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Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015

Authoritative Version
Guides & Guidelines as made
This instrument revokes and replaces the VET Guidelines 2015
Administered by: Education and Training
Made 18 Dec 2015
Registered 24 Dec 2015
Tabled HR 02 Feb 2016
Tabled Senate 02 Feb 2016

 

Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015

 

I, Luke Hartsuyker, Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, make the following guideline.

 

Dated 18 December 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luke Hartsuyker

Minister for Vocational Education and Skills


 


 

 

Contents


Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                                                        1

1                    Name............................................................................................................................. 1

2                    Commencement............................................................................................................. 1

3                    Authority....................................................................................................................... 1

4                    Schedules...................................................................................................................... 1

5                    Definitions..................................................................................................................... 1

Part 2—Approval as a VET provider                                                                                                 5

6                    Specified kinds of bodies.............................................................................................. 5

Part 3—Tuition assurance                                                                                                                          6

Division 1—Preliminary                                                                                                                        6

7                    Purpose......................................................................................................................... 6

8                    Requirements for VET tuition assurance....................................................................... 6

Division 2—VET course assurance requirements                                                                   7

9                    VET course assurance requirements.............................................................................. 7

Division 3—VET tuition fee repayment requirements                                                          9

10                 VET tuition fee repayment requirements....................................................................... 9

Division 4—General requirements                                                                                                11

11                 General requirements................................................................................................... 11

12                 Requirement for corporate separation.......................................................................... 11

13                 Meaning of ceases to provide an eligible VET course of study..................................... 12

14                 Requirements that may amount to ceasing to provide a VET course of study................. 12

Division 5—Administrative and activation requirements                                                 14

15                 Administrative and activation requirements................................................................. 14

16                 Statement of VET tuition assurance—content............................................................. 14

17                 Statement of VET tuition assurance—publishing and access........................................ 15

18                 Keeping information for VET tuition assurance administrators and the Commonwealth     15

19                 Written VET tuition assurance offer for VET students................................................. 16

Division 6—Related matters                                                                                                             17

20                 Related requirements for exempt bodies...................................................................... 17

21                 Related requirements for second providers.................................................................. 17

Part 4—Quality and accountability requirements                                                                      19

Division 1—Financial viability and quality                                                                               19

22                 Financial viability requirements................................................................................... 19

23                 Quality requirements................................................................................................... 19

Division 2—Civil penalty provisions and inappropriate marketing etc.                      21

24                 Civil penalty provisions............................................................................................... 21

25                 Inappropriate marketing etc......................................................................................... 21

Division 3—Agents or associates                                                                                                    23

26                 VET providers must take reasonable steps to ensure their agents and

associates act responsibly............................................................................................ 23

27                 Meaning of agent or associate.................................................................................... 23

28                 Actions of agents or associates.................................................................................... 23

29                 Agreement with each agent or associate...................................................................... 24

30                 Keeping material and making it available to the Minister.............................................. 25

Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015                                             i

Division 4—Providing information to prospective students etc.                                     26

31                 Providing information to prospective students............................................................ 26

32                 Withdrawing from a VET unit of study etc.................................................................. 27

33                 Requests for Commonwealth assistance...................................................................... 27

Division 5—Student entry procedure                                                                                           29

34                 Purpose....................................................................................................................... 29

35                 VET courses of study to which student entry procedures must set out

requirements etc........................................................................................................... 29

36                 Publication requirements............................................................................................. 29

37                 When a student is academically suited......................................................................... 29

38                 How to assess whether a student is academically suited............................................... 30

39                 Results of assessments................................................................................................ 30

Division 6—Compliance with plans for resolving audit concerns                                   32

40                 Compliance with plans for resolving audit concerns.................................................... 32

Part 5—Student fairness                                                                                                                            33

41                 Equal benefits and opportunity requirements............................................................... 33

42                 Student grievance requirements—grievance procedure................................................ 33

43                 Student grievance and review procedure requirements—re-crediting

FEE-HELP balances.................................................................................................... 34

