The next step in the Australian Government’s VET reforms will be taken this week when the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Amendment (Enforcement) Regulation 2015 is tabled before both Houses of Parliament. 

The Regulation was tabled in the Senate this morning and will be tabled in the House of Representatives tomorrow. 

Since April 2 2015, registered training organisations (RTOs) that breach prescribed provisions in the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 can be fined by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) under a new infringement notice scheme. 

Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham, said the infringement notice scheme gave ASQA another tool to regulate the VET sector as a more modern and responsive regulator.  

“The ability to issue a fine allows ASQA to quickly resolve clear cut breaches of the legislation, enabling it to appropriately allocate resources towards detection of non-compliance with the high standards of what we want for the Australian VET sector,” Senator Birmingham said. 

“Penalties for the fines range from a couple of thousand dollars to ten thousand for a single breach, and for multiple breaches there is the potential for the ultimate fine to be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“The scheme complements a number of other regulatory responses available to ASQA, including taking RTOs to court on complex matters, or administrative sanctions such as suspending or revoking registration.

“The new scheme continues to send a clear signal that, when required, the Government will take appropriate action against dodgy RTOs that undermine those within the sector that do deliver on their promises. 

“The infringement notice scheme builds on recent changes undertaken to strengthen the VET sector, including the recent changes to the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Amendment Act 2011 and the introduction of tough new standards for RTOs. 

“Our government is committed to protecting the integrity of the VET sector and that is why we are undertaking significant reform across the VET sector including significant improvements to the VET FEE-HELP scheme, a national VET complaints hotline (13 38 73), improved data reporting, $68 million to strengthen ASQA, new trade support loans and tough new standards,” Senator Birmingham said.

Media contact: Caitlin Keage 0427 729 987