sets the framework for reforms to:
- help students make better decisions and have a more complete official record of their training
- simplify regulation for RTOs.
It will enable reforms under the Performance Information for VET (PIVET) initiative, which will transform the data available to consumers, governments and regulators.
The Policy comes into effect on 1 January 2018.
- Access the policy on the Australian Government Department of Education and Training website.
What is changing?
Key changes include:
- consolidation of the policy to provide guidance about data collection, reporting, use and disclosure in one document
- enhanced AVETMISS reporting functionality to enable RTOs to report activity data as events occur throughout the year
- clarification that all student enrolment activity must reported with a USI, including for students who withdraw or otherwise do not complete
- streamlining of data reporting exemptions for community service organisations (exemptions on the basis of national security are largely retained)
- removal of partial data reporting exemptions for delivery of short courses and to employees and volunteers of enterprise RTOs
- introduction of a mandatory notification to students informing them of how their personal information may be used or disclosed
- more transparent and defined rules in relation to disclosure and use of data from the collections held by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research.
The provision of more accurate and comprehensive VET data by RTOs helps to build a stronger VET system in Australia. The inclusion of USIs in all data submissions will give students more complete information about all the nationally recognised training they have undertaken since January 2015, regardless of where it occurred, which RTO delivered it, or the type of course.
Comprehensive information on students improves understanding of how different types of vocational training are used by different segments of the population, and this supports demographic analysis for workforce planning, policy development and consideration of potential market interventions.
How will RTOs be affected?
RTOs may have to take action to update student enrolment processes and the wording of their privacy notices and student declarations.
RTOs seeking to claim a data reporting exemption on the basis of national security or provision of community services (under Part 5 of the Policy) are required to consult with ASQA about their eligibility entitlement. This includes each RTO that has a similar exemption under the current policy, and to facilitate this process, the policy includes a transition period whereby existing exemptions of this nature remain in place until 30 June 2018.
RTOs delivering VET courses in a single day or less are reminded the temporary exemption allowing the issue of a VET qualification or statement of attainment to a student who has not provided their Unique Student Identifier will lapse on 31 December 2017, as scheduled. From 1 January 2018, unless otherwise exempt, a USI must be reported for all single day courses.
The policy allows a transitional period until 30 June 2018, during which RTOs may opt to report only a specified range of student demographic data in their AVETMISS submissions. From 1 July 2018, the full range of AVETMISS data must be reported.
- Please refer to DET’s responses to frequently asked questions