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VET Student Loan Withdrawal from Courses and Cancellation of Enrolment

Purpose

In accordance with the VET Student Loans Act 2016 and the associated VET guidelines, as an approved course provider, the following policy and procedural document has been drafted to provide clarity around the processes and procedures for a student to withdraw from an approved course and the processes and procedures for cancellation of enrolment (Subdivision E—Withdrawal from courses and cancellation of enrolment, Subsection 86 and Subsection 87, VET Student Loan Rules 2016).

Subsection 86 (Processes and procedures for student to withdraw from approved course) states:

  1. An approved course provider’s processes and procedures must include:
  1. procedures for a student to withdraw from an approved course, or a part of an approved course; and
  2. a procedure for a student to enrol in a part of an approved course with the provider in circumstances where the student had earlier withdrawn from a part of the course undertaken with the provider.
  1. The procedures for a student to withdraw from an approved course, or a part of an approved course, before a census day for the course, or the part of the course, must not involve financial, administrative or other barriers to the withdrawal.
  2. If a student withdraws from an approved course, or a part of an approved course, the course provider must not, after the withdrawal, enrol the student in an approved course or a part of an approved course without the written permission of the student (which must be given after the withdrawal).

Subsection 87 (Processes and procedures for cancellation of enrolment) states:

  1. An approved course provider’s processes and procedures must include processes and procedures for the provider to cancel a student’s enrolment in an approved course, or a part of an approved course, after the census day for the course.
  2. The processes and procedures for cancelling a student’s enrolment must:
  1. require the provider to inform the student concerned of a proposed cancellation; and
  2. provide the student with at least 28 days to initiate grievance procedures before the cancellation takes final effect; and
  3. provide for the cancellation to take final effect only after any grievance procedures initiated by the student have been completed; and
  4. set out the circumstances in which fees for the course, or the part of the course, concerned will, or will not be, refunded.

Scope

This policy applies to students who have acquired a VET Student Loan through TrainSmart Australia.

Responsibility

The Administration Team will be responsible for the implementation of this policy, and to ensure that staff and students are aware of its application and procedures.

Withdrawal from Courses

Withdrawal On or Before the Census Date

In the event of a student withdrawing from their VET course of study or VET unit of study on or before the published census date, the student will not incur a VET Student Loan debt for that or future census debts attached to the course of study from which they are withdrawing. No administration fee will be charged.

Withdrawal After the Census Date

In the event of a student withdrawing from their VET course of study or VET unit of study after the published census date, the student will incur a VET Student Loan debt for the unit of study in which they are enrolled.

NOTE: Students may be eligible to have their VET Student Loan balance re-credited, however, they must meet the special circumstances criteria.

Withdrawal Process

Step 1

Students of TrainSmart Australia who wish to withdraw from a VET course of study, or VET unit of study must submit a withdrawal request in writing, via email to studentadministration@tsa.edu.au

Step 2

All withdrawal requests are reviewed by the Student Administration Team. If necessary, students are contacted to discuss their withdrawal request and possible options moving forward.

NOTE: Should students no longer wish to proceed with their withdrawal request, a withdrawal form will not be issued.

Step 3

Once the student withdrawal request is confirmed the Student Administration Team will issue the relevant withdrawal form to the student. This form is issued electronically, however, if students do not have internet access, this form will be mailed to a nominated postal address.

Step 4

Students are required to complete the withdrawal form as soon as possible to ensure their withdrawal request is processed prior to any applicable census dates. Withdrawal forms are to be submitted via email to studentadministration@tsa.edu.au. However, if students do not have internet access, this form can be submitted via post to:

Attention: Student Administration Team
TrainSmart Australia
Suite 404, Level 4, 815 Pacific Highway
Chatswood NSW 2067

Unfortunately, if students do not submit this form prior to their census days, the student will incur a VET Student Loan debt for the applicable unit of study in which they are enrolled.

Step 5

Once a completed withdrawal form has been received, Administration will process this accordingly. Students will be issued with confirmation of their withdrawal via email, however, if students do not have internet access, this confirmation will be mailed to a nominated postal address.

Special Circumstances: Re-crediting and Remittance

Students may need to withdraw from their studies after the census date, or may be unable to complete their studies due to certain circumstances. In such circumstances, students may apply to have their VET Student Loan remitted. Where TrainSmart Australia finds that special circumstances apply, the student’s loan balance will be re-credited with an equal amount to the amount of VET Student Loan that the student has received for their VET unit/s of study. If a student’s VET Student Loan balance is re-credited, any assistance they acquired for the VET unit/s of study will also be remitted.

Special Circumstances: Criteria

For TrainSmart Australia to be satisfied that special circumstances apply, you must be able to prove that the circumstances:

  1. Were beyond your control; and
  2. Did not make their full impact on you until on, or after, the census date for the course of part of the course; and
  3. Made it impracticable for you to complete the requirements for the course, or part of the course.

A student must provide original, independent documentation as part of any application due to special circumstances. The documentation must clearly indicate the following:

The level of impact of the special circumstances;

  • What the special circumstances were;
  • When they occurred;
  • How long they lasted; and
  • That the circumstances made their full impact on, or after, the census date.

