Go to top of page

Reporting your final 2016 VET FEE-HELP submissions - webinar questions

Q: What are the reporting requirements for self-payments over the caps in 2017? Do we have to report it?

A: Eligible VET Student Loan students will be entitled for loans up to a capped amount. Providers may charge above the cap for a course, and if so, students will be expected to pay the difference. Any amount a student pays towards their tuition fees should be reported as the paid up front amount in your VET data submissions.

Further information and fact sheets on the VET Student Loan program are available on the Opens in a new window: department's website.

Q: One of our courses is not on the list of approved courses for VET Student Loans. Can a student have a census date in 2017, while the student is commencing the course on 20th December 2016?

A: For a student to be eligible to opt in to continue their studies under the existing VET FEE-HELP arrangements the first census date for their unit of study must occur prior to 1 January 2017. The student's first census date must occur after the commencement date of the course and the 20% rule for determining census dates applies.

Q: If a student has inadvertently been given a new CHESSN will the department automatically correct the CHESSN to the previously reported one?

A: Where duplicate CHESSNs have been allocated to a student, HEIMS nightly CHESSN duplication process will link the CHESSNs if key personal details are identical i.e. date of birth, first and last names. If a provider is aware that a student has more than one CHESSN they can also link the CHESSNS in HEIMS Administration. The user guide on HEIMSHELP explains how to do this.

Q: Can we report any missed records for course completions that occurred prior to 1st July?

A: Yes, the course completions records for any students omitted from your earlier submissions must be reported in your next submission.

Q: What do we do if we don't have all the results in for the period that ends on 30 November for reporting our course completions?

A: Please send an email to HEIMS.datacollections [at] education.gov.au to advise that no students have completed their courses at your organisation for the period 1 July to 30 November. However, the completions records must be submitted as soon as the results are finalised. All completions data should be reported prior to the verification and sign off of your 2016 data on 1 February 2017.

Q: Confirming, that course completions is for students that "attain" during that period only? You would not record data of withdrawn students / continuing students?

A: That's correct. The Course Completions submission is for the reporting of eligible VFH students who have successfully completed the academic requirements of your VET award. Students who have withdrawn from the course or are still continuing their studies are not included in this submission.

Q: Are there any extensions available on the deadlines?

A: No. Providers are required to report their data by the deadlines set out in the reporting schedule. There will be no extensions to these timeframes.

Q: If a student has a census date prior to 31/12/2017 and opts in to continue under VET FEE HELP, and the course has its final census date in February 2018, is that course funded:

1) Under VFH until 31/12/2017 and then the student applies for a VET Student Loan (provided course is on eligible course list); or

2) Under VFH until 31/12/2017 and then the student pays for the remaining census date

Also, will option 1 change if the VFH debt incurred is over $10,000 (i.e. $11,000)

A: VET FEE–HELP students who meet the requirements to opt in will be given the opportunity to continue their studies under the existing VET FEE–HELP arrangements for units with census dates to 31 December 2017. In certain circumstances some students may be eligible to extend their VET FEE–HELP assistance beyond 1 January 2018. Such circumstances may include, for example, illness or caring responsibilities, or part–time students. Students will need to apply to continue using VET FEE–HELP for their existing course beyond 2017 and applications will be considered on a case–by–case basis.

Q: With data being submitted by the 7th of the following month, what date would providers be likely to receive payments?

A: Payments to approved providers will be made monthly in arrears based on actual enrolments. The schedule for payments will be available on the department’s website in the new year.

Q: A student is withdrawn after the census date for the first Unit of Study. The course in not on the VET Student Loan (VSL) list of approved courses. What if a student wants to re–join the course in 2017, can they re–join, provided the course in not on VSL?

A: If the student's first census date in their approved VET course occurred on or before 31 December 2016 and they have already received VET FEE–HELP assistance for their units, they will have the opportunity to continue their studies under the existing VET FEE–HELP VFH arrangements until 31 December 2017. In certain circumstances some students may be eligible to extend their VFH assistance beyond 1 January 2018.

