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Better marketing standards for training providers

16 December 2013

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) today released a major review of the marketing practices of selected registered training organisations in Australia.

The review makes eight recommendations aimed at improving marketing and advertising practices and curbing practices by some training providers that potentially mislead consumers.

ASQA Chief Commissioner Chris Robinson said the review found a disturbing number of registered training organisations were marketing qualifications they claimed could be achieved in an unrealistic time frame, while others were marketing superseded qualifications.

“Some of the claims being made by registered training organisations in their marketing and advertising were simply too good to be true,” Mr Robinson said.

“We found that 45 per cent of registered training organisations could be in breach of the national standards required for registration under national legislation with respect to their marketing and advertising.

“These potential breaches range from relatively minor concerns to more serious breaches that could involve major sanctions being applied, including a loss of the registered training organisations registration.”

Mr Robinson said in the wake of the review, ASQA would undertake periodic random sampling of registered training organisation websites to identify non-compliance with the standards governing marketing, student fee protection and transition from superseded courses.

“We will write to training providers with websites that potentially breach the standards to request the removal of the offending material,” Mr Robinson said.

“We will also continue to monitor the websites and impose sanctions against providers if they failed to comply.”

A management committee of key stakeholders in the training marketing sector oversaw the review which is one of three reports released by ASQA today. The other two reviews target training in the aged and community care sector and induction safety courses for workers on Australian construction sites.

Copies of the reviews are available at the ASQA website.

Media contact: 
media@asqa.gov.au