Part 6—Student entitlements and FEE-HELP balances                                                         36

Division 1—Entitlement to VET FEE-HELP assistance                                                     36

44                 Purpose....................................................................................................................... 36

45                 Full-fee paying students—other requirement for entitlement......................................... 36

46                 Subsidised students—other requirement for entitlement.............................................. 36

47                 Subsidised students—amount of VET FEE-HELP debt.............................................. 37

Division 2—Re-crediting FEE-HELP balance if unacceptable conduct                      38

48                 Purpose....................................................................................................................... 38

49                 Publishing information suggesting VET FEE-HELP assistance not a loan etc............... 38

50                 Inappropriate marketing etc......................................................................................... 38

51                 Provision of information............................................................................................. 39

52                 Inappropriate inducements........................................................................................... 39

53                 Failure to provide VET FEE-HELP notices................................................................. 39

54                 Failure to comply with student requests...................................................................... 39

55                 Accepting requests for Commonwealth assistance etc. when student not

entitled......................................................................................................................... 40

56                 Failure to advise about requests................................................................................... 40

57                 Failure to apportion fees appropriately........................................................................ 40

58                 Failure to publish fees................................................................................................. 40

Part 7—VET tuition fees and census dates                                                                                    41

Division 1—General matters                                                                                                            41

59                 Periods during which VET units of study are provided or proposed to be

provided...................................................................................................................... 41

60                 Matters to which a VET provider must not have regard in determining VET

tuition fees................................................................................................................... 41

61                 Determining the census date for a VET unit of study................................................... 41

62                 Varying VET tuition fees and census dates................................................................. 42

63                 Date by, and manner in, which a VET provider must publish schedules of

VET tuition fees and census dates............................................................................... 42

64                 Fees for VET courses not to exceed VET tuition fees and fees covered by

section 66.................................................................................................................... 42

65                 Repayment of VET tuition fees................................................................................... 43

ii                                           Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015

66                 Fees that are not tuition fees........................................................................................ 43

Division 2—Table A providers: charging VET tuition fees and invoice notices      45

67                 Purpose....................................................................................................................... 45

68                 VET providers to which this Division applies............................................................. 45

69                 Charging VET tuition fees........................................................................................... 45

70                 Invoice notices............................................................................................................. 45

Division 3—Other VET providers: charging VET tuition fees                                        46

71                 Purpose....................................................................................................................... 46

72                 VET providers to which this Division applies............................................................. 46

73                 Object of this Division................................................................................................ 46

74                 Fee periods.................................................................................................................. 46

75                 Proportionately spreading VET tuition fees over the fee periods................................... 47

76                 Estimating VET tuition fees......................................................................................... 47

77                 If compliance is affected by State or Territory subsidy funding arrangements................ 47

Part 8—Notices to students                                                                                                                       48

78                 Purpose....................................................................................................................... 48

79                 VET FEE-HELP invoice notices................................................................................. 48

80                 Commonwealth assistance notices............................................................................... 50

Part 9—Electronic communications                                                                                                    52

81                 Purpose....................................................................................................................... 52

82                 Information technology requirements.......................................................................... 52

83                 Electronic communications—identification requirements............................................. 53

Part 10—Specified qualifications for the trial to extend VET FEE-HELP to certain certificate IV qualifications                                                                                                                                  54

84                 Purpose....................................................................................................................... 54

85                 Extra VET qualifications............................................................................................. 54

86                 Students entitled.......................................................................................................... 56

87                 Expiration.................................................................................................................... 56

Part 11—Review of decisions                                                                                                                  57

88                 Reviewable decisions.................................................................................................. 57

89                 Internal review of reviewable decisions made by delegates........................................... 57

90                 Review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.......................................................... 58

Part 12—Other matters                                                                                                                              59

91                 Delegations by the Minister......................................................................................... 59

92                 Application of provisions............................................................................................ 59

93                 Transitional—things done under the VET Guidelines 2015.......................................... 60

Schedule 1—Repeals                                                                                                                                     61

Amendment No. 1 to the VET Guidelines 2015                                                                              61

VET Guidelines 2015                                                                                                                          61



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015                                          iii


 


Preliminary Part 1

 

 

 

Section 1

 

 

Part 1—Preliminary

 

 


1    Name


 

This is the Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015.