Further information on VET FEE-HELP opt in arrangements is available on the Opens in a new window: department's website

Q: What is the date of when students are required to opt into continuing their study as a grandfather VET FEE–HELP student?

A: Students must opt–in before returning to study - that is before attending any classes or logging in to continue a course - and no later than 31 March 2017.

Further information on VET FEE-HELP opt in arrangements is available on the Opens in a new window: department's website

Q: If a student had a census for a unit of study in 2016 year and has moved to a different course in 2017 year with two census dates in 2017 would this this student fall into the "opt in" and grandfathering process?

A: Students will have the option to opt into VET FEE-HELP if:

  • enrolled in VET courses prior to 1 January 2017
  • have already received VET FEE-HELP assistance for units of those courses, and
  • remain enrolled in those courses with their original provider

They will be given the opportunity to continue their studies under the existing VET FEE–HELP arrangements for units with census dates to 31 December 2017. In certain circumstances some students may be eligible to extend their VET FEE–HELP assistance beyond 1 January 2018. Such circumstances may include, for example, illness or caring responsibilities, or part–time students. Students will need to apply to continue using VET FEE–HELP for their existing course beyond 2017 and applications will be considered on a case–by–case basis.

Students will need to opt–in, letting the department know they wish to continue under the current arrangements.

Further information on VET FEE-HELP opt in arrangements is available on the Opens in a new window: department's website

Q: When will the department be contacting students to about the requirement to opt into VET FEE–HELP for 2017?

A: The department has started to notify students of the opt–in requirement and will continue to contact students when all final student data has been reported for 2016.

Further information on VET FEE-HELP opt in arrangements is available on the Opens in a new window: department's website

Q: What information will the department use to contact students to opt-in to continue their study under the VET FEE–HELP loan scheme? Will the department use the students CHESSN or data submitted with HEPCAT?

The data reported by providers to HEIMS is the primary source of information for contacting students.

All current VET FEE–HELP students will be contacted by the Department of Education and Training (the department) where records indicate the student has not completed their course. Contact will be made via postal or electronic mail, with students who have an email address being contacted first.

For students that do not have an email on our records, the department will be sending a letter in the postal mail. Due to the volume of students being contacted by the department, letters will be sent progressively commencing from December 2016.

Further information on VET FEE-HELP opt in arrangements is available on the Opens in a new window: department's website

Q: When are providers required to report their 2017 data when census dates fall sometime during 1st and 6th day of every month?

A: Providers would be required to report their data by the 7th day of the next month. As an example, if the census date falls on any day in February, data must be submitted and accepted in HEIMS by 7 March 2017. This includes census dates in early February. If the census date is in early March (1st – 6th) the data is due to be reported no later than 7 April.

Q: How do we remove data that was reported in error for a student who cancelled their study prior to the census date?

A: The units from which the student withdrew before the census date will need to be deleted. You can do this by submitting a VET Student Revision submission through HEPCAT. Step by step revision guides explaining how to delete a record are available on HEIMSHELP.

Q: What data are the success and progress rates calculated from? Is it the live data that includes revisions and updates or are they calculated from the published data which is not updated?

A: The data used for the department's publications, including success and progress rates, are sourced from the verified dataset that providers sign off each year.

The verified dataset does not reflect any revisions or additional changes to data that are made after verification. These later data updates are displayed in the live dataset only which is available in the HEIMS Online Data View reports.

Q: Is there a specific statutory declaration available on HITS?

A: Yes, the template for the statutory declaration will be email to you for the certification of your 2016 collectionreported VET FEE-HELP data. If not received please TSEnquires [at] education.gov.au.

Q: For 2017 reporting are VFH providers required to submit a Statutory Declaration every week if our organisation reports weekly?

A: No. From 2017 providers are only required to submit one Statutory Declaration, executed by either the Chief Executive Officer or Chief Finance Officer for each reporting month. For example, if you report 4 weekly submissions during February, you are only required to submit one Statutory Declaration for February, which would be due by 7 March.

