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New Data Collection Solution frequently asked questions

Last updated: 29 October 2019

What is the Data Collection Solution?

APRA is undertaking a significant program to transform its data platform to provide a robust foundation for its evolving data collection, analysis and reporting needs. An integral component of the program is the replacement of APRA’s current data collection platform, Direct to APRA (D2A), with a modern, efficient and flexible collection solution – the new Data Collection Solution. You can read more about how entities can prepare in the Implementation Plan.

Why is APRA replacing D2A?

In order for APRA to keep pace with advances in data, analytics and technology there is a need to replace the current system, D2A, with a web-based solution. D2A was created in 2001, and is nearing end of life. Security updates, fixes and feature updates will become increasingly unavailable and core components of the platform will not be supported in the future, further driving the need for a more advanced solution. This is in line with consistent feedback from reporting entities who have asked APRA for a more efficient solution to upload reporting data. 

What are the benefits of the new Data Collection Solution?

  • Easier to use: The new solution will have a modern, intuitive user interface with more options for data submissions.
  • Less ongoing maintenance: The new solution will be web-based and will not require additional software to be installed on a user’s machine, simplifying system maintenance.
  • Adaptable to future needs: The new solution will adapt as reporting requirements, data analytics and technology evolve and will provide greater flexibility for automation of data submission.

What are the key changes as a result of the implementation of the new Data Collection Solution?

The new solution will deliver improved functionality in line with industry recommendations. 

  • The new solution will be accessible via standard web browsers, enable multiple users to work simultaneously on returns and enable entities to submit adhoc returns
  • Entities will be responsible for registering and managing user access. The Principal User will be responsible for submitting data and creating access for Secondary Users and Service Providers who need access to submit data to APRA. 
  • myGovID will replace AUSkey to authenticate users and provide secure access to the new solution.
  • A test environment will be available to support transition and available on an ongoing basis after go-live.
  • APRA will migrate up to three years' worth of data.
  • Entities can request resubmissions, extensions and exemptions via the new solution.

Read more about what will change at go live in the implementation plan.  

What will not change as a result of the new Data Collection Solution?

Key aspects that will not change include:

  • Reporting obligations and schedules will remain the same at go-live
  • Data collected in existing returns and forms will remain the same at go-live
  • Entities will still be able to submit data through existing submission methods via manual entry, XML and XBRL will continue to be available 
  • The logic from current validation rule formulas in D2A will be reproduced in the new solution
  • Data collected will remain within Australia in APRA's data centres

Will reporting requirements change as a result of the new Data Collection Solution?

Reporting obligations and due dates will remain as they are in D2A at go-live. However, several changes have been included in the new solution design to create greater rigour and accuracy. APRA will continue to consult on all new reporting requirements, and in the future, APRA will review and potentially revise current forms and consider the best way to structure future collections. 

What is SBR?

Standard Business Reporting is a standardised whole of government taxonomy introduced in 2010 to simplify business reporting obligations. Read more about Standard Business Reporting

When will the new solution go-live?    

APRA has extended the implementation timeline for the new Data Collection Solution. APRA will confirm the implementation approach and timeline in early 2020. We plan to make the test environment available in mid-2020. APRA will continue to provide the industry with sufficient information and time to prepare for the new solution, and APRA will provide a minimum of three months for entities to test returns in the new solution prior to go-live.

Why has the timeline for the external test environment and go-live been extended?

In July 2019, APRA released the updated Implementation Plan for the new Data Collection Solution. This advised entities that APRA had extended the implementation timeline due to complexities identified in the design phase, additional scope, external dependencies as well as industry feedback. Since then, APRA has been continuing the technical build, receiving entity feedback about current and future submission methods and engaging with reference and working groups about the transition to the new solution. 

A key challenge for APRA and the industry is the complexity of migrating all existing collections in their current form (which may create significant burden for some entities as extensive resubmission of past returns may be required), while ensuring the benefits of the new solution are realised.

APRA is now in a position to explore alternative implementation approaches for the new Data Collection Solution. APRA is working with industry bodies to engage representatives in focused workshops to seek feedback on the impact of continued reporting through Direct to APRA (D2A) beyond March 2020; and the preparation required for entities to change current processes for existing collections versus new and amended collections. The workshops will explore the benefits and impacts for entities of each approach, as well as a longer term perspective of regulatory needs in coming years. 

APRA will confirm the implementation approach and timeline in early 2020 once this review is completed.

Will the new data system be run in parallel to D2A?

No, entities will not be able to use D2A once the new Data Collection Solution goes live.  All data submissions must be made through the new solution.

How will I report data to APRA after March 2020?    

APRA will ensure entities can continue to report using D2A beyond March 2020. D2A will be discontinued when the new Data Collection Solution goes live. 

What is the Implementation Plan?

