The Past Course Completion (PS) file contains information about all courses completed by domestic and overseas students undertaking a course of study leading to an organisation’s higher education award.
Timing of submissions is detailed in the reporting schedule for the relevant reporting year.
Providers submit the Past Course Completions submission once a year. This submission includes courses completed by students during the reporting year.
The submission date in the reporting schedule is the final deadline when data should be received by the department. Data can be submitted prior to the due date.
The PS file is the only file included in the Past Course Completions submission.
Submissions are made using the Higher Education Provider Client Assistance Tool (HEPCAT). More information about this process is in the HEPCAT User Guide Part 2.
Information about the structure and the elements in the PS file is in the structure guidelines for the relevant reporting year.
Each record in the PS file must have a unique combination of values for:
- Student identification code (element 313)
- Course code (element 307)
- Specialisation code (element 463)
- Reporting year and period code (element 415).
These elements are the key identifiers for a student’s course completions record. There can be up to three records for each Student identification code / Course code, as up to three specialisations may be reported for a student in a course.
There must be a related award course on the Course of Study submission for the reporting year.
Records to be excluded
Records are to be excluded for students who have been admitted under a formal exchange program with an overseas institution.
However, overseas students enrolled in a higher degree by research at PhD level as part of a cotutelle arrangement are to be reported on this submission.
Where a combined course leads to more than one award, a course completion is only to be reported on the Past Course Completions submission when the requirements of all the awards have been met.
Records are to be included for students who are granted an award (e.g. BA) after ceasing even if the student was enrolled in a combined course (e.g. BA/LLB). However, the course code (element 307) must be coded to the course for which the award was conceded (e.g. BA) and not the combined course (e.g. BA/LLB).
Where a student is granted an award (e.g. BA) after partial completion of the requirements of a combined course which normally leads to a single award (e.g. BA/LLB), and then resumes study of the combined course in the next year, then the award granted (BA) is not to be reported in the Past Course Completions submission.
- Where a student has completed a course for which ALL units of study have been completed either solely through Open Universities Australia (OUA) or through the OUA and another university, the following reporting procedures apply:
- In the university’s Past Course Completions submission, the value for the Mode of attendance code (element 329) is to be set at 4
- The value for the Total exemption granted (element 385) is to be set at 99, indicating in effect that the exemption was granted to 100% of the course’s requirements. (This element cannot be coded as 100 as it only has a 2‑digit field). In these circumstances the student is not reported in the university’s Student submission.
The Past Course Completions submission can also be used to revise previously submitted data. When revising a course completion record it must be submitted with the same key identifiers as originally reported.
Revised records can be submitted at any time. For detailed information on how to revise previously reported data see the higher education revision guides.
For more information about terms used in these guidelines see the glossary.