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How you can access Chisholm information

There are different ways you can access Chisholm information depending on the category of information and documents you are seeking. This page provides information about Chisholm’s informal and formal processes for making information available to the public including under Victorian right to information and privacy laws and under court processes such as subpoenas and warrants.

Right to information at Chisholm

Chisholm is a prescribed authority (or agency) under the Victorian Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) which gives individuals the right to access documents of an agency, subject to some specified exemptions.

Chisholm is committed to making information about Chisholm and documents held by Chisholm readily available to the public via our website, through internal information access processes and via FOI Act processes.

Chisholm has appointed points of contact for different categories of information to make it easier for member of the public to gain access to information and so that it is not always necessary to make a formal FOI application for access to information.

Common requests

Common current or past student requests for information released routinely without the need to make an FOI Application are listed below:

  • Replacement course certificates for domestic students. $50 per certificate. Email awards@chisholm.edu.au
  • Replacement course certificate for overseas students. Standard postal delivery $70 or Express delivery $110. Email awards@chisholm.edu.au
  • Archive search for academic records (e.g. paper based result sheets, placement records) prior to 2000. $50. Email awards@chisholm.edu.au
  • Statement of attainment, statement of results and replacement competency cards. $10. Email awards@chisholm.edu.au
  • Request for placement records or other academic records. No charge when the request is considered routine. Relevant Student Department admin team or awards@chisholm.edu.au.
  • Letters of completion. $15. awards@chisholm.edu.au

Points of contact for different categories of information

If you would like to make a request for access to information, we recommend you first contact the recommended point of contact (listed below) relevant to the category of request / information you seek.

The point of contact can provide you with advice on accessing the information you seek outside of the FOI Act, if available or they may refer you to the FOI Officer if an FOI application is required to be made.

Media requests

Members of the media should approach Emily Flores, Head of Marketing & Communications on Tel: +61 3 9238 8150, Mobile: 0447 097 145 or Email: emily.flores@chisholm.edu.au as a first point of contact for information and data requests.

Current students and staff access to personal information

Current students and staff can access certain information, including personal information Chisholm holds about them via the following pathways.

Students

Students can access information via Chisholm’s Student App or by contacting Student Enquiries & Enrolment Services by email enquiries@chisholm.edu.au or phone 1300 244 746.

Staff

Via Chisholm’s People Systems such as HR Kiosk (Chisholm’s Employee Self Service) or PDR Platform (Chisholm’s Performance and Development Portal) or Paytime (for timesheets).

Past students and past staff access to personal information

Past students who do not have an active account can request copies of academic records, evidence of enrolment, qualifications etc. by contacting:

Past students

By contacting Chisholm’s Academic Administration by email awards@chisholm.edu.au.

Past staff

In the first instance contact employeerelations@chisholm.edu.au or telephone 03 9212 5497.

Requests by third parties for information about past or current students

Requests should be made to Academic Administration via emailing academicadmin@chisholm.edu.au.

Requests for documents / information held by Chisholm relating to a past or current student should be made wherever possible by the student rather than through third parties.

However, we understand in some instances third parties wish to obtain verification of qualifications or education credentials of a Chisholm current or past student.

Chisholm can only provide information regarding a student’s record to a third party where the following is received, as per Chisholm’s Privacy Policy:

  • the student’s name and date of birth, and,
  • a signed consent/authority of the student to release the student’s academic records, and
  • a scanned photo-copy of their personal ID (driver’s licence or passport) showing their signature.

Before disclosing any information, Chisholm must be satisfied as to:

  • the identity of the person seeking information (full name, position and organisation, if any)
  • exactly what information is being sought
  • the reason that the person or organisation is entitled to request and receive this information.

If there is any uncertainty about a request for information, Chisholm staff will contact the Legal Officer for advice and support.

Request for health and medical records

Access requests for health and medical information held by Chisholm are handled under the FOI Act and the Health Records Act 2001.

Requests for health or medical information held by Chisholm’s Student Counselling Services or via Chisholm’s Employee Assistance Program should be made by contacting studentservices@chisholm.edu.au or the relevant counselling / health service provider directly.

Where the provider is a private sector organisation you can request access or correction to your health records under the Health Records Act 2001 and in accordance with the processes set up by the private sector organisation. You will be asked to put your request in writing and provide proof of your identity. Requests made on behalf of another person must be made in writing and include evidence of their authority to act on behalf of the other person.

You can also make your request access to or correction of your health records via a formal FOI application.

Subpoenas and witness summonses

Chisholm is sometimes served with subpoenas, witness summonses and other similar court issued process which requires the production of documents to the Court.

Providing information to a court or tribunal in compliance with a subpoena or summons is an exemption under privacy legislation — Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic). However, there are some limited circumstances in which a court may not enforce compliance with a subpoena or summons, or be comfortable with the production of redacted documents. The Legal Division can provide advice and assistance in relation to this.