The Implementation Plan was updated in July 2019 and provides guidance for entities and service providers to assist in their preparation for transitioning to the new solution. It has been substantially updated and expanded with additional information about:
•extended project and implementation timeframes
•what is changing with the new solution
•technical specifications for using the new solution
•guidance for entity readiness, phase-by-phase, including a readiness checklist.

What submission channels are available in the new solution?

For current collections, entities will be able to submit data through the same submission methods used in D2A, including manual entry, XML and XBRL. APRA will ensure fit-for-purpose submission methods are used for new data collections and encourages entities to shift to using automated submission methods. Additional functionality to allow entities to submit via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) is planned and the availability of this functionality will be confirmed at a later stage. APRA is currently reviewing the details and working closely with the ATO on the rollout of the Machine to Machine (M2M) credential which is a dependency for API. Further information will be made available at a later stage. 

We currently submit data via manual entry and would like to improve our reporting processes. How simple will it be to create files in XML? Will a RegTech provider be required?

The process to create XML files depends on the solution selected. APRA engages with a number of RegTech providers through our Software Vendor Working Group, but encourages entities to independently reach out to vendors to support their reporting needs. Entities can also reach out to their respective Industry Bodies who will be able to advise of vendors working in their industry.

Can an individual be assigned to multiple user roles? Do all user roles need to be filled?

An individual can be assigned to more than one user role. Entities do not need to have an individual assigned against each user role, but all entities will require a Principal User as a minimum.

Read more about user roles in the Implementation Plan.

Will previous submission data be available in the new Data Collection Solution?    

Please review the data resubmission section of the Implementation Plan. Resubmissions outside the 3 year period will be managed separately, and entities should contact APRA directly if resubmissions are required.

What will I be able to do in the test environment?    

APRA plans to release a test environment in mid-2020 to enable entities, Service Providers and RegTechs to become familiar with the solution. The test environment will allow users 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

The functionality and returns available in the test environment will be progressively released.

Will there be a pilot?    

A test environment will be made available before go-live, which will allow users to familiarise themselves with the solution and practise data submission. APRA will provide a minimum of three months for entities to test returns in the new solution prior to go-live. The test environment will have multiple functionality releases, the first release is expected to be available from mid-2020. 

Where can I access the sample XML and XBRL forms for the new solution?

The sample forms for the new Data Collection Solution will be made available on the website at a later date. Read more technical specifications in the Implementation Plan.

What training will be provided to entities?    

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 and 
  • prior to go-live. 

APRA recognises that entities’ interactions with the new Data Collection 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. 

How will training be delivered?    

APRA will mainly use online self-paced training due to the wide geographical distribution of reporting entities, Service Providers and RegTechs. APRA will also provide reference materials to support users with the transition. Other training (including recorded webinars) will be provided for broader education and engagement. 

Read more about training and support in the Implementation Plan

What support will be provided to entities?     

APRA will provide support to respond to entity queries and concerns as they arise. For any further information or assistance, please reach out to the project team via newdatacollectionsolution@apra.gov.au.

Nearer to the release of the external test environment, further support channels will be available for entities.

Will all entities and industries go-live at the same time?  

There is one single go-live date for all entities and industries. Depending on the industry reporting cycle, entities will submit returns in the new solution at their first reporting due date after go-live. 

Can I use my personal myGovID to access the new solution?

myGovID lets you prove who you are when using government online services – like having an ID on your phone. Individuals will need to obtain their own unique myGovID credentials. These can then be linked to your organisation via the Relationship Authorisation Manager. For further information or queries on this, visit the myGovID project webpage.  

Where do I go if I have questions regarding myGovID?    

Please visit the myGovID website for information and to obtain a myGovID. Please contact the ATO for any myGovID-related feedback or queries.

What actions do I need to do now to prepare for go-live?    

Readiness checklist is included in the Implementation Plan outlining readiness activities to enable entities to prepare for go-live. This will be updated as more information is available.

How can I provide feedback to APRA?  

APRA welcomes feedback from interested parties. You are encouraged to provide feedback on the Implementation Plan by completing a short survey. Entities can also provide feedback or email newdatacollectionsolution@apra.gov.au.

Where can I find out more information about the new Data Collection Solution and how do I share this information with people in my entity who need to know?

You can find more information about the new Data Collection Solution. Everyone in an entity who should be included in future communications about the new Data Collection Solution should subscribe to receive project updates. If you have any questions, you can contact newdatacollectionsolution@apra.gov.au.

Helpful links:

APRA is replacing D2A

New Data Collection Solution Implementation Plan

Communications and past updates

Reference and working groups

Subscribe for new Data Collection Solution updates

You can register for Data Collection Solution email updates straight to your inbox.  

Contact us

You can contact us at newdatacollectionsolution@apra.gov.au.