 

2    Commencement

(1)   Each provision of this instrument specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

 

Commencement information

Column 1                             Column 2                                                                               Column 3

Provisions                           Commencement                                                                   Date/Details


1. The whole of this instrument


1 January 2016.                                                                    1 January 2016


Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this instrument as originally made. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this instrument.

 

(2)   Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this instrument. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this instrument.

 

3    Authority

This instrument is made under the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

 

4    Schedules

Each instrument that is specified in a Schedule to this instrument is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this instrument has effect according to its terms.

 

5    Definitions

Note:          A number of expressions used in this instrument are defined in the Act.

 

In this instrument:

academic matters includes matters relating to student progress, assessment, curriculum and awards in a VET course of study.

Act means the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

ADI means an authorised deposit-taking institution within the meaning of the

Banking Act 1959.

affected unit has the meaning given by paragraph 16(2)(b).

agent or associate has the meaning given by section 27.

 

 

Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015                                            1


Part 1 Preliminary


Section 5

 

 

 

Australian Core Skills Framework means the document that:

(a)    is made by the Department; and

(b)    sets out the national framework for foundation skills that assists specialist and non-specialist English language literacy and numeracy practitioners describe an individual’s performance in the 5 core skills of learning, reading, writing, oral communication and numeracy;

as the document exists on 1 January 2016.

Note:          The document could in 2015 be viewed on the Department’s website (www.education.gov.au).

 

ceases to provide an eligible VET course of study has the meaning given by section 13.

cold-calling has a meaning affected by subsection 25(4).

Commonwealth assistance notice has the meaning given by section 80.

eligible VET course of study: a VET course of study is an eligible VET course of study if each of the VET units of study forming part of the course meet the course requirements for VET FEE-HELP assistance under clause 45 of Schedule 1A to the Act.

exempt body means a body that, under subclause 8(1) or 20(2) of Schedule 1A to the Act, is exempt from complying with the VET tuition assurance requirements.

full fee-paying student has the meaning given by subsection 45(2).

National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform means the National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform signed by the Council of Australian Governments on 13 April 2012, as in force on 1 January 2016.

non-academic matters includes:

(a)    matters relating to a VET provider that do not relate to student progress, assessment, curriculum or awards in a VET course of study; and

(b)    complaints relating to personal information that a VET provider holds in relation to a student enrolled as a VET student in a VET unit of study with the VET provider.

NVETR Act means the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011.

registered business name means a business name registered on the Business Names Register under the Business Names Registration Act 2011.

replaced unit means a VET unit of study:

(a)    in which a student was enrolled as a VET student with a VET provider; and

(b)    that has been replaced by a replacement unit.

replacement unit means a VET unit of study:

(a)    in which a student is enrolled as a VET student with a second provider; and

(b)    that replaces a VET unit of study in which the student was enrolled as a VET student with a VET provider.


 

 

 

 

2                                           Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015


Preliminary Part 1

 

 


 

 

second provider has the meaning given by paragraph 9(5)(a).

special admissions test means:


Section 5

(a)   a test to determine the suitability of a person seeking admission into a specialist VET course of study that is necessary to establish the suitability of the person for admission into that course, and includes specialist auditions, tests and interviews that are different from the normal requirements for admission; but

(b)   does not include a test used for the purposes of Division 5 of Part 4 (about the student entry procedure).

Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations has the same meaning as in the NVETR Act.

statement of VET tuition assurance has the meaning given by section 16.

statement of VET tuition assurance exemption has the meaning given by subsection 20(1).

subsidised student has the meaning given by subsection 46(3).

subsidising State or Territory has the meaning given by paragraph 46(3)(a). VET course assurance guarantor has the meaning given by paragraph 9(2)(c). VET course assurance option has the meaning given by subsections 9(3) to (5).

