How to request a variation to conditions of approval or course loan cap bands

The department will consider requests from approved course providers to offer VET Student Loans (VSL) to add courses or increase their fee limits, including in response to the changes introduced by the VET Student Loans (Course and Loan Caps) Amendment Determination No. 1 2020.

This guide outlines the process to make these requests.

When can I submit my request?

You can submit a request at any time throughout the year.

Who can make a request?

Requests must be submitted by a person who the provider has nominated in HITS as a contact.

How do I submit a request?

If you would like to request additional courses or increase your fee limit, email the completed spreadsheet and supporting information (outlined below) to vetloans@dese.gov.au.

If you would like to request a change to your fee limit as a result of the changes introduced by the VET Student Loans (Course and Loan Caps) Amendment Determination No. 1 2020, just email vetloans@dese.gov.au outlining which courses have been affected by the determination. You do not need to include any supporting information.

What type of supporting information do I need to provide?

For requests to add courses - You must include a business case with verifiable evidence, which is no longer than four pages and sets out:

  • The provider's recent experience of delivering the course or relevant similar courses;
  • The provider's student progression track record. Concise numerical data on unit and course completion is required for all relevant courses (particularly Certificate IV or other courses for which the provider does not submit student data through our HEIMS student outcomes reporting system);
  • For each additional course an estimate of (a) the number of students projected to enrol in the calendar year, or part year as appropriate, in which the course is first sought to be offered; and (b) the dollar value of the additional VET Student Loans to be issued if the request is approved;
  • The ongoing linkages between the provider and those employers (or industry groups) relevant to the future career opportunities of students who will enrol in the requested additional courses;
  • Non-generic, signed and dated references from industry and other bodies substantiating each claim made by the provider in its business case about (a) the relevance of the requested additional course to the skills needs of their workplace; and (b) the improvement in employment outcomes to be obtained by those completing the units/courses nominated in the provider's request;
  • The most recent qualitative and quantitative results of the provider's interactive assessment of its student satisfaction with the quality and career value of the training they have received;
  • Details and evidence of trainer and assessor qualifications for the requested additional courses;
  • Whether the course can be delivered within the current provider fee limit or whether an increase is being sought. If an increase is sought, the amount should be expressly stated (taking into account appropriate reduction for part year arrangements).

For requests to vary your fee limit - You must include a business case, with verifiable evidence, which is no longer than four pages, and sets out the:

  • list of the approved VSL courses currently offered;
  • expected numbers of students for each course where an increase is requested;
  • proposed student intake per course where relevant to support students from ceased providers, where relevant;
  • proposed fee limit increase for each applicable course;
  • rationale based on market need for each of the courses where an increase is requested;
  • demonstrated track record of student progression and completions for approved courses where an increase is requested; and
  • most recent results of the organisation's assessment of student satisfaction for the courses where an increase is requested.

Are there restrictions on the types of courses I can request?

Yes. The only courses you can include in your application must be:

  • eligible courses as specified in the VET Student Loans (Courses and Loan Caps) Determination 2016; and
  • within the provider's existing approved scope of delivery on the National Register (see training.gov.au).

Are there circumstances where I don't need to make a request to add a course?

Yes. A provider approved to deliver a superseded qualification is automatically approved to deliver the replacement course, so long as it is on its Registered Training Organisation's (RTO) scope (the 'Replacement courses' clauses in a provider's conditions of approval provide for this automatic coverage). Providers should send a request to the department via the online enquiry form to have the replacement course activated in HITS, selecting "Provider Operations" and "Condition Variations (Fees or Courses)" from the drop down menus.

How long will it take to process my request?

Ordinarily, you can expect to be notified of the outcome within three weeks after receipt of your request, however due to the impact of COVID-19 on staffing levels, it may take slightly longer.

Where can I find further information?

You can refer to Section 5.2 of the VET Student Loans Manual for Providers or use the VET Student Loans Providers’ Form to ask a question.