Evidence of vocational education student participation instruction

Instruction statement

This instruction provides an overview of key compliance requirements for confirmation and evidence of participation for the training and assessment of vocational education students under the 2014-16 VET Funding Contract (Dual Sector) Victorian Training Guarantee Program. The VET Funding Contract is between the State of Victoria through the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) and RMIT University.

The University is obliged to meet these requirements to demonstrate that government funds have been claimed correctly. Monetary penalties may apply where breaches of DEECD rules are identified.

Definitions and scope

The University receives funding where evidence exists to confirm that approved training and assessment have been delivered.

The University provides both monthly and annual reports of student enrolment to DEECD to claim payment for vocational education training and assessment. Delivery of training must be reported within a specific time-frame. A final result must be available for the final (AVETMISS) submission in January for the previous year’s enrolments.

Vocational Education refers to certificate, diploma, advanced diploma and associate degree programs. Certificates, diplomas and advanced diplomas can be subsidised by DEECD for eligible individuals. Associate degrees however are funded by the Commonwealth and are not included in the VET Funding Contract.

Exclusions

This instruction applies only to DEECD subsidised vocational education students.

Associate degrees are excluded from this instruction.

Instruction steps and actions

1. DEECD requirements

1.1. All training must be supported by evidence of participation for each competency/course/module.

The key compliance steps are summarised in the accompanying three flowcharts for evidence of participation and confirmation requirements for DEECD funded vocational education students:

  • where the course/module/competency is less than or equal to one month’s duration;
  • where the course/module/competency is greater than one month’s duration but the class start and end dates fall within the same calendar year; and
  • where the course/module/competency is greater than one month’s duration and its start and end dates span more than a single calendar year.

More comprehensive details are provided in the instruction below.

1.2. The minimum requirements for evidence of participation are:

1.2.1. If the period between the class start-date and class end-date* for the unit of competency/course/module is one month or less: a single point of evidence of participation per unit of competency/course/module must be provided.

1.2.2. If the period between the class start-date and the class end-date for the unit of competency/course/module is greater than one month: two points of evidence of participation per unit of competency/course/module must be provided. The second point of evidence must be within the last month of training delivery as identified by the reported class end date. Evidence of participation should provide a reasonable demonstration of ongoing engagement by the student in learning activity across the competency/course/module between the commencement date and completion date.

[* The scheduled class start-date is the reported enrolment activity start-date (commencement date).

The class end-date is the date of scheduled completion, also called the enrolment activity end-date. This is where the final result (outcome) is due and reportable.

The completion date may be different from the class end-date in the following two circumstances:

a) if the final result is entered into the Student Administration Management System (SAMS) before the class end-date, the SAMS graded date (the date the grade was entered in SAMS) is reported as the completion date for the competency; or

b) if the student fomally withdraws (submits a cancellation form), the withdrawal date is reported as the completion date.]

1.3. In apprenticeship and traineeship programs where competency-based completions are involved, and there is a delay in the employer sign-off, a final piece of evidence must be provided within the delivery of training by RMIT (before the class end date). This could be:

1.3.1. the employer sign-off of final competency; or

1.3.2. the last evidence of engagement within the enrolment period.

1.4. Where delivery is scheduled across two calendar years (cross-year enrolment), evidence must be available in both the year the commencement of training is reported and the year the final result is reported. The class will be reported as a continuing enrolment in the commencing year.

1.5. From 1 July 2012, DEECD have implemented a new requirement. Funding is dependent on all students being confirmed within 120 days of the scheduled class start date. RMIT University has implemented this requirement using 60 days as the basis for confirmation to maximise funding. This means that the first point of evidence of participation and training, and confirmation, must be captured within 60 days of the class start-date to receive funding.

2. What is evidence of participation

2.1. For the University to claim funding from DEECD, evidence is required to demonstrate that a student has participated/engaged in each competency/course/module.

Acceptable forms of evidence include:

2.1.1. evidence of assessment and grade: competent or not yet competent (graded or ungraded competency);

2.1.2. submission of an application for recognition of prior learning which has been processed by the Academic Registrar’s Group (ARG) – granted or not granted. (If an RPL application has not been assessed by the school before the 20th calendar day of the month in which the application is lodged, the School must enter an RNY interim grade. This grade will not, however, ‘confirm’ the student.);

2.1.3. attendance: includes Student Attendance Tracking System (SATS) or ARG approved attendance rolls;

2.1.4. participation in learning activities: includes Learning Hub, ATLAS and evidence of learning activities that occur outside of classroom-based delivery.