Special circumstances do not include:

  • A lack of knowledge or understanding of VET Student Loan requirements under the scheme.
  • A normal change in arrangements, such as a change of work shifts or planned holiday.
  • A person’s incapacity to repay a VET Student Loan debt, as repayments are income contingent and the person can apply for a deferral of a compulsory repayment in certain circumstances.

Special Circumstances: Re-credit/Remittance Application Process

It is the right of TrainSmart Australia students to submit an application to remit VET Student Loan debt under the grounds of special circumstances. Each application must be accompanied by supporting documentation to substantiate all claims.

Applications for a remittance and/or re-credit should be made in writing, within 12 months of the withdrawal date, or if the student has not withdrawn, within 12 months of the end date of the VET unit of study.

Please send your complete application to the RTO Training Manager at abaker@tsa.edu.au or via post to:

Attention: Andrew Baker
TrainSmart Australia
Level 12, 251 Adelaide Terrace
Perth WA 6000

The RTO Training Manager, in conjunction with the RTO Manager, will assess applications for the remittance and/or re-credit of tuition fees due to special circumstances, according to the quality of the independent supporting evidence provided by the student to substantiate their claim. The student will be provided with a decision, in writing, within 28 days of the submission of the application for assessment.

Special Circumstances: Appealing a Decision

If a student is not satisfied with the decision made by the RTO Training Manager in relation to re crediting their FEE-HELP balance they may request a review of the decision. The review shall be carried out by a Review Officer who is the senior manager to the original decision maker.

Any such request must be submitted to the Review Officer in writing and:

  • must be lodged within 28 days of receiving notice of the original decision, unless the Review Officer allows a longer period;
  • must specify the reasons for making the request and include any supporting documentation;

To initiate the process, please call TrainSmart Australia on the contact below:

Sydney: Chief Executive Officer (02) 9410 1880 dmehta@tsa.edu.au
Perth: Managing Director (08) 9265 9600 srandhawa@tsa.edu.au

The Review Officer shall acknowledge receipt of an application for a review of the refusal to re-credit a FEE-HELP balance in writing and inform the applicant that if the Review Officer has not advised the applicant of a decision within 45 days of having received the application for review, the Review Officer is taken to have confirmed the original decision. This notice shall also advise the applicant of the next stage of escalation.

The Review Officer shall:

  1. be provided with all relevant information from the person who made the original decision;
  2. review the case within 3 weeks and advise the student of the decision in writing giving the reasons for the reviewer’s decision.

The Review Officer may:

  1. confirm the decision;
  2. vary the decision; or
  3. set the decision aside and substitute a new decision.

The Review Officer will give written notice of the decision setting out the reasons for the decision.

Where a student is unsatisfied with the reviewed decision they may lodge an appeal with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) within 28 days from this written notice from the Review Officer.

The contact details for the AAT are:

Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Level 5, 111 St George’s Terrace
Perth WA 6000
Telephone: (08) 9327 7200
Email: perth.registry@aat.gov.au

Or

Level 6, 83 Clarence Street,
Sydney NSW 2000
Telephone 1800 228 333

 

The Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Education and Training (DET), or the Secretary’s delegate, will be the respondent for cases that are brought before the AAT. Upon DET’s receipt of a notification from the AAT, DET will notify TrainSmart Australia that an appeal has been lodged. Upon receipt of this notification from DET, the Review Officer will provide DET with copies of all the documents they hold that are relevant to the appeal within five (5) business days.

Applications for re crediting by the Secretary, under section 71 of the Act must be made within 5 years after the census day for the course, or the part of the course, concerned, or within that period as extended by the Secretary.

Under section 71 of the VET Student Loans Act, a student may apply to the Secretary for a re-credit of a FEE-HELP balance if; TrainSmart Australia, or a person acting on behalf of TrainSmart Australia, engaged in unacceptable conduct in relation to a student’s application for the VET Student Loan; or, if TrainSmart Australia has failed to comply with the Act or an instrument under the Act and the failure has adversely affected the student.

The Secretary may re-credit a student’s FEE HELP balance in relation to special circumstances if TrainSmart Australia:

  • is unable to act or is being wound up or has been dissolved; or
  • has failed to act and the Secretary is satisfied that the failure is unreasonable.

Cancellation of Enrolment

TrainSmart Australia reserves the right to cancel a student’s enrolment in an approved course, or part of an approved course, after the census day/s for the course, upon expiration of course enrolment (i.e. when the nominal end date for the enrolled course has lapsed).

Cancellation of Enrolment Process

Step 1

Where it has been determined that an enrolment cancellation is to be processed, TrainSmart Australia will issue a proposed cancellation notice to the student concerned. This notification will be issued via email, however, if this notification is undeliverable, a formal letter will be mailed to the student’s nominated postal address.

Step 2

Students will be given 28 days to initiate grievance procedures before the cancellation takes final effect and the cancellation will only take effect after any grievance procedures initiated by the student have been completed.

NOTE: If grievance procedures result in a student’s enrolment being extended, the cancellation of enrolment process will cease.

If students do not lodge a grievance within 28 days of the original cancellation notification, the cancellation of enrolment will be processed as per Step 3.

Step 3

Once all grievance procedures have been completed, and the 28 days given to lodge such grievances has passed, the cancellation of enrolment will be processed accordingly on or after the 29th day from the original cancellation notification. A confirmation of cancellation notification will be issued via email, however, if this notification is undeliverable, a formal letter will be mailed to the student’s nominated postal address. No refund will apply.

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