Activation literally means when the Tuition Assurance Scheme is “activated”. It means the point at which a decision is made that the Tuition Assurance needs to be called upon to support the students to:
- Complete their course with another training provider, or
- Get a re-credit
What happens during an activation?
Essentially activation occurs when a training provider declares that they are unable to fulfil their obligations to a student and deliver services to support them to complete their course.
The first thing that occurs is that a decision is made to call upon the assurance scheme. This may occur through a range of ways – the provider can get a negative outcome from regulatory review, have a change in ownership and circumstance or close down. There are a range of reasons and activations can occur in both the public providers and private sectors.
What are the stages?
There are a range of reasons why an activation is called. These include –
- Regulatory Body Provider voluntarily closes and manages the process by teaching out or reimbursing the student for units commenced but not completed,
- Provider goes into voluntary administration and the closure is managed by an Administrator
- Sudden closure of provider.
At this stage the activation may be called but it may be resolved by the liquidator or even the provider themselves. If this occurs the activation is said to have been resolved informally.
Student data collected
If an activation is formally called for the process commences with ACPET obtaining student data from the provider or administrator. After collecting the data:
- Student records are analysed for priorities, progression through census dates and learning program.
- The industry (ACPET Members) are approached to ascertain what opportunities exist for students to be placed with other providers.
- A specific strategy is developed per provider, and
- The potential for matching the courses that students in the closed college are in, with places available in the industry for the same learning program is assessed.
Communication with Students
Soon after course closure ACPET directly communicates with students to define their rights in the process and highlight possible pathways for their program,. For some colleges that have closed this communication may have already commenced before ACPET takes receipt of the student records. For each college closure a specific communication strategy is created
- Each student will be contacted to establish if they wish to continue their course through a matched provider or, seek re-credit of their student loan or repayment of tuition fees paid upfront.
Student assistance provided
The following assistance is provided by ACPET through the Tuition Assurance Scheme to students:
- Students are transferred to new providers if appropriate
- Re-credit of funds provided
- Documentation on agreements from student and new provider secured
- Ongoing and constant communication with student to ensure smooth transition