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Agency Information Guide
Under section 20 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW) (GIPA Act), agencies must have an Agency Information Guide to make it easier for members of the public to find information that they seek.
About TAFE NSW – The structure and functions of the agency
TAFE NSW is the trading name of the New South Wales Technical and Further Education Commission which was established as a statutory agency by the Technical and Further Education Commission Act 1990 (the TAFE Act).
The Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education (the Minister) is responsible for TAFE NSW. Under the TAFE Act, TAFE NSW performs a number of functions, including:
- Providing technical and further education services to meet the skills needs of individuals and the workforce, in ways that recognise the changing nature of workplaces and the need for new skills and retraining
- Consulting with industry and the community to ensure technical and further education services are relevant to industry, business, students and other groups
- Providing educationally or vocationally disadvantaged groups with access to technical and further education and other specialised services
- Providing students with the maximum opportunity to progress to further education and training by linking their studies to further TAFE NSW courses or those of other education and training providers.
TAFE NSW is the NSW Government's public provider of Vocational Education and Training (VET) and competes with private and community training providers for contestable government training funds, delivering qualifications on the NSW Skills List and targeting delivery to meet the needs of students, industry and the NSW economy.
Under the current One TAFE operating model, from 1 January 2019 TAFE NSW transitioned from the previous Institute structure to a single Registered Training Organisation (RTO) called ‘TAFE NSW’ with RTO code 90003 and the CRICOS provider number 00591E.
The TAFE Commission Board (the TAFE NSW Board) is established under the TAFE Act as an advisory board. The Board makes recommendations to the Minister on policies, strategic planning, the efficiency and effectiveness of TAFE operations and management and TAFE NSW's commercial activities.
The functions of the TAFE NSW Board are set out in section 12 of the TAFE Act. The TAFE NSW Board reviews and makes recommendations to the Minister on:
- Policies related to the technical and further education services provided by TAFE NSW
- The efficiency and effectiveness of the operation and management of the technical and further education services provided by TAFE NSW
- The corporate plans prepared by TAFE NSW
- The relationship between TAFE NSW and other education sectors, including schools, higher education and adult and community education.
The Minister appoints members of the TAFE NSW Board under section 11 of the TAFE Act. Appointed members hold office for a period (as specified in their respective instrument of appointment) of up to four years and are eligible for re-appointment.
The Managing Director of TAFE NSW has statutory responsibility for managing the affairs of the NSW TAFE Commission, subject to any direction from the Minister.
Engagement with Industry
TAFE NSW works closely with industry consultative groups to design courses to ensure they are current, relevant and respond to emerging trends and technological advances. Nine TAFE NSW SkillsPoints Headquarters (HQs) have been established and are responsible for the creation and maintenance of learning products with an emphasis on innovation. The SkillsPoints create consistent training and resources that are tailored to industry needs and are focused on producing job ready graduates.
Employers’ needs are also the focus of enterprise solutions for customised training that are delivered by TAFE NSW. Customised training is designed for employers seeking to upskill their workforce at times and places that suit their business needs.
Arrangements for community and public participation
TAFE NSW has five Advisory Councils representing different regions in NSW. The Councils provide insights, relevant information and key observations from industry and community to inform the development of best practice VET delivery in New South Wales.
The composition of each Council reflects the major existing and potential client groups in the community and industries that it serves and might serve, and may include:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- community organisations
- high school and tertiary educational institutions
- local government and regional development bodies, and
- industry and commerce.
Membership of the Councils is open to the public through an Expression of Interest process.
Student Services, Feedback and Complaints
If a student or other stakeholder has an issue or complaint, they can submit an online form through the TAFE NSW website, report it to any TAFE NSW employee, give face to face feedback at Student Services counters at every TAFE NSW college, contact the General Enquiries number, or submit an online enquiry.
Students are also surveyed at regular intervals about their learning experience and can choose to give other feedback or make a complaint at that time. Complaints are recorded and handled in keeping with the TAFE NSW Complaints Policy and Procedures which support principles of confidentiality, fairness and responsiveness.
Information held by TAFE NSW
Information held by TAFE NSW includes:
- Collections Management
- Commercial Activities and Services
- Community Relations
- Food services
- Government relations
- Human resource management and Industrial relations
- Information management
- Strategic management
- Student administration
- Support services
- Teaching and learning (such as courses, product development)
- Internal administration (such as finance, fleet management).