2.2. Accurate student participation records are critical to ensuring that no non-compliances are recorded in external audits conducted by DEECD.

RMIT University has several systems to record participation: SATS, ATLAS, myRMIT Studies/Learning Hub, and paper-based rolls (the latter must be approved by ARG). SATS is the preferred method of capturing participation and generates an auto-confirmation of students in SAMS.

Staff must confirm students in SAMS manually if relying on a form of participation/confirmation that does not automatically confirm the student.

3. What is confirmation?

3.1. Confirmed / Confirmation – Once a student is recorded as having actively participated in training and/or assessment, the student’s enrolment in the training is ‘confirmed’. This confirmation is formally recorded on the University’s official student database (SAMS). Confirmation is important because it provides evidence of student participation in training, which is a requirement of the VET Funding Contract 2014-16. It triggers the claim for funding and is reported monthly to DEECD by the RMIT Statistics and Reporting Unit.

3.2. A confirmation is an entry in SAMS. It is recorded against individual student enrolments. It is the responsibility of Schools to ensure that all vocational education students who have participated in training are confirmed in SAMS. Confirmation can be triggered by one of more pieces of evidence of participation.

3.3. To meet the requirement of confirming students within 60 days of enrolment, Schools can confirm students with one point of evidence of participation.

3.4. If the second point of evidence is not available within the last month of training delivery as per the scheduled class end-date, students must be manually ‘unconfirmed’ by the School. This arrangement ensures Schools receive progressive funding for teaching, but do not erroneously claim funding for completion.

3.5. Completion of an RPL assessment by the School and entry of the final grade in SAMS (RLG or RLN) by the ARG will confirm a student automatically. Schools should, however, note the following two important timing issues in relation to the completion of RPL assessment.

3.5.1. If the RPL assessment is not completed by the School and the outcome grade not entered in SAMS by the Academic Registrar’s Group by the 20th calendar day of the month in which the application is lodged, the School must enter the interim RNY grade against this enrolment. The interim grade must be changed to a final grade before the deadline for AVETMISS reporting.

3.5.2. If the RPL assessment is not completed by the School and the outcome grade not entered in SAMS by the Academic Registrar’s Group within 60 days of the scheduled class start-date the funding contract requires that the School have evidence of student participation in training in the month that the final RPL grade was entered. This means that two points of evidence will be required for this RPL record.

3.6. To assist Schools in managing their responsibility for confirming students, the Assessment Support Unit circulates monthly non-final results reports during the year, and more often in December, including the status of student confirmations.

3.7. The TAFE Enrolled hours report allows schools to monitor all confirmed and unconfirmed records in SAMS.

4. How do we record confirmation in SAMS?

4.1. Auto-confirmation:

4.1.1. Student Attendance Tracking System (SATS). SATS records attendance by class or individual student interaction: https://apps-farm.rmit.edu.au/student-attendancetracking/ (login required)

Process step/action

Who is responsible

When

Attendance rolls are allocated to classes either through SAMS or by delegation in SATS.

Schools

Before commencement of class

Meeting patterns (when classes are delivered) must be set up in SATS from the class start-date and must reflect the teaching schedule from the relevant course guide.

Schools

Before commencement of class

All class rolls must have attendance/non-attendance recorded

Teacher

Within 48 hours of class

A student’s participation will be confirmed automatically after two attendances have been recorded in SATS.

Teacher

Less than 60 days

Individual interactions in SATS may also be selected to be confirmed automatically in SAMS.

Teacher

Within 48 hours of interaction

4.1.2. Formalised clustered delivery: where two or more courses have been combined to be delivered at the same time and are formally combined in SAMS, and this information flows through to SATS.

Each of the combined courses will be confirmed automatically once two attendances have been recorded in SATS (refer to types of evidence table below for instructions on how to cluster).

4.1.3. SATS provides several administration reports designed to assist schools in managing confirmation of students. If confirmations are low, the ‘No Attendance Report’ should be run to identify classes that do not have any student attendance records.

