Privacy

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment, its employees, contractors and agents (collectively, the department) is subject to the Privacy Act 1988 (the Privacy Act) and to the requirements of the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) contained in the Privacy Act.

We also adhere to applicable guidelines issued to agencies by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

Our privacy policy has been developed in accordance with APP 1 and embodies our commitment to protecting the personal information we hold. The complete privacy policy can be found here:

Department of Education, Skills and Employment Complete Privacy Policy

The privacy policy provides more detailed information about:

  • the types of personal information that we collect, hold, use and disclose;
  • our personal information handling practices;
  • our authority to collect your personal information, why it may be held by us, how it is used and how it is protected;
  • whether we are likely to disclose personal information to overseas recipients and if possible, to whom;
  • how you can access your personal information, correct it if necessary and complain if you believe it has been wrongly collected or inappropriately handled.

You should read our privacy policy if you are:

  • a student;
  • an apprentice;
  • an employer;
  • a parent or guardian;
  • a child care service provider;
  • a registered training organisation;
  • a principal or teacher;
  • an academic or researcher;
  • a job seeker;
  • an employment services provider;
  • a participant in a program or service delivered by us;
  • a contractor, grant recipient, consultant, or supplier of goods or services to us;
  • an applicant for a grant or a tenderer for a contract provided by us;
  • a policy stakeholder who works with us;
  • a person whose information may be given to us by a third party, including other Australian Government agencies;
  • an entrant in a competition conducted by us;
  • a person seeking employment with us;
  • a current or past employee of the department; or
  • any other individual whose personal information we may collect, hold, use and disclose.

Information we collect and why we hold, use and disclose it

We are responsible for national policies and programs, which ensure that Australians can experience the wellbeing and economic benefits that quality education, skills and employment provide. The department’s strategic priorities include:

  • ensuring quality, affordable and accessible early education and care for families;
  • improving schooling outcomes for children; 
  • preparing our future workforce through globally competitive tertiary education, training and research sectors;
  • helping people find and keep a job, create their own job, change jobs, reskill and enjoy fulfilling careers; and
  • developing a strong evidence base for effective policy that reflects and understands the varied needs of the Australian population, business and industry.

We collect, hold, use and disclose personal information for a variety of purposes, including:

  • performing our management, employment and personnel functions in relation to our staff and contractors;
  • performing our legislative and administrative functions;
  • policy development, research and evaluation;
  • data sharing or data integration with other Australian Government agencies, including but not limited to, data sharing or data integration with the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the Multi-Agency Data
  • Integration Project and the Data Integration Partnership for Australia;
  • complaints handling;
  • administering requests received by us under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) and the Privacy Act;
  • preventing, detecting, investigating or dealing with fraud, corruption or cyber-attacks against the Commonwealth;
  • program management;
  • maintaining effective working relationships with state and territory governments, non-government education authorities and providers, universities and other relevant stakeholders;
  • policy advice and other support to our Ministers;
  • contract management; and
  • management of correspondence with the public.

We only collect, hold, use and disclose personal information for a lawful purpose that is reasonably necessary or directly related to one or more of our functions or activities or where otherwise required or authorised by law.

We will only use your personal information for secondary purposes where we are able to do so in accordance with the Privacy Act.

Job Seekers

For information regarding the types of information collected and how this information may be used or shared in the jobactive program, please see the Privacy statement for jobactive participants.

Tax File Numbers

The following information is provided to comply with the department's obligation under subrule 14(1) of the Privacy (Tax File Number) Rule 2015 (TFN Rule).

Purpose of collection

A tax file number (TFN) is a unique identifier issued by the Commissioner of Taxation. The department may collect TFNs for the following purposes:

  • to administer programs we manage, including but not limited to the Higher Education Loan Programs, the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme, Trade Support Loans and VET Student Loans;
  • to make payments of salaries and wages to eligible employees and contractors; and
  • to administer child care financial assistance payments.