The Personal Information and Privacy Protection Act 1998 (NSW) and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW) allow individuals to obtain access to, and to apply for amendment of, their personal and health information which is held by NSW government agencies. For more on this legislation and useful fact sheets on applying for your information, please see the website of the Information and Privacy Commissioner NSW.
How to access TAFE NSW information
Ways in which TAFE NSW makes government information publicly available
Under Division 1 of the GIPA Act, information held by TAFE NSW can be accessed by:
- Open access
- Proactive release
- Informal release, or
- Access application.
1. Open Access - information held by TAFE NSW that TAFE NSW makes publicly available
Under the GIPA Act, certain information is required by law to be available on our website, free of charge. This is called "open access information" and includes:
- access and equity
- assessment appeals
- administration and management
- computers and the internet
- fees and VET Student Loans
- student services
- administration (including assessment, discipline, recognition of prior learning, selection and enrolment, student records, and workplace learning)
- TAFE NSW Annual Report
- disclosure log; and
- register of government contracts.
Other information may require an informal request or an access application to be made under the GIPA Act.
Under the GIPA Act, there is information that isn't made available to the public because there is an overriding public interest against disclosure (OPIAD). Some information may not be made publicly available because of one or more of the following reasons:
- disclosing it would compromise TAFE NSW’s safety and security
- risk of breaching copyright
- it is held as commercial-in-confidence
- other legal reasons.
2. Proactive release
In addition to the "open access information" which TAFE NSW is required by law to make available, TAFE NSW also proactively releases a large volume of other information.
TAFE NSW can facilitate public access to government information in a record by deleting matter from a copy of the record, if inclusion of the matter would otherwise result in there being an overriding public interest against disclosure of the record.
Other NSW government information can be sourced through open data initiatives such as www.data.nsw.gov.au, an open portal to more than 10,000 datasets throughout the NSW State Government.
3. Informal release
If the information you are after has not already been published by TAFE NSW, but is information which raises no particular concerns in terms of possible public interest reasons why it should be kept confidential, then TAFE NSW may be able to release it to you on request without the formalities of having to make a formal application.
TAFE NSW reserves the right to require you to lodge an access application, particularly if there may be significant public interest considerations that need to be taken into account in deciding whether the information can be released or if you request a large volume of information or if it would otherwise take TAFE NSW a significant amount of time to consider your request.
4. Access application
If the information you are seeking is not available on this website and is not otherwise routinely provided by TAFE NSW on request, then you have a right to formally apply for access to specific information.
You can make a formal application by downloading and completing the government information access form and sending it to us at the following address:
Right to Information Officer
GIPA TAFE NSW
PO BOX 707
BROADWAY NSW 2007
A valid GIPA request must meet the following requirements:
- It is in writing and sent to us at the address above;
- Clearly states you are requesting information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW);
- Includes the $30 application fee;
- Has a return postal or email address as the address for correspondence; and
- Includes such information as is reasonably necessary to enable us to identify the information you are asking for.
If your application does not include these five things, it will be invalid and processing cannot commence. If that happens, however, we will write back to tell you within five working days and we will help you by explaining how you can make a valid application.
The application fee for making an access application is $30. Processing charges can also be imposed at the rate of $30 per hour. In some circumstances an advance deposit can be required. We will let you know in writing if that applies to your application.
The Information Commissioner and the GIPA Act
The public access to government information system is overseen by the Information and Privacy Commission NSW.
The Information Commissioner's roles include:
- Promoting public awareness and understanding of the Act
- Providing information, advice, assistance and training to agencies and the public
- Dealing with complaints about government agencies
- Investigating agencies' systems, policies and practices
- Reporting on compliance with the Act to the Minister responsible.
You can find more information about the Information and Privacy Commission on its website at www.ipc.nsw.gov.au
TAFE NSW Right to Information Officer
GIPA TAFE NSW
PO BOX 707
BROADWAY NSW 2007
Feedback on TAFE NSW services: Give feedback via online enquiries form on the TAFE NSW website or call 131 601
Information and Privacy Commission NSW
Address: Level 17, 201 Elizabeth Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Tel. 1800 472 679
Postal address: GPO Box 7011, Sydney NSW 2001
Date of this review: 23 July 2020
Date of next review: 22 July 2021
TAFE NSW Compliance Certificate FY21
TAFE NSW Compliance Certificate FY22