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Student Review Policy Statement

TrainSmart Australia will conduct this procedure in compliance with Schedule 1A of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and the VET Provider Guidelines.

TrainSmart will:

  • Set a census date for each VET unit of study that is no earlier than 20% of the way through the VET unit of study
  • Ensure that all students are informed of the census date for each VET unit of study in the manner and by the date prescribed in the VET Administration Guidelines
  • Ensure that all students are informed of the review procedures for the re-crediting of a VET Student Loan balance

Policy coverage

This procedure applies to all students enrolled at TrainSmart who access VET Student Loans for payment of their tuition fees.

Incurring a VET Student Loan debt

A student who is, or would be, eligible for a VET Student Loan and has requested VET Student Loan assistance, who withdraws from a unit on or before the census date will not incur a VET Student Loan debt for the tuition fees for that unit.

Students who have requested VET Student Loan assistance who remain enrolled after the published census date will incur a VET Student Loan debt. A student who withdraws from a unit after the published census date for that unit will incur a VET Student Loan debt for that unit.

Re-crediting a Student Loan balance

Students who withdraw from a unit after the published census date, or fail to complete a unit, may apply to have their VET Student Loan balance re-credited with respect to the unit if they believe special circumstances apply in accordance with the following procedures.

Special circumstances

If a student withdraws from a unit after the published census date for that unit, or has been unable to successfully complete a unit and believes this was due to special circumstances, the student may apply to have their Vet Student Loan balance re-credited for the affected unit/s.

Should a student withdraw from a unit of study after the census date, his/her VET Student Loan debt may only be removed for that unit of study due to special circumstances that:

  • They were beyond his/her control and
  • Did not make their full impact until on, or after, the census date and
  • Made it impracticable for the student to complete the requirements of the unit/s of study

For circumstances to be beyond a student’s control, the situation should be that which a reasonable person would consider is not due to the student’s action or inaction, either direct or indirect, and for which the student is not responsible. The situation must be unusual, uncommon or abnormal to be considered special circumstances.

Special circumstances do not include:

  • Lack of knowledge or understanding of requirements for VET Student Loan assistance; or
  • A student’s incapacity to repay a VET Student Loan debt (repayments are income contingent and the student can apply to the Australian Taxation Office for a deferral of a compulsory repayment in certain circumstances).

If the VET Student Loan balance for a unit of study is re-credited, any VET Student Loan incurred for that unit will also be removed.  If the student has successfully completed a unit of study, he/she is not eligible, under any circumstances, to have the VET Student Loan balance re-credited or the debt removed for that unit of study.

Procedure

Each application for re-credit of someone’s VET Student Loan balance will be considered on its merits together with all supporting documentation substantiating the special circumstances claim.

Stage One:
Application
The application for re-crediting of a VET Student Loan balance must be submitted in writing to the National RTO Manager within twelve months of the withdrawal date, or if the student has not withdrawn, within 12 months of the specified completion date of the unit. TrainSmart has the discretion to waive this requirement if it is satisfied that it would not be, or was not, possible for the application to be made within the 12 month period. Relevant supporting documentation will be required to substantiate the claim.

The application for re-crediting of a VET Student Loan balance must include details of the:

  • Unit(s) for which the student is seeking to have a VET  balance re-credited
  • Special circumstances as referred to above, including supporting documentation

The application will be considered within 28 working days of receipt. Applicants will be notified in writing of the decision within 45 working days

Stage Two:
Review
If a student is dissatisfied with the outcome of their application, the student may apply, within 28 days of the receipt of the original decision, for a review of the decision.

The application for review should be made in writing to the Managing Director (MD) who is senior to the original decision maker and was not involved prior. The application must:

  • Be made within 28 days of receipt of the original decision
  • Include the date of the original decision
  • State fully the reasons for applying for the review
  • Include any additional relevant evidence

The MD will acknowledge receipt of the application for review, in writing, within 10 working days, review all original information and assess any new evidence.

The MD is taken to have confirmed the decision if he/she does not give notice of a decision to the student within 45 days after receiving the student’s request.

The notice will inform the student of their right to apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal if they are not satisfied with the outcome of the decision.

Stage Three:
External Review
The student will be notified of their review rights and responsibilities at each stage. The relevant officer will inform a student in writing of their right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) if they are not satisfied with the outcome.

  • Contact details of the closest AAT office and the approximate costs of lodging an appeal will be provided.
  • The Application must be lodged at the AAT within 28 days of receiving the written notice of the Review Decision. This time limitation can be extended in limited circumstances by order of the AAT
  • An application fee may have to be paid, in the amount of $884 (2016-2017) and is subject to change. Applications cannot proceed until the fee has been paid or waived. Applications for a fee waiver must be made to the AAT.
  • Full details of the application process and fees payable are available on the AAT Registry’s website: www.aat.gov.au. 
  • The Secretary of the DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, or the Secretary’s delegate, will be the respondent for cases that are brought before the AAT. Upon the DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION’s receipt of a notification from the AAT, the DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION will notify TrainSmart Australia that an appeal has been lodged, whereupon the Review Officer will provide the DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION with copies of all the documents that are relevant to the appeal within ten (10) business days.

Other Information

Administrative Appeals Tribunal Office

Western Australia New South Wales
Opening Hours Mon to Fri 8.30am to 5.00pm Mon to Fri 8.30am to 5.00 pm
Tel (metro area) (08) 9327 7200 (02) 9391 2400
Tel (country areas) 1300 366 700 1300 366 700
Fax (08) 9327 7299 (02) 9283 4881
Email Perth.Registry@aat.gov.au Sydney.Registry@aat.gov.au
Street Address

Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Level 5
111 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000

Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Level 7, City Centre Tower
55 Market Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Postal Address

Administrative Appeals Tribunal
GPO Box 9955
Perth WA 6848

Administrative Appeals Tribunal
GPO Box 9955
Sydney NSW 2001

Definitions

Unit or VET unit of study: A VET unit of study approved for VET Student Loan which someone may undertake with TrainSmart Australia, for which the student may access VET Student Loan to pay part of their tuition fees.

Census Date: A published date, set by the provider, no earlier than 20% of the way through a VET unit of study.

Tuition Fees: Fees paid for a VET unit of study that is approved for VET Student Loan and applies to students who are, or would be entitled to VET Student Loan assistance under clause 43 of Schedule 1A of the Higher Education Support Act 2003

This Student Review Procedure is made publicly available on the TrainSmart website: www.tsa.edu.au.  The Student Handbook also contains reference to this policy. All staff administering VET Student Loan are informed of this policy during their induction process and the information is made available in writing within the Employee Handbook. All staff are responsible for observing the guidelines stated in this policy.

This policy is approved by the Managing Director of TrainSmart Australia (NTIS 51771).

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