Extra Support for Students Facing Barriers
Learner Support Services (LSS) provides individualised support to students with barriers to training through a case management model.
LSS aims to increase completions of vocational education and training (VET) courses by students with complex support needs and assist students to transition to further study or employment.
Learner Support Services assists students by:
- helping to navigate the training system
- addressing life issues interfering with training
- assisting students to develop study skills
- obtaining supports available in the community
- supporting students with the transitions and new expectations of employment
Two key features of LSS are:
- the provision of a consistent support person who provides and/or coordinates the supports a student needs
- a support person who will liaise, advocate, and build collaborative partnerships with the student's RTO and external agencies with the aim of ensuring students access the supports available both in VET and in the community.
LSS provided during training enables Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) to access supports over and above the Skills SA Student Support Standards. LSS is not intended to replace the student support provision by RTOs, but to enhance it.
Post Course Transition Support
Learner Support Services provides individualised support to students after the completion of their course for up to 12 weeks if required. This support aims to ensure a successful transition to either employment or further training.
The support will include the same individualised support offered by LSS during training but focuses on working with the employer and new worker or with the exiting student and their next training provider.
Students eligible for LSS are those who have complex support needs interfering with their studies and are:
- enrolled under subsidy in a course on the Subsidised Training List (STL), or
- fee for Service students in classes with subsidised students, or
- undertaking accredited training as part of a Skills SA subsidised project, or
- school enrolled students who have been through the VETRO process and are enrolled in a subsidised course for school students.
LSS and the UAN
RTOs have a first opportunity to identify the need for a referral to LSS as an outcome of the support needs assessment that forms part of the Upfront Assessment of Need process.
Referral to LSS as early as possible will mean the student can start receiving supports straight away and the LSS case manager can work with the student to plan ahead. More information about the UAN process can be found at Upfront Assessment of Need.
School students can access LSS like other VET students once they have been through the VET Readiness Orientation (VETRO) process and enrolled in the VET course. VETRO is like the UAN but for school enrolled students. More information on VETRO can be found at Training School Students.
Access to LSS for RTOs
All FAA holders are required to have an LSS Service Agreement in place prior to undertaking the UAN and an LSS Service Agreement between the RTO and LSS provider is required before students can be referred or self-refer to an LSS Provider.
As part of the development of an LSS service agreement, RTOs are required to demonstrate that they have their own supports in place in alignment with the Skills SA Student Support Standards. LSS is provided as an additional service by Skills SA to enhance these supports and provide services to students with complex needs impacting on their training.
Demonstration that an RTO is meeting the Standards is through the completion and submission of an Organisational Self-Assessment. The Self- Assessment must be reviewed and approved by Skills SA to enable the completion of the LSS Service Agreement.
A copy of the self -assessment and any feedback from Skills SA will also be shared with the chosen LSS provider to help them understand the learning environment students will be studying in with each RTO and the supports that they can expect the RTO to be providing. See Spotlight Presentation on Assessing your Student Supports for more background information and guidance on completing the Self-Assessment.
Referring RTOs will continue to provide access to supports in alignment with the Skills SA Student Support Standards and are expected to collaborate with the LSS provider to ensure the student receives the supports they need while training.
LSS Services, inclusions and exclusions
LSS is fee-free to the student and fee-free to the enrolling RTO. LSS provides a broad range of support services but does not provide services that are reasonably expected to be provided by the RTO or other government services. LSS also does not provide clinical case management or health services.
Six RTOs are contracted by the Department for Education to provide LSS to students enrolled with non-government training providers who have an executed Funded Activities Agreement (FAA).
RTOs can contact any LSS provider to find out more about Learner Support Services and to determine next steps for accessing LSS for their students.