PL 104 - VET Student Loans Student Entry Procedure - TAFE Queensland

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PL 104 - VET Student Loans Student Entry Procedure

1. Purpose

Provides TAFE Queensland with a process for the management of student entry into VET Student Loans eligible qualifications.

2. Overview

TAFE Queensland is committed to having transparent and rigorous processes for student entry that ensure all eligible students who enrol in VET Student Loans eligible unit/s of study are academically suitable for the program, and meet the required minimum entry requirements.

This procedure outlines the step-by-step process to ensure that VET Student Loans student entry applications are assessed fairly and appropriately, and students are enrolled in the most suitable unit/s of study.

Accountability:

The Chief Operating Officer is accountable for ensuring the management and maintenance of this procedure, including ensuring its continued appropriateness to the business, compliance with legislation and external requirements, and periodic review.

TAFE Queensland General Managers are responsible for administering VET Student Loans student entry under the terms of this procedure.

3. Audience

This policy applies to:

  • Corporate Office Staff
  • Regional Staff
  • Students
  • Third parties/agents

4. Process

Communicating Student Entry Information:

4.1 TAFE Queensland corporate office and regions will ensure that consistent information about student admissions is published on all TAFE Queensland websites, including:

  1. Information on 'How to enrol' and 'Entry requirements' for each VET Student Loans eligible program;
  2. Information about any VET Student Loans financial arrangements; and
  3. Identification of when an approved third party is delivering training and assessment on behalf of TAFE Queensland.

Student Entry Eligibility Rules:

Eligibility Rules:

4.2 Current and prospective students are eligible to apply for a VET Student Loans in the following circumstances. The student must be:

  1. An Australian citizen or permanent humanitarian visa holder (resident in Australia for the duration of the unit/s of study); or
  2. A New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holder who meets the long-term residency requirements outlined in the definitions).

4.3 Applicants are also required to meet the following eligibility criteria. The student must:

  1. Apply for a VET Student Loan for an eligible qualification;
  2. Have not exceeded their FEE-HELP limit, or course cap limit for the enrolled course;
  3. Have no outstanding fees or debt with TAFE Queensland;
  4. Provide a Tax File Number or a Certificate of Application for a Tax File Number;
  5. Supply a valid Unique Student Identifier (USI), or exempt letter;
  6. If under the age of 18 have their application co-signed by a responsible parent (unless the student is certified as independent, in which case evidence must be provided of independence); and
  7. Have read the VET Student Loans Information Booklet 2017.

Additional Eligibility Considerations:

4.4 When the number of places in a qualification or unit/s of study is limited by a quota, TAFE Queensland may offer places in order of merit of applicants, including an assessment of skills through work experience, performance at interview, or portfolio of evidence.

4.5 TAFE Queensland may conduct additional selection processes (e.g. interviews, folio of work, academic screening, admission tests) to support the admission process.

4.6 When making decisions about student entry, TAFE Queensland may take into account educational disadvantages that a student has experienced. TAFE Queensland provides equal and fair treatment of all students seeking to enrol.

Student Entry Applications:

Applying a Two Day Cooling Off Period:

4.7 VET Student Loans Officers will advise students who enrol in relevant unit/s of study that any request for a VET Student Loan:

  1. Must be given at least two business days after the student enrols in the unit/s of study; and
  2. Any student who enrols in unit/s of study less than two business days before the Census date for the relevant units will not be eligible for a VET Student Loan for those unit/s.

Managing Student Entry Applications:

4.8 To apply for VET Student Loan students must complete the Request for a VET Student Loan eCAF form.

4.9 In addition, the VET Student Loans Officer will assess student suitability for their chosen unit/s of study by ensuring that students:

4.10 In addition, the VET Student Loans Officer will assess student suitability for their chosen unit/s of study by ensuring that students:

  1. Provide a copy of an Australian Year 12 Senior Certificate issued by a State Agency of Authority; or
  2. Provide evidence of the successful completion of an Australian Qualifications Framework Certificate IV or higher qualification (where the language of instruction is English); or
  3. Display competence at Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) in both reading and numeracy, by completing the approved TAFE Queensland language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) testing tool (Basic Key Skills Builder) and achieve Exit Level 3 or above in reading and numeracy.

4.11 VET Student Loans Officers may also use discretion in addition to the above, when they have evidence to support a reasonable belief that a student demonstrates competence to complete the qualification or unit/s of study.

* Note: TAFE Queensland may alternatively utilise the services of the Queensland Tertiary Admission Centre to conduct selection processes.