VET course assurance TAS operator means a body mentioned in subparagraph 9(2)(a)(i).

VET FEE-HELP invoice notice has the meaning given by section 79.

VET FEE-HELP loan fee, for a VET unit of study, means an amount equal to so much of the VET FEE-HELP debt worked out (or that could be worked out) under subsection 137-18(2) of the Act for the unit as exceeds the loan (or possible loan) referred to in that subsection.

VET repayment guarantor has the meaning given by paragraph 10(2)(c).

VET repayment TAS operator means a body mentioned in subparagraph 10(2)(a)(i).

VET student: a student is enrolled as a VET student in a VET unit of study with a VET provider if the student is entitled to VET FEE-HELP assistance under clause 43 of Schedule 1A to the Act for the unit.

VET tuition assurance administrator means a body mentioned in subsection 9(2) or paragraph 10(2)(a) or (c) (other than students or the first body).

VET tuition assurance arrangement means an arrangement covered by subsection 9(2) or 10(2).

VET tuition assurance scheme means a scheme covered by both paragraphs 9(2)(a) and 10(2)(a).

 

 

 

Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015                                            3


Part 1 Preliminary


Section 5

 

 

 

VET tuition fee repayment option has the meaning given by subsections 10(3) to (7).

Note:          This is the option referred to in paragraph 51(1)(d) of Schedule 1A to the Act.

 

written VET tuition assurance offer has the meaning given by section 19.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4                                           Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015


Approval as a VET provider Part 2

 

 

 

Section 6

 

 

Part 2—Approval as a VET provider

 

6    Specified kinds of bodies

For the purposes of paragraph 6(1A)(a) of Schedule 1A to the Act, the kinds of bodies are those established to provide vocational education or vocational training under any of the following laws (as in force on 1 January 2016):

(a)   the Technical and Further Education Commission Act 1990 (NSW);

(b)   the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Vic.);

(c)   the TAFE Queensland Act 2013 (Qld);

(d)   the Vocational Education and Training Act 1996 (WA);

(e)   the TAFE SA Act 2012 (SA);

(f)   the Training and Workforce Development Act 2013 (Tas.);

(g)    the Canberra Institute of Technology Act 1987 (ACT).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015                                            5


Part 3 Tuition assurance

Division 1 Preliminary

 

Section 7

 

 

Part 3Tuition assurance

Division 1—Preliminary

 


7    Purpose


 

This Part sets out the requirements for VET tuition assurance for the purposes of clause 7 of Schedule 1A to the Act.

Note 1:       These requirements are relevant as:

(a)    requirements a body must fulfil to be approved under clause 6 of that Schedule as a VET provider; and

(b)    requirements a VET provider must continue to comply with under subclause 20(1) of that Schedule.

Note 2:       Some related matters in Division 6:

(a)        impose obligations on an exempt body, such as collecting information about students enrolled in VET units of study with the exempt body; and

(b)       impose obligations on a VET provider in its capacity as a second provider; and

(c)        set out matters relevant to re-crediting a student’s FEE-HELP balance under subclause 46(2) of Schedule 1A to the Act.


 

8    Requirements for VET tuition assurance

(1)   These requirements have 4 parts:

(a)   the VET course assurance requirements (see Division 2); and

(b)   the VET tuition fee repayment requirements (see Division 3); and

(c)   the general requirements (see Division 4); and

(d)   the administrative and activation requirements (see Division 5).

Note:          Exempt bodies do not need to comply with these requirements.

 

(2)   Some related matters are in Division 6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6                                           Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015


Tuition assurance Part 3

VET course assurance requirements Division 2

 

Section 9

 

 

Division 2—VET course assurance requirements

 

9 VET course assurance requirements

(1)   To meet the VET course assurance requirements, a body (the first body) must demonstrate to the Secretary’s satisfaction that:

(a)   it has in place one or more arrangements of a kind described in subsection (2); and

(b)   those arrangements are sufficient to cover all students enrolled as VET students in VET units of study with the first body at any time.

