The department is making a series of improvements to streamline the VSL program and optimise the user experience.
These changes will make it easier for students to access a loan and for providers to become an approved VSL provider and meet their ongoing obligations under the program.
The VSL program has been operating successfully and sustainably for over five years. Program reviews, sector feedback and operational experience have identified areas for program improvement, without compromising on the strong integrity measures that form the backbone of the program.
The objectives of the VSL redesign are to:
- improve the user experience, both for students and providers
- optimize program utilisation
- increase program performance by improving processes and removing inefficiencies and unnecessary complexity
- maintain program integrity and student protections and the effective management of risk
- support VSL reform and expansion
We encourage your participation in the VSL redesign project.
We will be developing and implementing changes using a staged approach throughout 2022 and 2023.
From time to time we will post papers or other consultation documents on this webpage, and will invite comments or submissions from interested stakeholders.
If you would like to get involved, contact the department at: VSLredesign@dese.gov.au.
As the redesign progresses, we will be consulting and providing information in a range of ways such as industry forums, the VSL Provider Reference Group, the VSL Provider Newsletter, consultation papers and updates on this page.
VSL Redesign Consultation
In February 2022, the department released its first consultation paper on VSL redesign: VSL Redesign consultation paper. A summary about the feedback received through submissions is available for interested stakeholders: Consultation Summary.
There will be further opportunities to participate in consultations as redesign work progresses.
Removal of data reporting statutory declaration requirements
The department has removed the requirement for you to submit a statutory declaration as part of your data reporting requirements. This represents a tangible administrative saving for you and will help reduce the time and cost associated with participation in the VSL Program.
You are reminded that the data you submit must be complete and accurate, and provided in line with the Notice under Subsection 53(1) of the VET Student Loans Act 2016. Civil penalties and offences may apply if you fail to comply with the Notice or provide false or misleading information to the department. The department’s compliance team will review adherence with data reporting requirements through a range of monitoring and compliance activities.
An updated Data Provisions Fact Sheet has information to assist you to submit complete and accurate monthly data.
Improvements to VSL Student Progression Form and Related Materials
The department has made improvements to the Student Progression Form and the supporting materials (including Form invite and submission confirmation emails, Progression Login page, and Fact Sheet) to simplify the language used, clarify the content and study status response options, and enhance the visual appearance of the Form and materials.
These improvements will make it easier for students to understand and navigate the Form, enabling a higher rate of successful completion of the Form by VSL students. This represents an administrative saving for providers as it reduces the amount of resources and time that providers spend responding to student queries and following up with students to submit their Form.
The improved Form and materials do not impact on providers’ systems, as there has been no system functionality changes.
An updated Progression Form Fact Sheet provides information to further assist VSL students in understanding how to complete and submit the Form.
Academic Entry Pathway Data Collection
The department is exploring the academic entry pathway requirements for VSL students, also known as ‘academic suitability requirements’. Key to this is understanding how the different entry pathways are used, including Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) testing. A new field will be introduced in the VSL electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) from 17th February 2022, to capture entry pathway information. The field will be populated by students, requiring students to report their entry pathway:
- successfully completed tertiary qualification at Cert IV level or higher
- successfully completed year 12 or International Baccalaureate
- successfully completed LLN test or
- none of the above
Students will also be asked to identify if their provider required them to undertake LLN testing, regardless of them meeting the tertiary qualification or year 12 entry pathway. This will help identify how LLN testing is used across the VSL program.
Requiring students to provide this information, rather than placing this responsibility on providers, aims to minimise administrative burden for providers.
The introduction of this student reporting does not replace any provider requirements under the VSL Rules 2016 to assess or obtain evidence of student academic suitability entry – providers need to continue meeting their legislative requirements across the VSL program.
An updated eCAF Fact Sheet, guides students through how to fill in their eCAF. This includes instruction on how to fill out the academic entry pathway question accurately.
Once there is a sufficient sample size of information the department will be keen to explore the data with interested providers.
Providers who are interested in learning more about the information their students report through this new eCAF field, and/or would like to work with the department in exploring entry pathway requirements can contact us at: VSLResdesign@dese.gov.au.