Software overhaul pre-empts new systems rollout for Vic TAFE sector

One of the 13 TAFE institutions involved in Victoria's major project to roll out new student management technology has commenced a vigorous change management program and implemented new software to prepare for the go live in 2012.

The three-year student management project, announced by the Government last year, will provide an online portal through which 280,000 students can access their progress, results and enrolment details, and 13 TAFEs can streamline day-to-day business operations such as assessments, funding and reporting.

The Central Gippsland Institute of TAFE (GippsTAFE) turned to TechnologyOne - the major software partner in the Victorian student management project - to implement a single repository for document management and record keeping in advance of the roll out.

This followed a review of the Institute's business systems, which identified an outdated and largely paper-based archive system and recommended a new Electronic Records Management Application (ERMA).

GippsTAFE had archives stored in various locations, making it difficult to locate documents and Intellectual Property was being lost as teachers left the organisation taking with them valuable classroom materials and curriculum plans. As a government organisation, the Institute is required by law to address compliance obligations through appropriate record keeping in line with the Public Record Office of Victoria.

With new laws being introduced surrounding public record keeping this major issue needed to be addressed as a priority.

The new ERMA had to comply with these regulations, cope with the demands of 350 users from all levels within the organisation and electronically store up to 10 million documents.

As a user of TechnologyOne Financials and Enterprise Budgeting across its six campuses, it made sense for GippsTAFE to choose the Australian software company's Enterprise Content Management (ECM) for the ERMA.

TechnologyOne ECM is intuitive, fully integrates with existing systems and will integrate with the new Student Management software.

GippsTAFE went live with its new ERMA in July 2010 and has implemented an intensive training and change management program to ensure its success.

It can now capture documents from all core business systems in one place, and users can easily locate records and share information, run reports and comply with all legislation.

The Institute estimates efficiency savings of 20% have already been achieved, 95% of staff now regularly use the software and more than 12,000 documents have already been logged.

GippsTAFE CEO Dr Peter Whitley said the ERMA was a valuable first step in preparing for the huge Student Management implementation.

"The change management and training program has taught us many valuable lessons," Dr Whitley said.

"We appointed ERMA champions in various business units to act as advocates for the new system, created a helpdesk for staff and allocated timeframes to migrate all documents.

"It has changed our internal culture - departments now share information, we retain all intellectual property developed by our teachers and are more productive because there is no duplication."

Dr Whitley said the move to an electronic, paperless system was also reaping rewards.

"We can produce a permanent record of every document we create, have total confidence in our data and could not be better prepared for the huge period of change we are about to enter with the new online Student Management system," Dr Whitely said.