TCSI - Everything you need to know

Posted by Tribal Group

On page contents: 

What is TCSI

Why is TCSI such a big departure from the previous submissions process?

Who will TCSI effect? 

How will TCSI effect Australian education institutions?

How to get ready for TCSI?

Is Tribal ready for TCSI?

Tribal's approach to a TCSI solution

A valuable TSCI solutions had to be offered as Software as a Service (SaaS)

Why adopt SaaS TCSI solution with Tribal? 

The Tribal Submissions approach

Transitioning to TCSI with Tribal Submissions

What is the Transforming the Collection of Student Information (TCSI) project?

TCSI (pronounced “taxi”), stands for Transforming the Collection of Student Information. It is a joint project between the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) and Services Australia, to transform how student information is collected to build a better solution that benefits both Australian education providers and students.

The project name TCSI has also been retained as the name of the new portal in which institutions report to, however the acronym now stands for Tertiary Collection of Student Information.
The benefits of this move for students include, DHS claims submitted through a simpler process, payment accuracy improvements, payments process is easily maintained through the completion of their studies.

For providers, the benefits include, no more duplications during processing, a more simple and intuitive process, system deficiencies are resolved and data availability is improved.

Why is Tertiary Collection of Student Information reporting such a big departure?

TCSI reporting is a total departure from the prior the Higher Education Provider Client Assistance Tool (HEPCAT) reporting process. It brings with it a modernised, real time reporting system. Elements are either being retired, replaced, or updated to achieve a more streamlined process.

Who will the TCSI project affect?

The updated reporting process will affect all Australian tertiary education providers including:

  • Higher Education Providers (HE)
  • Vocational Education Providers (VET)
  • Dual (HE & VET) Providers
  • as well as tertiary providers who report via Provider Information Request (PIR)

office team celebrating Tertiary Collection of Student Information 770px x 320px

How will the TCSI project affect Australian education institutions?

All Australian Tertiary providers, will need to transition their student data reporting to the Tertiary Collection of Student Information by the first quarter of 2021. PIR providers will have until their mid-year reporting period, 2021.

Previously, institutions generated student data files and uploaded them to HEPCAT (the Higher Education Provider Client Assistance Tool) monthly or quarterly. With TCSI, reporting can be done seamlessly and regularly. This hopes to solve all the shortfalls of HEPCAT and promises to make reporting easier and streamline the submission process.

The Australian government is doing a soft launch, for Early Adopters, in December 2020, and all providers (except PIRs) must meet the reporting requirements using the preferred TCSI reporting solution by 1 January 2021.

How to get ready for TCSI reporting

There are two paths you can take to continue your data submissions and comply with the government requirements:

  1. Use the Business-to-Government (B2G) API channel, where your Student Management System (SMS) can communicate with the government portal and submit the data through APIs.
  2. Use the Provider Portal, where you will need to do things manually by uploading a .CSV file to the portal.

In the most recent Transforming the Collection of Student Information Provider Survey done by HEIMS, 63% of the respondents said their SMS provider will develop a TCSI solution and 20% said they will be using the TCSI Portal. We recommend finding out from your SMS provider what plans they must support TCSI, and if it will be ready in time.

Is Tribal ready for TCSI reporting?

Yes, Tribal is TCSI ready! Tribal, along with its customers, have been working to develop a Student Management System (SMS) agnostic submissions solution alongside Australian tertiary providers as a part of the Australian Government TCSI project working group since its inception in 2018.

The solution Tribal Submissions is not only for Tribal customers but for all education providers. Tribal Submissions, powered by Tribal Edge's platform, works with any SMS solution across HE, VET and PIR providers, is delivered in the cloud, and driven by intelligence that simplifies the processing and quickly identifies any differences in your records before submission.

To find out more about our approach to building a solution, continue reading.

Tribal’s approach to a TCSI reporting solution

An essential component of any institution’s statutory compliance is the ability to report data as required by Higher Education Information Management System (HEIMS). Tribal recognises that there are many Student Management Systems (SMS) on the market and a solution is required that can meet a wide arrange of requirements.

Our solution, Tribal Submissions, meets all B2G Application Programming Interface (API) requirements for Release 1 and Release 2 and is ready to be implemented in your institution now. It provides a simple method of Provider of Digital Access (PRODA) device management. Tribal Edge also includes:

  • Simplified API interactions, PUT & DELETE methods only
  • Complete delta determination and HEPCAT data migration management
  • Removal of the need for SMS to track and manage the TCSI Unique Identifiers (UIDs)

A valuable TCSI solution had to be offered as Software as a Service (Saas)

Tribal’s SaaS non-negotiables include:

  • Adaptable and agile to move with ongoing legislative changes
  • Open to connect to a wide eco-system
  • Scalable to grow with your needs and peak requirements
  • Secure to ensure all data is safe and compliant
  • Cloud-native to remove the burdens of system management

Why adopt SaaS TCSI solution with Tribal?

