FAQs

Our ongoing engagement with the sector based on your feedback the TCSI team has compiled frequently asked questions (FAQs) surrounding the TCSI.

General information on TCSI

The Tertiary Collection of Student Information or TCSI (pronounced 'taxi') is a joint project between the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (department) and Services Australia to transform how student information is collected.
Any providers that report data through the HEPCAT system will need to use the new TCSI system to report data to the Australian Government. This includes HELP providers, VSL providers and higher education providers reporting the TEQSA PIR collection.
The new data system will be used for all data previously reported via HEPCAT or HEIMS Administration. The new structure for data collections is set out in the reporting requirements for higher education and VSL. The new data system will also replace Services Australia's student reporting system,…
The preferred submission method will be via automated processes known as business to government (B2G) application programming interfaces (APIs). APIs send data from a provider's student management system to the government with a minimum of manual processing. Providers who are not yet ready to adopt…
Estimates and payments processes are not being revised as part of TCSI.
Webinars and technical documents for the TCSI project are published progressively on the TCSI Resources page. The department will continue to develop training materials and webinars to support the use of tools and interfaces that we build.
The information provided to Services Australia will be used to assess a student's eligibility and ongoing entitlement for their student payment. The information will only be acted upon when there is an immediate impact on a student's payments. This will depend on: The nature of the information…
Developers are only required to register for a test PRODA account to facilitate their SMS product testing. In production, SMS developers are not required to register for a production PRODA account. Education providers will be required to manage this part of the process.
This means a maximum of 200 records will be returned at a time for all Bulk GETS. If you have enabled pagination the page details will be returned in the headers of the response. If you have not enabled pagination, only the first 200 records will be returned without page detail headers. Enforced…
Please check if you have completed all steps in the TCSI - PRODA Phase 3 : Complete guide. When attempting to add the TCSI service, you may find the 'add service provider' button is not available. This means you do not have the right delegation within PRODA to add the TCSI service. You can check…
Each data packet will have a file that can be used to report new records, make updates and revise incorrect information. A separate deletion file can be used to delete different types of records with one upload e.g. courses, students, course admissions etc.
TCSI will return a warning to let you know the address could not be matched with addresses held by Australia Post.
You can find further information on data elements and how to report them on the HEIMSHELP website on the TCSI Resources page in the 2020 data element specifications and the 2020 reporting requirements.
See How to register an organisation for further information
It may be worth reaching out to your organisation’s financial function as a starting point, to find out the details about your ABN Authorised Contact or Associate. It is also likely that your Associate is a senior member of your organisation, e.g. a Director, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Finance…

What does TCSI mean for students?

The collection of student information by education providers is not new. TCSI will improve this process and the frequency of the student information provided to the government.
Services Australia uses student information to assist with the administration of student payments. This includes: Pre‑populating a student's enrolment information within their online claim; and Initiating an online study review when the student enrolment information provided through TCSI does not…
The student's record will be matched by comparing a student's personal details provided through TCSI with their Services Australia customer record e.g. Name, Gender, Date of Birth, Student ID etc. Data matching protocols for TCSI will be published on the Services Australia website in the near…
Services Australia student payments can be paid to students studying an approved course at an approved education provider. For more information, go to approved courses and Institutions for students getting Youth Allowance, Austudy, or Pensioner Education Supplement, and approved courses and…
Services Australia will use student enrolment information for a mutual customer to help pre-populate a student's online claim. Students will simply need to check if the enrolment information is correct and answer the remaining questions within their online claim.
Yes, Services Australia will make contact with students if the information provided through TCSI identifies a potential impact on their payment. The student will be sent a letter to their myGov inbox asking them to complete an online study review. This will allow the student the opportunity to…
A customer receiving a student payment must notify Services Australia of any change in their circumstances that could affect the payment they are getting. This includes when a student has ceased or varied their enrolment. They need to let Services Australia know within 14 days of the change…
Generally, students require financial assistance to help them when they start their tertiary course e.g. pay rent, textbooks, and transport costs. Services Australia makes payments available to eligible students before their census date, but needs to ensure the student is eligible for their payment…
All the unit enrolment information reported for a Centrelink customer will be visible to Services Australia. This will enable Services Australia to assess the student's study loads over these periods.
Some student assistance payments offered by Services Australia attract additional entitlements specifically: Student Start-up Loan (SSL) Relocation Scholarship (RS) Residential Cost Option (RCO) These payments and loans are only available to students that do not receive a corresponding…
To be eligible for a Services Australia student payment, the student must meet the residency requirements set out for that particular payment. International students generally do not qualify for student payments as they are studying in Australia on a student visa. Services Australia will only be…
Under TCSI generally, no. Contact to a provider is more likely to come from the student in relation to requests for evidence.
This would depend on the individual student circumstances, some examples may include: Letter from Academic Registrar Unofficial Academic Transcripts Current Proof of Enrolment Centrelink Medical Certificate

