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Changes to RTO ownership—What you need to do

30 November 2018

Changes to RTO/CRICOS ownership can be triggered by sales, acquisitions, mergers and more.

If you are involved in a change of ownership, either as disposer or acquirer, it is important you understand your obligations. These obligations are set out in the NVR Act and the ESOS Act.

RTO and CRICOS registration are not transferable from one legal entity to another. When an entity that is an RTO changes ownership, its registration cannot transfer to a person or corporation that acquires the RTO as a different legal entity.

Are you selling your RTO business?

  • There are two common ways by which the ownership of an RTO may change:
    • Sale of the entity itself that holds registration, commonly via share transaction
    • Sale of business assets of the entity that holds registration to another entity
  • In either case, you have to tell ASQA about any prospective change to the operations or management of your RTO as soon as practicable. Ideally, you should do this before the change takes effect. Notify us via asqanet.
  • You have to cooperate with ASQA by providing information about significant changes to an RTO’s ownership within 90 days of the change occurring. Notify us via asqanet.

Are you acquiring ownership of an RTO business?

  • If you are already an RTO and intend to merge the RTO you have acquired into your existing RTO operations, you will need to make sure your scope of registration includes all courses of the RTO to be merged. The RTO you are acquiring may be delivering courses that are not on your existing scope of registration. If you want to continue delivering those courses, you will have to apply to add them to your own scope.
  • If you are not already an RTO and are acquiring the business assets of an RTO to operate as a different entity, you will have to apply for initial registration as an RTO. Until ASQA approves your application, you cannot operate as an RTO.
  • If you are not already an RTO and are acquiring the shareholding of an entity that holds RTO registration, you will be required to demonstrate, either upon takeover or sometime thereafter, how you will continue to comply with all regulatory requirements. This may involve partaking in a compliance audit, which will incur audit charges.

If the business you are selling is a CRICOS registered provider:

  • You must notify ASQA of any prospective changes to the provider’s ownership as soon as practicable before they take effect.

Read more

Read more on our website about changes you have to report to ASQA.