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Run and resolve HEPCAT validations

Once you have entered or imported your data into your HEPCAT submission the next step is to validate your files.


HEPCAT Validations

Before you can submit data to the department, your data must first pass a set of validation rules within the HEPCAT application. These rules check that your data has been coded correctly according to the data element specifications. The system will also check that the data you are reporting for a student is consistent. Some validations can be quite complex and HEPCAT will check against information provided in other submissions, files and data elements. For example, a student who has a HELP debt for a unit of study must have a record on the HELP Due file and the Student Enrolment file.

How to run validations

To validate your files you will need to click on the Validations tab within HEPCAT. Validations are arranged into groups or levels. These check your data, from the most simple to the most complex rules. To see the validations that apply to each level you can click on the plus sign next to the level. The easiest way to validate your files is to run each of the validation levels in turn.

Step 1:

The first step is to perform a preliminary check of your data by selecting validation levels 1 and 2; this will help reduce the number of initial errors and potentially identify the main causes.. One error can easily cascade into a multitude errors when all validation levels have been selected.

Step 2:

Once you have resolved the errors identified by your preliminary check you can progress to running all validations by clicking Select All. When the validation process has finished you will be alerted if your submission contains errors.

Step 3:

If no errors have occurred your data is ready to be submitted to the department.


There are two types of validation messages. These are fatal validations and warning validations.

  • Fatal validations – Fatal validations are key errors that prevent your data from being reported. All fatal errors in HEPCAT must be fixed before you can submit your data.
  • Warning validations – Alert you to possible inconsistencies in your data, but do not stop you from progressing through the submission process. Warning errors must still be reviewed and corrected where needed as they may prevent your data from being successfully reported.

What to check if your submission contains errors

Step 1:

Reports are provided in HEPCAT detailing the errors that have occurred. Two reports are available;

  • Summary report – lists the number of errors that occurred at each validation level
  • Detailed report – returns the students records that failed the validation

You will find these reports useful in referencing against data in your student management systems, these reports can be exported in both Excel and PDF format.

Step 2:

Review your error messages carefully as details are provided explaining why the error occurred.

Step 3:

Check that you are reporting valid codes as specified on the data element.

Step 4:

Check that the courses you are reporting your students against have been reported to the department for the current year in your Course Submission. VET providers your course submission is the VET Course Submission and for higher education providers is the Course of Study Submission.

Step 5:

Check that the students you are reporting with a HELP debt have details included in your latest validated HELP Due submission. VET providers is the VET HELP Due submission and higher education providers is the HELP due submission.

Step 6:

Check that a record for each of the students has been added to both files, Enrolment and Load Liability. VET providers your files are the VET Enrolment and VET Load Liability and higher education providers the Enrolment and Load Liability.

What to check if your Student Submission won't validate

Step 1:

Check the status of your submissions, any with a status of in‑progress or rejected may prevent you from validating your current submission. You may need to submit or delete these submissions.

Step 2:

Check that your HELP due file for the correct period has been validated, VET providers your file is the VET HELP Due Submission and higher education providers is the HELP Due Submission.

Step 3:

Check that your Course Submission has a validated or submitted status in HEPCAT. A Course Submission must be submitted for each year. VET providers your course submission is the VET Course Submission and higher education providers is the Course of Study Submission.

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