From a cost perspective, as a SaaS platform, Tribal Edge solutions such as Submissions are delivered on a subscription basis and lowers your CAPEX.

Choosing a SaaS ensures that you always benefit from the latest patched and security enhancements, making sure you never miss an update, whilst removing the need for your team to be on the lookout for them.

It is scalable. The service you will be provided with alongside Tribal Edge’s platform makes it easy to handle peak times with no need for additional hardware and physical infrastructure costs.

It also allows you to take instant advantage of new features and functionality as they come online with no license keys or additional installations.

The Tribal Submissions approach

We have built this software to provide a transformative reporting solution that meets the needs of all HE, VET and PIR providers. Tribal Edge’s pillars include reporting focused, efficiency, adaptable and agile, and cloud-native. Here is what we aim to deliver in each of these pillars for our Submissions solution:

Reporting Focused:

Tribal Submissions uses the B2G API suite to submit data as and when you require. It supports simplified SMSs to Edge API requests as well as supporting the upload of XLSX spreadsheets if needed.

The TCSI solution supports business processes by downloading errors in XLSX files for distribution to departments. It also automates integrations for errors using the Tribal Edge API suite.


We have developed Submissions to optimise processes and contribute to best practises. It includes full automation of approval and submission of data and applies permanent fixes to data issues within Tribal Edge.

We have allowed for multiple bulk processes including, record approval, submissions of approved records, retrieval of TCSI notifications and the ability to edit record cohorts in bulk.

Our product has an intuitive user interface making it easier and quicker to use, for everyone enabling rapid training of new or temporary staff.

Adaptable and Agile:

Tribal Submissions is open. What we mean here is, functional APIs allow future-proof integration with new and existing solutions. We can make changes to be compliant with legislative changes if required eliminating the fear of investing in a solution that could become redundant. Change can also be managed within the product over time as required.


This is managed by the application experts and reduces the need to source scarce skills and frees up your team to focus on other projects integral to your institution. It is scalable making storage and processing power effortless and allows our solution to grow as you do. Lastly, our platform is secure. Industry-leading cloud infrastructure is provided by Microsoft Azure so your data is protected.


Transitioning to TCSI with Tribal Submissions – Readiness services

Reporting to Tertiary Collection of Student Information requires changes to data within your Student Management System (SMS), and the processes for reporting that data. Tribal can assist in both areas, as well as the testing and early support of your new processes. Below are the steps Tribal can take to help your institute go-live with a TCSI reporting solution.

  1. Environment set up
    Your TCSI solution will require both implementing a cloud-based module and integration with your existing SMS. If help is required, Tribal's Cloud Services team offers services and you can speak to us with your requirements
  2. Design business process
    The new reporting requirements will not only force you to adopt new systems, they also create new demands on your reporting processes and staff. At Tribal we have in-depth knowledge of the new requirements and how the Tribal TCSI solution, Tribal Submissions, can best be incorporated into your reporting procedures. We will work with you to design processes and procedures that align with your organisational priorities and needs.
  3. Config and data set up
    This service will ensure you have a TCSI ready system. A data and configuration audit will identify gaps and potential issues, which can then be remedied before going live. This has an option of a pre-migration data verification where a comparison analysis can expose discrepancies. This service also includes configuration of the Tribal Submissions module. Tribal will work with you to explore and decide on the settings and options that are optimal to your needs and practices.
  4. Implement business process
    Once you have defined your new processes and procedures, another step in becoming operationally ready for TCSI is the implementation or roll out of these processes. Tribal can assist with this by running information sessions and individual/small group, hands-on training sessions. The service also includes an option to run pre-live end-to-end rehearsal and provide early life business support.
  5. Testing
    This service provides you with an option to have Tribal validate your TCSI system to a specified level. It could include your local developments and nonstandard use of SMS functionality. It could be designed in such a way that only known problem areas are tested or could include deeper testing including that of the data migration solution. The testing can also be closely aligned with the design, roll out and validation of new business processes and procedures.
  6. Go-live
    Your TCSI solution goes live and you can start reporting to TCSI, support provided in line with your usual support arrangements, or with optional hypercare provided by Tribal.

Discover how Tribal Submissions will equip your institution with the platform to be ready for the TCSI roll out. Get in touch with us.