Making a complaint

If you are not satisfied with the quality of service or training being provided by a registered training organisation (RTO), there are ways for you to make a complaint.

Anyone can lodge a complaint: students, training organisation personnel, employers, parents, industry personnel, or any other member of the community.

This page explains how to make a complaint about an RTO.  

Making a complaint to ASQA

Please carefully read the information below before completing the online complaint form.

This form contains mandatory fields. You will need to complete all mandatory fields before you can submit the form. 

If you start the form and leave it untouched for two hours, your session will time out and you will need to start again from the beginning.

Please note ASQA may not investigate your complaint unless it is supported by clear evidence indicating that either:

Student complainants

The national register, training.gov.au, lists all RTOs in Australia and the qualifications, courses and units of competency they are registered to provide (i.e. their scope of registration).

You can use the training.gov.au search function to confirm that your training organisation is an RTO. 

Once you have used training.gov.au to find your training provider, you can check:

  • your provider's scope of registration (select the 'Scope' tab to see the qualifications, courses and units of competency your provider is registered to deliver)
  • whether your provider is registered by ASQA  (if your training provider is registered with ASQA the training.gov.au entry for your VET provider will show, under the ‘Registration’ tab, the ‘Registration manager’ as the Australian Skills Quality Authority).

You should seek more details from your trainer about arrangements it may have with another RTO if you are undertaking training with an organisation that either:

  • does not appear on the national register, or
  • appears but is not registered for the qualification, course or unit of competency you are undertaking.

The Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations 2012 require that all ASQA RTOs provide appropriate mechanisms and services to efficiently and effectively address learners' complaints and appeals.

Australian students (including permanent residents)

If you are a local/domestic student of an ASQA RTOand you intend to make a complaint, you must first follow your RTO’s internal complaints and appeals procedures.

If, after following your RTO's internal procedures, you still believe the RTO is breaching or has breached its legal requirements, you can submit a complaint to ASQA by completing the online complaint form.

Except in exceptional circumstances, you must attach evidence to your complaint form showing:

  • that you have followed your RTO’s formal complaints procedure, and
  • the RTO’s response.

ASQA’s processes require you to identify yourself to ASQA as a complainant, although you may request that your identity is kept confidential throughout any investigation that ASQA undertakes.

Overseas students

If you are an overseas student in Australia on an overseas student visa, you must provide your training provider with an opportunity to address the complaint by following the provider's complaints and appeals procedures, in accordance with Standard 8 of the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007 (the National Code).

Your provider is required to give you a written statement of the outcome, including reasons for the outcome.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome, or the way the training provider handled your complaint, you are entitled to take your complaint to an external appeals body.

Overseas students enrolled with a private training provider can lodge an external appeal with the Commonwealth Overseas Students Ombudsman. Contact details for the Overseas Students Ombudsman are available from www.oso.gov.au.

Overseas students enrolled with a public training provider (i.e. TAFE) can lodge an external appeal with their State Ombudsman’s Office (or in South Australia, the Training Advocate).

Overseas Students in Western Australia can access a free independent conciliation/ mediation service through the Department of Education Services’ International Education Conciliator. Through conciliation, mediation and dispute resolution processes the Conciliator attempts to resolve disputes between international students and their institutions.

Contact details for the State Ombudsman Offices are available from the websites below:

ACT www.ombudsman.act.gov.au
NSW www.ombo.nsw.gov.au
NT www.omb-hcscc.nt.gov.au
TAS www.ombudsman.tas.gov.au
WA www.ombudsman.wa.gov.au
QLD www.ombudsman.qld.gov.au
VIC www.ombudsman.vic.gov.au
SA www.trainingadvocate.sa.gov.au

Non-student complainants

If you have a complaint alleging that a training organisation, whether registered or not, is breaching or has breached the Act (including misleading representation or advertising), please complete the online complaint form.

You will need to confirm that the organisation your complaint relates to falls within ASQA’s jurisdiction.

Does my training organisation fall within ASQA's jurisdiction?

Go to training.gov.au, the national register of VET providers and courses, and use the search function to find your VET provider.

The training.gov.au entry for your VET provider will show (under the ‘Registration’ tab) the ‘Registration manager’. If this is the Australian Skills Quality Authority, you can submit your complaint to ASQA.

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

Help?

If you need help with the form, or if you are unsure whether ASQA can help with your complaint, call the ASQA Info line on 1300 701 801 or email enquiries@asqa.gov.au.

If you need an interpreter, please call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 and ask them to telephone the Australian Skills Quality Authority on 1300 701 801, between 9.00 am and 7.00 pm EST, Monday to Friday.