Release type: Media Release


Legislation to crackdown on dodgy VET providers passes Parliament


The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP
Minister for Skills and Training

Unscrupulous and non-genuine providers in the vocational education and training (VET) sector are on notice, with the Albanese Government passing legislation today to strengthen powers to kick dodgy providers out of the sector - and keep them out.

The National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Amendment (Strengthening Quality and Integrity in Vocational Education and Training No.1) Bill 2024 gives stronger tools to the Australian Skills and Quality Authority (ASQA) to act against the minority of registered training organisations (RTOs) doing the wrong thing.

The legislation will:

  • Cause an RTO’s registration to automatically lapse where the provider has not delivered training and/or assessment for 12 months.
  • Prevent RTOs from expanding their course offering if they have been operating for less than 2 years.
  • Provide ASQA with greater discretion in prioritising, considering and deciding RTO applications. 
  • Empower the Minister, with the agreement of State and Territory Skills Ministers, to require ASQA to pause the acceptance and processing of new RTO applications (or those for one or more classes of RTO).
  • Expand offence and civil penalty provisions to cover a broader range of false or misleading representations by RTOs about their operations.
  • Increase five-fold maximum penalties for engaging in egregious conduct that breaches relevant offences or civil penalties under the Act.

These new measures build on the Albanese Government’s investment to strengthen quality in the VET sector including establishing an integrity unit within ASQA, upgrading ASQA’s digital and data systems and creating a tip-off line to report egregious RTO conduct.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Skills and Training, the Hon Brendan O’Connor MP:

“This legislation is the next step in our reforms to strengthen quality and integrity in VET – and there is more to come. There is no place for dodgy providers in the sector who take advantage of students and undermine the sector.

“Increased powers for the regulator and tougher penalties will deter dodgy providers who currently see fines as a risk worth taking or merely a ‘cost of doing business’.

“These measures support the majority of providers who do the right thing, and whose reputations are damaged by exploitative bottom-feeders.

“Removing dodgy providers, who undermine integrity and trust in VET, will benefit students, the sector and our wider community.”