E&T POL 17.0 VET FEE-HELP Policy

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1 v3.0 Version date 24/11/2014 Policy purpose: The purpose of this policy is to ensure that QATC has a comprehensive set of guidelines and principles for the administration of the Commonwealth Government VET FEE-HELP loan scheme and its associated activities and ensure that QATC maintains compliance with the Act and ensure that QATC maintains compliance with the VET Guidelines. Policy scope: This policy applies to both students and persons seeking to enrol at QATC that are, or would be, entitled to access VET FEE-HELP assistance. It is relevant to all officers of QATC (which includes QATC staff and staff in partnering organisations / co-provider organisations) involved in administering and delivering the related procedures and activities for approved VET courses of study and VET units of study. Policy detail: 1. Equal benefits and opportunity 1.1. QATC treats equally and fairly all VET students and all individuals seeking to enrol in a VET unit of study with QATC QATC has an open, fair and transparent policy based on merit for making decisions in relation the selection of persons who seek to enrol with QATC and the treatment of VET students undertaking a VET course of study, namely E&T POL 17.1 VFH Equity & Fair Treatment Policy QATC has open, fair and transparent procedures based on merit for making decisions in relation the selection of persons who seek to enrol with QATC and the treatment of VET students undertaking a VET course of study, namely: (a) E&T SOP 17.1A VFH Publishing VET courses of study procedure (b) E&T SOP 17.1B VFH Student selection & enrolment procedure The policy and procedures referred to in this clause 1 are required under the VET Guidelines and are in addition to other requirements or responsibilities that QATC, as an RTO, may be required to have in place When making enrolment decisions, QATC is not prevented from taking into account: (a) Education disadvantages that a particular person has experienced; or (b) The fact that the VET student may be enrolled in a VET restricted access arrangement If it is necessary to provide a particular benefit to a VET student in order for that VET student to receive equal and fair treatment (for example a scholarship) then this policy does not prevent QATC from providing the VET student that particular benefit. 2. Academic grievance and review 2.1. QATC has grievance & review policy regarding academic complaints by VET students and persons seeking to enrol at QATC, who are or would be entitled to VET FEE-HELP assistance, namely E&T POL 17.2 VFH Academic Grievance & Appeals Policy QATC has written procedures to manage academic complaints by VET students and persons seeking to enrol at QATC, who are or would be entitled to VET FEE- HELP assistance, namely: (a) E&T SOP 17.2A VFH Academic appeals to E&T Manager procedure (b) E&T SOP 17.2B VFH Academic appeals to Appeals Committee procedure (c) E&T SOP 17.2C VFH External academic appeals procedure The policy and procedures referred to in this clause 2 are required under the VET Guidelines and are in addition to other requirements or responsibilities that QATC, as an RTO, may be required to have in place. 3. Personal information management 3.1. QATC has a written policy for the management of personal information, namely E&T POL 17.3 VFH personal information management policy QATC has written procedures for the management of personal information, namely: (a) E&T SOP 17.3A VFH collection & solicitation of personal information procedure. (b) E&T SOP 17.3B VFH storage & security of personal information procedure. Printed date: 24/11/2014 E&T POL 17.0 Page 1 of 8

