ApplyBC Update: a roadmap for 2014 and phasing out SIN collection

BCcampus recently posted the ApplyBC 2014-2016 Roadmap to share the direction we have for our online application program, and we’d like to hear what our stakeholders have to say. Our goal is to improve the user experience while expanding our ability to better serve the needs of institutions.

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The ApplyBC application service underwent a modernization project in 2013, with a goal of providing a seamless user experience, improved data consistency by supporting the Postsecondary Education Standards Council (PESC) and additional security to payment processing.

The ApplyBC 2014-2016 Roadmap

The roadmap for 2014-2016 is now available online. It covers our plans for the foreseeable future, and includes features and changes intended to enhance the user experience; ensuring the application experience is a positive one for prospective students. As well, the roadmap presents concepts designed to help the ApplyBC team identify and improve our exchange mechanisms, standardize provincial codes, facilitate system-wide reporting, add additional mobile features, and other important considerations.

“At this time we are still awaiting decisions on three funding proposals related to TranscriptsBC,” said Randy Bruce, BCcampus director of student services and CIO.  “So implementation of related functionality included in the Roadmap is subject to change,”

“The goal of the roadmap is to enhance ApplyBC for applicants, our partner institutions and the B.C. post-secondary system as a whole,” said Ian Mackinnon, BCcampus client services manager. “The feedback we get from registrars will help us and the ApplyBC steering committee set priorities in putting together a development plan for the next several years.”

Please have a look to see which areas are most important to you and your team, and contact Ian with your feedback.

Removal of SIN Information from ApplyBC Forms

Effective March 31, 2014, in the interest of protecting the privacy of our applicants, we will no longer be collecting the social insurance number (SIN) on our online application form.

In May, the ApplyBC Steering Committee discussed the collection of the SIN. At this time, there are no best practices or recommendations regarding the collection of SIN data for public bodies, but it is safe to assume the current guidelines can be extended to the public post-secondary sector. We have chosen to follow the advice given by the provincial Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), and will no longer collect the SIN. Institutions requiring student SIN to issue CRA forms can request that information directly from applicants.


Notable Quotes:

“The iterations of the ApplyBC application have been solidly focused on improving the user experience and enhancing the quality of information we’re able to collect for our partner institutions. Based on discussions with the ApplyBC Steering Committee, we’ve pretty much finalized the Roadmap, and have begun planning for the improvements we’ll be able to make over the next 6-8 months. A recent, widespread survey has provided feedback from more than 800 users, which has also aided this process.” – Randy Bruce

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