The Student Identifiers Amendment (Enhanced Student Permissions) Act 2020 (Cth) expands the range of entities that may request access to an individual's authenticated vocational education and training (VET) transcript. It also: creates a civil penalty and infringement notice regime to deal with illegal access to this information.
Key Issues —
The amendments to the Student Identifiers Act 2014 (Cth) make it simpler for employers, employment agencies and licensing bodies, and others, to validate an individual’s vocational education and training (VET) qualifications.
The intent of the legislative amendments is to assist, in particular, the integrity of recruitment processes and applications for licenses in skilled professions and occupations. The amendments also propose to protect the integrity of authenticated VET transcripts by introducing a civil penalty regime to address attempts to apply for a second unique student identifier (USI), alter an authenticated VET transcript (or extract) or represent that a document is an authenticated VET transcript (or extract).
The origin of the legislative amendments can be found in the interest that employers, employment agencies, and Commonwealth and state and territory licensing bodies have shown in accessing authenticated VET transcripts to verify an individual’s VET qualifications. This would streamline recruitment and application processes. An individual’s authenticated VET transcript contains a record of any nationally recognised training undertaken since 1 January 2015, subject to access controls set by the individual. Currently, an individual can set access controls that only allow Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and VET-related bodies to view their transcripts.
The primary changes in the legislative amendments is to allow any entity to request access to an individual’s authenticated VET transcripts or extract of an authenticated VET transcript. However, this can only be accessed if permitted by the individual. Before an entity can request the individual’s authenticated VET transcript through the USI transcript service, they must agree to the terms and conditions of being granted access to the transcript, further protecting the individual’s privacy.
The legislation introduces civil penalty provisions that are designed to protect the integrity of the USI framework and act as a deterrent to people who attempt to obtain a second USI or alter authenticated VET transcripts or extracts of authenticated VET transcripts.
This legislation will impact the release of records from more than 80% of the 4.1 million students in vocational education and training that are supported by an RTO.
Member Engagement —
ITECA’s ability to play a lead role in matters associated with this issue rests on the advice and guidance of individuals serving on the ITECA Vocational Education Reference Committee.
Further Information —
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