|Hello and welcome to VET News,
The volume of news seems to be picking up. This month’s VET News is packed with information that may be useful to you. There are two things that I just want to mention:
The first is very big news that the Smart and Skilled program which is the overarching VET funding and subsidy contract in NSW is opening for applications in Nov 2022. This is seriously significant as this contract has been effectively closed to new applicants since about 2016 from memory. The program will be opening for new applicants who are existing RTOs and those RTOs who have a current contract will also need to reapply. RTOs located outside NSW will also be able to apply and the overall eligibility criteria look very reasonable. This is seriously, once in a decade opportunity so check it out. There is a link to the information in the article below in Other VET News. If you are a new or existing RTO and need some support with your application, get in contact and we would be happy to assist. Applications must be submitted in the month of November 2022. More detailed information will be available from the NSW Government in the coming weeks.
The Optus data breach this week has provided a sobering reminder of the importance of data security and privacy protection. One issue that has emerged over the week and which is worth highlighting is the RTOs obligations under the Student Identifiers Act 2014. The information that was made available this week by Optus which is particularly sensitive, is information that is used to verify a person’s identity. I was personally the victim of identity theft some years ago and the perpetrator was able to open loans, take out credit cards, open road toll accounts all under my name with my name, address, DOB and drivers licence number. I am confident that my driver’s licence number was obtained from one of the many hotels that scanned my driver’s licence during the check-in process. The Police investigation determined that the perpetrator had purchased my licence number along with many others from a source they think was connected to a hotel. It is that easy. Thankfully the person was caught, and the financial institutions wrote off the debt and everything returned to normal. Suffice to say that I am extremely more diligent now about protecting my identify related personal information. As an example, I only ever show my drivers licence now using my phone and never hand over the actual card.
Which brings me back to the Student Identifiers Act 2014. All RTOs should be aware that it is a requirement of Student Identifiers Act that any personal information collected for the purpose of making an application on behalf of a student for a USI, the RTO must destroy (delete) the personal information collected as soon as practicable after the application is made or when it is no longer needed for that purpose. This is particularly in reference to identity verification information such as passport numbers, licence numbers, Medicare numbers, et cetera. The legislation does provide a provision that if you are required to retain that information for another lawful purpose, then the requirement to destroy the information does not apply. I think it is a timely reminder that if you are holding onto students’ sensitive identity information in your student management systems and have no other lawful purpose for that information, then it should be deleted. You can access the legislation at the following link and the relevant section is Section 11. Destruction of personal information collected for the purpose of making an application. https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2014A00036
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