2 (c) E&T SOP 17.3C VFH accuracy, altering & access to information relating to records procedure. (d) E&T SOP 17.3D VFH use of personal information procedure. (e) E&T SOP 17.3E VFH disclosure of personal information procedure. 4. Tuition fee refunds 4.1. QATC has a written policy for the management of refunds, namely E&T POL 17.4 VFH refund policy QATC has a written procedure for the management of refunds, namely E&T SOP 17.4A VFH refund procedure. 5. FEE-HELP balances 5.1. Responsibility (a) It is the responsibility of VET students and persons seeking to enrol at QATC to be aware of their current FEE-HELP balance and to advise QATC if they do not have sufficient FEE-HELP balance to cover their VET tuition fees VET tuition fees exceeding available FEE-HELP balance (a) If the amount of VET tuition fees exceed the students FEE-HELP balance on the census date for the unit, then QATC will invoice the student directly for the VET tuition fees that exceed the students FEE-HELP balance. The Commonwealth is only liable to pay up to the amount of the students FEE-HELP balance. Example: Kath has a FEE-HELP balance of $2,000 and is enrolled in 4 units with the same census date. Kath s VET tuition fee for each unit is $600. The total amount of VET FEE-HELP assistance to which Kath is entitled for the units is $2,000, even though the total amount of her VET tuition fees for the units is $2,400. QATC would invoice Kath for the remaining $ Student to advise proportional amounts (a) If: (i) A student has enrolled in units with QATC and another provider; and (ii) Together the VET tuition fees from QATC and the other provider exceed the student s FEE- HELP balance; Then the student must notify QATC of the proportion of the total amount of VET FEE-HELP assistance that is to be payable in relation to the units in which the student has enrolled with QATC. (b) In this instance, QATC will recover any outstanding VET tuition fees directly from students. The Commonwealth is only liable to pay up to the amount of the student s FEE-HELP balance. 6. Re-crediting FEE-HELP balances and VET reviewable decisions 6.1. QATC has a written policy regarding re-crediting FEE-HELP balances and VET reviewable decisions for VET students, namely E&T POL 17.5 VET FEE-HELP review & re-crediting policy QATC has written procedures re-crediting FEE-HELP balances and managing VET reviewable decisions for VET students, namely: (a) E&T SOP 17.5A VFH Re-crediting pursuant to no TFN procedure; (b) E&T SOP 17.5B VFH Re-crediting when student selects VET tuition fee repayment option procedure; (c) E&T SOP 17.5C VFH Re-crediting in special circumstances procedure; (d) E&T SOP 17.5D VFH Reviewable VET decisions procedure The policy and procedures referred to in this clause 6 are required under the VET Guidelines and are in addition to other requirements or responsibilities that QATC, as an RTO, may be required to have in place. 7. Non-academic grievances and complaints 7.1. QATC has grievance & review policy regarding non-academic complaints by VET students and persons seeking to enrol at QATC, who are or would be entitled to VET FEE- HELP assistance, namely E&T POL 17.6 VFH Non-Academic Grievance and Appeals Policy has grievance & review procedures for managing non-academic complaints by VET students and Printed date: 24/11/2014 E&T POL 17.0 Page 2 of 8

3 persons seeking to enrol at QATC, who are or would be entitled to VET FEE- HELP assistance, namely: (a) E&T POL 17.6A VFH Non-academic grievance & appeals (to E&T Manager) procedure; (b) E&T POL 17.6B VFH Non-academic grievance & appeals (to Executive Director) procedure; and (c) E&T POL 17.6C VFH Non-academic grievance & appeals (external appeals) procedure The policy and procedures referred to in this clause 7 are required under the VET Guidelines and are in addition to other requirements or responsibilities that QATC, as an RTO, may be required to have in place. 8. Eligibility and tax file numbers (TFN s) 8.1. QATC has a written policy for assessing eligibility for VET FEE-HELP assistance and tax file numbers, namely E&T POL 17.7 VFH eligibility & tax file numbers policy has written procedures for assessing eligibility for VET FEE-HELP assistance, namely: (a) E&T SOP 17.7A VFH managing receipt of TFN after the request for commonwealth assistance procedure; and (b) E&T SOP 17.7B VFH managing requests for commonwealth assistance where no TFN is supplied procedure; and (c) E&T SOP 17.7C VFH management of TFN information procedure. 9. VET tuition assurance 9.1. QATC has a written policy regarding tuition assurance for VET students, namely E&T POL 17.8 VFH tuition assurance policy QATC has a written procedure for managing tuition assurance for VET students, namely E&T SOP 17.8A VFH Ceasing to provide a VET course of study procedure. 10. Fees and dates QATC has a written policy regarding fees and relevant dates for VET students, namely E&T POL 17.9 VFH fees & dates policy QATC has a written procedure for managing fees and dates for VET students, namely E&T SOP 17.9A VFH varying fees, charges and/or census dates for VET courses of study procedure. 11. Commonwealth assistance notices (CAN s) QATC has a written policy regarding CAN s for VET students, namely E&T POL VFH commonwealth assistance notice policy QATC has written procedures for managing CAN s for VET students, namely: (a) E&T SOP 17.10A VFH Issuing commonwealth assistance notices procedure; and (b) E&T SOP 17.10B VFH Correcting commonwealth assistance notices procedure. 12. Electronic communications and information technology QATC has a written policy regarding electronic communications and information technology for VET students, namely E&T POL VFH electronic communications & information technology policy QATC has a written procedure regarding the deployment of electronic communications & information technology to VET students, namely: (a) E&T SOP 17.11A VFH Electronic communications & information technology procedure. 13. Reporting and auditing QATC has a written policy regarding VET FEE-HELP reporting & auditing, namely E&T POL VFH reporting & auditing policy QATC has written procedures for the management of VET FEE-HELP reporting and auditing, namely: (a) E&T SOP 17.12A VFH reporting procedure (b) E&T SOP 17.12B VFH auditing procedure 14. Quality and accountability requirements Financial viability requirements (a) QATC is financially viable and likely to remain financially viable VET quality requirements (a) QATC operates and will continue to operate at an appropriate level of quality set out in the ASQA Printed date: 24/11/2014 E&T POL 17.0 Page 3 of 8

