Victorian TAFEs fail Process Review

An Audit Victoria review of Enrolment Processes at Technical and Further Education Institutes has highlighted limited uptake of document automation with duplicative information collection, and manual processing still common.

The audit was undertaken to examine the efficiency of enrolment processes for government-subsidised training at four Technical and Further Education Institutes (TAFEs) and one dual sector university: Box Hill Institute; Melbourne Polytechnic; Sunraysia Institute of TAFE; William Angliss Institute of TAFE; and Swinburne University of Technology. 

This audit used process mining software to examine prospective students' pathways through the enrolment process at four of the five audited TAFEs.

It found that three institutions, Melbourne Polytechnic, SuniTAFE and William Angliss, still rely on manual processes to enrol students, which are inefficient and costly. In some cases, these TAFEs require prospective students to visit campus on one or more occasions to finalise their enrolment, which can be inconvenient for students and burdensome for staff.

Melbourne Polytechnic, SuniTAFE and William Angliss mostly use paper‑based and some electronic forms to capture critical enrolment-related information. In contrast with Swinburne and Box Hill, these electronic forms do not automatically feed into the TAFEs' information management systems.

Admissions staff must manually copy the information into the relevant SMS field. This double handling often occurs after the individual has finalised their enrolment, which may delay TAFEs' access to consolidated data.

SuniTAFE and Melbourne Polytechnic use additional staff resources to manage the manual activity in their processes. SuniTAFE has previously hired a temporary admissions officer to scan enrolment-related documents for storage, while Melbourne Polytechnic contracts a third-party records management company for the same purpose. These resources put a financial burden on SuniTAFE and Melbourne Polytechnic, which may divert funds from other initiatives.

In contrast, Box Hill and Swinburne have an online enrolment process, while providing on-campus help to those who need it.

All TAFEs use a combination of third-party software programs to capture information about prospective students. TAFEs use a customer relationship management (CRM) system to communicate with individuals when they enquire about training, and a student management system (SMS) to collect and administer information about key enrolment steps. Some TAFEs also employ a separate finance system to process tuition fees. Most TAFEs use different versions of the same CRM and SMS products, which they configure differently.

The report concludes that All TAFEs face similar challenges to integrate their information management systems and move more enrolment steps online.

“Rather than working in isolation to address the same issues, there could be significant sector‑wide efficiency gains if the department and TAFEs work together on system development.”

The Full Report is available HERE.