The objective of this paper is to determine whether, following the introduction of ‘total VET activity’ (TVA) in 2014, it is possible to estimate projected completion rates for all vocational education and training (VET) programs. This paper also considers the possibility of incorporating the unique student identifier (USI) into the process of matching program enrolments and completions across years. Finally, the paper determines and evaluates an approach to estimating projected program completion rates for individual registered training organisations (RTOs).
- Following refinements (NCVER 2016) to the current method of using ‘absorbing Markov chains’ (see Mark & Karmel 2010) to estimate the projected completion rates of government-funded programs, this methodology can also be applied to total VET activity, with only a slight modification to the process of matching a program enrolment and its completion across years. For TVA, program enrolments and completions can be matched using a student identifier, program identifier and RTO identifier. For government-funded activity, program enrolments and completions would continue to be matched using a student identifier, program identifier and data submitter (which represents the organisation that administered the funding of the training activity).
- The first year that total VET projected program completion rates can be reported for is 2015, given the methodology requires a three-year window, centred on the reporting year (TVA was implemented from 2014.) The rates calculated in this technical paper are for 2015 and use TVA data from 2014, 2015 and 2016.
- USIs can be readily incorporated into the process of matching enrolments and completions across years, and into the completion-rate methodology. Where a USI is not available, the current method of using an encrypted identifier, sex and date of birth will continue.
- Projected program completion rates for individual RTOs can be calculated using absorbing Markov chains in the following instances:
- where an RTO has at least 50 program enrolments in both the commencing year and the following year
- for RTOs with more than 1000 program enrolments in both the commencing year and the following year it is possible to estimate the projected program completion rates for student and training attributes for an individual RTO.
SOURCE: McDonald, Brad. “Total VET Program Completion Rates.” National Centre for Vocational Education Research, Technical paper, 2018.
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