Another useful report, ‘No class meetings scheduled’, identifies classes that do not yet have meeting schedules set up and thus cannot have attendance taken.

Process step/action

Who is responsible

When

4.1.4. Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

Schools/Teachers

Within 60 days of class start-date

RPL assessment is confirmed automatically when ARG enter the RLG or RLN result. Schools should ensure the application is approved and submitted to ARG in time for recording and confirmation to occur before 60 days have passed from the class start-date. If the RPL assessment is not completed within one month of lodgement, the School must have evidence of participation in the final month, that is, the month in which the RPL outcome is posted in SAMS. (see section 2.1.2 for further instructions).

ARG

Within 60 days of class start-date


4.2 Manual confirmation

Process step/action

Who is responsible

When

4.2.1. Program administrators enter confirmations directly into SAMS when provided with compliant evidence of participation (refer to types of evidence table below).

Schools

Within 60 days of class start-date

4.2.2.Where ATLAS is used, program administrators enter confirmations from the ATLAS confirmation report.

http://www.rmit.edu.au/staff/vet/apprenticeships/atlas

Schools

Within 60 days of class start-date

4.2.3. Clustered delivery – where two or more courses have been combined to be delivered at the same time. All courses must be listed on the roll (refer to types of evidence table below).

5. Types of evidence of participation

5.1. The following table lists forms of compliant evidence of participation. One or more of these types of evidence may be provided to meet the requirements outlined above.

Types of evidence

RMIT evidence (detailed evidence)

Confirmation type

Audit requirements

Attendance roll

Student Attendance Tracking System (SATS) attendance roll


A paper-based roll endorsed by ARG which includes DEECD VET Funding Contract requirements

Auto-confirmation


Manual confirmation required

To satisfy audit requirements for student participation:

Show that the unit of competency was delivered at the point at which the student is marked on the attendance roll.

Roll must include:

  • Student name
  • Student ID
  • National unit of competency ID
  • Subject area and catalogue number
  • Program name and code
  • Class start- and end-dates
  • Date, signature and name of teacher/assessor
  • Result outcome
  • Teacher employee ID

Ensure all fields on the roll are completed accurately.
For clustered delivery, where multiple units of competency are delivered concurrently, further evidence must be provided – refer to section on clustered delivery below.
Where the roll indicates that the individual has only attended the first class, supporting documentation must be supplied demonstrating that there was engagement in the learning activities of the unit of competency during that class. Attendance at an induction or orientation class alone is not sufficient evidence of participation.

Instructor notes (e.g. a record of interaction with the student)

Student Attendance Tracking System (SATS) – Student interaction record of teacher/assessor notes identifying engagement of the student in the competency/course;

or

ATLAS engagement record.

SATS – auto-confirmation





ATLAS – manual confirmation required

An interaction is a record of a personal interview, telephone, e-mail or other communication that specifically relates to the unit of competency in which the student is enrolled. The record must include:

  • Student name
  • Student ID
  • Unit of competency title and code
  • Details of student and staff input into the interaction, which engaged the student in learning at the unit of competency level
  • Teacher name and ID number

Work submitted by student

Assignment cover sheet for submission of work attached to the student’s work (with an assessment matrix or other explanation detailing how the submitted piece of work relates to the competency in question) with the teacher’s name and signature.

Assignment coversheet


An assessor’s completed marking guide, criteria, and observation checklist for the student may be sufficient where it it not possible to retain the student’s actual work. However, the retained evidence must have enough detail to demonstrate the assessor’s judgement of the student’s performance against the standard required.

Manual confirmation required







Manual confirmation required

The piece of student work must relate specifically to the unit of competency/course in which the student has been confirmed.

Student engagement via online learning

A Blackboard login record which shows that the student is undertaking training and/or assessment activities.


Records of staff/student engagement at the unit of competency/module level.



E-submission of work electronically on RMIT enterprise systems such as Blackboard etc. attached to the student’s work (with an assessment matrix or other explanation detailing how the submitted piece of work relates to the competency in question) with the teacher’s name and signature

Manual confirmation required


Manual confirmation required


Manual confirmation required

Where a student has a secure login to a specific learning activity (for the unit of competency/course) in which they are enrolled, the login record demonstrating online engagement with the learning activity will constitute evidence of engagement.

