New Starter toolkit

About

The New Starter toolkit provides quick access to the information higher education providers and VET providers need to start reporting data to the Higher Education Student Data Collection and the VET Data Collections.

Using the resources available here will help you meet your obligations under the Opens in a new window: Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) and Opens in a new window: VET Student Loans Act 2016.

The Reporting checklist summarises the key points you need to know to report your data.

Before you start

Gaining access to HEIMS applications

There are three applications that you will use to report & check data and to allocate & manage CHESSNs:

  • HEPCAT
  • HEIMS Online
  • HEIMS Administration

You will only need one logon ID and password but it must be your own as you are not permitted to use a colleague's logon ID.

If you have not organised access yet we suggest you do today. Our Systems and access page has the Access to HEIMS applications form you need to complete and details about system requirements.

Contact us

If you need advice about getting started or any questions on reporting data or using HEPCAT, HEIMS Online or HEIMS Administration systems please contact us.

Introduction to reporting

Why do you report?

Your organisation is an approved provider under HESA.

As an approved provider you have responsibilities:

  • to your students, to ensure they know how much Commonwealth Assistance they have accepted and how much they can expect to repay through their taxation; and
  • to the Australian Government.

You need to provide estimates to the department. Your payments are based on these estimates and paid to you in advance. In return, you must report certain data so that your payments can be reconciled.

Your data is also used for policy and program management purposes and in publications including Opens in a new window: statistical reports.

 

When do you report?

You must report data by the legislated deadlines. If you do not report in time, your organisation may be in breach of HESA and may have its payments stopped.

It is important that you do not wait until the due date to start reporting your data as you will need enough time to prepare, validate and submit your data. Also ensure you leave enough time to work through any errors or issues contained in the data before the deadline.

The Key dates and reporting deadlines page lists all due dates for the reporting of Higher Education and VET data to the department.

 

How do you report?

Most data is reported using the Higher Education Provider Client Assistance Tool (HEPCAT) which is a PC based application provided by the department. It helps you to prepare, validate and submit your data to HEIMS.

You will need to report your data in "submissions" that may include one or more data files.

The Reporting with HEPCAT toolkit provides you with all the information you need to successfully install HEPCAT and submit your data. It includes system requirements (what type of PC you need to have), the HEPCAT user guide, access to relevant online training videos and webinars.

Watch the HEPCAT basic training videos for a step by step guide to reporting with HEPCAT.

 

Checking and verifying your data

We recommend that you check your data after each submission. This will help you ensure that the data that you have reported to the department accurately reflects your students' personal and debt information. It will also help you prepare for the formal verification periods where your organisation "signs off" on its data and confirms to the department that it is correct. You will use the HEIMS Online application to check and verify your data.

The Checking & Verifying your data toolkit has the information you need to know to verify to the department that your data is correct.

 

CHESSN allocation and management

As an approved provider you may need to allocate a "CHESSN". The Commonwealth higher education student support number (CHESSN) uniquely identifies a student who is enrolled, or is seeking to enrol, in a unit of study with a provider and has indicated they are seeking Commonwealth assistance (including FEE‑HELP) for their studies. The Australian Government uses the CHESSN to manage and monitor the student's HELP entitlements.

The CHESSN toolkit provides you with all you need to allocate and manage CHESSNs.

 
 

Higher education providers

The Administrative information for higher education providers: student support helps you to interpret and implement the student support policies under HESA and its associated guidelines. It includes information about reporting data (section 45) and other details that you need to know about student support.

What do you report?

Your data reporting requirements are issued by the department through a Ministerial Notice under subsection 19-70(1) of HESA.

Data requirements are released for each reporting year which outline the details you need to report for that year. For student data, a reporting year includes units of study with census dates occurring between 1 January and 31 December.

The Higher education student reporting requirements page includes the details about what data you need to report. The scope guidelines for each data file are a good way to start understanding what you need to collect and report data about.

In your first year you can expect to report data about your

  • courses and campuses
  • students – this will include your students' enrolment information, study load (equivalent full time student load EFTSL), debt for all units of study undertaken in the reporting year and for students in receipt of a HELP loan, their personal details including their names, addresses and tax file numbers and Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN).
  • Unit of study completions

You may also need to report about students who have completed a course of study and allocate and manage CHESSNs.

The Reporting - Getting Started webinar provides people brand new to reporting with a range of information about your new reporting responsibilities and how to get started.

 

VET providers

The VET Administrative Information for Providers helps you to interpret and implement VET FEE‑HELP under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) and its associated guidelines. It includes information about reporting data (section 14 – HITS and HEIMS) and other details that you need to know about VET FEE‑HELP.

VET Student Loans (VSL) commenced on 1 January 2017. This replaced the VET FEE‑HELP scheme, which ceased on 31 December 2016. Information about VSL and grandfathering arrangements for VET FEE‑HELP is available on the Opens in a new window: department's website.

What do you report?

VET FEE‑HELP data reporting requirements are issued by the department through a Ministerial Notice under subsection 24 (1) of Schedule 1A of HESA.

VET Student Loans data reporting requirements are issued through a Secretary's Notice under section 53(1) of the VET Student Loans Act 2016.

Data requirements are released for each reporting year which outline the details you need to report for that year. For student data a reporting year includes units of study with census dates occurring between 1 January and 31 December.

The VET Data Collections - 2017 Reporting Requirements page includes the details about what data you need to report. The scope guidelines for each data file are a good way to start understanding what you need to collect and report data about.

In your first year you can expect to report data about your

  • courses
  • students – this will include your students' enrolment information, study load (equivalent full time student load EFTSL), debt for all units of study undertaken in the reporting year and for students in receipt of VET assistance, their personal details including their names, addresses and tax file numbers and Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN).
  • Unit of study completions

You may also need to report about students who have completed a course of study and allocate and manage CHESSNs.

The Reporting - Getting Started webinar provides people brand new to reporting with a range of information about your new reporting responsibilities and how to get started.

 

Training

Training is offered throughout the year and you may register on our Training page and via our eNews. Our training page also hosts training videos and webinars on many key topics, which may be viewed at any time. We also offer webinar or face to face training tailored for your team or organisation.