There are strict time limits for compliance so it is important to obtain legal advice from Chisholm’s Legal Officer as soon as possible after staff have received the subpoena or summons.

Other information available under FOI Act

The FOI Act gives any person the right to:

  • request access to copies of documents we hold, except exempt or excepted documents
  • ask for information we hold about you to be changed or annotated if it is incomplete, out of date, incorrect or misleading, and
  • seek a review of our decision not to allow you access to a document or not to amend your personal record

Under the FOI Act you can request:

  • personal information regardless of the age of the documents
  • documents of a non-personal nature created since 5 July 1978.

While you have the right to request any document that we hold, we can refuse access to some documents, or parts of documents, subject to exemptions or exceptions permitted by the FOI Act. In addition, fees and charges may apply to a request for access made under the FOI Act.

A person does not have the right to obtain, under the FOI Act, publications or documents which are sold by the Institute, documents held by Public Record Office Victoria, or documents that are readily available to the public.

The Institute aims to make information and documents easily accessible to members of the public. We release a large amount of information through online and print publishing as well as directly to an individual upon their request. Making information easily accessible reduces the need for members of the public to submit requests under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic).

The information statements on this page outline the functions of the Institute and provide a non-exhaustive list of the types of information and documents we hold in relation to our functions.

If you cannot find the information you are seeking after reviewing these statements or other pages on our website, we encourage you to contact the relevant business area of the Institute in the first instance otherwise the FOI Officer may be able to direct or assist you.

Statement 1 - The organisation and functions of the Institute

Chisholm Institute of TAFE is a body corporate and established by the Education and Training Reform Act, 2006 (Vic).

The objects of the Institute as provided in the Act are:

  • to perform its functions for the public benefit by:
  • operating its businesses, delivering educational services and utilising assets that it manages on the State's behalf as efficiently as possible; and
  • ensuring that it is sustainable in the medium to long term, and
  • ensuring that its procedures, policies and practices are consistent with prudent commercial practice, and
  • endeavouring to maximise its contribution to the economy and wellbeing of the communities and industries served by the institute and the State as a whole; and
  • to facilitate student learning, knowledge acquisition, skills for employment and vocational education and training through excellent teaching, innovation and educational leadership that delivers quality outcomes, and
  • to collaborate as part of a strong public training provider network which is mutually and commercially beneficial to enable the institute to offer or provide educational services that meet the needs of industry partners and communities, including persons and groups that have particular education needs, and
  • any other objective set out in an Order in Council or Ministerial Order made under section 3.1.11 relating to the institute.

The Institute has numerous teaching delivery areas to provide the teaching functions of the Institute.

The Institute is governed by a Board. The Board is assisted by Board committees and is supported by the Chief Executive Officer and a group of Executive Directors.

Statement 2 - Categories of documents

Chisholm Institute maintains documents in four main categories and uses a variety of business systems and a dedicated records management system to create, store and manage these document. Documents are held subject to Chisholm’s retention requirements.

The main categories of documents maintained by the Institute are:

Student Management documents

documents which relate to individual students including but not limited to enrolment and re-enrolment applications, academic progress, student grievances complaints and misconduct, prizes and scholarships, graduations and completions of study, including withdrawals and transfers of study credits, all of which are held subject to Chisholm’s retention obligations and constraints under applicable legislation.

Teaching and Learning documents

documents which relate to curriculum development, accreditation, approval and delivery for all courses, programs, subjects, modules and units delivered by Chisholm Institute.

This category includes:

  • accreditation and approval of courses, subjects and units by the institute and by relevant external professional and regulatory bodies as well as curriculum delivery
  • timetabling, attendance, management of off-campus activities and work placements, training plans, and the assessment of students’ knowledge and skills examination papers and assignment material submitted for assessment,

each of which is held subject to Chisholm’s retention obligations and constraints under applicable legislation.

Student Support and Engagement documents

Documents which relate to student support and engagement services provided by the Institute to individual students, including counselling, financial education, careers support, Koorie liaison, retention/early intervention activity, equitable learning and disability support and complaints. Student Support also retain records of students who attend workshops and events including wellbeing, education, social, engagement and feedback activities.

Governance and administrative documents

Documents which relate to the management and administration of Chisholm Institute including but not limited to employment and personnel records; information, communication and records management; property, vehicle fleet and asset management; financial and contract management; work, health & occupational safety and industrial relations; government and community relationships; organisational governance, strategic planning and policy development and implementation.

Chisholm releases documents and information to the public proactively on Chisholm’s website, through media releases and routine publications or via routine informal requests or in response to formal FOI applications. It should be noted that if the document or information is exempt or contains exempt information it may not be released by Chisholm. Whether a document or information is exempt will always depend on the particular facts and circumstances of the matter, for more information on exempt documents and information please see our Freedom of Information (FOI) policy.

Statement 3 - Freedom of information arrangements

How do I submit a request to access documents under the FOI Act?