Student Entry Language, Literacy and Numeracy Testing:

Language, Literacy and Numeracy Testing:

4.12 In cases where a student is required to undertake a LLN test to demonstrate suitability for a qualification or unit/s of study, the VET Student Loans Officer will:

  1. Ensure that the student undertakes an approved TAFE Queensland LLN testing tool (bksb); and
  2. Ensure that the LLN test occurs after admission and prior to the first Census date.

Management of Language, Literacy and Numeracy Testing Outcomes:

4.13 LLN Specialists will monitor and manage outcomes of LLN assessments on a daily basis, including:

  1. Running LLN Assessment Reports;
  2. dentifying students who have not met the VET Student Loans eligibility criteria, and referring students to the appropriate area within the region for further action;
  3. Identifying students who have met the VET Student Loans eligibility criteria;
  4. Matching each student with submitted Request for a VET Student Loans eCAF forms, or follow up students who have not submitted or have incorrectly completed their Request for a VET Student Loan eCAF form; and
  5. Notifying each student of the outcome of their LLN assessment and progress their enrolment.

4.14 LLN Specialists will undertake case management of students who have not met the LLN entry criteria, including:

  1. Informing students they have not met the minimum entry requirements;
  2. Discussing with the student the most appropriate method of addressing their learning needs, including:
    1. Undertaking a complete LLN diagnostic to identify specific learning requirements;
    2. Undertaking a supported learning program, including enrolment in learning support program in addition to VET Student Loans eligible program);
    3. Identifying an alternate study pathway;
    4. Enrolling in specialist foundation skills program/s; and
    5. Other program counselling based on student's learning requirements.
  3. Establishing an appropriate Training Support Plan with the student; and
  4. Formally agreeing upon an alternative enrolment option for the student.

4.15 LLN Specialists will notify VET Student Loans Officers of the selected option for the student's alternative enrolment.

Processing Student Enrolments:

4.16 For successful student entry applications, VET Student Loans Officers must provide the student with access to the following information:

  1. The Tuition Fees and other Service Fees applicable to the student's enrolment;
  2. The VET Student Loan cap for the qualification, and the student's responsibility to pay the relevant fees over prescribed cap for the qualification;
  3. The student's options for payment of Tuition Fees over the prescribed capped amount for the qualification, including accessing a Payment Plan;
  4. Information about VET Student Loans (including direction to the relevant section of the TAFE Queensland website) including:
    1. It is a loan from the Commonwealth;
    2. The loan will remain a personal debt until it is repaid to the Commonwealth;
    3. The loan may, until the debt is repaid, reduce a student's take-home (after-tax) wage or salary, and may reduce the student's borrowing capacity; and
    4. The amount of HELP debt the student would accrue if the student received the maximum VET Student Loan for the qualification; and
    5. The student may wish to seek independent financial advice before applying for a loan.
  5. Information about Census days, including:
    1. The meaning of a Census day; and
    2. If the student withdraws before the Census day they will not incur a VET Student Loan debt and will receive a refund.

4.17 Upon communicating a student's successful application for student entry the VET Student Loans Officers will undertake the next steps in processing the student's enrolment:

  1. Advise the student of their successful enrolment in the unit/s of study;
  2. Create a Commonwealth Higher Education Support Student Number (CHESSN);
  3. Issue a VET Student Loan Statement of Covered Fees;
  4. Issue a VET Student Loan Fee Notice, not less than 14 days prior to the census date, and not more than 14 days before the unit commencement date; and
  5. Produce a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN), and issue to the student.

Dispute Arrangements:

4.18 TAFE Queensland will provide students with the opportunity to submit a complaint about a VET Student Loans student entry decision in cases where the student disputes the decision.

4.19 Complaints about student entry decisions will be managed as a complaint under TAFE Queensland’s complaints management process.

Records Management:

4.20 Results of student LLN testing will be reported upon request to the Secretary, Department of Education and Training (Commonwealth).

4.21 All records related to a student's application for a VET Student Loan must be kept for the minimum period as outlined in the General Retention and Disposal Schedule, in particular:

  1. Records of LLN testing must be retained for a period of 5 years; and
  2. Records of a student's Senior Secondary Certificate of education must be retained for a period of 5 years (excludes students offered a place via the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre, as they will be required to maintain this evidence).

4.22 In cases where the retention period outlined in a contractual or funding agreement is longer than the General Retention and Disposal Schedule the relevant records should be maintained in accordance with that agreement.

