Enforcement powers

The National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (NVR Act) grants ASQA certain enforcement powers.

We may enact these powers when a VET provider or course owner fails to follow their legislative obligations.

We also have authority to take enforcement action against a person or an organisation that is not a registered training provider.

Enforcement actions that ASQA may take include:

  • seeking a written undertaking
  • issuing infringement notices
  • seeking an injunction
  • pursuing criminal or civil proceedings.

ASQA may take more than one type of enforcement action at the same time.

Enforceable undertakings

If ASQA determines that a person has committed an offence or contravened civil penalty provisions, we may seek a written undertaking from that person.

In a written undertaking, the person commits to doing, or not doing, certain things.

If the person breaches that undertaking, ASQA can refer the matter to the Federal Court or the Federal Circuit Court. See 'Civil proceedings and criminal proceedings' below.

We may choose to publish certain current enforceable undertakings here.

Infringement notices

If ASQA determines that a person has contravened a civil penalty provision of the NVR Act, we may issue an infringement notice. Breaches of civil penalty provisions will generally be subject to a fine.

Behaviour that may result in ASQA issuing an infringement notice includes:

  • providing all or part of a VET course or outside your scope of registration
  • advertising all or part of a VET course outside your scope of registration
  • issuing a qualification outside your scope of registration
  • falsely claiming to be an RTO
  • issuing a VET qualification or statement of attainment when you are not an RTO.
See regulation 7 of the NVR Act for the full list.
Find out more in our fact sheet—Infringement notices.

Injunctions

ASQA’s enforcement powers include applying to a court for an injunction.

An injunction is an order granted by a court that:

  • restrains a person from engaging in conduct of a particular kind
  • requires a person to do an act or thing.

We may seek an injunction to, for example, prevent a person from delivering training and assessment they are not authorised to deliver.

Civil proceedings and criminal proceedings

If ASQA determines that a person or organisation has contravened a civil penalty provision of the NVR Act, we may begin civil proceedings in the Federal Court or the Federal Circuit Court.

If ASQA determines that a person or organisation has committed a criminal offence, we may ask the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions to consider criminal proceedings.

The NVR Act specifies some situations that may result in civil or criminal proceedings. For example:

  • issuing a VET qualification without providing adequate assessment
  • providing or offering to provide a VET course qualification when not a registered training organisation
  • issuing a VET qualification when not a registered training organisation
  • using a falsified VET qualification
  • making a false or misleading representation regarding a VET course or qualification.
See sections 93 – 131 of the NVR Act for the full list of civil penalty provisions.
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