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When your training provider closes (for students)

This fact sheet is designed to assist students whose training provider has closed.

It covers how your provider should assist you, how to obtain a copy of your student records and how to continue your training.

As the national regulator for Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) sector, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) supports students by ensuring the quality and reputation of Australia's VET system is maintained. In many circumstances, we can also direct you to other organisations that provide student assistance.

ASQA recommends students keep records of training in progress (including marked assessments and unit titles, dates of completion and payment receipts) as this evidence can assist you to continue your training if your training provider closes before you are issued with a certificate or statement of attainment.

How is my training provider required to assist me?

If your registered training organisation (RTO) is closing, they are expected to assist you during the closure process.

Your training provider should:

  • ensure that before they are no longer registered, you have either completed your course or transferred to a new training provider
  • source an alternative provider for you to consider transferring to if you are enrolled at the time of closure and want to continue your training
  • issue you with an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) testamur and record of results if you have completed the requirements of a qualification
  • issue you with a statement of attainment if you have not completed the requirements of a qualification but have completed one or more units of competency, and
  • return all unmarked assessments.

How do I continue my training?

VET courses are recognised across Australia.

In most cases, when a provider closes, the training provider or liquidator will help you transfer to an alternative provider. If your closing provider or liquidator is not helping you to transfer, you will need to contact one of the organisations listed below.

Domestic students

If you are Who to contact
A funded student
(e.g. your training is paid for by a government department, employer or other organisation)
Contact the organisation or government department providing your funding
*Also refer to ‘Tuition protection schemes’ below
A local student who paid fees up front (fee-for-service) You can find other providers offering your course on the My Skills website. The new provider can help you transfer your training.
*Also refer to ‘Tuition protection schemes’ below

Tuition protection schemes

Some providers are covered by a tuition protection scheme that includes assisting students to transfer their training if their provider closes. One major scheme is the Australian Student Tuition Assurance Scheme (ASTAS). To find out if your provider is covered by this scheme, and what assistance is available, visit the ASTAS activation portal.

International students

If you are Who to contact
A student from overseas on a student visa You will need to contact the Tuition Protection Service to arrange transfer to another approved provider and to ensure your visa remains current.

How do I receive recognition for the training I have completed?

Credit for completed units

To continue your training with credit for the study you have already completed, you will need to provide your new provider with a statement of attainment for the units you have completed. A statement of attainment should be issued to all students who are part-way through their training at the time of closure by the provider or liquidator.

However, if you have not received a statement of attainment, ASQA may be able to assist you with a letter documenting the competencies you have achieved. ASQA will only be able to do this if the training provider has provided us with a record of competencies you have achieved.

Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is a process that assesses your competencies—acquired through past formal and informal learning—to determine if you meet the requirements for a unit of competency.

You can use a variety of documentation to apply for RPL. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • records of completed training
  • assessment items
  • assessment records
  • declarations from your employer, and/or
  • a copy of your student records provided by ASQA (see the following section).

Each provider has its own RPL process, so speak to your new training provider for assistance in applying.

There is typically a fee attached to an RPL process. These fees are determined by your new training provider.

How do I apply to ASQA for a copy of my student records?

If you do not have documentation of your training, and your RTO has closed, you can apply to ASQA for a copy of your student records.

It is important to note that ASQA does not generate or send original certificates for qualifications.

ASQA is only able to issue a letter that confirms if any records provided to the regulator have described competencies you have achieved, and this is only if ASQA holds records of competency completion from the closed RTO.

RTOs are required to provide ASQA with student records within 30 days of the registration ending or the RTO effectively ceasing to operate. However, sometimes these records are incomplete and sometimes there are delays between a provider closing and student records arriving at ASQA. We can only provide you with the information that has been supplied to ASQA.

There are exceptional circumstances in which ASQA may issue a qualification or statement of attainment to a current or former VET student (for example, when a former student has changed their identity because of witness protection or fleeing domestic violence). In these circumstances ASQA will only issue a certificate or statement of attainment if we are satisfied you have successfully completed the qualification’s requirements.

Request a copy of your student records

To request a copy of your student records from ASQA you need to complete an online application for a copy of student records, available from the ASQA website.

Before you can submit the application, you will need to provide documents confirming your identity to a ‘verifying officer’. Many community members can act as verifying officers, including certain public officials; parliamentarians and councillors; court and law enforcement employees; government officials; and medical professionals. Please see page 2 of the Identity verification form for more information.

There is no fee for the return of your records.

You have the option of providing permission to ASQA to release your records to a third party such as your employer or a new provider. ASQA will endeavour to respond to applications as promptly as possible, but requests may take up to 30 working days to process.

Can my employer apply for my student records?

Employers who have a large number of employees enrolled with an RTO that is closing can apply to ASQA for their employees’ student records. This may assist those employees to transfer to another RTO more quickly. Employers will need to demonstrate they have their employees’ consent.

Employers can send their request to enquiries [at] asqa.gov.au including the following student information:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • qualification/units of competency enrolled in
  • name and identification number of the RTO at which students were studying
  • email address or postal address of RTO, and
  • written permission from each student.

ASQA will then provide the records available directly to the employer.

Can my new training provider apply for my student records?

If your new training provider wants to apply to ASQA for your enrolment records, they need to provide a statutory declaration indicating that they have your consent. For more information, contact ASQA on 1300 701 801 or by email at enquiries [at] asqa.gov.au.

How do I seek a refund of my course fees?

When a provider is in liquidation, or ceases to operate, you need to contact the training provider or the liquidator for any matter regarding course fees.

ASQA is unable to assist you in recovering your fees.

When a provider charges fees in excess of $1500 up front, they are required to maintain tuition assurance to provide for alternative training or refunds in the event of a closure. See the ‘Tuition protection schemes’ section for contact information.

If you believe you are owed a refund and the training provider or liquidator does not assist you, contact the relevant consumer affairs agency in your state or territory.

State or territory Consumer affairs agency
Australian Capital Territory Fair Trading
New South Wales NSW Fair Trading
Northern Territory Consumer Affairs Northern Territory
Queensland Office of Fair Trading
South Australia Consumer and Business Services
Tasmania Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading
Victoria Consumer Affairs Victoria
Western Australia Consumer Protection

More information

You can contact ASQA by calling the Info Line on 1300 701 801, Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 7.00 pm AEST.

You can also ask a question by emailing enquiries [at] asqa.gov.au