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4. Prepare for the new solution

Last updated: 16 August 2019

Entity readiness is key to the successful implementation of the new Data Collection Solution and each entity is responsible for managing their own readiness. Being ready for transition is essential because there will be no production parallel run between D2A and the new solution. 

Entity readiness phases

APRA is committed to supporting entities and providing information to prepare for the transition. There are four readiness stages with specific actions for entities to complete at each stage. APRA will continue to monitor entity readiness across the four phases of the implementation period. 

The four phases of readiness are:

1. Mobilisation

2. Testing and familiarisation

3. Pre go-live

4. Go-live and onwards

The Readiness checklist provides an outline of the key entity readiness activities. A more detailed checklist will be provided to entities at a later date. 

You can read more about the test environment, training and support below. 

Phase 1 - Mobilisation

Entities will need to understand what is changing and plan their transition to the new solution. This will ensure entities continue to meet their reporting obligations once the new solution is live. 

Phase outcome: Entities understand the testing approach, timeline and the steps required to prepare for the transition to the new solution.

APRA will:

  • Conduct webinars about the new solution (August 2019)
  • Release additional information including further technical specifications, sample forms, testing schedule and detailed readiness checklist
  • Provide demonstration videos and reference guides

Entities should understand:

  • What is changing and what is not changing as a result of the new solution
  • Any potential impacts to entity submission processes, and the need to commence planning ahead of the transition
  • The process to provide Principal Users to APRA in order to access the test environment 

Entities are expected to:

Phase 2 - Testing and familiarisation

A test environment with selected functionality will be made available. APRA expects all entities, Service Providers and RegTechs to familiarise themselves and build confidence with the new solution, ensuring they are able to submit returns as a test prior to go-live.

Phase outcome: Entities have accessed the test environment, familiarised themselves with the functionality and are confident operating and submitting data through the new solution.

APRA will:

  • Release a testing schedule and available functionality in the test environment
  • Provide support during the test environment 

Entities should understand:

  • How to access the test environment, use and navigate through the new solution to build confidence and practice submitting data ahead of go-live
  • Available support channels and materials for assistance

Entities are expected to:

  • Log into the test environment using myGovID authentication
  • Leverage reference guides for submission processes in the test environment 
  • Provide feedback on issues and solution improvements 

Phase 3 - Pre go-live

To ensure entities are ready to adopt the new solution and meet their reporting requirements, additional training materials will be provided.

Phase outcome: Entities are on track with the readiness activities, and are confident in meeting the go-live requirements. 

APRA will:

  • Provide additional training and support materials to support the use of the new solution
  • Ensure the test environment continues to be available

Entities should understand:

  • The process to validate or update Principal Users to access the solution at go-live
  • How to access end-user training 

Entities are expected to:

  • Complete end-user training
  • Perform parallel testing: Replicate D2A submission in the test environment prior to go-live
  • Review readiness checklist to ensure all activities have been completed prior to go-live
  • Validate or update the Principal Users in preparation for go-live

Phase 4 - Go live and onwards

Entities will transition from using D2A to the new solution and APRA will continue to provide support post go-live.

Phase outcome: Entities have the capability required to fulfil reporting obligations and submit returns through the new solution.

APRA will:

  • Provide additional support during the initial implementation period to assist entities with technical issues and provide guidance on functional queries

Entities should understand:

  • Support available from go-live onwards, including the channels for assistance 
  • The implementation of the new solution is APRA’s first step towards the future of data collection

Entities are expected to:

  • Authenticate via myGovID and log into the new solution
  • Submit returns and fulfil reporting obligations 
  • Provide feedback on issues and solution improvements

Test environment

Last updated: 30 July 2019

APRA plans to release a test environment in the first quarter of 2020 for entities, Service Providers and RegTechs to become familiar with the solution. APRA expects all entities to use it. The availability of a secure test environment is an important component of the implementation approach to supporting entity readiness for go-live. The test environment will continue to be available after the new solution is live for testing and training purposes. The test environment will enable entities, Service Providers and RegTechs to:

  • familiarise themselves with the features and functionalities of the new solution 
  • identify any changes required to existing systems and processes 
  • build confidence that they can successfully submit data as a test prior to go-live

Further information on the test environment, including the release date will be provided by late 2019. 

Access to the test environment using myGovID

Users will be required to obtain a myGovID authentication to access the data collection solution test environment. 

More information about myGovID

Functionalities and returns in the test environment will be released in phases

The test environment will provide entities with a range of functionalities and returns prior to go-live. An indication of what will be available at the start of the test environment is provided below. APRA will progressively release additional functionality and returns. The information collected in the adhoc D2A form on data submission practices will be used to inform the prioritisation of forms and functionality. 

