This paper describes TEQSA’s approach to navigating the issues involved with streamlining the collection into the broader TCSI project, whilst minimising additional compliance burden upon providers. The requirement to examine the PIR, due to changes brought by TCSI, provides a valuable opportunity to re-evaluate and improve the collection against TEQSA’s regulatory principles and deliverables.
The alignment of data elements between the PIR and HEIMS will enhance data validity and reduce the possibility of data inconsistencies. To enable this alignment, the collection scope must be expanded to cover the minimum mandatory elements of the updated HEIMS specification. This expansion, alongside the streamlining of reporting periods, will allow TEQSA to draw upon a more comprehensive and timely source of data, allowing for more efficient and effective regulatory assessment processes, which in turn further improve the accuracy of assessment outcomes. These actions will also serve to reduce information gaps in provider profiles, providing an improved evidence base to better inform policy development, good practice and student choice.
TEQSA is proposing the choice of two submission pathways to substitute HEPCAT. The Business to Government (B2G) application programming interface (API) permits a provider’s student management solution to establish a direct connection to the Department, enabling the real-time reporting of data to occur with minimal intervention. An alternative solution, the Provider Portal, will be available for smaller providers who are unable to implement a student management solution (SMS), allowing for the submission of data through an online form or spreadsheet (e.g. Microsoft Excel). This choice will be left to providers – should a provider choose to implement an SMS, the reporting of student data will become seamless; otherwise, spreadsheet reporting through the Portal will continue to be available. The reporting of staff data will continue as a spreadsheet submission through the Portal.
The objectives of this project are to:
- streamline and align TEQSA and Department data collections, wherever feasibly possible
- audit the current data schematic for informational gaps and improve data quality and breadth
- determine how PIR providers will report, access and utilise data
- align the timing of the TEQSA and Department data collections.
The outcome of this project will be a single, unified reporting system for universities, higher education and vocational institutions. PIR providers will benefit from the technological advances of the TCSI project, primarily through the implementation of the new B2G API which will generate significant savings in time and effort for providers who choose to utilise the solution. Those who choose to utilise the alternative Provider Portal will still benefit from the removal of ineffective and duplicated data elements from the collection scope, reducing compliance burden. Moreover, the alignment to HEIMS will support improved insights into how their operations are tracking compared to other non-HESA-funded and HESA-funded providers.
Submissions close 20 September 2019.