Learning Options is committed to adhering to and upholding the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) and as a tertiary education provider is subject to the Australian Privacy Act 1988. Under the APPs we commit to only collect information that is essential to provide clients with the services they require. We will only collect this information by lawful and fair means and not in an unreasonably intrusive way.
The following sections of this policy outline how we manage personal information.
AUSTRALIAN PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 1 – OPEN AND TRANSPARENT MANAGEMENT OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
Learning Options collects and retains records of personal information about individuals for a range of purposes, including, but not limited to :
- Provision of training and/or assessment services
- Provision of a range of business activities (you may be a student, a client, or other stakeholder engaging with us in learning and development related activities)
- Promotion of our services (you may have subscribed to an email list, entered a competition, or engaged with us on social media)
- For internal business purposes (you may work for us, provide consultancy services to us, or apply for work)
- For improvement of our services (for example through the collection and analysis of statistical and research data, through validation activities, or completion of evaluation forms)
- For purposes related to any of the above.
This policy also applies in circumstances where we have not requested information from you but you have provided it to us, for example if you contact us to make comments, complaints or to ask us questions, or you have interacted with us on social media.
As a Registered Training Organisation, Learning Options has requirements to collect, hold, use and disclose a wide range of personal information on participants in nationally recognised training programs. These requirements are drawn from the following :
- The National Vocational Education & Training Regulator Act 2011 and associated legislative instruments
- The Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015
- The Data Provision Requirements of the VET Quality Framework
- State and Territory based legislation governing Vocational Education & Training
- Contracts with funding bodies for training delivered under contract.
The information we collect and hold
The following types of personal information may be collected
- Name, Address, Telephone
- Age and other details to confirm student identity (some funding programs require medicare numbers and drivers license numbers to be recorded)
- Employment history and details
- Demographic details (may include culture, disability, support needs, unemployment status)
- Education and qualifications
- Information to determine the level of assistance required
- Financial information for the purpose of invoicing and payment
- Information given to us relating to complaints, issues, concerns, appeals
- Unique Student Identifier (USI)
Should students not be willing to provide this information to Learning Options they must understand that we may not be able to provide services where those services are governed by legislation or funding contracts.
How we collect information
Information is collected from students through completion of forms, which may be electronic or in hard copy.
Information given to us verbally, or via email or other means, is also collected and recorded where it is relevant to a course of study, progress, or the product or service we are providing.
We also receive student information from employers or sponsoring third parties where they are engaging us to provide a service to others.
We may receive information from a third party such as the State or Territory Training Authority in the case of an apprenticeship commencement.
How information is held
Personal information is stored in the following ways :
- Electronic systems such as a student management system (cloud based Vettrak) an online learning management system (moodle), internal servers and email provided through third party providers, financial systems (could based Xero)
- Hard copy filing systems.
We have systems in place to ensure records are secured through
- password protections
- Limited system access for staff
- Virus protection
- Ongoing monitoring and compliance.
Records are destroyed in line with legislative requirements and the requirements of funding contracts and in a secure manner through shredding or external secured destruction services.
Third party access to information
Where a third party requests information about a student, Learning Options ensures that :
- Where possible, students will be contacted to confirm that they consent to their information being released (where they have not already provided consent to do so)
- Only authorised parties with valid reason are provided access.
Learning Options uses cloud based hosting and data storage for some parts of our business. Likely overseas recipients include :
- Staff of Learning Options based outside of Australia
- Providers of cloud based data storage such as Dropbox
Making our policy available
Learning options makes our policy public through the following means :
- Inclusion in our student handbook
- On our website
- In hard or electronic copy by request.
AUSTRALIAN PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 2 – ANONYMITY AND PSEUDONYMITY
Learning Options will provide an option for an individual to not identify themselves and/or use a pseudonym, where possible. In the case of enrolling in a training program, this is not an option under the requirements of the National Vocational Education & Training Regulator Act 2011 and the VET Quality Framework. This principle is relevant to those making general phone or email enquiries about courses, accessing information on our website or similar. Some course enquiries may require students to provide us with more specific information so that we can appropriately assess your opportunities for Recognition of Prior Learning and suitability for particular learning pathways, so that we can provide a quotation.
AUSTRALIAN PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 3 — COLLECTION OF SOLICITED PERSONAL INFORMATION
Learning Options only collects personal information where people consent to this information being collected, such as through completion of an online form or other enrolment documentation.
The information we collect is only that relevant to the provision of services to you and is only
collected by lawful means.
We will only collect information directly from students except in circumstances where an employer
or the state training authority is funding the training and provides us with sufficient information to contact a potential student to progress an enrolment. We only collect personal information that is reasonably necessary for our business activities.
AUSTRALIAN PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 4 – DEALING WITH UNSOLICITED PERSONAL INFORMATION
Learning Options may receive unsolicited personal information about students and we will then make a decision on whether that information would have been collected by us anyway. If so, we will hold, use and disclose the information appropriately as per this policy.
Where we could not have collected this information (by law or for a valid business purpose) we immediately destroy or de-identify the information (unless it would be unlawful to do so).
