VSL Provider Newsletter – August 2023

On this page:

VSL annual charges

Invoices for the annual charge based on student enrolments in the 2022-23 financial year will be issued this month.  

In accordance with the VET Student Loans (Charges) Regulations 2017 the charges will be as follows:

  • if the approved course provider is a small provider (fewer than 200 enrolments) for the financial year - $1,280
  • if the approved course provider is a medium provider (between 200 and 1000 enrolments, inclusive) for the financial year - $12,480
  • if the approved course provider is a large provider (more than 1000 enrolments) for the financial year - $62,870.

There is no pro-rata arrangement for providers that offered VSL for less than the full financial year. Charging for the VSL program ensures you contribute to the cost of program administration and regulation that include activities such as compliance, payments processing and provider management.

Invoices for annual charges are due for payment 30 days from the date of issue. Late payment will incur a penalty and will also be a breach of your condition of approval.

Annual financial statements - financial year ending on 30 June 2023

A reminder that if you are an approved VSL provider (other than a listed course provider), with a financial year ending on 30 June 2023, we require you to upload audited general purpose financial statements to HITS by 1 October 2023.

Section 113 of the VET Student Loans Rules 2016 (the Rules) requires you to give the Secretary general purpose financial statements for each financial year within 3 months of the end of the financial year. The Rules also set out further requirements in relation to those statements. We encourage you to familiarise yourself with the requirements to ensure you properly comply with your obligations.

We also require you to provide a copy of your current workers compensation and public liability insurance policy. You should submit all documentation via HITS.

To ensure all required information is submitted please refer to VET Student Loans Ongoing Financial Performance Requirements.

You should note that special purpose financial statements are not an acceptable form of submission. It is important you comply with your obligations under the VET Student Loans Act 2016as failure to do so may result in compliance actions being taken. This could include payments being suspended or your approval as an approved course provider being revoked.

Please email queries relating to financial statements to VSLProgramintegrity@dewr.gov.au.

2023 VSL tuition protection levy

The Tuition Protection Service (TPS) has commenced the preparatory data work from HITS, the Tertiary Collection of Student Information (TCSI) system and VSL for providers liable for paying the 2023 VSL tuition protection levy (VSL levy).

Information collected will include financial data, late payment information and contact details.

We strongly encourage you to check and update all contact information in HITS to ensure your organisation receives all correspondence relating to the 2023 VSL levy. We will send all correspondence through HITS to the person identified with the contact type of CEO/Vice-Chancellor (VC) and copy it to any other contacts with a contact type of Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Senior Authorised Officer (SAO), Primary Contact – VET (PCV) or Primary Contact VET/HE (PVH).

Please note: the TPS collects, and calculates separately, three domestic tuition protection levies - the VSL levy, the HELP tuition protection levy, and the higher education Up-front Payments tuition protection levy. Therefore, if you are also an approved provider under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Act 2011 and/or the Higher Education Support Act 2003, you will receive separate correspondence regarding these levies.

If you have any questions regarding the 2023 TPS domestic levies VSL levy, please email the TPS Operations team at operations@tps.gov.au.

Reporting personnel changes in HITS

A reminder that you are responsible for updating HITS with current contact information and changes in your key personnel such as when a person leaves your organisation. This is essential for you to comply with the VET Student Loans Act 2016. The process to update HITS is detailed in section 4.4 of the VET Student Loans Manual for Providers.

Each of the following may be one of your key personnel:

  • a director, officer or member of your governing body
  • a person or body that is concerned with, or takes part in, the executive or senior management, or that exercises control or influence over the management or direction of your organisation
  • a person who exercises control or influence over the allocation of your resources.

Page 100 of the HITS User Guide provides direction on the steps required to update the Key Personnel List. Contact List changes commence from page 53 of the User Guide.

Please email VSLProgramIntegrity@dewr.gov.au when you have completed the following in HITS:

  • uploaded documents notifying of changes to your organisation, including notifications of material change submitted by you to the relevant regulator
  • updated the Key Personnel List and Contact List.

Regardless of changes in key personnel, can you please check that email addresses in the Key Personnel List and Contact List are correct including the spelling of names.

Please note, as advised in VET Student Loans Provider Newsletter - June 2023, the additional security feature, Multifactor Authentication (MFA), was implemented in HITS on 30 June 2023.

VSL provider websites

Please ensure that VSL related content on your website is up to date. This includes the name of the department, which should reference the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.

Also, the titles of and links to VSL resources, including:

and any VSL resources you may have duplicated on your website.

VET historical student loans - Update for providers

We are continuing to remediate VET FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans (VSL) students’ loans that have been delayed from transferring to the ATO in a timely manner. Since historical loans were first identified and transferred to students’ ATO accounts in August 2022, we have transferred a further cohort of students’ loan records to the ATO in June 2023 following system-led remediation activities.

We have communicated directly with all students whose historical loans have transferred to the ATO, with students receiving an email, letter and SMS from the VSL team. Students with affected loans above $20,000 also received a phone call to confirm they had received and understood their email, and to check if these students required any further assistance. Information was also sent to affected providers, and affected student data uploaded to providers’ HITS accounts to ensure providers could identify and assist their students if contacted. Information on Transfer of historical loan records for VET students has also been routinely updated.

As we have advised previously, the Government has agreed to support for students to reduce the financial impact of the delayed transfer of loans. This includes waiving indexation for the period affected loans were not on students’ ATO accounts, waiving affected loans entirely for study before 2017, and extending the VFH Student Redress Measures to the end of 2023. For students whose loans transferred to the ATO in August 2022, historical indexation has been waived, and these loans were indexed on 1 June 2023. For students whose loans transferred to the ATO in June 2023, and those whose loans await remediation and transfer, indexation will be waived over the coming months, and these loans will next be indexed on 1 June 2024.