(2)   The kinds of arrangements are as follows:

(a)   membership of a VET tuition assurance scheme that:

(i)    is operated by the Australian Council for Private Education and Training or TAFE Directors Australia; and

(ii)    is capable of ensuring that the VET course assurance option can be successfully implemented for students enrolled as VET students in VET units of study with the first body;

(b)   a legally-binding agreement with one or more bodies that:

(i)    are VET providers, or become VET providers within 12 months after the first body is approved as a VET provider; and

(ii)    are capable of making all necessary arrangements to ensure that the VET course assurance option can be successfully implemented for students enrolled as VET students in VET units of study with the first body; and

(iii)    have the necessary financial and administrative resources to fulfil all such arrangements;

(c)   a legally-binding guarantee provided by a body corporate (a VET course assurance guarantor) that it:

(i)    is capable of making all necessary arrangements to ensure that the VET course assurance option can be successfully implemented for students enrolled as VET students in VET units of study with the first body; and

(ii)    has the necessary financial and administrative resources to fulfil all such arrangements.

This subsection has effect subject to subsection 12(1) (about corporate separation).

 

VET course assurance option

(3)   Subsections (4) and (5) provide for the VET course assurance option.

(4)   Subsection (5) applies for a student if:

(a)   the first body ceases to provide an eligible VET course of study (the first course) at a particular time, and as a result ceases to provide a VET unit of study that forms part of the course; and

(b)   the student is enrolled as a VET student in the unit at that time with the first body; and

(c)   the student chooses the option described in subsection (5) for the unit.

 

Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015                                            7


Part 3 Tuition assurance

Division 2 VET course assurance requirements

 

Section 9

(5)   The student:

(a)   must be able to enrol in a similar eligible VET course of study that leads to the same or a comparable VET qualification with another VET provider (the second provider); and

(b)   must receive from the second provider for any successfully completed VET units of study undertaken with the first body as part of the first course:

(i)    full credit towards the same or comparable VET qualification; or

(ii)    as much credit as possible towards the same or comparable VET qualification if the Secretary agrees with the second provider that the first course was of such a specialised nature that full credit transfer cannot be arranged; and

(c)   must not be required to:

(i)    pay the second provider a VET tuition fee for any replacement unit; nor

(ii)    give the second provider a request for Commonwealth assistance in relation to any replacement unit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8                                           Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015


Tuition assurance Part 3

VET tuition fee repayment requirements Division 3

 

Section 10

 

 

Division 3—VET tuition fee repayment requirements

 

10 VET tuition fee repayment requirements

(1)   To meet the VET tuition fee repayment requirements, a body (the first body) must demonstrate to the Secretary’s satisfaction that:

(a)   it has in place one or more arrangements of a kind described in subsection (2); and

(b)   those arrangements are sufficient to cover all students enrolled as VET students in VET units of study with the first body at any time.

(2)   The kinds of arrangements are as follows:

(a)   membership of a VET tuition assurance scheme that:

(i)    is operated by the Australian Council for Private Education and Training or TAFE Directors Australia; and

(ii)    is capable of ensuring that payments can be made under the VET tuition fee repayment option for students enrolled as VET students in VET units of study with the first body;

(b)   an agreement, offered by the first body to a student enrolled as a VET student in a VET unit of study with the first body, under which the student pays in arrears the VET tuition fees for the unit;

(c)   a legally-binding guarantee provided by a body corporate (a VET repayment guarantor) that it:

(i)    is capable of making all necessary arrangements to ensure that all payments can be made under the VET tuition fee repayment option for students enrolled as VET students in VET units of study with the first body; and

(ii)    has the necessary financial and administrative resources to fulfil all such arrangements.

This subsection has effect subject to subsection 12(1) (about corporate separation).

 

VET tuition fee repayment option

(3)   Subsections (4) to (7) provide for the VET tuition fee repayment option.

