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Reporting VET Completions data – Unit of Study and Course Completions


There are two types of completions submissions that you are required to report. They are:

  • The VET Unit of Study Completions submission; and
  • The VET Course Completions submission

The Unit of Study Completions submission contains information about the completion status (the student's study outcome) for each unit of study reported in your Student Submission(s).

The VET Course Completions submission contains information about all eligible students who have been reported to the department in one or more units of study and have completed an approved VET course at your organisation. A student and course combination can only have one course completion record, which is reported when the student has met the academic requirements for the course.

When are Unit of Study and Course Completions submissions reported?

Course completions: Details of your course completions are submitted each month and must be reported by the 7th day of the month following the completion.

Unit of study completions: The deadlines for reporting unit of study completions data is based on the census date range, as per the table below:

Deadline Census date range
7 April 1 January to 31 March
7 July 1 April to 30 June
7 October 1 July to 30 September
7 January 7 January

Any unit of study reported for the year with a status of "in progress" must be updated with the actual study outcome at the end date of the unit, by the 7th day of the following month.

We encourage you to submit your completions data early, preferably as soon as your organisation has the details available. Reporting early will assist you with managing your reporting priorities.

VET Unit of Study Completions submission

The purpose of the Unit of Study Completions submission is to add a completion status i.e. the student's study outcome to each unit of study record reported in your Student Submissions.

The reporting of this data supports statistical calculations such as success, retention and progress rates for your organisation. This data is published so it is essential that it is accurate.

When you are preparing your Unit of Study completions data, there are two main areas to check in order to successfully submit your file.

These are:

  • the key elements that identify each unit of study record; and
  • the unit of study completion status for each unit of study record, advising the outcome of the student's study.

Key elements for units of study

There are four key elements to report a unit of study completions record, these are:

  • Student ID (Element 313)
  • Unit of Study Census Date (Element 489)
  • Course code (Element 307)
  • Unit of Study code (Element 354)

Matching your key elements is the most important step in reporting your unit of study completions data. The key elements will identify the student's record in order to attach the completion status to the record.

The four key elements must match the student's original record to successfully report a completion status. Just like a puzzle piece in a jigsaw. If one of the key elements reported is different, your submission will not pass the validations and the system will reject the data.

In some circumstances, a student may have more than one record for the same unit of study in your completions file. For example, a student who has failed a unit may repeat the same unit later on in the year. The different census dates for the unit will uniquely identify each of the student's records and apply the correct completions status to each unit.

How does data element 355 work?

This element is on the Unit of Study Completions submission and is used to report the study outcome for each unit of study in which the student is enrolled. There are five completions statuses allocated to each VET unit of study record. These are:

Reportable Code Description
Code 1 – Withdrew without penalty Indicates that a student has withdrawn from the unit of study after the census date and your organisation has not recorded an academic penalty i.e. failed against the unit.

This code does not relate to a unit of study, which has been remitted in special circumstances. Remitted units of study are not included in this submission. Code 1 is used when:
  • a student withdraws from their unit after the census date;
  • has incurred a debt for the unit;
  • the unit has not been remitted or deleted; and
  • the student does not receive any academic penalty for withdrawing before they completed the unit.
Code 2 – Failed Indicates that a student has failed the unit of study.
Code 3 – Successfully completed Indicates that a student has successfully completed all the requirements of the unit of study.
Code 4 – In progress Indicates that the student is still in the process of completing the unit or a completion status has not yet been determined.

This code should only be used when a student is genuinely continuing the unit of study. It cannot be used as a default code –for example, you have not heard from a student so you assume they must still be studying, even though the end of the unit has passed.
Code 5 – Recognition of prior learning. Indicates that the unit of study reported to the department was a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) unit of study.

Generally, very few VSL units of study fit into codes 1 and 5.

You can find the specifications for data element E355 on the HEIMSHELP website.

Which unit of study records don't need a completion status?

There are only two exceptions where you do not report a unit of study completion status for student records. These are:

  • the unit of study record has been remitted in special circumstances; or
  • the unit of study record has been deleted.

