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Electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (PO) (retired)

The Electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (PO) Submission contains records providing information about students who;

  • Complete any of the following Commonwealth Assistance forms electronically;
    • request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP;
    • request for FEE-HELP assistance;
    • request for FEE-HELP assistance - Open Universities Australia (OUA);
    • OS-HELP debt confirmation; or
    • request for SA-HELP assistance.


  • Are eligible for HELP assistance; and
  • Provide a valid TFN.


The PO Submission is reported each half year. Timing of submissions is shown in the Timing Matrix.


The PO is the only file included in the PO Submission. Information about the elements that are included in the PO Submission and the file structure can be found in the structure document for the relevant reporting year.

The data reported in each record in the PO Submission is the minimum data requirement to enable the reconstruction of the relevant Commonwealth Assistance form if required.

Each record in the submission provides information for a particular Student ID (E313)/Course of Study (E533)/Request for Commonwealth Assistance Indicator (E547) combination. Usually there is only one record for each student in the submission. However, if a particular student is doing more than one course of study, or has more than one loan scheme within one course of study, then there would be more than one record for that student in the submission.

While there may be more than one record for a student, there can only be one record on the PO Submission matching on:

  • Student Identification Code (E313)
  • Course of Study Code (E533)
  • Request for Commonwealth Assistance Indicator (E547)

Records to be excluded

Records are not to be included in the PO Submission where a student completes an Electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (ECAF) and identifies on that form that they are eligible for either HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, SA-HELP or OS-HELP assistance, but a valid Tax File Number (TFN) has not be provided.

Note: If the TFN provided does not pass the ATO's TFN checking algorithm, records must be excluded in the PO Submission. The certificate TFN value of “00bbbbbbbbb” or “ZZZZZZZZZZZ” will not be accepted as a legal TFN on the PO Submission b = (space).

For more information about terms used in this document please refer to the Glossary.

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