Fraudulent VET provider ordered to pay $200,000

13 June 2019

The Federal Court has ordered a Tasmanian man to pay significant penalties for providing a VET course without registration and for issuing qualifications that were not genuine.

On 30 May 2019, the Federal Court found that Leon Vere King had committed multiple contraventions of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (the NVR Act).

The Court found that Mr King contravened the NVR Act by providing a VET course when he was not a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). The Court also found that Mr King issued 31 statements of attainment, despite not being an RTO.

In making his judgement, Justice Perram found that Mr King ‘undermined the creditability of the VET training system’. Justice Perram went on to note that ‘this case has the potential to undermine public confidence in the vocational training sector’ and deemed it necessary to apply strong penalties to deter future unauthorised conduct.

Justice Perram ordered Mr King to pay $200,000 in penalties that include the Commonwealth’s costs of $75,000 as well as a civil penalty of $125,000.

ASQA Chief Commissioner and CEO Mark Paterson welcomed the Court’s decision.

“Australia’s registered training organisations deliver education and training to quality standards that ensure all students get the skills and knowledge they need for work,” Mr Paterson explained.

“Providing fraudulent qualifications is not only a serious breach of the law, it lets down students who are trying to learn new skills for jobs and has the potential to drag down the reputation of Australia’s world class VET sector.

“ASQA will continue to take action against organisations that misrepresent their status as registered providers and mislead students and employers.

“The recent decision against Leon Vere King is a welcome acknowledgment of the importance of maintaining quality across Australia’s VET sector.”

ASQA commenced investigations into Leon Vere King’s training activities in July 2016 and worked through lengthy legal processes to reach this recent outcome. This decision is the latest showcasing the importance of the regulator’s investigative work alongside its scrutiny of registered training providers and accredited courses.

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