Students should be aware that information relating to competency in the workplace is an example of information that may be solicited or unsolicited. Such information is relevant to our assessment of competence and is therefore retained and considered in the assessment process.
AUSTRALIAN PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 5 – NOTIFICATION OF THE COLLECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
In collecting personal information, Learning Options will take reasonable steps to advise students of the information collected and our privacy policies. Our notifications include :
- Publication of this policy on our website
- Disclaimers on our enrolment forms
- Student handbook
AUSTRALIAN PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 6 – USE OR DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
We may be required under some or all of the VET Quality Framework legal requirements to disclose information to a range of entities including but not limited to :
- The Commonwealth or State or Territory Governments
- Government Agencies such as the National Centre for Vocational Education Research or the Australian Skills Quality Authority (and their representatives)
- Job Network Providers
- Other parties engaged in training such as a school, parent or guardian
Under the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015, we are required to
- Retain records of qualifications and certifications awarded for 30 years
- Transfer all student records to the Australian Skills Quality Authority ASQA should our organisation cease to be a Registered Training Organisation RTO
Learning Options only uses or discloses personal information in secondary purposes in cases where :
- An individual consented to a secondary use or disclosure;
- An individual would reasonably expect the secondary use or disclosure, and that is directly
related to the primary purpose of collection; or
- Using or disclosing the information is required or authorised by law.
AUSTRALIAN PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 7 – DIRECT MARKETING
Learning Options will only use or disclose the personal information we hold for the purpose of direct marketing where :
- The personal information has been collected directly from an individual, and the individual would reasonably expect their personal information to be used for the purpose of direct marketing; or
- Information has been voluntarily provided for marketing purposes (such as through subscribing to a newsletter).
All direct marketing communications will provide an opportunity to ‘opt out’.
AUSTRALIAN PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 8 – CROSS-BORDER DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
If details are disclosed to any overseas recipient for the purpose of providing you services, we undertake take reasonable steps to ensure that the recipient does not breach any privacy matters in relation to that information.
AUSTRALIAN PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 9 – ADOPTION, USE OR DISCLOSURE OF GOVERNMENT RELATED IDENTIFIERS
Learning Options is required to adopt, use and disclose the following government related identifiers :
- Identification details where reasonably necessary to verify the identity of the individual or to fulfil our obligations to an agency or a State or Territory authority, including but not limited to :
- Medicare Number
- Drivers License number
- Visa details
- Unique Student Identifier
AUSTRALIAN PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 10 – QUALITY OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
Learning Options will take reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information it collects is accurate, up-to-date and complete and relevant.
In circumstances of opinion, such as where an employer has provided information on competence or performance in the workplace, we will validate this opinion in a number of ways and consider a range of facts and views in making our assessment decision.
AUSTRALIAN PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 11 — SECURITY OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
Learning Options takes reasonable steps to protect your information using a range of means including but not limited to :
- Secure storage of hard copy records.
- Visitors to our offices are accompanied.
- Only authorised staff have access.
- Records taken offsite for the purpose of assessment are in safe custody of the assessor.
- Password protected systems
- Staff training.
- Internal audits.
AUSTRALIAN PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 12 — ACCESS TO PERSONAL INFORMATION
Where Learning Options holds personal information about an individual, we provide that individual access to the information on their request. In processing requests, we :
- Ensure through confirmation of identity that the request is made by the individual concerned, or by another person who is authorised to make a request on their behalf;
- Respond to a request for access :
- Within 14 calendar days, when notifying our refusal to give access, including providing reasons for refusal in writing, and the complaint mechanisms available to the individual; or
- Within 30 calendar days, by giving access to the personal information that is requested in the manner in which it was requested.
- Provide information access free of charge.
AUSTRALIAN PRIVACY PRINCIPLE 13 – CORRECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
Students may access their records at any time by talking to the Training Manager. If you feel that any information is incorrect they have the opportunity to correct that information.
Before accessing personal documents, students must provide proof of identity e.g. a birth certificate, driver’s licence with a photograph, or a passport.
Should students have any concerns about privacy, they should be directed to :
The Manager, Learning Options
PO Box 3433, MANUKA ACT 2603
Phone : (02) 6260 6677
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Privacy Complaints Procedure
If it is believed Learning Options has breached our obligations in the handling, use or disclosure of personal information, the individual whose privacy has been allegedly brecahed may raise a complaint. We encourage individuals to discuss the situation with a Learning Options representative in the first instance, before making a complaint.
The complaints handling process is as follows :
- The individual should make the complaint including as much detail about the issue as possible, in writing to us :
Learning Options Training Manager
- We will investigate the circumstances included in the complaint and respond in accordance with our complaints management processes.
- If the complainant is still not satisfied they may escalate their complaint directly to the Information Commissioner for investigation :
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
www.oaic.gov.auPhone: 1300 363 992
When investigating a complaint, the OAIC will initially attempt to conciliate the complaint, before considering the exercise of other complaint resolution powers.