How indexation waivers are operating

We understand that some providers have received queries from students regarding how historical indexation waivers are being processed by the ATO. The ATO applies indexation waivers after loans have been transferred to students’ ATO accounts as the historical indexation first needs to be applied to a student’s ATO account before it can be waived.

  • For students whose loans transferred to the ATO in August 2022, all historical indexation has been waived for the period the loan was not appearing on students’ accounts. Indexation was applied to these affected loans on 1 June 2023. For affected VFH students, the indexation waivers were finalised in April 2023. These students will see an indexation value, then an indexation credit on their ATO account. For affected VSL students, no historical indexation was applied to these loans.
  • For students, whose loans transferred to the ATO in June 2023, the ATO is currently processing the historical indexation waivers. These will be finalised over the coming months. Indexation will next be applied to these affected loans on 1 June 2024. As the ATO processes the indexation waivers, students may see an indexation value, then an indexation credit on their ATO account.

A small number of loans remain held in our IT systems; a significant number of these loan records have missing data. Remediating these loans will require your assistance to populate missing TFNs and other critical data fields. We will be reaching out to affected providers in the coming weeks to seek your assistance with populating this data.

If your students have questions or concerns about their historical loans, we encourage you to assist them using the materials provided to you. If students would like further information, they can contact the VSL team via the Online Student Enquiry Form on Transfer of historical loan records for VET students.

Personal data safety concern

In relation to concerns raised by some VSL providers, the department would like to reiterate that it is committed to the protection of government and public information, and the integrity and availability of ICT systems, from the threat of cyber security incidents. The department takes privacy seriously and only collects and holds personal information that is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to, the department’s functions or activities, or where otherwise required or authorised by law. 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.

The department takes all reasonable steps to protect the personal information held in its possession against loss, unauthorised access, use, modification, disclosure or misuse. Personal information provided to the department is protected by law, including under the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act). The department has strict security controls in place and the departmental staff are subject to the provisions detailed in the Privacy Act. In addition, all departmental computers systems are strictly controlled with features that include:

  • system access controls and security groupings
  • login identification codes and password protection
  • full audit trails of data files and system accesses.

Please view the department’s Privacy policy for more information.

New maximum loan caps for the 2024 academic year

The indexed 2024 VSL maximum course loan cap amounts have been finalised. These will apply to all units of study (new and continuing VSL students) with a census day of 1 January 2024 or later.

We have updated VET Student Loans Course Caps Indexed Amounts (for providers) and VET Student Loans Course Caps Indexed Amounts (for students) which provide details about the new loan caps and how they apply to VSL.

The calculated indexed maximum loan cap amounts for 2024 for VET Student Loans are:

  • Band 1 (Part 1, Schedule 1)     $6,031
  • Band 2 (Part 2, Schedule 1)     $12,063
  • Band 3 (Part 3, Schedule 1)     $18,097
  • Specific (Schedule 2)     $90,497   

If you are planning to adjust your tuition fees for 2024, including increases to reflect the indexed amounts, you must publish the new tuition fee schedule on your website.

You must ensure that tuition fees charged to students align with fees prescribed in the issued Statements of Covered Fees and Fee Notices and must not exceed the maximum tuition fees specified in a student’s eCAF VSL application.

Any changes to a continuing student’s VET Student Loan amount must be discussed and agreed with the student and new Statements and Notices issued as required.

Migration of My Skills to Your Career

Content from My Skills has been integrated into the Your Career website. Your Career provides information about study or work options based on tailored careers information. It has resources for people looking for their first job, a change in career or a return to the workforce.

Students will be able to search on the website for VET training courses and VET training providers, the availability of VET Student Loans and other financial support. They will also be able to use the VSL Eligibility Check and the VSL Calculator.

Additionally, the Your Career website is now home to the Australian VET Alumni, a national community of vocational education & training (VET) graduates, registered training organisations (RTOs), VET practitioners, and businesses who are passionate advocates for VET.

Student can also follow the updated My Skills Facebook and Twitter accounts for more career information, industry insights and support resources.

You will be able to access the RTO portal at Login - MySkills until the end of the year. There is also a link to the portal on the Your Career website.

Support to help students manage their money.

Services Australia has information, tips and tools to help students manage their money during different periods of their lives.

Available resources

On Managing your money students can learn how to:

What you can do

Direct your students to Manage your money - Services Australia. You can also download the School Leavers Resource eKit, and print and share the Manage your Money factsheet with them.

Students can continue to apply for the Tertiary Access Payment

The Tertiary Access Payment (TAP) is a one-off payment of up to $5,000 available to school-leavers from regional or remote areas to assist with the cost of relocating for tertiary education (Certificate IV and above).

Students can get the TAP at the same time as other student payments, such as Youth Allowance, ABSTUDY or the Relocation Scholarship.

We encourage you to promote the TAP Program to students from regional and remote Australia who have relocated or are interested in relocating for tertiary study in 2023. Applications for 2023 remain open until 31 December 2023.

Providers may also consider including advice on the TAP for prospective 2024 students. Applications for 2024 will open on 1 January 2024.

For more information on eligibility criteria and how to apply, students can visit the Services Australia website at Tertiary Access Payment - Services Australia.

Subscribing to the VSL Provider Newsletter

Do you know someone who would like to subscribe to the VSL Provider Newsletter? The newsletter is how we let you know about program updates and reminders about the program administrative requirements.

Let your colleagues know they can subscribe to the newsletter at VET Student Loans – subscribe.