To write this article we trawled the Smart and Skilled Operating Guidelines 2018, the 2018 Contract Terms and Conditions and the Smart and Skilled Policies and Supporting Documents comparing them with those of 2017. This was not high on my list of fun things to do over a holiday weekend but, hopefully, my time spent can be put to good use by those of you juggling all it takes to run a successful RTO.
Those aside, we have identified the following changes as the ones that will most impact you in your administration and management of the Program:
In most cases your Student Management System provider will have updated your system to ensure that data collection meets the new National VET Data Policy, however, there are some administrative changes that require implementation for the Smart and Skilled collection process.
As in all things, as a Smart and Skilled provider, you are expected to meet all legislative requirements for Registered Training Organisations including those in the new Data Policy, more information on these changes can be found in our post: 2018 VET Data Changes - what they mean for your RTO. However, in this article we focus only on those relating to Smart and Skilled as listed below.
When to use AVETMISS 7.0 and 8.0:
- if you did not submit all your reports for student who completed in 2017 by the Jan 7 deadline then you have until 28 March to do so using AVETMISS 7.0 . After that date all reports must be submitted using AVETMISS 8.0
- for training activity that started in 2017 but will complete in 2018, you must use AVETMISS 8.00.
- any Trainings Activity that commences in 2018 requires AVETMISS 8.00
There are also some Data Entry Changes that have reporting implications for S&S training activity, these are:
- Outcome identifier- two new codes: 41 (Incomplete due to RTO closure) and 85 (Not yet started),
- 90 (Not yet available at interim collection) has been deleted and Code 70 is to be used when a student has not completed training in the Activity Period that is being reported
Changes to Smart and Skilled Fee Administration policy
Again, there is only a minor change in the Smart and Skilled Fee Administration Policy; a statement has been added to the effect that when a student obtains a Commonwealth Government student loan, the RTO must comply with all the requirements of the program. This applies to only those Providers who have received Commonwealth funding (which is normally through the VET Student Loans Program). The RTO2Go.com, Smart and Skilled Fee and Refund Policy has been updated to include this statement.
- Exemptions for victims of domestic violence come under Fee Free Scholarships and are for anyone over 15 who declares themselves to have, or to been, a domestic violence victim or a dependent of one. Proof of eligibility is in the form of a letter of recommendation from a Domestic and Family Violence Service, Refugee or other Support Agency.
- Fee Exemptions for Refugees and Asylum Seekers; evidence required to support this application are Visa Documentaion or Immicard – refer to Appendix 7 of the Smart and Skilled Fee Administration Policy for approved type of visas.
Changes to Subcontracting and Brokering Policy
I found it hard to ascertain exactly when this policy was changed to include the definition of Brokering but the major change for 2018 is the addition of a statement to the effect that the Department is unlikely to accept applications for Brokering arrangements unless under special circumstances where the case is put forward for support of students with specific needs.
There is also a slight change in the application procedure whereby a Provider is required to email the Department to inform them of their intention to apply for approval to set up Subcontracting or Brokering and the Department will then inform which application form to use.
For a full list of the Program changes found in the Smart and Skilled Operating Guidelines and Contract for 2018, please click below.