Statement regarding regulation of training providers approved for the VET FEE-HELP scheme

1 March 2016

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) strongly refutes claims made in the media recently regarding its regulation of training providers approved to offer training under the Commonwealth Government’s VET FEE-HELP scheme.

ASQA has always had a productive working relationship with the Department of Education and Training (DET).

ASQA’s role is to regulate registered training organisations (RTOs) against the vocational education and training (VET) quality framework, which includes ascertaining whether RTOs are meeting their requirements under the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015.

ASQA is not the program administrator for the VET FEE-HELP scheme; however, in many instances failing to meet some of the VET FEE-HELP guidelines also constitutes a breach of the national training standards.

In the second half of 2014, ASQA identified an increase in the number of complaints it had received from students about VET FEE-HELP. As a result and following liaison with DET, ASQA launched a targeted program of 21 audits of training providers approved to offer courses under VET FEE-HELP.

The results of these audits were published on the ASQA website on 20 October 2015 with further updates published in November 2015 and February 2016.

As a result of ASQA’s regulatory scrutiny, a dedicated working group involving senior officers from ASQA and DET has been established to continue sharing intelligence on areas of risk and emerging risk.

ASQA and DET are also continuing to engage with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to share regulatory intelligence and coordinate regulatory action to ensure RTOs not complying with the Standards are penalised to the full extent of the respective laws.

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