Federal court issues significant penalties for false claim to hold RTO registration, issuance of qualifications
The Federal Court has ordered a Queensland training company and its director to pay significant penalties for continuing to represent itself as a registered training organisation (RTO)—and issue qualifications—after the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) did not renew its registration.
On 18 October 2018, the Federal Court found that Jason Richard Wright, and the company of which he was sole director, Wright Solution QLD Pty Ltd, had committed multiple contraventions of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (the NVR Act).
ASQA made a decision to not renew Wright Solution QLD Pty Ltd’s registration as an RTO from April 2014, in response to critical non-compliance with the Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations 2012 found at an audit in 2013.
The Court found that Wright Solution QLD Pty Ltd contravened the NVR Act by continuing to offer vocational education and training (VET) courses after the non-renewal of its registration. The court also found Mr Wright allowed Wright Solution QLD Pty Ltd to issue 11 statements of attainment, despite no longer holding RTO registration.
The court ordered Wright Solution to pay a total of $180,000 in pecuniary penalties with Mr Wright ordered to pay a further $69,750.
ASQA Chief Commissioner Mark Paterson welcomed the Court’s decision.
“False claims to hold RTO registration, and issuance of fraudulent qualifications, are significant and serious breaches of the laws governing training provision in Australia,” Mr Paterson said.
“In order to protect students, and maintain the integrity of Australia’s VET sector, ASQA strongly pursues those who misrepresent their status as registered providers and provide qualifications without holding the necessary registration.”
The Federal Court also ordered Mr Wright and Wright Solution QLD Pty Ltd to pay ASQA’s costs in the agreed sum of $75,000.