For Student Management Software (SMS) developers

Software developers will need to register for TCSI if they are developing solutions, which will interact with TCSI system through APIs. Please email the Service Hub mailbox to express your interest in registering as a developer. We will then provide a registration form to commence your setup…
Upon successful registration and configuration of your software device, developers will gain authorised access to TCSI API end points. You will now be able to develop TCSI solutions and commence testing. Please email the Service Hub mailbox for any support you may require.
The Developer test environment is based on the current TCSI solution that will be available in the Production environment. Any enhancement to the TCSI system will first be deployed in the test environment to assist developers to build their solutions.
This error generally occurs when the client-id being used to make the API calls is not subscribed to the TCSI API Plan. To resolve this, please make sure that the client-id is correct. If the client-id is correct you can subscribe to the TCSI API plan by: Logging in to your Developer Portal…
To maintain the performance, reliability and availability of the TCSI system there is a limit to the number of API calls that can be made. The TCSI B2G API call rate limit in production is 1200 calls/minute. This limit is applied at the "client_id" level as registered in the TCSI API Developer…
There are three call rate limit headers returned in API responses. These are: Header item Description X-RateLimit-Limit: name=rate-limit,1200 This returns the rate limit value. X-RateLimit-Remaining: name=rate-limit,1199 Returns the number of API calls remaining. X-RateLimit-Reset: name=…

For education providers - Registering for PRODA

PRODA is an online identity verification and authentication system. It lets you securely access government online services. All education providers will be required to register their organisation through PRODA in order to report via TCSI.
PRODA registration guides are located on the Access (Proda) page where you will find information to help you through the PRODA on‑boarding process.
If you have any questions or issues with registration of your PRODA Individual or Organisation account, you can contact PRODA Support at proda@humanservices.gov.au or 1800 700 199 (option 1). If you have any TCSI specific questions, please email TCSIsupport@dese.gov.au.
PRODA accounts will be required for staff who need to: report data using TCSI Data Entry (if applicable) connect their organisation's SMS with TCSI (if applicable) manage access for users see notifications (TFN verification, scheduled validation, and student entitlement messages) access reported…
You will need to ensure all steps in the TCSI - PRODA Phase 3 : Complete guide have been completed. There are a number of general PRODA and TCSI specific 'attributes' that you are able to delegate to members of your PRODA organisation. To delegate an attribute, navigate to the Organisation Details…
The TCSI service has specific attributes (or roles) available within PRODA to help you manage who can access different parts of the TCSI service. A Director or Member must have the appropriate role to access the associated part of the TCSI service. They are: TCSI Analytics – Read: Provides read…
For assistance with your individual and organisation PRODA registration, in the first instance please contact PRODA Support at proda@servicesaustralia.gov.au or call 1800 700 199 (option 1). If you have TCSI specific questions, please email TCSIsupport@dese.gov.au
No, a Member cannot request to join your organisation within PRODA. They must be added within PRODA.
This means they have not been assigned the relevant attribute to access that part of the TCSI service. See ‘Identify which delegations you want to apply to a Member’
If possible, it is best practice to have more than one Director for your PRODA organisation. Only another Director within PRODA can remove another Director within PRODA.
Yes, you can. However, the Director will need to request to join your PRODA organisation and not be added as a Member. If they are added as a Member, they will identified in PRODA as a Member and will not have the same authority. See “How to register” for more information.
A Member can easily be removed from your PRODA organisation. The Director or a Member with the Owner-Access or Employee-Management attribute can remove a Member from your PRODA organisation. The steps are similar to adding a Member, except you select the Member first and then click “Remove this…
A Director can only be removed from your PRODA Organisation by another Director. See “How to register”
A Member can only be added to your PRODA Organisation for a set period time. Their access to your PRODA Organisation will automatically expire. If it expires, they will no longer be able access the TCSI service through PRODA. The staff member can easily be removed and re-added before or after the…
You only need to register your organisation once in PRODA, and all reporting should be done through this organisation. You should consult with your SMS developer on how they will manage your PRODA details across multiple systems, as there is some flexibility in how this can be achieved.
See How to register for an Individual account? for further information.
If you are attempting to answer these questions without the most update information from ABR, please be aware the information entered must match exactly. See Help with Verifying Organisation Relationship for help with answering the questions.
If you have any questions or issues with PRODA, you can contact PRODA Support at proda@servicesaustralia.gov.au or 1800 700 199 (option 1) 8am to 5pm local time. If you have any TCSI specific questions, please email TCSIsupport@dese.gov.au.
PRODA is the authentication method selected for the TCSI service. It provides both government and your organisation assurance that the correct people have access to view and report data using TCSI services. See Provider Digital Access for more information.
PRODA checks with the ABR if the organisation details are correct and current and the person registering the organisation is listed on the ABR records (using their individual PRODA account details). The ABN for the organisation you create and use in PRODA, must also be the same ABN as the one…
This is the term used within PRODA that represents the person with authority to commit the organisation to business dealings and should be the same person as the Associate or Authorised Contact.
It may be worth reaching out to your organisation’s financial function as a starting point, to find out details about your ABN Authorised Contact or Associate. It is also likely that your Associate is a senior Member of your organisation, e.g. a Director, CEO, CFO, partner etc.
See How to register for an Individual account? for more information.
Yes, the TCSI portal will use PRODA as its authentication method. Anyone in your organisation that will be using the TCSI portal will need to have created their own individual PRODA account.
Generally no, unless they also plan to use the TCSI Data Entry, TCSI myHELPbalance or TCSI Analytics portals. Staff members who will only be using SMS software to report via APIs will not need their own PRODA accounts.
Individuals will need their own unique email address. The Associates or Authorised Contacts will also need access to a second email address. This is referred to as the “Organisation’s Email Address” and cannot be the same as their unique email address. This may be a shared email address where many…

