Changes to the National VET Data Policy – Schedule 1 Privacy Notice
Version 2 of the National VET Data Policy commences 1 January 2019, however registered training organisations have until 1 July 2019 to transition to the new Privacy Notice at Schedule 1 of the Policy.
It is important to note that changes to the National VET Data Policy – Schedule 1 Privacy Notice for VET data collection relating to records of student consent DO NOT extend to USI-related processes. RTOs are still required to seek permission from students to search for their USI and are still required to seek and record permission from students to create a USI on their behalf.
The VET Provider Collection Data Requirements Policy has been replaced by the new National VET Data Policy which was endorsed by Skills Ministers on 24 November 2017 and comes into effect on 1 January 2018, with a six-month transition period* until 1 July 2018. A copy of the Policy is available on the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training’s website https://www.education.gov.au/national-vet-data-policy-0.
Agreement to the Policy demonstrates the commitment of Skills Ministers to progressing reforms that help students make better decisions and simplify regulation for RTOs. The Policy sets the framework for other data reforms that will be progressed through the Performance Information for VET (PIVET) initiative, which will transform the data available to consumers, governments and regulators over the next three years.
More information on the Policy can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions document available on the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training’s website https://www.education.gov.au/national-vet-data-frequently-asked-questions.
The Policy supports the provision of more accurate and comprehensive VET data by RTOs, which will help build a stronger VET system in Australia.
The inclusion of USIs in your data collection will also give students more comprehensive information about all the nationally recognised training they have undertaken since January 2015, regardless of where it occurred, which RTO delivered it, or the type of course.
This data will inform industry about the skills being developed in the training sector; support training providers’ business planning; allow regulators to undertake risk-based regulation; and provide governments with an enhanced ability to develop more targeted policies and better direct funding to training priorities that meet the skills needs of a strong economy.
Further information on the Policy, including a list of Frequently Asked Questions is available on the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training’s website https://www.education.gov.au/national-vet-data-policy-0.
- The six-month transition period only applies to Part B of the National VET Data Policy.
In regards to the new National VET Data Policy. Under the new policy, do RTOs have to obtain the student’s consent to disclose their personal information to the NCVER?
To comply with section 4 of the National VET Data Policy, all RTOs must submit data compliant with AVETMISS for the National VET Provider Collection on all Nationally Recognised Training (section 4.4a National VET Data Policy). If a student does not provide all of the information requested in all of the fields in their enrolment form, RTOs must submit the data that the student has provided, for the National VET Provider Collection (section 4.4c National VET Data Policy).
RTO’s must notify students that their personal information may be used or disclosed for the purposes set out at section 7.1 of the National VET Data Policy. The minimum mandatory content for this notification is in the Privacy Notice and Student Declaration at Schedule 1 of the VET Data Policy (Privacy Notice and Student Declaration).
RTO’s must retain evidence that the student has received the notification (section 7.2 National VET Data Policy). This can be achieved by the RTO retaining evidence that the student has acknowledged the Privacy Notice and Student Declaration (that is, provided their consent to the collection, use and disclosure of their personal information and student declaration that the information that they have provided is to the best of their knowledge, true and correct) (Section 7.2 VET Data Policy).
If a student has not acknowledged the Privacy Notice and Student Declaration, the RTO should check with the student whether a failure to provide the acknowledgement was an oversight or whether they intentionally did not provide an acknowledgement.
When a student acknowledges the Privacy Notice and Student Declaration, to comply with the National VET Data Policy, RTOs should retain evidence of this for two years from the time of the student’s enrolment in the training. It is also suggested that RTOs retain, indefinitely, each version of their template paper and template electronic enrolment forms and the periods that they were provided to students. Note that RTOs may have other record keeping obligations outside of the National VET Data Policy and the RTO will need to continue to comply with those obligations.
RTO’s may provide training to a student, even if a student does not provide their consent to the collection, use and disclosure of their personal information (via the acknowledgement to the Privacy Notice and Student Declaration). RTOs must submit the data for that student to the National VET Provider Collection and advise at the time of reporting that student consent was not provided. Reporting AVETMISS compliant data is essential for the student to be able to receive an authenticated VET transcript of their training.
Further AVETMISS information is contained in NCVER’s fact sheet - Collecting and Reporting Client Details
For more information on the privacy notice and student declaration means for your RTO under the new National Vet Data Policy, please refer here.
On the bottom of the Privacy Notice and Student Declaration form RTOs need to either get the student’s signature or obtain an electronic acknowledgement. If you could clarify the acceptable forms of electronic acknowledgement that would be appreciated.
As long as the RTO can provide evidence that the Privacy Notice and Student Declaration has been sighted and acknowledged, it is up to them how they present that to their students. Some examples of electronic acknowledgement include: a tick box on a website or an electronic enrolment form or email acknowledgement, etc.
Does the change to the National VET Data Policy Privacy Notice mean that I don’t need student consent when I create a USI on behalf of a student or search for their USI?
No, this change does not apply to the USI. You are still required to seek permission from students to search for their USI and you are still required to seek and record permission from students to create a USI on their behalf.