ASQA welcomes conviction against misleading advertising

25 September 2020

An ASQA investigation into misrepresentation of vocational education training (VET) courses has led to a conviction and $10,000 fine for Qualify Me! Pty Ltd in the NSW Local Court.

Qualify Me! Pty Ltd was found by the Downing Centre Local Court to have contravened section 123A of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (the NVR Act) by advertising a VET course without identifying the issuer of the VET qualification.

Qualify Me! Pty Ltd describes itself as an ‘education facilitator’ and is not a registered training organisation (RTO). The NVR Act outlines that non-RTOs may advertise courses on behalf of RTOs but must accurately and honestly represent those courses in all marketing and enrolment activities. Part of ASQA’s role as the national VET regulator is to monitor and act when alerted to misleading advertising in relation to VET courses.

ASQA Chief Commissioner and CEO, Saxon Rice, said the conviction was an important reminder for any non-RTO to ensure that they accurately and honestly represent the courses they advertise so that students can make a fully informed decision prior to enrolment.

“It is vitally important that current students, potential students and the wider public have complete and clear information when choosing a course to enrol in, including about with whom they are enrolling.”

The Court found that Qualify Me! Pty Ltd made representations on its website about the availability of the following VET courses without identifying the name and registration code of the RTO that would be providing the qualifications:

  • BSB51315 Diploma of Work Health and Safety
  • BSB60615 Advanced Diploma of Work Health and Safety
  • FNS40615 Certificate IV in Accounting
  • SIT50316 Diploma of Events
  • SIT60116 Advanced Diploma of Travel and Tourism.

“ASQA receives a number of complaints and informal queries from students who are unclear on the RTO to which they are enrolled. This lack of information can compound problems for students if things go wrong with their course in areas such as payments, course progression or receiving their qualification. It is crucial that students have access to complete and accurate information about courses prior to choosing to enrol in a VET course,” said Ms Rice.

The ASQA website provides the top three tips for students who are considering a VET course. Before signing up to a VET course, students should understand:

  1. what they are committing to
  2. what the course costs
  3. what the course will deliver.

As the national VET regulator, ASQA continues to play a crucial role in supporting greater transparency, provider quality and student outcomes across the sector.

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