A new National VET Data Policy (the Policy) was agreed by Skills Ministers at the COAG Industry and Skills Council meeting on 24 November. The new Policy sets the framework for reforms to help students make better decisions, have a more complete official record of their training, and to 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, with a six-month transition period until 1 July 2018. A copy of the Policy is available on the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training’s website.
RTOs may have to take action to update student enrolment processes and the wording of their Privacy Notice and Student Declaration. 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.
The Policy is the result of a sector-wide public consultation process, and closes information gaps by reducing reporting exemptions. Key changes in the new policy can be summarised into three categories:
- consolidation of the policy to provide guidance on all national VET data collections in one document
- reduction of some reporting exemptions for community service organisations and RTOs delivering short courses, but exemptions on the basis of national security are largely retained
- 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. Closing information gaps on short courses as well as longer courses, improves the transparency of training delivery, which supports confidence in the VET sector and makes more information available to training consumers, industry, RTOs, regulators and governments.
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.
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.
More information on the Policy can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions document available on the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training’s website.