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Benefits of Student Management System (SMS) for RTOs

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

The benefits of a Student Management System (SMS) for RTOs are immeasurable. An SMS is an invaluable tool that helps RTOs stay organised and run more smoothly. SMS streamlines all major administrative processes, from the initial admissions process to student success strategies, while keeping records in order.

RTOs these days are fortunate to have Student Management Systems (SMS )  to assist in the management and organisation of everyday functioning of their training organisation. Not too long ago, the everyday management of an RTO was planned and carried out with the help of spreadsheets and mass piles of paper! Having an SMS as the answer to this problem makes the everyday tasks of running a training organisation more accessible and faster, enabling more time to be focused on tasks that actually turn the needle, like business growth. As such, SMS is actually a legal obligation to run an RTO within Australia.


Generally, a student management system will cover the below list of essential features:

  1. Compliance - - including Quality Management & Trainer Competency

  2. Enrollment & Courses

  3. Scheduling and Calendars

  4. Finance

  5. Automation

  6. CRM

  7. Work-based Learning

Compliance

As every RTO knows, the Industry is regulated by ASQA to maintain the high standards of training within Australia. RTOs must complete annual AVETMISS reports, demonstrating how accurate and consistent their data is.

To remain compliant, an RTO must demonstrate using a reporting tool with the ability for error validation before data submission to NCVER.

Survey tools are also an essential component of an SMS offering, allowing for compliance in the area of Learner Engagement. It is a regulatory requirement for RTOs to gauge learner satisfaction and uncover areas of improvement in their training.

An audit from ASQA is always a possibility, and the audit would be based on five essential areas. An RTO must identify effectiveness in these five key areas with an audit. To maintain these standards, an SMS should have robust reporting features.

Trainer competence is also high on the list for compliance, so an SMS should also be able to manage this, assisting in keeping trainers compliant and highly qualified. Compliance is a complex issue for RTO; this is one massive benefit of a student management system.


Courses and Enrolment

Creating and managing courses is a critical part of any SMS. The ability to set up courses of various lengths is essential for ensuring students have access to the right learning opportunities. It should allow for the easy creation and administration of courses, units, and assessments. It should also provide a way to track student attendance and performance. Furthermore, it should be able to generate custom-branded certificates upon course completion. By managing courses effectively, SMS administrators can ensure students have the best learning experience.


Your prospective students are used to being able to find what they're looking for with a few clicks of a mouse, and they'll expect your courses to be no different. They'll want to be able to browse through your offerings on your website and get all the information they need before making a decision. Once they've decided to commit to a course, they'll want an easy way to enrol and pay, preferably all in one go.


This means offering online registration and payment, which can be done via credit card. By making the process as streamlined and efficient as possible, you'll make it more likely that students will choose your course over others. Instead of relying on manual processes, an SMS can handle every aspect of enrolment, from marketing the courses on your company's website to building a custom enrolment form that collects the exact info you need.


As students enrol, the system collects their information, and a workflow is triggered that notifies the sales and finance teams before sending the student their upcoming training schedule. With SMS enrolment, everything is handled quickly and smoothly, saving you time and hassle.


Finance

A top priority of any RTO is ensuring that students can pay their tuition and other fees on time. To that end, it’s essential to have a system in place that can automatically send invoices when payments are due, track and reconcile payments, and generate reports for your finance team.


Your SMS should allow you to manage all aspects of student payments, from invoicing to reporting. Your SMS should be able to easily export financial data to Xero, MYOB, or Quickbooks, create payment plans for students, and generate Vet Student Loan (VSL) reports. In addition, TMS provides valuable insights into your business performance via business performance reports and sales commission reports.


Automation

Cloud-based SMS software offers several benefits over traditional, on-premise solutions. Perhaps most importantly, it allows you to automate critical processes to improve efficiency and quality management. For example, the software can send automated emails and SMSs to multiple contacts. This can be used to remind participants of upcoming courses or to send post-course surveys.


The latter is a critical quality management tool as it allows you to collect feedback and identify areas for improvement. In addition, the software can be used to create schedules for recurring tasks such as reports or data backups. This ensures that these tasks are completed on time and frees your staff to focus on other priorities. Overall, cloud-based SMS provides several benefits that can help improve your RTO's efficiency and quality.


CRM

For a student management system (SMS) to be beneficial, it must have a basic CRM function to capture contacts and vital business information. Some contacts that should be captured include trainers, students and clients, along with their addresses, enrollments, notes, communication history, and invoices.


While there are already many comprehensive CRMs on the market (some of the most popular are Salesforce and HubSpot), the SMS should ideally integrate with one of these CRM to pull valuable customer data. Making the SMS more effective by saving time and energy.


Resource Management

Managing the documentation within a training organisation can be challenging, but it's essential for any training organisation to get this in order. A good SMS will allow you to categorise, track changes, set review dates, and control who can access which documents. This can make it much easier to ensure that your courses run smoothly and that your students get the most up-to-date information. It can also save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run. Another significant benefit of a student management system.


Work Based Learning

In the past, organisations would use paper to document a student's work, which then needed to be input manually into the management system. However, any modern student management system should include a feature to capture student’s work live as videos, photos or notes. This would all be taken from a mobile phone app and saved to the system as proof of the student’s competency. Not only would this be a time saver as the evidence is captured automatically captured and stored, but it would also provide a more accurate picture of a student's work.

Integrations

A quality SMS will have pre-built integrations with the most popular business apps used by training organisations. This is important because it allows an organisation to benefit from the data collected in these apps. For example, a training organisation can automatically generate invoices and payment reminders by integrating with accounting apps. Similarly, integrating with a CRM can help to track leads and customers, and an LMS integration can provide valuable data on student performance. By choosing an SMS that integrates with quality business apps, a training organisation can save time and money while benefiting from the valuable data these apps provide. Summary

As we have demonstrated, the benefit of Student Management Systems is that they are designed to simplify the complexities of training organisations. It stores and maintains student records, automates administrative tasks, and provides educators valuable insights into performance and progress.


As a result, an SMS can play a vital role in improving students' education quality and also assist the RTO in staying compliant. With so much at stake, it is essential that training organisations choose an SMS that is fit for purpose and aligned with their specific needs. Only then can they hope to realise the full benefits of this powerful tool. If you are looking for a student management system that can do it, all aXcelerate may be the answer for your RTO. The aXcelerate software is designed to streamline your RTO's operations, from enrollments and compliance to finances and reporting. With aXcelerate, you'll have everything you need to run your business - and your students' lives - more efficiently. Their intuitive interface and award-winning support team will make the transition to aXcelerate easy for everyone.


If you require more direct assistance with understanding the benefits of student management systems, SMS for your RTO; get in touch. RTO Intelligence is an RTO consultant company based in Melbourne. We have been assisting RTOs with everything related to running an RTO within Australia for over two decades.


For all SMS-related questions, call us on 1300 833 424 or connect with us via our online contact form.


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