onCourse’s standards features are designed around integration and automation to give you the best possible return on your time in the system.

Creating new classes by duplication, for example, removes the need for staff to manually create the details such as tutors, locations, sites, etc, and allows you to carry the same information over into instances of the class.

onCourse is designed to operate in three parts - a website, the client application and the Student and tutor portal. Each part is integrated to provide you with an integrated collection and distribution of information. This helps you to provide the best possible service for the least admin input.

how long is a piece of string

How much is manual processing costing your organisation? It’s hard to get a complete picture. One of the least considered areas is also one of the most expensive for Australian organisation - staff time costs.

I can understand why training providers are reluctant to change their processes. Manual enrolments are easy to collect - you just give the student the form. It’s after you collect the form that you have a lot of work. Data entry, sending out the course information, etc, and then the time to store and file the documents correctly. For a non-VET Course, this can average 30 minutes.

For a VET Course it more like 60 minutes, and if you include the USI collection or eligibility for VET FEE-HELP or funding, the total process can take up to 180 minutes.

Staffing costs are more than just the salary. All the entitlements and supporting infrastructure needs are considered as well - superannuation, sick leave, equipment cost, electricity etc.

How to estimate the costs?

The Cancellations or Administration fee is often a good guide for the cost of processing enrolments, and is the most commonly used because the cost processing is most keenly felt with there is a cancellation.

The average administration fees for the non-VET course are $15 - $30. For VET courses, they range from $150 - $750, depending on the complexity.

Using those figures, manual enrolments processing cost are between 10%-25% of the overall course fee.

Online enrolment, particularly when using onCourse’s integrated website and scripting, can drastically reduce these costs.

Other processes can be labour intensive without much more benefit.

The problem of scalability

Manual processing presents more issue than just the cost of staff - there’s also the availability and the supply during peak periods. training providers are especially vulnerable to this as there tend to be ‘high volume’ enrolment times, spaced out by lulls. This means that staff are not always just on enrolment, and the enrolment peek period can overtake all their regular duties as well.

Automation is scalable in a way that manual processes can never be.

If your manual enrolments increase to 1,500, you would need to employ someone for an additional half day to handle the increased workload.

Increase to 2,000 students and it would be another full day. With Online enrolment, there would be no processing costs.

This doesn’t include the cost of hiring or managing staff or the time in training to get them up to speed.

The reverse is also true. If your enrolments suddenly drop to 500, you will not continue to pay a staff member when there is no work.

Casual staff are not a real solution either - most course needs specific information and the quality of staff is not always going to be there when it’s a very short term contract.

Timing and on Demand access

The other problem with manual processes is that most people now have 24/7 access to services via the internet, so a manual enrolment process is not going to be available when the student is wanting to enrol.

Our data over the last 12 years suggest that the peek enrolment time is 9 pm - 10 pm for training providers, across VET and non-VET courses. The majority are after 6 pm and before midnight - when people are coming home from work, after they finish dinner, etc. Matching your staffing to these times is difficult, and you can see reduced enrolment because people decided to call the next day, but forgot.

CASE STUDY 1 High Volumen low fee courses like RSA or First Aid.

These courses present a particular challenge to providers. The market rates for the course are very low, often sitting around $100. If you have a low fee course you will need to deliver at a high volume to make financially sustainable.

RSA, RSA and First Aid have the same reporting requirements as full qualifications, including the collection of AVETMISS data and the Student’s USI. And as of January 2018, they were no longer exempt from having to provide a USI.

As we discussed in an earlier article, there’s not a 100% reduction of staff time when you introduce a new automated process, so we’ll use the estimate of a 10% increase in customer support as a comparison.

30 minutes * 1,000 = 30,000 minutes, or 500 min processing hours.

9.6 staff hours per week. That more than one day of full-time staff processing.

At the average hourly rate for an Admin Assistant plus super, that’s $11,712.05 per year.

3 minutes * 1000 enrolment = 3,000 minutes or 50 hours, which is under one hour per week. That’s $1,071.21 per year.

That’s a total saving of $10,640.84 per year.

Example 2 - Confirmation of Enrolment Email

Business standard in training organisations is to send a confirmation letter or email after enrolment. This will include details of their training, such as their timetable, course materials, locations. To be effective and useful to the student it will need to be sent in a timely manner. The confirmations are usually based on a template and have very little customisation.

If processed manually this usually would be sent via email by the operator, who would select and send the information based on the course enrolment.

This task is very easily automated. By automating this task, you ensure it’s carried out in a timely manner and free up the operators time for other tasks.

Automation that is standard in your onCourse system

  • Website Updates: Course & class updates from your onCourse database to your website with every change you make
  • Searchers and Navigation: Use of tags in your onCourse database to provide search functionality on your website
  • Secure Payments: Ability to take secure online payments, integrated with the options for you to set up payment plans on your course
  • Statistics: Integrated use of Google analytics, including e-commerce data so that you can discover exactly who is browsing your site, who is purchasing your products and where they all came from.
  • Related products: Ability to create products in onCourse that can be purchased online, including textbooks or other materials needed for your training
  • Discounts: You can set up discounts and promotional code in onCourse to drive enrolments further enrolments