Make a complaint—other stakeholders

Anyone can make a complaint to ASQA about a provider's delivery of training and assessment. This page explains the complaints process for non-student complainants. 

What kind of complaints can ASQA accept?

ASQA can accept complaints about:

  • the quality of training and assessment services being delivered by ASQA-registered providers, and 
  • the marketing and advertising practices of registered training organisations (RTOs) and organisations claiming to be RTOs.

Which providers can ASQA investigate?

ASQA can only investigate the quality of training and assessment being delivered by providers in its jurisdiction. 

ASQA regulates registered training organisations in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, the Northern Territory, South Australia, Queensland, and Tasmania. ASQA regulates some registered training organisations in Victoria and Western Australia, specifically those RTOs that:

  • offer courses to overseas students, and/or
  • offer courses to students (including by offering courses online) in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, the Northern Territory, South Australia, Queensland, or Tasmania.

ASQA also regulates some providers of English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS).

If you're unsure whether the provider you wish to report is regulated by ASQA, you can find out by:

  • going to the national register of training providers and courses, training.gov.au
  • searching for the provider by name or code
  • selecting the provider name and navigating to the ‘Registration’ tab. If the ‘Registration manager’ is listed as 'Australian Skills Quality Authority', the organisation is registered with ASQA.

If the 'registration manager' is listed as an organisation other than ASQA, ASQA does not have jurisdiction to investigate your complaint. You should contact the listed registration manager about your complaint.

What kind of complaints can ASQA not address?

ASQA's legislation allows us to investigate certain types of complaint about registered training organisations and ELICOS providers, where those providers breach the required standards.  

However, you may have a valid or serious complaint about a training provider which does not involve the provider breaching the relevant standardsIn this case, ASQA may consider the information you have reported, and refer all or part of your complaint to another agency. ASQA may also recommend that you directly contact another party or seek legal advice.

If your complaint does not include issues with an ASQA-registered RTO or ELICOS provider's breach of the relevant standards, your issue may be progressed more quickly if you directly contact the relevant agency from the list below. 

Examples of complaints that will be addressed by other agencies include:

Type of complaint

Relevant agency

If you wish to report fraud against the visa system in relation to a student

Your complaint will be referred to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

If you wish to report fraud against state funding bodies

You will be referred to the relevant state or territory training authority.

If you are an employee of a training provider and have concerns or a complaint about your pay or employment conditions, including unpaid wages and superannuation 

You will be referred to the Fair Work Ombudsman. You may report unpaid superannuation to the Australian Tax Office

If you are seeking to report criminal activity such as theft or assault.

You will be referred to the police in your state or territory.

If you want to make a complaint about a registered training organisations not registered with ASQA.

You will be advised to submit complaints about registered training organisations 

If you want to make a complaint about an organisation offering training that is not offering nationally recognised training 

Unless the complaint relates to marketing and advertising that states or implies the organisation is an RTO or is offering nationally recognised training, ASQA has no jurisdiction in relation to other organisations offering training. 

If you have a complaint about such an organisation, you will be advised to contact a consumer protection organisation, or seek legal advice.  

When ASQA refers complaints to other agencies, it may also act on all or part of the information received through a complaint if the information is relevant to a provider's registration with ASQA.

What kind of information do you need to include?

ASQA can use the information you report to us most effectively if you provide as much relevant information as possible, for example:

  • when describing the issue, be specific. Include dates and times, venues, and the names of people involved, only include details relating to your complaint, and
  • attach evidence to support your allegation—this might include emails from a provider, records of conversations, course materials, or website screenshots.

What will ASQA do with the information you provide?

If ASQA accepts your complaint, the ASQA Complaints Team will then review the information you have provided and conduct a risk assessment.  

What is risk assessment?

ASQA takes a risk assessment approach to all aspects of its regulation, including the regulation of complaints. Risk assessment means that regulatory action is targeted at poor performers, and those providers that pose the greatest risk to the quality of Australia's vocational education and training sector. 

Following the risk assessment, ASQA makes a decision about what to do with the information you have provided. ASQA may:

  • use the information provided in the complaint to inform future regulatory activity
  • contact the provider to request a specific action, and/or
  • undertake a formal investigation (in the most serious cases).

The outcomes of a formal investigation can include:

  • a compliance audit of a provider's registration, which may lead to 
  • a decision to suspend, cancel or place conditions on a provider's registration. 

If ASQA makes a decision to suspend, cancel or place conditions on a provider's registration, this information is published on the regulatory decision register

For more information on how ASQA handles complaints, refer to ASQA's internal Complaints policy

Will ASQA advise you on the progress or outcome of the investigation?

ASQA respects both privacy and natural justice considerations in handling complaints. This means that complainants will be advised how their information was used in the regulatory process although in some instances the advice will not be detailed and the process can be lengthy if audit activity is involved.

ASQA also publishes information when it undertakes certain regulatory action against providers in the regulatory decision register.

The register includes information on:

  • providers whose registration has been cancelled or suspended
  • providers that have had conditions placed on their registration.

This information is only published after all reconsideration or appeal processes are complete.

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