New legislation passed the Senate today that will further crack down on dodgy Vocational Education and Training (VET) providers. 

Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham welcomed the Senate’s decision to pass the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Amendment Bill 2015. 

“Passing this Bill sends a clear signal that the Australian Government will take strong action
against those who seek to take advantage of vulnerable students and taxpayers,” Senator Birmingham said.

“The Bill requires anyone, including brokers and other third parties, who is marketing a VET course to clearly identify which registered training organisation (RTO) is providing the qualification.

“This will enable the national training regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to take action against an RTO, where they, or their marketing agent, fail to provide clear information to a prospective student about the qualification they are signing up for, where the training will be undertaken, how long the course will take, what support services are available and the costs associated with them.

“This includes any debt that may be incurred, when repayment is required and under what conditions, in line with the requirements of the government’s tough new national Standards for RTOs 2015,” he said. 

The Bill enables the government to set new Quality Standards to allow swift action to be taken in response to any concerns students, employers, ASQA or the states and territories may have about the quality of VET providers or courses. 

The Bill also extends the registration period for RTOs from five years to up to seven years to enable ASQA to redirect resources away from re-registration audits, and towards the early detection of non-compliance.

“These laws will provide better protection for students, taxpayers and the reputation of the
national VET system.

“The Bill also builds on significant reform being implemented across the VET sector, including significant improvements to the VET FEE-HELP scheme, a national VET complaints hotline, improved data reporting, $68 million to strengthen ASQA, new trade support loans and tough new standards,” Senator Birmingham said.