How to update a unit of study completion status

To update the previously reported status for a unit of study you do not need a special revision file. You can update your data by using the Unit of Study Completion Submission.

To revise or update the completion status, the records to be updated are re-reported in another Unit of Study Completions submission with the correct completion status code.

The same key elements must be re-reported matching the original values to update the record. The system will use these key elements to find the record and will then simply overwrite the completions status with the latest status reported.

For example, if you previously reported a record with a completion status of 2 for data element 355, indicating that the student failed the unit, but the student had actually successfully completed the unit, you simply re-report the same record with an updated completion status value of 3 – passed.

VET Course Completions

For VET providers, the course completions submission provides information about all courses completed by all eligible students who have been reported to the department in one or more VET units of study, and have completed an approved VET course during the reporting year.

Reporting Course Completions

When preparing the course completions submission, the two main components that are essential to successfully submitting your file are:

  • the key elements for each record; and
  • the variation reason code, element 446, for each record.

Key Elements for Course Completions

Just like the unit of study completions, your course completions data must match the key elements to identify the student's course record. The three key elements for a course completions record are the:

  • Student ID (Element 313);
  • Reporting Year/Period (Element 415); and
  • Course code (Element 307)

Every course reported in your course completions submission must have a matching course record for the related year on your VET Course submission.

How to report course completion when students transition to a new training package

Students who transition to a new training package will require a course completion record reported against the qualification for the new course, not the previous course. As the training package for the previous course has been replaced by the new qualification, the course completions record must be reported against this new qualification. There is no need to change the data previously reported in your student submissions, it remains as is and should be a true reflection of the student's enrolment at that point in time i.e. census date.

Variation reason code – data element 446

The variation reason code, element 446, tells the system what to do with each record it receives. There are two variation reason codes that can be used in the course completions submission.

Reportable code Description
Code 4 Deletions due to Administrative error
Code 5 Additional record or new record reported for the first time

How to update course completions data when the record was reported incorrectly?

As with the unit of study completions data, you do not need a special revision submission to revise your course completions data. You can revise these records by reporting them in another course completions submission. If you need to revise your course completions data, there are two variation reason codes that will be used. You will need to delete the incorrectly reported record, and then submit a new corrected record with E446 = 5.

Reportable code Description
Code 4 Used to delete a record that should not have been reported
Code 5 Adding an additional record or new record

Detailed information on what to do to revise each element in your course completions submission is available in the revision guide for course completions on HEIMSHELP.

Checking your reported completions data

The final task in reporting your completions submissions is to check your data to ensure that:

  • the status of each unit of study reported during the year is correct and every unit has an outcome – that is, the student actually undertook that unit of study and they have a clear result such as a 'pass' or 'fail'; and
  • the courses you have reported as completed are accurate.

The following two reports available in HEIMS Online from the HEIMS Data View and Summary Reports menus are used for checking completions data:

  • VET Unit of Study Completions Summary Report; and
  • VET Course Completions (All Students) Summary Report

Checking your reported data is an important part of submitting data. The department gathers statistical data on course completions and success and retention rates for your organisation. Understanding the percentage of your students who successfully complete their units of study and are granted an award from your organisation is an essential part of managing the VET Student Loans program. This information is publicly available on the department's website, so it is important to your organisation's reputation that your data is correct.

Tips for easy reporting

There two most common errors that occur when submitting completions data which are listed in the below table. If you keep these in mind when preparing your files, you will have minimal errors and a much simpler submission process.

Common error Explanation
Original record not reported To be able to report a unit of study completion status the original unit of study record must already have been reported in one of your Student Submissions during the year. If the original record has not been reported you will not be able to match the completion record. To correct this fatal validation, you will need to first submit the original record in another student submission.
Key elements are different The key elements must match the existing unit of study record. Don't forget that the key elements on the unit of study completions record must be the same as the key elements originally reported for the unit of study in your Student Submission.
Course not reported Before a course completion record can be reported the course, details must have already been reported in your VET Course Submission.

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