For education providers - Reporting via TCSI Data Entry

The department has built the TCSI Data Entry portal for providers who do not wish to report via API solution. TCSI Data Entry will allow users to manually upload a data file, similar to the current HEPCAT system but in excel or csv format. This manual upload process is most suited to smaller…
Yes, a template and specifications are provided for each data packet. Higher education file templates VET Student Loans file templates
TCSI Data Entry will be accessible using: Chrome latest Firefox latest Edge 2 and most recent major versions IE 11 latest Safari 2 and most recent major versions

For education providers - Accessing historical data

During the transition from HEIMS to TCSI, providers will be able see the data they report in HEPCAT using HEIMS Online. Data reported via TCSI will be accessible from TCSI Analytics along with any data that has been migrated from HEIMS.
Yes, pre‑2020 completions data can be revised if the data in the TCSI system is incorrect.
The timing requirement for each element is listed in the reporting requirements. Providers generally need to make corrections or report changes within 7 days of having the necessary information. B2G API users are likely to report much sooner than this. TCSI Data Entry users would be able to satisfy…

Reporting Requirements

The TCSI solution will manage CHESSN allocation and mastering, as detailed on the CHESSN management in TCSI page. TCSI will produce notifications to alert providers when a CHESSN has been updated, but there will be no direct message to the student.
As detailed on the CHESSN management in TCSI page, the appropriate action after receiving notification of an updated CHESSN is for the provider to advise the student of their CHESSN in the next Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN). There is no need to revise documents that were already produced and…
During transition, providers who request a data extract will have visibility of the master CHESSN stored in HEIMS and migrated to TCSI. There is no obligation on a provider to start using the master CHESSN until the provider has transitioned to TCSI. Providers can, however, choose to update the…
The validations are located on the TCSI Validations page.
VSL payments would be made based on data reported by the 7th calendar day of each month and paid on the 1st of the following month. Higher education payments will continue to be based on estimates and reconciliations.
The aggregated awards packet is used to report any completion for a student who doesn't have a course admissions record or any unit enrolments in the course at a provider. This can happen when awarding higher doctorates, cotutelle, and Open Universities Australia completions.
You would need at least one packet/extension for each combination of Credit provider code (E566) and Credit basis code (E561), if a student has received credit towards their course. There are two options for how you add extra credit for the same combination of E566 and E561 for a course admission…
Once you start reporting in TCSI, you will be receiving information on both the student's HELP Balance and their Pending HELP Balance. Once a loan is reported for a student, the student's Pending HELP Balance will reflect their current balance less the loan amount. Once the census date for that…
Under TCSI, providers will no longer have to acquire CHESSNs from HEIMS WebServices or HEIMS Administration. Instead, once a provider has reported the 'baseline' data for a student, a process will be triggered to automatically find or allocate a CHESSN for the student. See the CHESSN management in…

Element specific FAQs - E620 - Highest attainment code

Highest attainment code must be reported for domestic students, including students with Citizen resident code (E358) of '1', '2', '3' or '8'. This includes both award and non-award reporting.
The year 12 qualification is not included in the E620 highest attainment code because this information is captured for the students in E572 – Year left school.
Providers will not be required to submit the E620 data for students with a Course of Study Commencement Date (E534) before 1 January 2020.

Element specific FAQs - E534 - Course of study commencement date

No the commencing student has not changed for TCSI. You can find the definition for "commencing student" and other terms relevant for TCSI in the Glossary.

Element specific FAQs - E609 - Effective from date

The department has developed a fact sheet to assist developers with the E609 & E610 reporting. You can find more information at Reporting Effective Dates (E609/E610).

Element specific FAQs - E533 - Course of Study code

HEIMS does not currently store the reported E394 for courses of study with E533 = "000000000". So in HEIMS, all the courses under a non-award course of study are actually stored under a single Course of study. You can see what this looks like now in HEIMS Data view (HEIMS Online). The Courses of…

For education providers - Connecting your Student Management Software

You can generate a new Device Access Code (before the device expires) by: Navigating to your Organisation in PRODA. Expanding the “B2B Devices” section, and clicking on the device name. Clicking “Disable B2B Device” under “Device Management”, and clicking “Yes” in the prompt that appears.…