The Statutory Declarations are uploaded to the HELP IT System (HITS).

Q: How do providers submit their Statutory Declaration?

A: The Statutory Declaration is uploaded to the HELP IT system (HITS). This follows the same process providers used earlier this year to upload the Statutory Declaration following the verification of their 2015 data.

Q: There is a unit of study that a student was required to withdraw from due to a transition reason. Should I remove this unit and replace it with a new unit? Otherwise should this unit be reported as “Withdrawn”?

For example, if a student enrolled in FNS50210 Dip of Accounting and have to be transited to FNS50215 Dip of Accounting. Is the student required to be withdrawn and re'enrolled into FNS50215?

A: No, there is no need to remove the record for the unit from which the student is transitioning.

If the student transitions to an updated version of a unit of study after the census date and before they complete the unit, the unit of study completion status should be reported as “in progress”. The student would then be reported in the updated unit of study from the next census date.

Q: A course has only one unit of study in the 2015 year. Do we only report the Course Completion record or are we required to also report a status for the unit of study?

A: Yes. Providers are required to report to the department both the completions status for the unit of study as well as the completion record for the course.

Q: What status should we report if the student has withdrawn after the census date?

A: Generally if a student has withdrawn after the census date they have not meet the academic requirements of the unit and the completions status would be recorded as "failed".

Q: The end date of the unit is 30 January, therefore we will have a number of 'in progress' status as the final result will not be available prior to 13 January. Once the unit has been completed do we re–submit the unit of study completion status?

A: Yes. The final outcome of any units reported as “in progress” should be updated as soon as possible after the end date of the unit.

To ensure your organisation's published data on completions and progress rates is correct, a final result would need to be reported prior to signing off your 2016 data on 1 February 2017.

Q: With regard to unit of study completions, where a student is actively studying we continue to extend their end date and allow them to continue studying. As such the units of study would not have a completion result yet.

A: Your unit of study completions data is a key indicator of your students' success and progress rates. If you are unable to provide any academic outcome for a significant number of your students' units of study across the entire reporting year you should provide an explanation to the department as to why there are no student outcomes for these units.

Q: If a student was reported in a unit of study completions submission early in the year with a status of "in progress", do I need to update the unit of study status and if so how?

A: Yes. You need to update the status of units of study which have been reported with a status of in progress during the year. The updated value should reflect the actual outcome of the study.

To update the completion status, simply re–report the record in another Unit of Study Completions submission with the correct completion status. The revisions guide provides a step by step guide on how to do this.

Q: What status is reported for students who are still undertaking the unit at the end of the reporting year?

A: As the outcome of the study has not been finalised the completion status for these units are to be reported as "in–progress".

Q: Can you please confirm for me that all Unit of Study completions for 1 July to 31 December are due by 13 January. We have a large number of active units of study that are attached to student placements; these are due to conclude next week. If I enter this week, they will be "in progress" or update over the coming weeks there will be completions.

A: You will be able to report the actual completion status for these units based on the outcome of the student's placement as the submission of this data is not until 13 January, 2017. However, you don't need to wait until this date to report, once the outcome is known the data can be reported.

Q: The 20% rule for the setting of a census date is it determined by the start and end date of the unit of study?

A: That is correct; the census date cannot be less than 20% into the duration of the unit and the start and end date.

Q: If a unit of study contains 4 units of competency and 1 of the competencies has not yet been completed by the student is the student's completion status for the unit is coded 4 as the unit of study is still in progress?

A: That is correct as the student has not completed all of the competencies for this unit the completions status has not been determined at the time of reporting then the unit is to be reported as code 4 for units of study commenced later in 2016 or still in process of completing or completion status not yet determined.

Q: When we submit our Unity of Study completions on 13 Jan 2017 we must have no "4" in progress, as they must have a definitive result i.e. 1,2,3,5?

A: The department is expecting that when you sign off your 2016 data on 1 February 2017 the majority of your students will be reported with a unit of study completion status that reflects the actual outcome of the student's studies in that unit.

