HELP Noticeboard

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The HELP noticeboard details the latest information about the HELP loan schemes.

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New VET Student Loans program

The Australian Government has announced that VET Student Loans will be introduced on 1 January 2017, replacing the current VET FEE‑HELP scheme. More information about the new VET Student Loans program is available.

2015 HELP Provider Forum

Registrations for the 2015 HELP Provider Forum: Partners in Change are now open, to register click here

Registrations are open until close of business, Friday 21 August 2015. 

The Forum will commence with a group plenary session, and then break into concurrent workshop sessions after morning tea.

To assist with your registration, a comprehensive agenda, including session descriptions, is able to be viewed from the registration link. As part of the registration process you will be asked to register for the plenary session and then your chosen workshops*. 

We look forward to seeing you on
3 September 2015. If you have any questions about the Forum, please contact HEenquiries@education.gov.au  

*Please note that some sessions will be recorded.

Reforms target VET FEE‑HELP scammers

Important reforms will be made to the Australian Government’s VET FEE‑HELP  scheme to prevent unscrupulous marketers targeting vulnerable Australians and exploiting the scheme. For more information please visit the VET FEE-HELP Reforms page.

Trial to Extend VET FEE‑HELP  to certain Certificate IV qualifications

A Trial to extend VET FEE‑HELP  income contingent loans to certain subsidised Certificate IV qualifications commenced on 13 January 2014 and will continue until 31 December 2016.

VET FEE‑HELP  is a Commonwealth Government loan to cover the cost of tuition fees.  It is usually available to students undertaking a diploma or advanced diploma qualification.

The Trial will test the effect of the availability of HELP loans for certain Certificate IV qualifications on enrolments, completions and pathways to further education. Detailed information about the trail is available on the Trial to Extend VET FEE-HELP to certain Certificate IV qualifications page.

For information on participating providers and eligible Certificate IV qualifications please visit the Study Assist website.

VET FEE‑HELP  approved provider training

Please refer to our new Provider Training page for a detailed schedule of all training offered by the Department throughout 2015.

Storing CAFs electronically and destroying paper copies

26 August 2013

Commonwealth Assistance Forms (CAFs) are Commonwealth records and as such are subject to the Archives Act 1983 and Records Authorities (RA) issued by the National Archives of Australia from time to time.

A General Records Authority (GRA) issued by the National Archives has been updated: GRA31 - For source (including original) records after they have been copied, converted or migrated. The GRA permits providers, after copying, converting or migrating CAFs to a digitised format, to destroy paper copies. This applies to any CAFs submitted by students on or after 1 January 1995.

In line with Electronic Transactions Act 1999, the provider must ensure that electronic copies are an unadulterated version of the original paper form and clear and accurate representations of the document signed by the student. The digitised version of the CAF must be maintained for 7 years as required by the GRA, or longer if otherwise required by other state or territory requirements.

Providers should have in place appropriate processes and authorisations to ensure the integrity of digitalised CAFs prior to destruction of the paper copies. Providers must also ensure that appropriate security is in place for any electronic records management systems storing CAFs, and that CAFs are able to be easily retrieved if requested by the Department of Education as being required for student support purposes.

Information on GRA31, and additional guidance related to disposal and digitisation of physical records, can be accessed from the National Archives of Australia website.

Reducing HESA administrative requirements - Information paper

4 July 2013

This paper outlines a plan to reduce ongoing administrative requirements for HELP providers. Once implemented, these changes will remove certain publication and submission requirements for schedules of tuition fees.