For the latest information on COVID-19 relevant to vocational education facilities, providers are encouraged to regularly check the information available at the following websites:
For guidance on VET Student Loans operational requirements where providers or students are impacted by COVID-19, please refer to the VSL Provider Newsletter – April edition.
Flexible arrangements for students
We encourage training providers to consider flexible arrangements where possible, for students impacted by travel restrictions or self-isolation periods. Examples include flexible course delivery, such as through online delivery of courses or additional sessions to make up for days missed by students who are prevented from attending classes.
Providers may also need to adopt a flexible approach to student attendance. Directly or indirectly affected students may need to exclude themselves from their place of study for a period. Providers should document all flexible arrangements made on a student-by-student basis. This is particularly important for ensuring that your students are genuine students for VET Student Loans purposes.
Students diagnosed with COVID-19
All training providers must have a process in place for students to request the cancellation of their debt if, after they started to study, certain ‘special circumstances’ occur that prevent them from completing their unit, part of their course or whole course.
Special circumstances are not all circumstances but only those circumstances (such as illness or a motor vehicle accident) that are:
- beyond the student’s control,
- occur or worsen after the census date, and
- prevent the student from completing their study during their course/unit enrolment period.
A student’s infection with the COVID-19 virus is likely to meet the special circumstances criteria where students who fall ill with the virus are unable to continue and complete study.
All training providers should ensure that information on how to apply for special circumstances is easily accessible for students on their website. Further information about the requirements for special circumstances and re-crediting a student’s HELP balance is available in section 4.8.15 of the VET Student Loans Provider Manual.
Temporary cessation of operations
There may be instances where a provider is no longer able to offer the course to students, even flexibly. Some examples include, but are not limited to, where:
- a provider has had to close its campus due to an outbreak of the COVID-19 virus
- staff are no longer available to deliver classes (either face-to-face or online) due to multiple student or staff outbreak
- the nature of the course does not allow for flexible learning options.
The standard course of action where a training provider fails to start a course or unit as scheduled, or ceases to provide a course or unit midway through, is for provider default with tuition protection to follow. However, the Department understands that these unprecedented circumstances require a distinct response that may in preference allow brief periods of suspension in teaching activities. The Department is currently considering the available options in these circumstances. In the meantime, providers experiencing or anticipating temporary closures due to COVID-19 should contact the Department via the VSL Providers form.
- The Department’s Information for VET, ELICOS and higher education providers
- Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) website
- Department of Health website
- Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Smart traveller website
Resources for Providers
- VET Student Loans Manual for Providers
- HELP Information Technology System (HITS) User Guide
- VET Student Loans Style Guide
- HITS and eSAM Training Videos and Quick Reference Guides
- VET Student Loans Courses and Loan Caps
- VET Student Loans Student Engagement and Progression
- VET Student Loans Course Caps Indexed Amounts (for providers)
- VET Student Loans Application Fee and Annual Charge
- VET Student Loans Ongoing Financial Performance requirements
- Cost Recovery Implementation Statement – information on cost recovery
- Data Provision and Statutory Declarations for 2020 Monthly Census Dates
- Quick guide – how to request a variation to your conditions of approval or a change to your course loan cap bands
- Quick guide – how to request approval of a VSL third party arrangement
- Student Fact Sheet: Tax File Number (TFN) Mismatch
- Requests from Listed and Not-for-Profit Providers for additional approved courses (Schedule 3)
- Quick Guide - Marketing and Publishing
- Quick Guide - Eligibility
- Quick Guide - Applications
- Quick Guide - Information Requirements
- Quick Guide - Census Days and Fee Periods
- Quick Guide - Record Keeping
- Quick Guide - Progressions
- Quick Guide - Processes and Procedures
Induction Day 2020
- Session 1: Program Fundamentals
- Session 2: IT systems and data reporting
- Session 3: Payments, variations, recent changes
- Statutory Declaration - VET FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans
- Statutory Declaration - citizenship - ATSI student whose birth was not registered
- VET Student Loans Parental Consent Form
- Adding Approved Course Form (Schedule 3)
Language literacy and numeracy (LLN) assessment tool information
Approved LLN assessment tools for use to meet the VET Student Loans program student entry requirements are available on the Language literacy and numeracy (LLN) assessment tool information page. The page also contains information for VET Student Loans approved course providers seeking approval of an LLN assessment tool.
Census day calculator
A provider must set census days for each course [VET Student Loans Act 2016 s58(2)]. There must be at least 3 census days for the course. Each census day for part of the course must be at least 20 per cent of the way between when that part of the course starts to be provided and when a student is reasonably expected to complete that part of the course [VET Student Loans Rules s131].
The census day calculator is provided to assist providers calculate a compliant census day, if inputting the start and end date for a unit.
NOTE: The calculator does not return dates occurring on a Saturday or Sunday. Where the calculated date occurs on a weekend, the date of the following Monday is returned. It is a provider’s responsibility to check whether the date returned is a public holiday. Where the date returned is a public holiday it is advisable to set the census date on a subsequent business day.
Please report any issues with this calculator to the department.
Frequently Asked Questions
For information on how to apply to become a VET Student Loans provider visit the How to become a VET Student Loans Provider page.
Providers should refer to the VET Student Loans Manual for Providers.
A list of currently approved VET Student Loans Providers is available at VET Student Loans Approved Course Providers. A list of providers that are no longer approved to offer VET Student Loans is available at Providers no longer approved to offer VET Student Loans.
The VET Student Loans (Courses and Loan Caps) Determination 2016 lists all VET Student Loans approved courses and their relevant loan caps. This list is updated twice a year using the current methodology, to take effect January and July each year. See VET Student Loans Course and Loan Caps for more information
Approved providers will be required to submit a business case and complete a Provider request for additional courses form to add courses to those offered by their organisation. If you would like a form, please submit a request through the online enquiry form below.
Further information on the application process, including what to address in the business case is available in the Process for approved providers applying for additional courses
If you are unable to find the information you need or would like further clarification, please submit an enquiry via the online enquiry form below.
For information on how to access and administer the electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) system please refer to your VET Student Loans New Provider Information Pack. Additional information can be found in the VET Student Loans Manual for Providers. The online eCAF system includes an inbuilt user guide/help field for the provider.
If you are unable to find the information you need or have system faults, please submit an enquiry via the online enquiry form below.
I still need help
If the FAQ's above have not answered your question, you can submit an enquiry using the VET Student Loans Providers form.