The Preference Details File comprises data records for all current higher education undergraduate award courses preferences as listed on an application submitted through a Tertiary Admission Centre (TAC) or directly to a Higher Education Provider (HEP).
The data reported in the records of the Preference Details (PD) File provides information on the applicant’s preferences (e.g. field of education, preference ordinal position) as at the Reference Date.
In cases where only the offer to an applicant is recorded by a HEP, the details for that offer will serve as the values reported in the Preference Details.
For each unique value for Element 700 (Application identification code), there must exist at least one current preference for a Commonwealth supported place in a higher education undergraduate award course identified through Element 724 (Sector code) concatenated with Element 358 (Citizen/resident indicator) and Element 310 (Course of study type code).
Each unique value for Element 700 (Application identification code) may have multiple records in the Preference Details PD) File as each preference listed by an applicant is reported as a separate data record.
Timing of these submissions is detailed in the Timing Matrix for the relevant reporting year which is available on the Data Requirements page.
The Preference Details data element specifications detail the complete set of elements that are reported.
In recognition that there are variations in the administrative process of institutions, some fields are discretionary despite being of key interest for the Department. Discretionary elements should be reported unless data is not collected under current administrative processes. For mandatory elements, generic or ‘no information’ values should be submitted in exceptional cases only.
For the preliminary submission, a greater number of elements are discretionary than in the detailed submissions, due to the provisional nature of data for some elements at this time (for example, preferences for particular fields of education). Thus the validations allow for submission of blank values for a greater number of elements.
For data submissions through HEPCAT please refer to Preference Details File – Structure document for the relevant reporting year on HEIMSHELP.
For data submissions via web services please refer to the Application and Offers Technical Specifications.
Each record in the Preference Details must have a record in the Application Details File, identified by a concatenation of matched values for:
- Element 700 (Application identification code); and
- the Submitter code.
Records to be included
Include one data record in the Preference Details for each preference listed on a valid application.
This includes current preferences in courses cancelled by institutions and current preferences in which the applicant would not be considered eligible.
Valid applications are applications by domestic persons with at least one current preference for a Commonwealth supported place in a higher education undergraduate award course identified through Element 724 (Sector code) concatenated with Element 358 (Citizen/resident indicator) and Element 310 (Course of study type code).
Preferences in the following may also be reported:
- Bridging or enabling or non-award courses (Element 310 – Course of study type code)
- Postgraduate courses (Element 310 - Course of study type code)
- Domestic fee-paying undergraduate courses (Element 724 – Sector code)
- Courses offered in the VET sector (Element 724 – Sector code)
- Intakes subsequent to the intake for the commencing period nearest the Reference Date (Element 709 - Intake date)
Data records are not included in the Preference Details for applicants for whom there are no matching Application Details records.