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Commonwealth Scholarships toolkit


The higher education student data requirements include the reporting of information about Commonwealth Scholarships by Table A and B higher education providers. The data is reported with the HEIMS Administration web browser or through HEIMS Web Services Interface.

This toolkit provides you with information about how you report your Commonwealth Scholarships data. It includes information about HEIMS Administration and web services as well as links to relevant user guides and training.

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Before you start – system access information

All users need to have their own logon ID and password. Individual users must have approved credentials to access HEIMS Administration application. It is not acceptable to share your credentials with colleagues.

To request access you will need to complete and submit the Access to HEIMS applications form which is available on the Systems and access page.

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What do you report?

The Commonwealth Scholarship submission includes data from the Commonwealth Scholarship (CS) file. Information in this file may include records for all students who are commencing, continuing or being offered a Commonwealth Scholarship.

The Commonwealth scholarship (CS) file scope and structure guidelines provide details of the data you need to report.

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When do you report?

The Key dates and reporting deadlines page provides the deadlines for each reporting year. You must report scholarships data by the deadlines.

As a result of new arrangements, from 2017 you will have more options in how you can report Commonwealth scholarships. You can continue to report under the current processes and timing or you can follow the new streamlined approach:

  • Students can be included in your current half yearly submissions (you no longer need to report commencing scholarship holders within 15 days of the census date. The final dates for reporting these data are:
    • 31 August for scholarships approved in the first half year and
    • 31 March for scholarships approved in the second half year.

Please note that you will need to continue to report Commonwealth scholarships offers by the existing dates:

  • 22 January for first half year offers
  • 15 June for second half year offers

See our Reporting of Commonwealth scholarships data from 2017 page for more information.

Late Offers

Offers made after the deadline should be sent directly to the Department of Human Services using the available template.

Late offers should also be submitted to HEIMS for a complete record of offers for the period.

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How do you report?


Higher education providers can report Commonwealth Scholarships data using either HEIMS Administration or HEIMS Web Services Interface.

HEIMS Administration

Commonwealth scholarship data can be reported using HEIMS Administration application in two ways.

  • New and continuing scholarship records can be submitted one record at a time or
  • A file can be submitted for multiple scholarship records to be reported at the same time

Step by step information about how data is submitted using HEIMS Administration is provided in the Commonwealth Scholarships User Guide.

Please note in Section 3.2 of the user guide it discusses the importance of naming conventions. When uploading a Commonwealth scholarships (CS) file in HEIMS Administration, the correct file name format needs to be used. The system will generate an error if the file name is not in the format shown below:

The file name will be hhhhxxyyyy.nnnnn, where:

  • hhhh: numeric HEP code
  • xx: abbreviation of data category: CS (not case sensitive)
  • yyyy: reporting year
  • nnnnn: number (file number; maximum 5 digits; numeric)

For example, a CS file name would be: 9999CS2018.00001

HEIMS Web Services Interface and HEIMS Administration test environment

A larger number of Commonwealth Scholarships records can be reported using HEIMS Web Services Interface. Using web services may incur IT support costs for your organisation to build an interface.

Information about the requirements for using web services is provided in the Technical Specifications for Commonwealth Scholarship.

The URLs for the Commonwealth Scholarships Web Services Interface are below:

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Validating your Commonwealth Scholarships data

The department has developed a set of validation "rules" that the system checks when you report your data. The validation rules for Commonwealth Scholarships are provided below in three ways – by element number, file type and validation number. For each rule the following information is provided:

  • The validation number. This is simply a unique number identifying the rule (e.g. 9900).
  • The error message that will be produced by HEPCAT or HEIMS. This is a short description of the nature of the rule violation.
  • The validation rule - this is a long description of the rule.
  • The element number(s) to which the rule applies.
  • The abbreviation for the file(s) that contains the record for which data are being checked.

Commonwealth Scholarships validation rules

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Checking and verifying your reported data

We recommend that you check your data after each submission. You can check your data using the HEIMS Online Data View reports for Commonwealth Scholarships.

Checking your reported data will identify any errors or inconsistencies early and save you time during verification. This is because the HEIMS Online Data View and Verification reports are in the same format.

You will need to verify your Commonwealth Scholarships data twice a year. See the Checking & verifying your data toolkit for more information on how to verify your reported scholarships data.

If you found errors after checking or while verifying your data, you need to revise your data as soon as possible. The Revising your data toolkit will guide you through this process.

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Checking your students' entitlements

You can check your student entitlements for Commonwealth Scholarships and review information you may receive on an output alert notice in the CHESSN toolkit.

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Revising your Commonwealth Scholarships data

You can revise your Commonwealth Scholarships data reported to HEIMS at any time. You may need to revise your data if you identify an error when checking your data after a submission or when verifying your data during the verification periods.

The Revisions to Commonwealth Scholarships (CS) data page has detailed information on how to revise your data.

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Training is offered throughout the year and you may register on our Training page and via our eNews. Our training page also hosts training videos and recorded webinars on many key topics, which may be viewed at any time. We also offer webinar or face to face training tailored for your team or your organisation.

We recommend that you review our training page and mark the dates of webinars that are relevant to you on your planning calendar.

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Contact us

If you need advice about getting started like planning your reporting calendar and training or any questions on reporting data or using HEPCAT, HEIMS Online or HEIMS Administration systems please contact us.

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