Proposed functionality (first test release)

  • User authentication
  • Data submission (Manual, XML and XBRL)
  • Homepage and solution notifications (non-email notifications)
  • Resubmissions (without historical data)
  • Adhoc returns

Proposed returns (first test release)

APRA has selected the following returns to ensure coverage across industries:

  • Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions and Registered Financial Corporations: Monthly Economic Financial Statistics Return 1 
  • General Insurance: General Insurance Quarterly Return (Licensed Insurer)
  • General Insurance Intermediaries: GI Intermediary Semi-Annual Return
  • Life Insurance and Friendly Societies: Prescribed Capital Amount Quarterly Return
  • Private Health Insurance: Statistical Data by State Quarterly Return 
  • Superannuation: Superannuation Quarterly Return (RSE)

See Forms to be available in the test environment.

Entities are encouraged to develop their own test cases

The test environment will allow entities to trial the new solution prior to go-live. Entities have the flexibility to test the functionality and returns that are most relevant to them. APRA will provide guidelines for testing and expects entities to develop relevant test cases. 

Test environment security and performance

Information collected through the test environment will be encrypted in transit and at rest as defined by the Australian Government Information Security Manual. This applies to all interactions with and functions of the new solution. It includes user authentication and access, transmission of entity returns and storage of submitted data. The data uploaded in the test environment will be secure and will not be accessible by other entities using the test environment. 

See Technical information - information security.  

Training and support

Last updated: 30 July 2019

APRA will provide access to training and support materials to help entities, Service Providers and RegTechs use the new Data Collection Solution. 

Users will require training at two key milestones during the implementation: 

  • prior to the release of the test environment
  • prior to go-live

At these points in time, a range of training modules will be provided to help users understand the functions of the solution and increase familiarity ahead of interacting with the solution. 

Training modules 

APRA recognises that entities’ interactions with the new solution will differ based on varying organisational processes and roles as well as the submission channel and format (e.g. manual entry, file upload, outsourcing to a service provider). As a result, training will be developed and delivered in modular packages. Modular training will enable users to easily access relevant content and only complete the minimum required learning for their role. 

APRA plans to develop the following training modules:

Proposed modules Training outcome
Authentication using myGovID To understand how users can set up their authentication credentials (leveraging Australian Taxation Office materials)
Solution navigation To understand the functions available in the solution including notifications and how to navigate around the solution
User administration and access management To understand how to set up users in the solution, assign appropriate user roles and manage user access
Submission via manual entry To understand the process for drafting and submitting returns via manual entry including responding to validation messages
Submission via file upload To understand the process for drafting and submitting returns via XML and XBRL file uploads including responding to validation messages
Use of API for submissions To understand the API capabilities in place and how to utilise them
Resubmissions To understand the process for resubmitting returns
Requests and supporting information To understand how to submit requests to APRA and provide supporting information

These modules will form the basis of the training curriculum, however this suite of modules will be revised and added to as needed. APRA will also provide reference materials to support users with the transition (e.g. key differences between D2A and the new solution, sample submission files).

Training delivery

APRA will mainly use online self-paced training due to the wide geographical distribution of reporting entities, Service Providers and RegTechs. This will provide greater flexibility for entities to access the training at convenient times. Other training (including recorded webinars) will be provided for broader education and engagement.

While the training provided before the release of the test environment and before go-live will broadly cover similar topics, the format and depth of the content may differ. 

To prepare for the test environment, it is anticipated that APRA will provide videos to demonstrate the key processes. These videos will provide an overview of how to navigate the solution to perform certain activities (e.g. submit a return via manual entry). Each video will be accompanied by a step-by-step user guide. The scope of these training materials will be in line with the functionalities available in the test environment. 

In preparation for go-live, APRA will provide more detailed modules aligned to the same core processes related to data submission. It is anticipated that these online modules will include step-by-step simulations for key process areas. 

Support available 

During the transition, APRA will provide support to respond to entity queries and any solution issues as they arise. APRA will also continue to support entities after go-live as they adopt the new solution. 

APRA will provide entities with access to support materials such as quick reference guides and FAQs to help resolve any functional and transitional questions. A series of webinars will be also organised for entities and service providers throughout the mobilisation period to demonstrate the new solution and provide further information. 

APRA will also maintain the existing D2A Helpdesk phone and email support during standard working hours (9am to 5pm, Eastern Standard Time) Monday to Friday, for entities to ask questions and request assistance during testing and the transition to the new solution. Entities should contact the D2A Helpdesk if they experience any technical or functional issues in the test environment. All issues encountered during testing will be logged for resolution prior to go-live.

APRA plans to provide extended support hours during the initial implementation period (the first few months post the go-live date and leading up to reporting due dates in the subsequent months) to assist with entities’ technical issues and to provide guidance on functional queries. Further information on post go-live support will be provided at a later stage.