IT Brief New Zealand - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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How digital document management can help training organisations boost compliance
Mon, 8th Jul 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Proving enrolments are active and legitimate can be a major challenge for registered training organisations (RTOs), which rely on student numbers to maintain competitive advantage and obtain government funding. RTOs need to justify their student intake with up-to-date documents and records, and this can be difficult using traditional, paper-based data management processes.

It's important for RTOs to have the tools to easily and confidently support claims about student enrolment for compliance and auditing purposes, while providing students with access to better services, according to Upstream.

RTOs operate in a highly competitive space. Student services and teaching staff manage large volumes of documents, from feedback and enrolment forms to assignments and late submission notices for assessments. It's critical to securely and accurately process and store these documents.

Failing to produce accurate and relevant documentation when needed can see student satisfaction decrease, and importantly can also jeopardise RTOs' certifications and funding.

Upstream Victorian sales manager Cal Stevens says, “RTOs relying on paper documents are putting their organisation's funding at risk. Paper documents are more difficult to keep track of, and they can easily become lost, damaged, stolen, copied, and forgotten about at the back of filing cabinets, all of which are common challenges faced by RTOs daily.

“Handling student information on paper also means student services teams need to manually update records, which becomes cumbersome and complicated. In addition, it puts the responsibility on staff and means that RTOs are relying on employees for business-critical processes.  Physical documents also take up space as they accumulate over time, and demand maintenance resources many RTOs simply don't have.

As digital document trends take off across multiple sectors, RTOs should consider the following suit to improve their document management and student services, increase compliance, become audit-ready, and ensure government funding.

Digitising student documents means that information and updates can be easily stored and tracked over students' tertiary lifespans. Students' documents can be scanned and automatically uploaded against their own student records directly in the document management platform for authorised staff to view, track, and manage.

Even after students graduate, RTOs can maintain records relating to alumni. This is helpful for RTOs undergoing audits and managing student records retrospectively.

RTOs with digitised document management systems can save significant time during audits by accessing a student's complete records and document history at the simple click of a button.

This means staff also have more time to focus on more meaningful tasks, rather than getting bogged down in paperwork during auditing periods.

Cal Stevens said, “Despite a shift towards digitised document services, many students still provide physical submissions of their assessments or don't have access to laptops or iPads, and subsequently can't upload documents to their digital accounts. As a result, RTOs still have to cater to and manage physical paperwork. This challenge can be easily resolved with simple document management solutions that migrate physical paperwork to a digital format.

Whether through barcode technology or document scanning solutions, DMS technology can be applied to a range of student documents and scanned directly into the RTO's learning management system.

Digital document management systems are helping RTOs, and other businesses in a range of industries save time, improve security, and provide better services to customers and clients. RTOs can use digital document solutions to perform better in audits and maintain necessary funding.

Digital systems also let RTOs better cater to students, who trust in their education providers to responsibly, ethically, and accurately manage their documents and data.