Requests for access to documents held by the Institute under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) should be made using the application form published on Chisholm website which will then be submitted for processing by Chisholm’s Freedom of Information Officer.

In some instances, Chisholm’s FOI Officer may be able to advise you how to obtain the information requested without a formal FOI request. Where that is the case, you will be advised of the different avenue for obtaining the information as soon as possible and your FOI application fee, if any made, will be refunded.

In order to be considered a valid request under the Act, your request must satisfy the following criteria:

  • The request must be in writing.
  • The request must be sufficiently clear to enable the Institute to conduct a search for the requested documents.
  • The request must be accompanied with the application fee of $29.60.

If your request is not sufficiently clear to enable us to conduct a search for the requested documents, the FOI officer may contact you to clarify the details of your request.

Fee and access charges

The application fee is determined in accordance with the Freedom of Information (Access Charges) Regulations 2014.

The current application fee is $29.60. In accordance with the regulations, this fee increases on 1 July each year.

In addition to the application fee, the Institute may charge fees for access to documents in accordance with the Freedom of Information (Access Charges) Regulations 2014. The access charges will vary for each request and may include, for example, charges for time spent searching for documents, charges per page for providing documents in hard copy format or charges for supervised inspection.

How do I pay the application fee?

The application fee can be paid via cheque or money order made payable to 'The Chisholm Institute, online, or via Bank Transfer:

Chisholm Institute
BSB: 06 3010
Acc No: 10545820
CBA

In accordance with section 17(2B) of the Act, the Institute may waive the application fee if payment of the fee would cause the applicant hardship. If you feel that this applies to you, please state your reasons in writing via email to foi@chisholm.edu.au (you can do this as part of your application) and provide any evidence that you believe supports your claim, for example a valid Healthcare Card. You will be notified whether your hardship claim has been accepted.

How long does it take to process a request?

The Institute has between 30 and 45 days from the date a valid request is made to provide you with a decision. The timeframe will depend on whether or not we need additional time to consult with third parties whose information may be contained in the requested documents.

The timeframe can be extended beyond 30 to 45 days if you provide your consent. The FOI Officer will discuss the extension with you.

In some instances, the timeframe may also be impacted by other legislative provisions. If it becomes apparent during the processing of your request that this applies, you will be notified. You can contact us at any time for an update on your request.

Please note that in cases where the Institute requests a deposit from you for access charges, the 30 day time limit ceases from the time the deposit is requested and then restarts from the time when the deposit is received. In such cases you will be notified of the revised date by which the decision is due.

What documents may be accessed under the FOI Act?

The FOI Act covers documents in the possession of the Institute whether created by the Institute or received by the Institute. It includes documents held in files, or records of the Institute, or held by an individual for the purpose of discharging his/her duties.

Examples of documents that may be accessed under the FOI Act include: emails, reports, meeting agendas and minutes, contracts/agreements, books, maps, plans, drawings, audio-visual media and photographs.

The right of access established by the FOI Act does not extend to:

  • exempt documents as specified in part IV of the FOI Act
  • documents containing information of a kind which is already available for purchase by the public from the Institute
  • library material maintained for reference purposes
  • documents created prior to 5 July 1978 other than documents which relate to the personal affairs of the applicant. Documents of any age are subject to FOI if they relate to the personal affairs of the applicant.

What documents may be exempt?

Certain documents are exempt from release, as specified in Part IV of the FOI Act.

Examples of exempt documents include:

  • documents that would unreasonably disclose information about the personal affairs of people other than the applicant
  • internal working documents (ie. for the purpose of the deliberative processes involved in the functions of an agency, a Minister or Government), the disclosure of which would be contrary to the public interest
  • documents subject to legal professional privilege
  • documents relating to trade secrets, or to certain other matters of a business, commercial or financial nature

documents containing material communicated to an agency in confidence, and whose disclosure would be contrary to the public interest by being reasonably likely to impair the agency's ability to obtain similar information in the future

Exemptions are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Statement 4 - Publications

Chisholm Institute of TAFE publishes a wide range of material related to its governance and organisation under https://www.chisholm.edu.au/about-us.

Information includes:

  • Who we are, including information about the Board and directors
  • Campus locations and hours
  • Media releases
  • Training facilities
  • Casey Tech School
  • Caroline Chisholm Education Foundation
  • Berwick TEC School
  • Key publications

Statement 5 - Policies and processes

The Institute has published a number of policies and processes which are publicly available via Chisholm’s website https://www.chisholm.edu.au/publications 

Statement 6 – Reports and publications

Chisholm publishes a range of reports, publications, course guides and other information via Chisholm’s website, including:

  • Annual Reports from 2013 onward
  • Key Chisholm Policies such as Chisholm’s Child Safe Policy, Student Code of Conduct
  • Current course guides

The full range of publications are available from https://www.chisholm.edu.au/publications