4 requirements for VET quality, specifically the: (i) Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations 2012; and (ii) Fit and Proper Person Requirements 2011; and (iii) Financial Viability Risk Assessment Requirements 2011; and (iv) Data Provision Requirements 2012; and (v) Australian Qualifications Framework VET compliance requirements (a) QATC complies with: (i) The Act and the regulations; and (ii) The VET Guidelines that apply to QATC; and (iii) Any conditions imposed upon QATC s approval as a VET provider. 15. Publication of this policy This policy is made available to students and persons seeking to enrol with QATC by publication on the QATC website (www.qatc.edu.au) QATC communicates its VET FEE-HELP policies and procedures in writing to staff and trains staff in their application. 16. Review Periodic review (a) QATC periodically reviews (and where necessary, amends) this policy, the accompanying procedures and other associated documentation as part of its continuous improvement cycle. 17. Definitions Definitions have meanings given (a) In this policy, the following terms have the meanings given to them in 17.2 below, whether italicised or not. (b) Where any word or phrase is given a definition, any other part of speech of other grammatical form in respect of that word or phrase has a corresponding meaning. (c) References to one gender include references to the other gender Meanings (a) Academic matters includes matters which relate to student progress, assessment, curriculum and awards in a VET course of study. (b) Administration date is the start of study for a VET unit of study, and is also the deadline by which students must enrol in that unit of study. (c) Annual Financial Reporting Period is the period of 12 months: (i) To which QATC s accounts relate; and (ii) That is notified in writing to the Minister as QATC s annual financial reporting period. (d) Appropriate officer is a person whom has appointed to be an appropriate officer of QATC for the purposes of VET FEE-HELP assistance by either the Executive Director of QATC or by a nominated delegate of the Executive Director of QATC. (e) AQF means the Australian Qualifications Framework. (f) ASQA means the Australian Skills Quality Authority. (g) ATO means the Australian Taxation Office. (h) CAN means Commonwealth Assistance Notice. (i) Census period means the period on or before the Census Date for the relevant VET Unit or Units of Study. (j) CHESSN means Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number which students are allocated a when they use Commonwealth assistance (e.g. scholarship, Commonwealth supported place, HELP loan etc). It is a unique identifier that will remain with them and it is allocated to them by QATC when they apply for admission to a course. It helps QATC and the Australian Government to provide information to the student about the Commonwealth assistance they have used. The CHESSN Printed date: 24/11/2014 E&T POL 17.0 Page 4 of 8

5 (k) (l) (m) (n) (o) (p) (q) (r) (s) (t) (u) (v) must be used in all communications with the Commonwealth Government concerning a person who is enrolled, or seeking to enrol, in a VET unit of study with the QATC; and has indicated that they are seeking Commonwealth assistance under HESA for the unit of study, or is a Commonwealth supported student for the unit of study. Students are notified of their CHESSN when they receive their first CAN. This CHESSN will remain linked to the student for the remainder of their academic life for the purposes of managing the Higher Education Loan Program (including VET FEE-HELP) and Commonwealth Learning Scholarships. The CHESSN is limited in its use to monitoring Commonwealth assistance to eligible students, including the provision of data to the ATO regarding FEE-HELP debts. Students also use their CHESSN to access information on their use of Commonwealth assistance through the Going to Uni website (www.goingtouni.gov.au). Commonwealth means the Commonwealth of Australia. Census date means the last date that a student can submit a Request for VET FEE-HELP Assistance form for VET units of study in the census period for which the student wishes to obtain VET FEE-HELP assistance. Once the census date has passed, the student incurs a debt to the Commonwealth, regardless of whether they complete the VET unit of study or not. The census date is the last date that a student can withdraw from a VET unit of study without incurring a debt to the Commonwealth. Data storage device means any article or material (for example, a disk) from which information is capable of being reproduced, with or without the aid of any other article or device. the Department means the Department of Education or the Commonwealth government department responsible for administering the Higher Education Support Act EFTSL is an equivalent full-time student load for a year. It is a measure, in respect of a VET course of study, of the study load for a year of a student undertaking that course of study on a fulltime basis. Electronic communication means a communication of information in the form of data, text or images by means of guided and/or unguided electromagnetic energy; or a communication of information in the form of speech by means of guided and/or unguided electromagnetic energy, where the speech is processed at its destination by an automated voice recognition system. FEE-HELP balance is the amount of FEE-HELP limit a person has not used. It is the sum of the amount of FEE-HELP assistance and VET FEE-HELP assistance that is used to calculate a person s FEE-HELP balance. First period of a year commences on the 1st of January and ends on the 30th of June of that year. Full fee-paying student is a VET Student enrolled in a VET course of study for which QATC does not receive any funding from a State, Territory or the Commonwealth in relation to the student s enrolment in that VET course of study. HEP means a higher education provider. HESA means Schedule 1A of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cwlth). Incidental charges and incidental fees means a charge or fee that is incidental to studies if it: (i) is for a good or service that is not essential to the VET course of study; or (ii) is for an alternative form(s) of access to a good or service that is an essential component of the VET course of study but is otherwise made readily available at no additional fee by QATC; or (iii) is for an essential good or service that the student has the choice of acquiring from a supplier other than QATC and is for: (I) equipment or items which become the physical property of the student and are not consumed during the VET course of study; or (II) food, transport and accommodation costs associated with the provision of field trips that form part of the VET course of study;or (iv) a fine or penalty, provided it is imposed principally as a disincentive and not in order to raise Printed date: 24/11/2014 E&T POL 17.0 Page 5 of 8

