Under the Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations 2012, training providers—both existing and those applying for registration with ASQA―are required to comply with one of five acceptable fee protection options if they intend to collect student fees in advance.
Option four requires the training organisation to ‘hold an unconditional financial guarantee from a bank operating in Australia for no less than the full amount of funds held by the RTO which are prepayments from students (or future students) for tuition to be provided by the RTO to those students’.
ASQA advises that as new standards for NVR regulated training organisations are currently under consideration, it will not accept option four as an acceptable fee protection measure for the time being, leaving Option three and Option five as the only options currently available to RTOs that are not administered by a state, territory or Australian Government agency.
Available fee protection options
- Option three―the RTO may accept payment of no more than $1000 from each individual student prior to the commencement of the course. Following course commencement, the RTO may require payment of additional fees in advance from the student but only such that at any given time, the total amount required to be paid which is attributable to tuition or other services yet to be delivered to the student does not exceed $1500.
- Option five—the RTO has alternative fee protection measures of equal rigour approved by the National VET Regulator. The Australian Council for Private Education and Training’s (ACPET) Australian Student Tuition Assurance Scheme (ASTAS) is the only alternative fee protection measure currently approved by ASQA.
RTOs wanting to apply to ASQA to have an alternative fee protection measure of equal rigour approved must complete and submit the Application for approval of alternative fee protection measures, available from the Forms page.