The most frustrating part of AVETMISS reporting is the data errors. Also check out our post on Hints and Tips for managing your Total VET activity reporting. 

How to manage and review AVETMISS errors

Step 1 - Check the error in the AVS

If there is only a few, you can read them from the AVS screen. If there’s lots, the error screen will allow you to export the error details (including the student number and error description) to as a CSV, which make it much easier to search, track, and update. Click ‘Export Details’ and “export as CSV’ to download the errors in a spreadsheet.

This can be very helpful in identifying and correcting errors, as it will allow you to filter by error type. It also means you can add a column to track when the errors was resolved and it makes it much easier to follow what is happening.

If you’re not sure what the error mena,s NCVER has a great intro page, with User Guides and Validation errors info.

Step 2 - Fix the error

How you fix the error depend on the type of error. Most will be data errors related to the address. Look at our Hints and Tips for AVETMISS Error article for more tips.

The AVS validation identifies two types of AVETMISS issues -

AVETMISS errors types

Error (E)

Errors for data that does not meet the AVETMISS Reporting standards.

All Errors in the AVS validation must be resolved before you can submit your Total VET Activity reporting. If you do not remove the errors, you will not be able to lodge your data.

To identify and resolve these errors, it’ best to understand what the error are, and where they are on the records, an why they’re being an issues. I’ve broken them down into different error types, base on where and how the errors would arise.

Error 3705 Invalid Postcode

This is an error, as you must have this information to report.

It’s important to identify the error type to help figure out how to resolve it.

Warning (W)

Warnings are different. Warnings usually point out things that could be wrong with your data, but might be correct in certain circomstances.

It’s up to the RTO to determine if there is an error of it it’s an exception. You can lodge without fixing a warning, but if they data is inaccurte you may have to go back to fix it later. So best to review and makes sure warnings are the ones your expect e.g. you get the same ones, not strange new ones.

State Training Authorities (STA) Validation Errors

Each state with it’s own reporting has additional fields to the AVETMISS national standards that report state specific information, such as state based program codes.

The additional state fields are not validated when you review the data with AVS, and often are an additioanl validation process.

You data may clear AVS because it meets the AVETMISS Standards, and still come up with errors because it’s not matching the STA’s requirements. The STA requirements can be difficult, because they can be data entry errors that were not reported to NCVER, or they can be validation errors against the contract. You should contact your STA to find out about the errors and how to fix them.

Data Entry Errors

These errors are the easiest to resolve. The data on your system is incorrect, either because the information was not added, or was added incorrectly. e.g. the Student didn’t have an address added to the system.


Data Entry error will normally have language like ‘invalid’ or ‘missing’ in the error description.

 Error 3705 Invalid Postcode

This error is fairly common. It means the suburb listed does not match the details of the postcode according to Australia Post. This could mean the suburb is spelt incorrectly, or that the Suburb provided by the student isn’t recognise by Australia Post, which is fairly common if there is a new development.


The most common data entry errors, and how to resolve them, can be address by reading the onCourse Manual. Most of these error are address errors, and can be fixed by checking the address against AustraliaPost.

AVETMISS File errors

These errors are usually to do with information in one NAT file not matching up to the information in another NAT file.


These errors will usually refer to another part of the NAT Files, and us language like “you cannot …, if …’

- A student can be enrolled in course with all competencies completed, but no certificate issued.

This may cause an error, as they will appear on the NAT00120 file as having completed, but they do not appear on the NAT00130. AVETMISS requires that they be in both files if they are completed.


There errors usually mean that onCourse has the data in one place, but need more data in another. It’s fairly rare to get this type of error with onCourse as our AVETMISS File generation process is designed to limit these errors e.g. we usualy have the date in one place on onCourse, and then add it to both places in both places of the export.

The exception is for Certificate issuing. The student’s certificate needs to be be generated for the student to appear in the NAT0130. For onCourse uses, the AVETMISS FIles errors tend to be an issue for students who completed their outcomes in one calendar year, but ha their qualification generated in the next calendar year.

The NCVER standard is designed to accept this data in Calendar years, so there’s sometimes students who complete their outcomes late in December, who are issued certificate early in January.

When you get to your AVEMTISS REproting, this peresnets and issues, as they will expect the certificate to be issued in the same year as the outcome is acheived. You will need to manage this in your assesmsnet and marking strategy - if you’re issuing in a new year, you could cause this error.

Best to issue the certificate in the same year as the last outcome status.

NCVER Errors

Some errors are to do with the requirements of the RTO standards or NCVER reporting standards.

This means the data is present on your system may be ‘correct’, but its outside the guidelines for AVETMISS. Often these mean there is a higher level issue with the enrolment, or an issue with a process.


You have no idea what the error is about. It’s usually a very long sentence, and one you’ve not seen before. There errors are less common but tend to make you feel like you’re hitting your head on a wall.

AVETMISS reporting guidelines state that a student cannot be enrolled a unit of competency for more than 5 years. This means if you have a student start date entered as 12/01/2011, the student will show an error.


These issues are usually tricky, and if they are not already discussed on the forum, you need to do some investigation.To investigate, contact NCVER Customer Service to get them to explain exactly what the error means.

Once you know what the error is referring to, check to see if the information on the database is correct. If it’s incorrect, make the changes and resubmitted to AVS to check the error is gone. If the information is correct for your system, but not accepted by the NCVER standard, you need to speak to you management team about your internal processes, and how they do not meet the standards.Then you will need to find out from your compliance section how to address the issue. You may also need to raise the issue into you continuing improvement process.

In the above example, final resolution would depend on whether or not the data was correct
a) If the data was entered incorrectly, and the start date should have been 12/01/2016, then adding the correct date would resolve the error. b) If the student was enrolled in 2011, started their Unit of Competency, but did not finish, and did not get cancelled, they are technically still enrolled. The ordinary systems didn’t pick up on it though, and they stayed on the system.

Now they hit the 5 year rule, they’re comping up as an error. The student will need to be withdrawn from the Unit. If they are still active in the qualification (which is unlikely) then they can be put into a new version of the unit. The end date of the old Unit will need to be 11/01/2016, and start date of the new unit can be 12/01/2016.

Either way, there are issues that need to be addressed in your system, such as how the start date wasn’t picked up, or why the student who hadn’t completed in five years was still an active student.

NOTE - onCourse subscribers will generally have few of these errors, as the system is designed deal with most of these issues as part of the file generation process.