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ASQA 1st year of operationsThe government has announced legislative and other changes to deal with rogue training providers and better protect students.

The new measures will intent to:

  • stop providers from offering incentives to students, like cash and laptops, to get them to sign up to courses that they don't need
  • stop marketing agents and brokers 'freelancing' to sign up as many students as possible, without being covered by any regulator
  • give students more information that helps them understand that VET FEE-HELP loans are real debts that impact their credit rating and have to be repaid
  • make it impossible for providers to levy all fees in a single transaction, giving students more opportunity to consider their options before VET FEE-HELP debts can be incurred
  • protect vulnerable students by requiring providers to properly assess students before enrolment

The government has produced the fact sheet VET FEE-HELP to help students make informed choices about undertaking VET courses of study.

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asqa logoTargeted audits of Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) will address allegations of unscrupulous marketing and other practices intended to exploit the Australian Government's VET FEE-HELP program.

Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham said the national regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), would undertake a total of 23 audits of RTOs including of providers who had been identified through complaints made to the authority.

"Our government is determined to stop training providers ripping off vulnerable students and taxpayers through the VET FEE-HELP program," Senator Birmingham said.

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reg bannerASQA currently has delegation arrangements in-place with 27 RTOs – mostly TAFEs in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
RTOs were required to meet the following criteria to be eligible for a delegation of regulatory responsibility:

  • the RTO must have been registered for at least five years, and
  • the RTO must have been renewed by ASQA without audit, or have been
  • renewed with no non-compliances identified at audit, and
  • there are no outstanding regulatory concerns or regulatory actions being taken against the RTO.

ASQA invited 555 high performing RTOs with a strong history of compliance with the national standards and who have already met the eligibility criteria to apply for a delegation of regulatory responsibility. It will be up to the RTO as to whether they wish to take up this delegation.

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