Waiting Practical Placement or Employer Signoff Reporting

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In April 2020, as a response to the many training providers struggling to maintain a positive monthly cash flow due to disruptions or delays to their delivery, the Department developed an alternative reporting mechanism which allowed RTOs to temporarily suspend units of competency from the SVTS reapportioning payment logic. This mechanism, which involved the reporting of a specific Purchasing Contract Schedule Identifier (C19), has now been withdrawn and the Department has sent correspondence to training providers that were utilising this temporary reporting mechanism as of October 2020. However, as a response to challenges that COVID-19 has posed in accessing workplaces and practical placements for some industries, the Department has now developed a new data reporting mechanism to recognise circumstances where final outcomes are impacted solely as a result of delayed practical placement or employer sign off.

Contrary to the previous temporary reporting option, this new one is applicable only for units of competency with a practical placement component or units of competency that are delivered as part of an apprenticeship enrolment and require an employer’s signoff. Training providers may use this new reporting option only when:

  • Supervised training and/or assessment components of the unit of competency has been completed and
  • The only barrier preventing the progression to competency is:
    • The ability to undertake the required practical placement
    • The employer’s signoff of the apprentice

This reporting option will become available for the next release of SVTS (version 11.7) in mid-November 2020 and training providers who would like to opt-in will need to implement the following:

 

  • Report the Outcome identifier code 79 (Waiting employer signoff) for relevant Units of Competency. This code is normally used for apprenticeship enrolments where the student has completed the supervised training and/or assessment component of the training at an RTO and is now awaiting employer signoff to be deemed competent. The Department has temporarily expanded the scope of this code to also include “Waiting practical placement”. This will be reflected in the first version of the 2021 Victorian VET Student Statistical Guidelines.
  • Report the code ERA (“Exclude from reapportioning”) in the Purchasing Contract Schedule Identifier field for relevant Units of Competency. You will need to contact your SMS vendor to find out whether the new Purchasing Contract Schedule Identifier will be automatically created within your SMS or it needs to be manually created by your admin personnel. If your SMS is unable to report this Purchasing Contract Schedule Identifier, then the Department, on your behalf, will populate the PCSI field with the code DET for Units of Competency reported with the Outcome identifier code 79. However, from the 2021 collection year, SMS vendors are expected to have the ability to report the ERA Purchasing Contract Schedule Identifier and the Department will no longer populate this field on training providers’ behalf.

If you choose to report the above codes in your data submission to SVTS, this will trigger the setting of a “payment schedule end date” for relevant Units of Competency. This date will be different than the reported “activity end date” and will be the earliest of:

 

  • the training providers reported date in their NAT submission; or
  • the latest invoice date of the current collection year; or
  • the month of last invoice; or
  • the last month of the current collection year

Example

On 5th November 2020, a unit of competency with a practical placement component was reported with 150 scheduled hours with Activity Start Date 15/08/20 and Activity End Date 15/12/20:

Payment MonthTraining Delivery Month/YearProgram IDSubject IDClaim HoursAmountPayment StatusOutcomePurchasing Contract Schedule Identifier
September 2020August 2020XYZ2100XYZ00130$300Paid70Blank
October 2020September 2020XYZ2100XYZ00130$300Paid70Blank
November 2020October 2020XYZ2100XYZ00130$300Paid70Blank
December 2020November 2020YZ2100XYZ00130$300Pending70Blank
January 2021December 2020XYZ2100XYZ00130$300Pending70Blank

 In this scenario, the total payment to date is $900.

Due to the student being unable to attend and complete their practical placement, the training provider has decided to extend the Activity End Date to 15/03/2021. In this case, on 1st December 2021, prior to December payment process, the new payment schedule will look like this:

Payment MonthTraining Delivery Month/YearProgram IDSubject IDClaim HoursAmountPayment StatusOutcomePurchasing Contract Schedule Identifier
September 2020August 2020XYZ2100XYZ00130$300Paid70Blank
October 2020September 2020XYZ2100XYZ00130$300Paid70Blank
November 2020October 2020XYZ2100XYZ00130$300Paid70Blank
December 2020August/September/October 2020XYZ2100XYZ001-90$900Pay70Blank
December 2020August 2020XYZ2100XYZ00118.75$187.50Pay70Blank
December 2020September 2020XYZ2100XYZ00118.75$187.50Pay70Blank
December 2020October 2020XYZ2100XYZ00118.75$187.50Pay70 Blank
Decenber 2020November 2020XYZ2100XYZ00118.75$187.50Pay70 Blank
January 2021December 2020XYZ2100XYZ00118.75$187.50Pending70 Blank
February 2021January 2021XYZ2100XYZ00118.75$187.50Pending70Blank
March 2021February 2021XYZ2100XYZ00118.75$187.50Pending70Blank
April 2021March 2021XYZ2100XYZ00118.75$187.50Pending70Blank

In the above scenario, the expected total payment for the 3rd December payment is -$150 while the remaining funds will be paid in full by April 2021.

If the provider extends the Activity End Date to 15/03/2021 and at the same time chooses to utilise the “Waiting practical placement” reporting option, SVTS will set the 05/11/2020 (latest invoice date) as the “payment schedule end date” and the claim process will use this date rather the 15/03/2021 to calculate the new claim breakdown:

Payment MonthTraining Delivery Month/YearProgram IDSubject IDClaim HoursAmountPayment StatusOutcomePurchasing Contract Schedule Identifier
September 2020August 2020XYZ2100XYZ00130$300Paid70Blank
October 2020September 2020XYZ2100XYZ00130$300Paid70Blank
November 2020October 2020XYZ2100XYZ00130$300Paid70Blank
December 2020August/September/October 2020XYZ2100XYZ001-90$900Pay79ERA
December 2020August 2020XYZ2100XYZ00137.5$375Pay79ERA
December 2020September 2020XYZ2100XYZ00137.5$375Pay79ERA
December 2020October 2020XYZ2100XYZ00137.5$375Pay79 ERA
Decenber 2020November 2020XYZ2100XYZ00137.5$375Pay79 ERA

Using the “Waiting practical placement” reporting option will eventually result in the full payment for the unit of competency by December 2020, even though the training provider has extended the Activity End Date to March 2021.

Training Providers should take advantage of this reporting option to ensure ongoing operations and financial viability while at the same time they should keep in close contact with both current students and employers while they await the commencement or recommencement of their practical placement. If choosing to utilise this new reporting option, you will be able to view the “locked” Activity End Date and the reported end Activity End Date by using the RTO Exclusions report in SVTS. The Department anticipates reviewing the need for this arrangement at the conclusion of the first quarter of 2021.

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