2021 Survey information
The 2021 survey is now open and available here https://insights.srcentre.com.au/mrIWeb/mrIWeb.dll?I.Project=SRC2668AUTH
Thank-you to all students who participated in the 2020 survey. The results are available on the NCVER portal.
The Social Research Centre (SRC), a national social research company, is conducting the 2021 survey on NCVER's behalf.
If you would like more information about any aspect of this survey, the staff at SRC will be happy to answer your questions. Please contact them by:
Telephone: 1800 413 992 within Australia (free call) or +61 3 8354 3629 (outside Australia)
Student Outcomes Survey
Level 5, 350 Queen Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3051
The 2021 National Student Outcomes Survey: Frequently asked questions
What is the survey?
The National Student Outcomes Survey is an annual survey that collects information on vocational education and training (VET) students’ reasons for training, their employment outcomes, satisfaction with training, and further study outcomes. The survey covers students who completed nationally recognised VET delivered by registered training organisations (RTOs) in the previous calendar year. Since 2017, international graduates who completed their qualification in Australia have been surveyed as an additional component to the National Student Outcomes Survey.
The 2021 survey opens from June to mid-August 2021. Students who undertook a VET qualification, program or subject in 2020 may receive an invitation to participate in the survey.
Who is doing the survey?
The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) - a not-for-profit company owned by the State, Territory and Federal ministers responsible for vocational education and training. NCVER collects information and provides research on vocational education and training in Australia to governments, the training sector, industry and the community.
Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment - the government department funding the survey. They will use the results to assist students to make informed training decisions and to develop government policy to help employers and industry.
The Social Research Centre (SRC) - a national market and social research company that conducts the survey on NCVER's behalf.
Why is it conducted?
The aim of the National Student Outcomes Survey is to improve the social and economic outcomes of students who undertake VET. This is achieved by providing the VET sector with information on students’ reasons for training, their employment outcomes, satisfaction with training, benefits of the training and further study outcomes.
The information is used by national and state/territory bodies, along with local training providers, to ensure vocational training is of a high quality and relevant to Australian workplaces. The survey highlights both the positive and negative outcomes from training and monitors the effectiveness of the VET system. The information collected assists in administering, planning, and evaluating the VET system.
What information is collected?
Copies of the 2021 questionnaire are available to download.
Who is included and when?
Who is included in the survey?
From 2020, the survey is designed to report by the following student groups.
- Qualification completers – students who completed a training package qualification or accredited qualification (previously known as graduates).
- Qualification part-completers – students who enrolled in but only completed part of a training package qualification or accredited qualification (and are no longer undertaking that training).
- Short course completers – students who completed a training package skill set or accredited course.
- Short course part-completers – students who enrolled in but only completed part of a training package skill set or accredited course (and are no longer undertaking that training).
- Subject(s) only completers – students who completed one or more subjects not delivered as part of a nationally recognised program and who are no longer undertaking training in the VET sector.
When is the survey conducted?
The survey cycle begins in March and has three main stages: project preparation, fieldwork, and data analysis and reporting.
Project preparation (March to June)
- NCVER selects the sample of students. Contact details of selected students are then provided directly to the fieldwork contractor by NCVER, State Training Authorities or the Office of the Student Identifiers Registrar (OSIR).
Fieldwork (June to August)
- Personalised survey invitations including the privacy collection notice are sent in June. Invitations are sent via email, SMS or hard-copy letter, depending on availability of contact details. The survey invitation includes students' training details and instructions on how to complete the survey online. Each invitation contains a unique login code for accessing the online survey.
- Emails and SMS reminders are sent to those students with a valid email address and/or mobile number who haven’t responded to the survey at various times. A hard-copy reminder is sent to non-responders with a mailing address approximately three weeks after the initial invitation.
- Telephone reminder calls and interviews are conducted with a selection of those who haven't responded from July.
Data analysis and reporting (September to January)
- After completion of fieldwork, quality checks are conducted and data are analysed and reported.
What survey results are available?
What information is available to training providers on their students' satisfaction and outcomes?
