Quick guide to add VSL approved courses, vary fee limits and third party arrangements

How VSL providers can submit requests for a condition variation and third party requests.

Requesting a Condition Variation or Third Party Arrangments

Recognising the need for some flexibility, the department will consider requests from existing Approved Course Providers to offer VET Student Loans (VSL) for additional courses, for increased Fee Limits, and for new or renewed Third Party Arrangements.

This guide outlines the process to make these applications.

Are there set dates that the Department requires my request by?

No. You can submit a request for increased fee limits, additional courses and new or renewed Third Party Arrangements at any time throughout the year. 

Who can make requests and what should be included in a request?

Requests must be submitted by a person who the Provider has nominated in HITS as a contact. Section 2, below, indicates what type of supporting information to include in requests submitted to the department.

Are there any forms we should use to submit this request?

Yes. The forms can be downloaded using the following links:

How do I submit my application?

To submit your application, please email the completed form, along with supporting documentation to vetloans@employment.gov.au

How long will it take to process my application?

In most cases, you can expect to be notified of the outcome within three weeks after receipt of the application and any additional information that may be required from the applicant.

Applying to offer VSL for additional approved courses

Can I request any type of course to be added to my approval?

No. 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 an application?

Yes. A provider approved to deliver the superseded qualification is automatically approved to deliver the replacement course, so long as it is on its Registered Training Organisation's (RTO) scope (the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.

However, in all other circumstances you must submit an application. Requests that cover more than one additional course should be sent as a consolidated request.

What supporting information do I need to provide in my request?

You must include a substantiated business case with verifiable evidence having material probative value.

Your business case should be no longer than four pages, and set out the following requirements:

  • 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).

Applying to increase your VSL Provider fee limits

You must include a substantiated business case with verifiable evidence having material probative value.

Your business case should be no longer than four pages, and set out the following requirements:

Your business case must set out:

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

Where can I find further guidance?

More detailed information is available in Section 5.2 of the VET Student Loans Manual for Providers.

Third Party Arrangement Requests

A key design of the VET Student Loans Program was to provide greater protections for students, greater rigour around the approval of training providers to offer VSL and restrictions on who may deliver the training.

Therefore, under section 15 of the VET Student Loans Act 2016, third party training is restricted to (a) approved course providers (b); to TEQSA approved providers; and (c) bodies specifically approved by the department, which requires the submission of an application and the approval of the Delegate.

If a provider proposes to have parts or components (eg. a unit of competency from the relevant training package) of the unit or the course delivered by another party (eg. a contractor or another organisation or entity), prior approval must be obtained from the department.

What evidence should be submitted in support of a new or renewed third party arrangement?

Verifiable evidence of the skills, qualifications and relevant experience of the third party (eg. a company, an association, a partnership or an individual) must be given to the department.

In addition to including a copy of the agreement between your organisation and the third party, please frame your submission in a manner that addresses each of the elements of Section 4.6.4 of the VET Student Loans Manual for Providers.

Enquiries

Any queries from Providers should be submitted using the dedicated online enquiry form.