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What to do when your training provider closes

The information on this page is designed to help students understand what to do if their registered training organisation (RTO) closes.

Unfortunately, some training providers close while still delivering courses.

This can be for a range of reasons, including:

  • they are no longer financially viable
  • ASQA has cancelled their registration due to the provider’s inability to deliver training to the standard required, or
  • the business owner can no longer commit to delivering training.

If you are a student and your training provider closes while you are still completing your training, we recommend the following steps.

1. Plan to continue your training

Vocational education and training (VET) courses are recognised throughout Australia. In most cases, you will be able to continue your training elsewhere.

2. Obtain a statement of attainment or testamur from the closing provider

A statement of attainment recognises that one or more units of competency have been achieved.

A testamur confirms that a qualification has been awarded to an individual.

When closing, an RTO is expected to issue:

  • an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) testamur and record of results to any student who has successfully completed the requirements of the relevant qualification, or
  • a statement of attainment to a student who has not completed the requirements of a qualification but has completed one or more units of competency.

You will need evidence of the competencies you have achieved to transfer the rest of your training to another RTO. The easiest way to do this is to provide the new RTO with a statement of attainment.

If you have been unable to obtain either a statement of attainment or testamur, ASQA may be able to assist you with a letter confirming competencies that have been achieved. This is only if ASQA holds records of competency completion from the closed RTO.

When an RTO closes, legislation requires them to provide ASQA with student records.

This transfer of student records can take some time and some RTOs do not have complete records.

You can contact the ASQA Info Line on 1300 701 801 to find out if ASQA can provide you with a copy of your records.

The register of student records shows which student records ASQA has access to from providers that have closed over the past 12 months.

Go to the applying for a copy of your student records page for more information on applying to ASQA for student records information.

3. Collect evidence of your assessments

If you are part way through a unit and/or do not have a copy of your statement of attainment, make sure you keep any copies of your assessment items and any assessment feedback you have received.

These items are useful when applying for recognition of prior learning with your new training provider. This process is explained under step 5.

4. Transfer your training to another registered training organisation

In most cases, when a training provider closes, the provider or liquidator will help you transfer to an alternative provider.

If the 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

5. Gain credit for completed units and/or apply for recognition of prior learning

To gain direct credit for completed units, you will need to provide the new training provider with accepted documentation of the competencies you have obtained.

Accepted documents are either:

  • a statement of attainment, or
  • a letter from ASQA that confirms competencies achieved.

Sometimes it will not be possible to provide this documentation, particularly if your provider closed before your assessment was finalised. In this situation, you would use evidence of assessment and other documentation to apply for recognition of prior learning (RPL). RPL is a process through which your competency is assessed based on a range of evidence from past formal and informal learning.

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 letter from ASQA verifying copies of your student records (if ASQA has been provided with these records).

Each provider has its own RPL process, so speak to your new provider about how to apply.

6. Finalise 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 does not have a role in recovering fees. However, we can provide you with the contact details of the liquidator.

When a provider charges fees up front in excess of $1500, 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 above 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

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