Where enough responses are received to provide accurate results, eligible RTOs can receive an individual report on employment outcomes, training satisfaction, perceived benefits and relevance of training as reported by their domestic students (alongside state/territory and national results for comparison). The 2021 survey is designed, subject to response rates, to provide data for RTOs with:
- 100 or more qualification completers in 2020
- 100 or more short course completers in 2020
- 550 or more qualification part completers in 2020
- 250 or short course part completers in 2020
- 550 or more subject(s) only completers in 2020.
Reports for RTOs are disseminated to authorised people at each RTO in February the following year. For further information on how RTOs can access a report showing their students’ aggregated responses, see SOS RTO reports.
What information on VET students' satisfaction and outcomes is available to the general public?
The aggregate results of the National Student Outcomes Survey are presented in the following publications.
- Australian vocational education and training statistics: VET student outcomes
- Australian vocational education and training statistics: International onshore VET qualification completer outcomes
All publications and products are available free of charge on NCVER's portal, see Student outcomes. Data on domestic students are usually published in December each year. Data on international onshore VET qualification completers are usually published in May the following year.
The following supporting/supplementary information is also provided on the publication page on NCVER's portal:
- Technical notes
- Terms and definitions
- Invitation letter
- Data dictionary
For further information about the National Student Outcomes Survey, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Requests for more detailed statistical information can be made to NCVER via email@example.com.
A charge will generally be made by the NCVER for more complex requests for information. See the data access and charging policy.
Additional information is made available to various stakeholders including the Australian Department of Education, Skills and Employment and the State Training Authorities.
The 2021 National Student Outcomes Survey: Privacy collection notice
About the survey
Who funds, conducts and manages the National Student Outcomes Survey
The National Student Outcomes Survey (SOS) is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment (Department). The Department contracts NCVER to manage the survey, analyse and publish the survey results. NCVER engages The Social Research Centre (SRC) to conduct the online survey and telephone interviews and to assist with the reporting of the survey findings.
Why the SOS is conducted
The purpose of the survey is to gather information to improve the social and economic outcomes of students who undertake vocational education and training (VET), help students make informed training decisions, and assist training providers and governments to improve the quality and relevance of the training.
Although participating in the survey is voluntary, your contribution to improving the relevance and quality of VET is greatly valued. It is also important that the results represent all students, even if you didn’t complete your training, your training was only short, or are currently living in another country.
I don't want to participate
If you do not wish to participate, please telephone the Student Outcomes Survey Helpline on 1800 413 992 (free call within Australia) or +61 3 8354 3629 (from outside Australia) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information collected
What information is collected?
Your name and contact details are provided to SRC by government departments responsible for training, by the Office of the Student Identifiers Registrar (OSIR) or by NCVER via a secure file exchange portal. Your contact details are used to invite you to participate in the survey. SRC works with a small number of external service providers to administer the National Student Outcomes Survey. Companies providing printing and email distribution services will be provided with your contact information for the sole purpose of administering the survey. All companies contracted by SRC comply with the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012. On completion of the survey fieldwork, SRC does not give your name or contact details to NCVER, only a data set of all the information collected. Please note that NCVER can identify you from the data set collected, notwithstanding that your name or contact details will not be provided to NCVER by SRC. SRC and the companies providing printing, email and data processing services destroy records of your name and contact details at the conclusion of the survey.
Other information collected through the survey relates to your satisfaction with the training, educational qualifications, additional study and work situation. There are some optional questions about ethnicity and health. This information is defined under the Privacy Act 1988 as ‘sensitive information’ and is collected to improve the quality and relevance of training for all students.
Responses to the survey will be linked with demographic and training data provided by your training provider. This allows the questionnaire to be shortened as we do not need to ask specific details about you or your training.
Where your information is held
SRC stores your personal information on secure servers located within Australia.
After the SRC provides your information to NCVER, NCVER stores the data within Australia with appropriate levels of security.
Use of your personal information
We only use your personal information for the purposes for which it was given to us:
- To produce statistics and research relating to education. This may involve combining your information with other sources of data to help policy makers and researchers gain a better understanding VET sector dynamics and performance, support critical policy and other decision making, and shed light on evolving VET sector priorities. This is known as data integration.
