Access to and use of national VET provider collection data

Data protection

Access to data provided to the national collection is governed by the VET Data Protocol agreed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Ministers responsible for skills.

The key principles of the Protocol relate to the need for transparency in processes and access to information about vocational education and training, while maintaining students’ privacy.

In particular, the Protocol aims to:

  • provide access to as much information as possible to stakeholders consistent with the protection of an individual’s and their employer’s privacy (consistent with the information on Privacy Principles under the Privacy Act of 1988) and subject to the protection of commercial-in-confidence training provider information
  • ensure the processes used to access the data will be transparent and publicly available to all contributors of data and to other stakeholders.

The Protocol governs access to National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) data holdings (national VET administrative collections and surveys) by the Commonwealth and state and territory governments, training providers, peak bodies, researchers and the general public. The Protocol is available below:

Guidance to NCVER

Additional Guidance has been provided to NCVER regarding disclosure and publication of national VET administrative collections and surveys. The Guidance was developed by Skills Senior Officials and provides additional clarity on the application of the Protocol by NCVER. The Guidance may be updated by Skills Senior Officials as required.

Guidance to NCVER for disclosure and publication of national VET Administrative Collections and Surveys

Additional information on how to access data held by NCVER is available from the NCVER website.

Privacy protection

All organisations collecting, reporting, holding and using student data are required to comply with the Privacy Act 1988 and the National Privacy Principles in its management of personal information and sensitive information.

While the National VET Provider Collection contains a range of demographic information about students, strict rules are in place to ensure that any data released to third parties, including government agencies, protects the privacy of individuals. 

RTOs are also subject to privacy legislation applicable in their jurisdiction.

More information on protecting your customers’ personal information is available on the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner website.

Student data

The Australian VET Management Information Statistical Standard (AVETMISS) includes student demographic information that needs to be collected by RTOs. This information is used to assess the impact of training on different population cohorts.

RTOs are required to collect and report AVETMISS data as part of their registration requirements. It is important that they collect information that demonstrates the identity of students. If a student cannot or will not provide information for particular demographic data items this will need to be recorded.

To assist with the collection of student data, NCVER has produced a standard enrolment form which is designed to ensure that an RTO is capturing all of the information required to be compliant with AVETMISS.

Details on how to complete an AVETMISS record for student  data items are contained in the AVETMISS compliance fact sheet on the NCVER website.

Review

A review is currently being undertaken of the National VET Provider Collection Data Requirements Policy. For more information about the review and the public consultations please follow the following link to the review site.