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Administrative Appeals Tribunal review of an ASQA decision

ASQA makes decisions about the:

  • registration of training providers as RTOs
  • accreditation of VET courses
  • registration of providers of ELICOS and VET on CRICOS who provide courses to overseas students.

If you are not satisfied with a ‘reviewable decision’ made by the Regulator, you may apply for the decision to be reviewed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). Your options for contesting a decision at the AAT will depend on whether the decision relates to RTO registration, course accreditation, or CRICOS registration. ASQA’s letter notifying you of the decision will explain which options apply to your situation.

Before seeking a review of a decision about RTO registration or course accreditation at the AAT, an internal review (‘reconsideration’) is necessary, unless this option is not available. Find out more about your internal review options on the Review of an ASQA decision page.

Decisions about registration on CRICOS are also able to be reviewed internally. Applying for an internal review is cost-effective and can lead to a quicker resolution of issues – find out more on the Review of an ASQA decision page. However, CRICOS decisions may be considered by the AAT without first seeking internal review.

An application can also be made to the AAT for a ‘stay’ of ASQA’s decision, which means that the decision won’t take effect until the AAT review process has concluded.

What is the Administrative Appeals Tribunal?

The AAT provides independent review of a wide range of administrative decisions made by the Australian Government (and some non-government bodies).

The AAT aims to provide fair, impartial, high quality and prompt review with as little formality and technicality as possible.

Both individuals and government agencies use the services of the AAT.

How do I lodge an application for review?

Your application to the AAT must be lodged in writing (using the forms available from the AAT Registry in your capital city, or from the AAT website), within 28 days of receiving notification of the ASQA decision that you want reviewed.

Once your application has been lodged, you will receive a letter confirming receipt of the application and telling you what happens next.

Contact the AAT via their website, by phoning 1300 366 700, or by writing to GPO Box 9955 in your nearest capital city.

Is there a fee?

A fee for lodging an application may apply. For more information, including information about whether the fee can be waived, please contact the AAT.

What is the review process?

In most cases, the first step in an AAT review is a conference. This is an informal meeting conducted by the AAT with you and an ASQA representative. You will have a chance to talk about your case and explain why you think the decision should be changed or that you have further evidence you would like us and the AAT to consider. The AAT will, where possible, try to help you reach an agreement with us about how the case should be resolved.

The AAT might hold a second conference or another type of meeting, such as a conciliation or mediation. Many cases are finalised at this stage.

If agreement cannot be reached, the AAT will hold a hearing and then make a decision.

How long does the review process take?

The AAT's procedures and the amount of time needed to complete the review will vary from case to case. Timelines for steps in the process are available from the AAT website.

Further rights of review

Decisions made by the AAT are binding on both you and ASQA.

You can appeal an AAT decision to the Federal Court of Australia, but only if you believe the AAT made a mistake in law in deciding your case. ASQA can also appeal an AAT decision.

Your appeal needs to be made to the Federal Court no later than 28 days after receiving the AAT's decision. For more information about how to make an appeal, visit the Federal Court's website.

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