- To understand how the VET market operates.
- To invite you to participate in a survey.
Disclosure of your personal information and the collected data
If we disclose personal information, we do so only as permitted by the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator (NVETR) Act 2011, the Privacy Act 1988, and other relevant legal requirements, such as the National VET Data Policy.
We may disclose your personal information where:
- you have agreed
- you would reasonably expect, or have been told, that we may disclose information in a particular circumstance or to a particular person or organisation
- it is required or authorised by law.
The NVETR Act authorises us to disclose information to any of the following bodies for the purposes of that body:
- the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment
- another Commonwealth authority
- a State or Territory authority (other than a registered training organisation) that deals with, or has responsibility for, matters relating to vocational education and training
- a VET Regulator.
Further to this, the National VET Data Policy authorises us to disclose personal information for:
- administering VET, including program administration, regulation, monitoring and evaluation
- facilitating statistics and research relating to education, including surveys and data linkage
- understanding how the VET market operates, for policy, workforce planning and consumer information.
Your personal information and other collected data are disclosed for the above purposes to the following recipients and in the following manner.
- NCVER publishes the data at the aggregate level and discloses aggregate, de-identified or identified unit record data to Commonwealth and state/territory government education and training departments.
- Commonwealth and state/territory government education and training departments may publish the data at the aggregate level, and the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment also publishes aggregate data from domestic students on their MySkills website for access by students, the public and training providers.
- NCVER may provide summary reports to training providers that show aggregated responses for their domestic students, and training providers may publish this information on their own websites.
- De-identified unit record files may be provided to training providers and researchers requesting data for purposes related to facilitating research and statistics on education. Such requests are assessed on a case-by-case basis and are only provided under strict terms and conditions.
Protection and management of your information
The Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment, NCVER, SRC, and OSIR manage personal information in accordance with the NVETR Act, the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles introduced by the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012.
Any person in the European Union (EU) who participates in this survey is considered to have opted in by their own choice, and should be aware that while NCVER fully complies with the Australian Privacy Act and Australian Privacy Principles, including the Notifiable Data Breaches Act, which have similar requirements to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), may not at this time, comply with all GDPR requirements.
For more information on how your personal information is managed, protected, and used please refer to the Privacy Policies of the Australian Government Department of Education and Training, NCVER, SRC, and the OSIR.
Full details of each are displayed on the respective websites:
Who to contact
For general queries about the survey, please contact the Student Outcomes Survey Helpline on 1800 413 992 (free call within Australia) or +61 3 8354 3629 (from outside Australia) or email email@example.com. This includes queries or complaints concerning your personal information, or if you wish to request access to or correction of your personal information. Correction of your personal information can only be made while the survey is being conducted and only for the purpose of administering the survey as records of your name and contact details are destroyed once the survey is concluded.
The 2021 National Student Outcomes Survey: Prize draw terms and conditions of entry
Method and duration of entry period
Method of entry
Entry is open to respondents of the 2021 Student Outcomes Survey. To enter, those invited to complete the 2021 Student Outcomes Survey must complete the survey online at www.ncver.edu.au/sos/login or by telephone interview.
Duration of entry period
The total entry period for inclusion in the Prize Draw is from survey launch on 7th June 2021 to 11.59pm 15th August 2021. Ten prize draws will occur during this period, with the following schedule
- Respondents who complete their survey before 11.59pm AEST 16th June 2021 will be entered into prize draws #1 - #10 and will be eligible to win a prize in each draw.
- Respondents who complete their survey before 11.59pm AEST 23rd June 2021 will be entered into prize draws #2 - #10 and will be eligible to win a prize in each draw.
- Respondents who complete their survey before 11.59pm AEST 30th June 2021 will be entered into prize draws #3 - #10 and will be eligible to win a prize in each draw.
- Respondents who complete their survey before 11.59pm AEST 7th July 2021 will be entered into prize draws #4 - #10 and will be eligible to win a prize in each draw.
- Respondents who complete their survey before 11.59pm AEST 14th July 2021 will be entered into prize draws #5 - #10 and will be eligible to win a prize in each draw.