The login record must evidence the student undertaking learning activity or assessment activity. A login record indicating the student accessed training materials alone is not sufficient evidence of participation.

The piece of student work must relate specifically to the course in which the student has been confirmed.

Student engagement via flexible and other modes of delivery

Student Attendance Tracking System (SATS) – student interaction record.


ATLAS

Auto-confirmation


Manual confirmation

In flexible and distance modes of learning, records of student participation/engagement must be recorded at the unit of competency/course level and should indicate the commencement and completion date of learning.

Teacher/assessor record of communication with the student (e.g.: email, telephone, visit, assignment).

The record must identify what was discussed in relation to the competency/course and where the student was up to in their learning program.

Student (final) assessment

Primary documentation

SAMS grade roster

RPO grade roster

Blackboard – grade book
Must be supported by trainer/assessor endorsed documentation such as an assessor’s record book or diary

A copy of the assessment task/instrument or similar which confirms submission/performance by the individual student

Training plan

Completed assignment coversheet for assessment

These are acceptable as a second point of evidence

Primary documentation is either:

  • a secure paper-based record; or
  • an electronic record of assessment.

These documents must indicate an actual result consistent with the assessment conducted.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

Completed RPL application form

Completed and authorised Record of Assessment

Auto-confirmation

Recognition of Prior Learning is an assessment process that assesses the individual’s informal or non-formal learning to determine the extent to which they have achieved the required learning outcome or competency outcomes.

RPL does not include any additional training at the unit of competency level.

Gap training cannot be reported as RPL.

RPL assessment is confirmed automatically when authorised staff within the ARG enter the RLG outcome in SAMS: therefore it is important to allow for processing the RPL documentation within 60 days of the class scheduled start-date.

Records must be maintained for successful and unsuccessful RPL assessments.

The RPL Record of assessment must be completed for each RPL application, including unsuccessful application.

Records must include competency titles and national codes and the evidence related to the RPL result.

6. Clustered delivery

Types of evidence

RMIT evidence (detailed evidence)

Implications of clustered delivery for all types of evidence

  • A lesson plan is required at the unit of competency level; or
  • an assessment plan showing how each assessment task addresses each individual course; or
  • a notation on a school attendance roll or student contact sheet that indicates which training was actually delivered in a session at the unit of competency level; or
  • SATS attendance roll which includes each competency; or
  • teaching schedule in the Part B Course Guide; or
  • a delivery schedule or matrix that shows the planned training at the unit of competency level and is aligned with date/s the individual was in attendance.

Where, for the purposes of delivery of assessment, units of competency (courses) are clustered together, the evidence provided must satisfy participation at the unit of competency (course) level.

7. Alternative forms of evidence where the original evidence is lost or destroyed

7.1. If extreme circumstances (e.g., fire, flood or other equivalent circumstances) prevent the provision of any of the primary recording documentation listed in this instruction, a signed statutory declaration must be provided by the staff directly associated with the training delivery, who are authorised by RMIT University to attest participation of the individual in the unit of competency in question.

7.2. A verifiable enrolment requires that the auditor record the following two elements, certified by the appropriate staff member:

7.2.1. a full explanation of the reasons why primary recording documentation is not available; and

7.2.2. a signed and dated statutory declaration fully explaining the evidence being provided and affirmed.

The auditor would determine whether the evidence provided is sufficient to substantiate the claim that the individual participated and thereby verifies the enrolment.

7.3. A signed document merely stating that participation within the enrolment has occurred would not meet verification requirements.

8. What forms of evidence will NOT meet the requirements for verification of participation

8.1. RMIT University testamurs / certificates of attainment in isolation as evidence to satisfy participation at the unit of competency / course level.

8.2. Statements from students declaring they participated in the unit of competency / course will only be accepted at an audit if evidence of extreme and exceptional circumstances such as fire, flood or theft is provided.

8.3. Documentary evidence consisting solely of general ‘catch all’ sets of activities and questions typically completed on the first day of student attendance, covering all units of competency / course with the cluster.

9. Annual Review

9.1. This instruction will be reviewed by the ARG on an annual basis to ensure that it captures changes to the VET Funding Contract (Dual Sector) Victorian Training Guarantee Program and government / contract notifications.

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