The department’s collection of TFNs is authorised under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and the Taxation Administration Act 1953. You are not legally obliged to quote your TFN but there may be financial consequences where you chose not to quote it. 

Prohibitions and penalties

Certain Commonwealth legislation prohibits the collection, recording, use and disclosure of TFN information. Further information is available at part 2.3.2 of the department’s Complete Privacy Policy.

Privacy Notices

In addition to our privacy policy, we may need to explain specific privacy practices in more detail at other times. In such circumstances we develop and provide separate privacy notices to describe how we will handle the personal information that we collect. This separate privacy notice where issued, will detail our personal information handling practices in relation to that particular program.

Electronic Communication

There are inherent risks associated with the transmission of information over the internet, including via email. You should be aware of this when sending personal information to us via email or via our website or social media platforms. If this is of concern to you then you may use other methods of communication with us, such as post, fax or telephone (although these also have risks associated with them).

Passive collection

Your information - including personal information - is collected by a variety of software applications, services and platforms used by your device and by the department to support it to deliver services.

This type of information collection is ‘passive’ as the department is not collecting this information directly and it does not directly relate to the department’s provision of services. Your consent for your information to be collected and shared in this way is typically obtained at the time you first use an application or service on your device.

You can opt out of some of these passive data collections, including by:

  • Disabling / refusing cookies;
  • Disabling JavaScript;
  • Opting-out of Google Analytics; and
  • Disabling location services on your device.

Additional advice regarding how to protect yourself online can be found at Stay Smart Online.

Active collection

The department directly collects some of your information—including personal information—via its website. Generally, this information is collected to enable the department to properly and efficiently carry out its functions and deliver services to you.

No attempt is made to identify you through your browsing other than in exceptional circumstances, such as an investigation into the improper use of the website.

Information may be collected by: Type of information: Information collected to:

Internet browser

Cookies

Google Analytics

Social media platforms

Qualtrics

Your browser type

Your browser language

Your server address

Your location (where location services are enabled on your device)

Your top level domain name (e.g. ‘.com’, ‘.gov’, ‘.au’, ‘.uk’)

Date and time you accessed a page on our site

Pages accessed and documents viewed on our site

How our website was accessed (e.g. from a search engine, link or advertisement)

Measure the effectiveness of our content

Better tailor our content to our audience
The department

Name

Email address

Phone number

Education history

Employment history

Deliver services to you

Contact you

Identify you

Subscribe you to a service or update you have requested

Evaluate our programs

Inform policy development

Links to External Websites and Social Networking Services

Our website includes links to other websites. We are not responsible for the content and privacy practices of other websites. We recommend that you examine each website's Privacy Policy separately.

We also use social networking services such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram and Yammer to talk with the public and our staff. When you talk with us using these services we may collect your personal information to communicate with you and the public. The social networking service will also handle your personal information for its own purposes. These services have their own privacy policies. You can access the privacy policies for these services on their websites.

Disclosure of personal information overseas

We will on occasion disclose personal information to overseas recipients, but only where certain conditions are met, for example, you give your consent or the disclosure is otherwise authorised by law. The situations in which we may disclose personal information overseas include:

  • the publication on the internet of material which may contain personal information, such as departmental reports and other documents; photographs, video recordings and audio recordings; and posts and comments on our social media platforms;
  • the provision of personal information to overseas researchers or consultants;
  • the provision of personal information to recipients using a web-based service where data is stored on an overseas server, for example, the department may use Mailchimp for email subscriptions and SurveyMonkey for online surveys;
  • the provision of personal information to foreign governments and law enforcement agencies;
  • where recipients of departmental communications use an email account that stores data on an overseas server; and
  • where people post and comment on our social media platforms.

Further information about the disclosure of personal information overseas is available at part 2.16 of the department’s Complete Privacy Policy.

Information collected by our contractors

Under the Privacy Act we are required to take contractual measures to ensure that contracted service providers (including subcontractors) comply with the same privacy requirements applicable to us.

Storage and Data Security

Storage of personal information (and the disposal of information when no longer required) is managed in accordance with the Australian Government's records management regime.