6 (w) (x) (y) (z) (aa) (bb) (cc) (dd) (ee) (ff) (gg) (hh) (ii) (jj) (kk) revenue or cover administrative costs. Information means information in the form of data, text, images or speech. Information is given means anything that is giving information, which includes, but is not limited to, the following: (i) making an application; (ii) making or lodging a claim; (iii) giving, sending or serving a notification; (iv) lodging a return; (v) making a request; (vi) making a declaration; (vii) lodging or issuing a certificate; (viii) making, varying or cancelling an election; (ix) lodging an objection; and (x) giving a statement of reasons. Information technology requirements includes software requirements. Minimum Repayment Threshold or Minimum Repayment Income means the minimum income threshold at which students compulsorily start repaying their accumulated HELP debt and is indexed each year in accordance with s of the Act. Non-academic Matters includes those matters which do not relate to student progress, assessment, curriculum and awards in a VET course of study and includes complaints in relation to personal information that QATC holds in relation to a VET student. Officer of QATC means a person who is: (i) An officer or employer of QATC; or (ii) A person who, although not an officer or employee of QATC, performs services for or on behalf of QATC. Official employment of a VET officer at QATC are the services as such an officer. Partnering agreement or Partnering arrangement means an agreement made pursuant to E&T POL 7.0 Co-provider agreements policy. Partnering organisation means an organisation which enters into a partnering agreement with QATC. Permanent humanitarian visa is a visa that is, or has at any time been, defined as a permanent humanitarian visa for the purposes of the regulations made under the Migration Act 1958 (Cwlth). Person and/or Potential Student means all customers of QATC seeking to enrol in or enquiring about a VET unit of study that meets the course requirements under the Act who are, or might be, entitled to VET FEE-HELP assistance. QATC means the. Request for VET FEE-HELP assistance or Request for Commonwealth assistance is a document: (i) In which the person requests the Commonwealth to provide assistance under the Act in relation to the unit or, where the unit forms part of a VET course of study undertaken with QATC, in relation to the course of study; and (ii) That is in the form approved by the Minister. Restricted access arrangement means an arrangement that was entered into between QATC and an employer industry body that limits or restricts enrolments in some or all of the places in the course. Review officer of QATC is a person, or a person included in a class of persons, whom: (i) The Chief Executive Officer of QATC; or (ii) A delegate of the chief executive officer of the provider; has appointed to be a review officer of QATC for the purposes of reviewing decisions made by QATC relating to VET FEE-HELP assistance. Printed date: 24/11/2014 E&T POL 17.0 Page 6 of 8

