Smart and Skilled Eligibility Made Simple
(Including Fee-Free Scholarships)
You would recently have received an email from State Training Services with several documents attached relating to a new fee exemption category for Smart and Skilled: Fee-Free Scholarships.
While we are very happy to see the introduction of measures that makes training more inclusive it seems that determining student eligibility for Smart and Skilled just got one step more complicated. This blog is an attempt to provide a simple explanation of how to go about determining eligibility, concessions and exemptions including Fee-Free Scholarships.
If you feel you understand these requirements but just want to know what you have to do now with regard to the changes around the Fee-Free Scholarships – skip to The To Do List at the end the blog.
Please note: We have updated all relevant documents in the Smart and Skilled Resource Kit to ensure compliance with the adjusted S&S compliance requirements around the Fee–Free Scholarships. Existing customers should have received by email copies of these documents, please contact us if you have not.
1. All students must satisfy the personal requirements of eligibility (citizenship/residency. Over 15, NSW address and left school)
2. They must meet the program requirements:
- Entitlement (not previously completed Cert IV and above)
- Targeted Priorities – open
- Apprenticeships and Trainees (new entrant trainees or NSW registered Apprentice)
3. Once these requirements are met then eligibility for concessions or exemptions should be ascertained:
a) Students who are entitled to concessions:
- Commonwealth welfare recipient or dependents of a recipient
- Student with disability or dependent of person with disability undertaking second qualification in a year b) Students who are entitled to exemption of fees:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
- Person with a disability or a dependent of a person with a disability
And from July 1:
- Recipients of Fee-Free Scholarships
The Provider must sight certain evidence that support eligibility and the fee charged for students who enrol and commence training.
For Information regarding the evidence to be collected refer Appendix 6 (page 24) in the Smart and Skilled Fee Administration Policy and/or the Eligibility Checklist in the Notification of Enrolment Policy and Procedure in the RTO2Go.com/ Smart and Skilled Resource Kit. This checklist is intended to be an easy to reference, one stop shop check of evidence collected for each student.
In brief recipients must:
- meet the personal and program requirements as identified in Points 1 &2 above
- be aged 15-30
- be eligible for concessions as outlined in Point 3a above
- live, or be on the waiting list for, NSW Social Housing
For S&S Social Housing is defined as:
- Public Housing (owned and managed by the NSW Government)
- Community Housing ((owned and/or managed by community Housing providers)
- Aboriginal Housing (owned and/or managed by the Aboriginal Housing Office or Aboriginal housing providers)
- Crisis/Supported Accommodation (Specialist homelessness services)
- Private rental assistance managed by Housing NSW (eg rental bond loans. Tenancy guarantees, tenancy facilitation and private rental brokerage)
Students do not have to provide evidence of type of social housing they are living in or waiting for but they do have to sign a declaration that they do meet this criterion. (as in the Smart and Skilled Resource Kit: Eligibility Checklist)
1. The Smart and Skilled fee calculator in the Notification of Enrolment Process will not be updated until July 1 to calculate exemptions for Fee- Free Scholarship students. The following is stated in the Smart and Skilled Update No 4 released on June 2:
For Fee-Free Scholarship eligible students who enrol from June 5 (for a start date after July 1), Providers should ignore he concession fee in the Notification of Enrolment report and… not charge students a fee.
2. Any adjustments will be made to provider payments by State Training Services after July 1
3. At this stage the Smart and Skilled website has not been updated to include information on Fee-Free Scholarships. If you wish to give out information, you should refer to the Fact Sheet included with the email sent from Training Market on June 2.
What S&S requires you to do now: