TGA set for facelift

The National Register (training.gov.au) known as TGA, is getting a facelift. There is an opportunity to provide feedback. I am emailing these suggestions to the Department of Education and Training at the address for this upgrade project.

 

1. Remove email addresses
Currently TGA is a spammer’s best friend. Literally tens of thousands of email addresses are listed in the public domain. If you have ever wondered why you get so much spam to an email address that is listed on TGA, then it will be because spammers have scraped the site and sold your email address – many times. If your email address is visible (even in the back history) then it is scrapable. One list-selling company offers the email addresses ‘of all VET providers’ for $4,000 a year, updated regularly!

 

2. Consider privacy issue
This is the time to consider the information about executives that are published on TGA. Currently, whatever personal details that are collected by a VET Regulator automatically appear publicly on TGA. Surely it is one thing for the regulator to know how to reach the CEO of a registered organisation by telephone and quite another for that information to be automatically published and accessible globally. Telemarketers are also very pleased with TGA’s generosity.

 

The Australian Privacy Principles apply to the Department of Education and Training, which manages TGA, and VET Regulators, which collect the personal information. If an RTO were to publish the personal information of students on their company website, there would be an audit very quickly.

 

Even the names of people who own a 15% share in an RTO are now finding their names and email addresses on TGA. Seriously? ASIC has that information if anyone, outside of the regulator, wish to locate it.

 

3. Address audience confusion
TGA states that it has about 7 million visitors a year. It is highly likely that most of these visitors are RTO personnel. MySkills is the public face of the Australian training industry, not TGA.  A national register is all about the data, so it doesn’t need lots of bells and whistles – but compare TGA to the national register for early childhood education or the national register of higher education providers. There is much room for improvement.  A user-friendly interface that works more effectively for the visiting clientele and presents the sector in a more professional light would be an excellent step forward.

 

A targeted review of the website is underway and the federal government is keen to hear from the site’s users on improving the design and user experience of the website. If you would like to provide feedback (or also suggest any of these points), please send an email to this address.