7 (ll) RPL and Recognition of Prior Learning allows individuals to receive recognition and credit for knowledge and skills gained previously, that meet the learning outcomes and assessment criteria of the qualification they are seeking credit for. This can include skills gained from previous study, work experience and life experience. Prior to or after enrolment with QATC, students may be eligible to have their prior learning recognised through gaining credit for prior studies. (mm) RTO and Registered Training Organisation means a training organisation listed on the National Register as a registered training organisation. (nn) Second period of a year commences on the 1st of July and ends on the 31st of December of that year. (oo) Secretary means the Secretary of the Department. (pp) SNR Standards means the Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations (qq) Student means a person who is enrolled in a VET course of study with QATC, or might be entitled to VET FEE-HELP assistance under clause 43 of Schedule 1A of the Act. (rr) Student logon ID is a unique identifier that QATC issues to a VET Student which the VET Student can use to identify themselves when accessing electronic communications from QATC. (ss) Subsidising State or Territory means a State or Territory that provides funding to QATC for a particular subsidised student. (tt) Subsidised student means a VET Student who is enrolled with QATC in a VET course of study for whom QATC receives funding from a State or Territory; and who receives a loan of VET FEE- HELP assistance at 100% of the loan (the lesser percentage) provided for under s137-18(2) of the Act. (uu) The Act means the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cwlth). (vv) Tuition assurance is an arrangement between QATC and an external party intended to protect students in the event that QATC ceases to provide a VET course of study in which a student is enrolled. Under this arrangement, a student is offered a choice of enrolling with another provider in a similar VET course of study or receiving a refund of up-front payments or re-credit of their FEE-HELP balance. (ww) Up-front payment and Upfront payment in relation to a VET unit of study for which a student is liable to pay a VET tuition fee, is a payment of all or part of the student s VET tuition fees for the unit, other than a payment of VET FEE-HELP assistance. An up-front payment must be made on or before the census date for the unit. (xx) VET advanced diploma means a qualification at the level of advanced diploma in the AQF and that meets the guidelines for a VET award as set out in the AQF. (yy) VET course of study means a structured and integrated program of vocational education or vocational training, usually consisting of a number of modules (units of study) or shorter programs, and leading to the award of a VET qualification. (zz) VET diploma means a qualification at the level of diploma in the AQF and that meets the guidelines for a VET award as set out in the AQF Implementation Handbook. (aaa) VET FEE-HELP is a Federal Government loan scheme that assists eligible students to pay their VET tuition fees. That is, for courses at the level of VET diploma and VET advanced diploma. There is a limit on the total amount of assistance that a student can receive. The assistance is paid to the QATC to discharge the student s liability to pay his or her VET tuition fees. (bbb) VET FEE-HELP information booklet is a Department publication that provides VET FEE-HELP information to students. (ccc) VET Guidelines means the legislative instrument made pursuant to the Act, namely the VET Guidelines (ddd) VET officer is a person who is or was an officer of QATC. (eee) VET personal information means information or an opinion (including information or an opinion forming part of a database), whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the Printed date: 24/11/2014 E&T POL 17.0 Page 7 of 8

8 information or opinion and which is obtained or created by a VET Officer. (fff) VET provider is a registered training organisation that is approved to offer VET FEE-HELP to its students. (ggg) VET qualification means a VET Diploma or a VET Advanced Diploma or a qualification specified in the VET Guidelines. (hhh) VET quality framework means the: (i) Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations 2012; and (ii) Fit and Proper Person Requirements 2011; and (iii) Financial Viability Risk Assessment Requirements 2011;and (iv) Data Provision Requirements 2012; and (v) Australian Qualifications Framework. (iii) VET tuition fee is any fee payable to QATC by a student enrolled or seeking to enrol in a VET course of study with QATC in respect of the granting of an award of Diploma or an Advanced Diploma. It does not include a fee that is: (i) Payable in respect of an organisation of students, or of students and other persons; or (ii) Payable in respect of the provision to student of amenities or services that are not of an academic nature; or (iii) Payable in respect of residential accommodation; or (iv) Payable in respect of a special admissions test; or (v) Determined to be a fee of a kind that is incidental to studies that may be taken with QATC, as described under incidental charges. (jjj) VET unit of study means a subject or unit that a person may undertake with QATC as part of a VET Course of Study. If QATC provides the same such subject or unit in respect of more than one period, the subject or unit is taken to be a different VET unit of study in respect of each period. Policy authorisation: This policy is authorised by the QATC authorising officer below and comes into effect on the date this document is signed. As per electronic signature Signed Brent Kinnane Principal Executive Officer Date Version history: Version Date Written / amended by Details 1.0 1/07/2013 Sharon McEvoy New education and training policy /11/2013 Sharon McEvoy Replaces version 1.0. Amended to reflect updates to non-academic grievances and appeals /12/2013 Sharon McEvoy Replaces version 2.0. Amended to reflect choice of mediation service /11/2014 Sharon McEvoy Replaces version 2.1 Updated to reflect new organisation details. Printed date: 24/11/2014 E&T POL 17.0 Page 8 of 8

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