5. Responsibilities

VET Student Loans Officers:

5.1 Provide consistent information to prospective students regarding VET Student Loans entry requirements.

5.2 Assess student entry requirements prior to confirming their admission to a VET Student Loans eligible program.

5.3 Apply a two day cooling off period to all VET Student Loans enrolments.

5.4 Confirm student suitability for entry into VET Student Loans eligible programs (Certificate of Education) and make LLN testing available to students

5.5 Monitor LLN testing outcomes.

5.6 Refer students who have not met LLN entry criteria to the region's LLN Specialist.

5.7 Manage VET Student Loans applications and enrolments for students who have met LLN entry criteria.

5.8 Create CHESSNs, CANs and VET Student Loans Invoice Notices for successful applicants.

5.9 Manage student records.

LLN Specialists:

5.10 Advise and manage students who have not met LLN entry criteria.

5.11 Assist student to make informed decision about their future study pathways.

5.12 Co-ordinate and/or facilitate additional testing or training required by students.

5.13 Advise VET Student Loans Officers of a student's pathway and/or eligibility for enrolment into VET Student Loans eligible qualifications or unit/s of study.

5.14 Manage student records.

6. Definitions

Approved Course:

A course for which students can access a VET Student Loan. These courses are listed in the courses and loan caps determination and have a high national priority, meet industry needs, contribute to addressing skills shortages and align with strong employment outcomes.

Basic Key Skills Builder (bksb):

A Commonwealth approved language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) online assessment tool. The tool is available to all students commencing courses with TAFE Queensland. bksb provides a snapshot of a student's strengths and skill gaps - ensuring a consistent approach to LLN assessments across all areas. The assessment generates an individual report or group report aligned to the LLN Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) levels in reading and numeracy.

Census Date:

The deadline, for completing the request for a VET Student Loan and formally withdrawing from any courses or part of a course without any financial penalty.

FEE-HELP:

An Australian Government loan program that helps eligible fee paying students pay their tuition fees for higher education study.

FEE-HELP Balance:

The amount of VET Student Loan, VET FEE-HELP and/or FEE-HELP, you have left to use before reaching the FEE-HELP limit.

FEE-HELP Limit:

The maximum amount of VET Student Loans, VET FEE-HELP and/or FEE-HELP, you can use over your lifetime. The FEE-HELP limit is indexed annually on 1 January.

electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) (Request for a VET Student Loan eCAF):

The online system for students to request a VET Student Loan (and other loans) under the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP). It provides students with a secure and easily accessible way to complete application forms for these courses.

Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN):

Language relates to the words, verbal structures and gestures to convey meaning. Literacy means being able to read and use written information. It also means being able to contextualise writing in an appropriate way. Numeracy is the ability to understand and work with numbers.

Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN):

Language relates to the words, verbal structures and gestures to convey meaning. Literacy means being able to read and use written information. It also means being able to contextualise writing in an appropriate way. Numeracy is the ability to understand and work with numbers.

New Zealand Special Category Visa Holder (SCV):

A visa for New Zealand passport holders provided in the absence of another valid Australian visa, provided they have met certain security, character and health requirements. A temporary visa that expires as soon as the person leaves Australia, but remains in place for as long as they remain in Australia.

A New Zealand citizen and that holds a SCV you may be able to access VET Student Loans, providing they:

  1. Have been usually resident in Australia for at least 10 years;
  2. Were a dependent child when you first began to be usually resident in Australia;
  3. Have been in Australia for periods totalling 8 years during the previous 10 years; and
  4. Have been in Australia for periods totalling 18 months during the previous 2 years.

Request for a VET Student Loan eCAF Form:

The on-line system for students to request a VET Student Loan. It provides students with a secure and easily accessible way to complete application forms for VET Student loans (see Government electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF)).

Responsible Parent:

A person who:

  1. Is a parent of the child except where, because of orders made under the Family Law Act 1975, the person no longer has any parental responsibility for the child; or
  2. Under a parenting order the child is to live with (whether or not the person is a parent of the child); or
  3. Under a parenting order has parental responsibility for the child's long-term or day-to-day care, welfare and development (whether or not the person is a parent of the child); or
  4. Whether or not a parent of the child, has guardianship or custody of the child, jointly or otherwise, under an Australian law or a foreign law, whether because of adoption, operation of law, an order of a court or otherwise.

A responsible parent's signature is required for a VET Student Loan application if the student:

  1. Is under 18; and
  2. Has a responsible parent; and
  3. Has not received youth allowance on the basis that they are independent.

Unique Student Identifier (USI):

Unique reference number made up of 10 numbers and letters that creates a secure online record of your recognised training and qualifications gained in Australia.

VET Student Loans (VSL):

Australian Government loan program that helps eligible students enrolled in approved higher level vocational education and training courses at approved course providers pay their tuition fees.

7. Legislative and Policy Basis