- Respondents who complete their survey before 11.59pm AEST 21st July 2021 will be entered into prize draws #6 - #10 and will be eligible to win a prize in each draw.
- Respondents who complete their survey before 11.59pm AEST 28th July 2021 will be entered into prize draws #7 - #10 and will be eligible to win a prize in each draw.
- Respondents who complete their survey before 11.59pm AEST 4th August 2021 will be entered into prize draws #8 - #10 and will be eligible to win a prize in each draw.
- Respondents who complete their survey before 11.59pm AEST 11th August 2021 will be entered into prize draws #9 and #10 and will be eligible to win a prize in each draw.
- Respondents who complete their survey before 11.59pm AEST 15th August 2021 will be entered into prize draw #10 and will be eligible to win a prize in the draw.
Details of prizes and prize values
Prize draws will occur weekly from the 18th June 2021. The first entry drawn in each of the ten prize draws will receive a $1,000 prepaid Visa gift card. The second and third entries drawn in each prize draw will receive a $500 Visa gift card. The final eight entries drawn in each prize draw will each receive a $250 Visa gift card. The total value of the prize pool is $40,000.
Each prize draw is comprised of the following:
1 x $1,000 Visa prepaid gift card drawn from the national pool
2 x $500 Visa prepaid gift card drawn from the national pool
8 x $250 Visa prepaid gift card drawn from the national pool
Date, time and place of draw
- Prize Draw #1: 2:00pm AEST 18th June 2021
- Prize Draw #2: 2:00pm AEST 25th June 2021
- Prize Draw #3: 2:00pm AEST 2nd July 2021
- Prize Draw #4: 2:00pm AEST 9th July 2021
- Prize Draw #5: 2:00pm AEST 16th July 2021
- Prize Draw #6: 2:00pm AEST 23rd July 2021
- Prize Draw #7: 2:00pm AEST 30th July 2021
- Prize Draw #8: 2:00pm AEST 6th August 2021
- Prize Draw #9: 2:00pm AEST 13th August 2021
- Prize Draw #10: 2:00pm AEST 20th August 2021
All draws will be conducted at Level 5, 350 Queen Street Melbourne VIC 3000. Winners will be identified through a manual draw.
Publication of winner names and unclaimed prizes
Publication of winner names
Winners will be notified by telephone or in writing via email within 2 business days of the draw. The names and state of residence of all winners will be published online at www.ncver.edu.au/sos.
- Prize Draw #1: by 2:00pm AEST 22nd June 2021
- Prize Draw #2: by 2:00pm AEST 29th June 2021
- Prize Draw #3: by 2:00pm AEST 6th July 2021
- Prize Draw #4: by 2:00pm AEST 13th July 2021
- Prize Draw #5: by 2:00pm AEST 20th July 2021
- Prize Draw #6: by 2:00pm AEST 27th July 2021
- Prize Draw #7: by 2:00pm AEST 3rd August 2021
- Prize Draw #8: by 2:00pm AEST 10th August 2021
- Prize Draw #9: by 2:00pm AEST 17th August 2021
- Prize Draw #10: by 2:00pm AEST 24th August 2021
Unclaimed prize draw
If any prizes are unclaimed by 1st December, 2021 an unclaimed prize draw will take place at 2.00 PM AEDT on 1st December 2021 at the above address. The winners will be notified by telephone or in writing by email. The names of all winners will be published at www.ncver.edu.au/sos by 2.00pm AEDT 3rd December 2021.
Contact details will only be collected and retained by “the Trader” for the purposes of the prize draw only and will not be released or used for any other purpose. Except for the announcement of the winning entries, all confidentiality will be retained and records in relation to the draw will be destroyed within State and Commonwealth Government requirements.
Traders name and permit numbers
Traders name and address
The trader is the Social Research Centre Pty Ltd, Level 5, 350 Queen Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3051. ABN: 91096153212.
NSW Permit number: TP/00649
ACT Permit number: TP 21/00866
SA Permit number: T21/812
Who to contact if you have any queries
Any queries regarding the prize draws should be directed to:
firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone on 1800 413 992 (free call within Australia) or +61 3 8354 3629 (from outside Australia)