We are 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 5 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 are to:
- improve the user experience, both for students and providers
- optimise 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 any future reforms to the VSL program
We encourage your contribution.
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 us at: VSLredesign@dewr.gov.au.
As work progresses, we will consult and provide 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.
In February 2022, we released our first consultation paper: VSL Redesign consultation paper. A summary about the feedback received through submissions is available for interested stakeholders: Consultation Summary.
In November 2022, we released a second consultation paper: Consultation paper – November 2022 outlining further proposed improvements to the VSL program.
In December 2022, we released a proposal on a possible future approach to academic suitability in the VSL program for stakeholder feedback: VSL Academic Suitability Proposal.
Please email any comments to VSLredesign@dewr.gov.au by close of business on 25 January 2023.
Removal of data reporting statutory declaration requirements
We have 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
We have 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 you as it reduces the amount of resources and time that you spend responding to student queries and following up with students to submit their Form.
The improved Form and materials do not impact on your 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
We are 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 17 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 you, aims to minimise administrative burden.
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 – you need to continue meeting your 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 we 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 us in exploring entry pathway requirements can contact us at: VSLRedesign@dewr.gov.au.