An "in progress" status should only represent the outcome of a small percentage of the units of study undertaken by your students in 2016.

Q: If the unit of study completion status in a previous submission has been reported as "in progress" and in this current submission the status is still in progress is our organisation required to report another in progress status for the same record?

A: No. There is no need to re–report the “in progress” status for this record. However, when the actual outcome of the study has been determined your organisation is required to update the status to reflect the final result.

Q: According to the reporting schedule, the final 2016 submissions of Student, Unit of Study and Course completion are due in 13 January and verification is starting on the SAME date. How is this going to work?

A: The department will activate the verification process in HEIMS Online on 14 January 2017 to allow providers to start checking their 2016 full year verification reports. Your verification reports will display all data reported by the 13 January deadline.

You can also commence checking your data before the official verification period opens. The HEIMS Online Data View reports display all data reported by your organisation in exactly the same format as the verification reports every day of the year. This gives you the opportunity to check your data every time you make a submission and helps to reduce your work load during verification.

Q: Do students need to be enrolled on or before 31 December 2016 to be able to access VET FEE-HELP, or whether an enrolled student's first census date needs to occur on or before 31 December 2016.

A: For a student to meet the grandfathering arrangements for the VET FEE–HELP scheme, one of the requirements is that the student has been enrolled in at least one unit of study with a census date on or before 31 December 2016.

Q: If a student has deferred their studies in 2015 and therefore is not reported in 2016 year and the student will be returning in 2017 year will the student be meet the grandfathering arrangements for VET FEE–HELP?

A: As the students was enrolled in their VET course prior to 1 January 2017 and has already received VET FEE-HELP assistance for units in the course and has still remained enrolled with the provider then they will have the opportunity to continue their studies under the existing VET FEE-HELP arrangements for units with census dates to 31 December 2017. The VET FEE–HELP opt in fact sheet on the Opens in a new window: department's website provides more detailed information on the grandfathering arrangements.

Q: How will the proportionate fees be calculated for Provisional period loan amounts for VET Student Loans to 30 June 2017?

A: : Information and fact sheets on the VET Student Loan program are available on the Opens in a new window: department's website.

Q: Are we able to start enrolling students and advise them that they will be placed under the VET Student Loans Scheme?

A: Providers that receive provisional approval will be entitled to begin enrolling new students from 1 January 2017.

Further information and fact sheets on the VET Student Loan program are available on the Opens in a new window: department's website

Q: If one of our students commenced in December 2016 but the first census date falls in January does it means that this person will be accessing VFH or VET student loan?

A: If the student's first census date in their approved course does not occur before 31 December 2016 the grandfathering arrangements for VET FEE–HELP will not apply.

If your organisation has been granted provisional approval to offer VET Student Loans (VSL) to eligible students the student may be able to access a VSL to pay their tuition fees.

Information and fact sheets on the VET Student Loan program are available on the Opens in a new window: department's website

Q: What will happen with students who choose to go into the new VET scheme, but we will not be providing it?

A: If your organisation has not been granted provisional approval as a VET Student Loan provider then your organisation is not able to offer a VET Student Loan to your students. Arrangements for your students to pay for their course fees will need to be in place on or before the census date.

Further information and fact sheets on the VET Student Loan program are available on the Opens in a new window: department's website

Q: Our organisation currently reports student data on a weekly basis, are we able to continue, or will we be limited to reporting monthly?

A: Your organisation can continue to report your student data on a weekly basis. Your data can be reported as soon as the census date has passed.

The requirement in the reporting schedule is to ensure the data is reported no later than the 7th day of the month after a census date has passed.

Q: Where can our organisation find information on the implementation of the new Student Loan Scheme?

A: The Opens in a new window: department's website includes a number of fact sheets on the transition arrangements for VET FEE–HELP and the new VET Student Loans.

Q: If a student withdraws prior to census date is the completion status code "failed"?

A: No. If a student withdraws from a unit of study before the census date, the student would not incur a debt for the unit and the data should not be reported to the department.


Return to top