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onCourse and ASQA: Issuing compliant VET certificates (Standard 3.1 to 3.4)

edited June 2016 in News

The onCourse Student Management System includes many tools to assist your RTO to comply with the ASQA Standards for RTOs 2015. This series of blog posts focus on a particular standard and what options you have inside onCourse to set up your data in a compliant manner.

Standard Three requires your RTO to have secure certification process and procedures in place. Clauses 3.1 - 3.4 in particular require you to ensure you only issue valid Qualifications and Statements of Attainment, stating:

3.1 The RTO issues AQF certification documentation only to a learner whom it has assessed as meeting the requirements of the training product as specified in the relevant training package or VET accredited course.

3.2 All AQF certification documentation issued by an RTO meets the requirements of Schedule 5.

3.3 AQF certification documentation is issued to a learner within 30 calendar days of the learner being assessed as meeting the requirements of the training product if the training program in which the learner is enrolled is complete, and providing all agreed fees the learner owes to the RTO have been paid.

3.4 Records of learner AQF certification documentation are maintained by the RTO in accordance with the requirements of Schedule 5 and are accessible to current and past learners.

While all of that may look complex to digest, in reality, one function inside onCourse manages and maintains this data for you as required, as well as being responsible for generating your AVETMISS Program Complete (NAT00130) data file.

This is the onCourse Certificate table. Reading this chapter of our user documentation will give you all the step by step instructions you need to correctly create and maintain your certificate records.

In onCourse, when we talk about Certificates, we are referring to any type of VET certification you might like to issue. This includes:
* Stand alone Statements of Attainment, that don't reference a Qualification
* Statements of Attainment that include a reference a Qualification the student may be working towards
* Skill Set Statements of Attainment
* Qualifications
* Qualifications completed through trainee or apprenticeship arrangements
* Transcripts to accompany the above list of certifications

All of these records are created inside a table in the onCourse database, allowing you to meet clause 3.4 of retaining your certificate issuance records in a format that is both accessible, can be exported on request, and can be used within your organisation for verification requests and re-issuing lost copies quickly.

Powerful validation inside the onCourse application assists with automating the process of creating these certificates, a method for editing them prior to printing, and then only allowing you to print (and issue) certificates which are valid.

To meet clause 3.1, onCourse will only allow the printing of Qualifications where all units of competency have been set with a successful outcomes, and Statements of Attainment where at least one of the units has been given a successful outcome.

Certificates which contain units where outcomes have not yet been set, are invalid and will not be issued. Outcomes linked to Qualifications and Statements of Attainment which were not achieved successfully will be listed on the student's transcript, but will not display on the certificate face.

Although it is not mentioned in these clauses, another important compliance aspect to issuing certificates is the record of a validated USI on the student record. Students who have no supplied a valid USI can not be issued with a certificate either.

As per Schedule 5 and the USI legislation, onCourse does not print the USI on any student documentation, including certificates.

Printing certificates that comply with the layout requirements of clause 3.2 and Schedule 5 is managed in a two part process inside onCourse that allows for easy customisation. You may also wish to reference the Sample forms for VET qualifications for a more visual example of the Schedule 5 requirements.

The two part process in onCourse consists of merging together the data which onCourse knows about the student with your own custom certificate backgrounds. All standard certificate templates in onCourse are two pages, with the first page the 'certificate face' and the second page the transcript.

  1. Certificate and transcript report templates supplied in onCourse (which can be edited as needed) contain the:

a) student name
b) national code and name of the units completed, and on the transcript, the outcome achieved
c) national code and name of the qualification or skill set achieved or working towards
d) onCourse certificate number
e) dates the certificate was awarded, issued and printed
f) name and signature (or line for signing) of your organisations authorised signatory
g) optional additional text such as a ‘achieved through Australian Apprenticeship arrangements’

  1. Your customised report backgrounds can be created as PDFs to upload to onCourse. You will need to create at least one two page background for a Qualifications and Transcript and one two page background for a Statement of Attainment and Transcript, and they should include:

a) the name, National RTO code and logo of your organisation
b) a header referencing the certificate type e.g. Qualification or Statement of Attainment
b) the NRT Logo
c) for Qualifications, AQF logo or the words ‘The qualification is recognised within the Australian
Qualifications Framework’

You may also create additional backgrounds for special types of certificates that require additional logos and wording referencing training completed under a state funding agreement.

Together these two items are merged into a single PDF document which can then be printed into a hardcopy, emailed to the student or electronically uploaded to the skillsOnCourse student portal for the student to access as per clause 3.3. The record of the dates the certificate was awarded, issued and printed will form the evidence that you met the 30 day requirement.

If you always print Certificate records in hardcopy onto a special paper that includes elements such as a watermark or seal, then the background doesn't need to be uploaded into onCourse for merging into a single document, however, to meet each of these other ASQA clauses, and generate accurate AVETMISS data, it is important that you use to onCourse certificate records to create and print the data overlay on your backgrounds, rather than manually creating this information in a word document.

Any customer who requires adjustment to the built in onCourse certificate report templates and is not confident in using the report editor themselves can request this custom work by sending an email to support@ish.com.au

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