We take all reasonable steps to protect the personal information held in our possession against loss, unauthorised access, use, modification, disclosure or misuse.

Data Quality

We take all reasonable steps to make sure that the personal information we collect and store is accurate, up-to-date, complete, relevant and not misleading.

Access to and alteration of records containing personal information

You have a right under the Privacy Act to access personal information we hold about you.

You also have a right under the Privacy Act to request corrections to any personal information that we hold about you if you think the information is inaccurate, out-of-date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading.

It is also possible to access and correct documents held by us under the Freedom of Information Act 1982. For information on this, please contact our FOI Coordinator (contact details are available on the Freedom of Information page of our website).

For further detail, including a comparison of both access mechanisms and how you can make a request, please see our Guide to Accessing and Correcting Personal Information.

Privacy Impact Assessments

A privacy impact assessment (PIA) is a systematic assessment of a project that identifies the impact that the project might have on the privacy of individuals, and sets out recommendations for managing, minimising or eliminating that impact.

The Privacy (Australian Government Agencies - Governance) APP Code 2017 (Privacy Code) requires us to undertake a PIA in certain instances and to maintain a register of those PIAs from 1 July 2018. In accordance with the Privacy Code, we publish our Privacy Impact Assessment Register is detailed below.

Privacy Impact Assessment Register

The department’s Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) register has been prepared in accordance with section 15(1) of the Privacy (Australian Government Agencies – Governance) APP Code 2017.

PIAs completed by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment since its establishment on 1 February 2020*

Title Date
Seasonal Worker Programme Regional Pilot October 2020
Capacity to Contribute Score Review Process September 2020
National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Amendment Regulations 2020: National Register details August 2020
PaTH Internship Vacancy and Caseload Qlik App August 2020

PIAs completed by the then Department of Education between 1 July 2018 and 31 January 2020

Title of PIA Completed
Proposed HESA and VSLA Amendments: impact on the TCSI solution December 2019
SEMS Project (myHELPbalance application and StEME December 2019
Trades Recognition Australia
Note: This PIA relates to a function that was transferred to the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business on 29 May 2019.
June 2019
NCCD Data Assurance Project May 2019
Schools Census Post-Enumeration Process December 2018
2018 Student Residential Address Collection September 2018
Schools Special Circumstances Application August 2018

PIAs completed by the then Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business between 1 July 2018 and 31 January 2020

Date Added Reference Program/Initiative Description
24/01/19 D19/59748 Case study library Case studies for media events and media articles
01/11/2019 D19/1839278 Salesforce Marketing Cloud procurement Online platform for use in New Employment Services Model
01/11/2019 D19/1839233 Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) Trades Recognition Australia assessment services
01/11/2019 D19/1839417 Use of Online Survey Tool Departmental online survey tool ‘Qualtrics’
01/11/2019 D19/1850510 Seasonal Workers Program Online Electronic administration of the Seasonal Worker Programme
19/12/2019 D19/2038120 NEIS Payroll and Administration Project Online collection of NEIS participant information
16/01/2020 D20/26185 New Template Deed of Agreement for the Seasonal Worker Programme Implementation of new template deed for SWP Approved Employers

Complaints

If you think we may have breached your privacy you may contact us to make a complaint using the contact details below. In order to ensure that we fully understand the nature of your complaint and the outcome you are seeking, we prefer that you make your complaint in writing.

For further information about our complaint handling processes please see our Privacy Complaint Handling Procedures.

Contact Us

If you have any enquiries or complaints about privacy, or if you wish to access or correct your personal information, please email us at privacy@dese.gov.au or write to:

Privacy Officer
Legal Services
Department of Education, Skills and Employment
LOC: C50MA10
GPO Box 9880
Canberra ACT 2601.

Changes to this privacy policy

Please note that the privacy policy may change from time to time.

Last updated: March 2020

Last modified on Tuesday 31 march 2020 12.20pm

Last modified on [25|3128]