(4)   Subsections (5) to (7) apply for a student if:

(a)   the first body ceases to provide an eligible VET course of study at a particular time, and as a result ceases to provide a VET unit of study that forms part of the course; and

(b)   the student is enrolled as a VET student in the unit at that time with the first body; and

(c)   the student does not have an agreement to pay in arrears the VET tuition fees for the unit; and

(d)   the student chooses the option described in subsections (5) to (7) for the unit.

(5)   Within 20 business days (or within such longer period as the Secretary allows) the first body must:

 

 

Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015                                            9


Part 3 Tuition assurance

Division 3 VET tuition fee repayment requirements


Section 10

 

 

(a)    re-credit the student’s FEE-HELP balance in respect of the unit as required under subclause 51(1) of Schedule 1A to the Act; and

(b)    notify its VET repayment TAS operator or VET repayment guarantor (as applicable) of this as soon as possible.

Note:     If the first body is unable to re-credit the student’s FEE-HELP balance, the Secretary may re-credit it under subclause 51(2) of Schedule 1A to the Act, and will notify the VET repayment TAS operator or VET repayment guarantor (as applicable) of this.


 

(6)   The VET repayment TAS operator or VET repayment guarantor (as applicable) must (under the arrangements described in subsection (2)):

(a)   pay to the student the total of any VET tuition fee payments already paid to the first body for that unit (other than any payments received from the Commonwealth); and

(b)   pay to the Commonwealth an amount equal to the sum of any amounts paid for that unit by the Commonwealth to the first body in discharge of the student’s VET tuition fees for that unit.

(7)   That operator or guarantor (as applicable) must (under those arrangements) make these payments within 10 business days of being notified of the re-crediting of the student’s FEE-HELP balance in respect of the unit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10                                         Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015


Tuition assurance Part 3

General requirements Division 4

 

Section 11

 

 

Division 4—General requirements

 

11    General requirements

To meet the general requirements, a body (the first body) must meet the requirements in this Division.

 

12    Requirement for corporate separation

 

Requirement for corporate separation

(1)   The relationship between the first body and each of its VET tuition assurance administrators must be such that at all times:

(a)   each is a separate legal person from the others; and

(b)   none is related to any of the others within the meaning of section 50 of the

Corporations Act 2001; and

(c)   none is an associated entity of any of the others within the meaning of section 50AAA of that Act; and

(d)   none is in a position to control any of the others within the meaning of section 50AA of that Act; and

(e)   none has half or more of the same directors or officers as any of the others, where director and officer have the meanings given to them by section 9 of that Act.

 

If that requirement is breached

(2)   If at any time the relationship between the first body and any of its VET tuition assurance administrators ceases to comply with subsection (1), the first body must:

(a)   notify the Secretary to that effect in writing as soon as possible; and

(b)   include with that notification either a proposal for changed VET tuition assurance arrangements that comply with subsection (1), or a proposal that is additional to the existing VET tuition assurance arrangements, for the Secretary’s approval.

 

Secretary can approve a proposal to fix the breach

(3)   The Secretary may, in writing, approve a proposal included with that notification. If (and while) so approved, that relationship between the first body and the VET tuition assurance administrator is taken to comply with

subsection (1).

 

Matters relevant to proposals

(4)   For the purposes of paragraph (2)(b), if an additional proposal is included, this additional proposal must include:

(a)   detailed reasons for the non-compliance with subsection (1); and

(b)   detailed reasons explaining why the first body and the VET tuition assurance administrators are prevented from changing the relationship between them so as to comply with subsection (1); and

 

 

Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015                                           11


Part 3 Tuition assurance

Division 4 General requirements


Section 13

(c)    details of any proposed alternative arrangements between the first body and the VET tuition assurance administrators that, while not complying with subsection (1), are arrangements that the first body reasonably believes meet the remainder of the VET tuition assurance requirements.


(5)   Without limiting subsection (4), the proposed alternative arrangements may include any or all of the following:

(a)   a separate unconditional financial guarantee from a third person;

(b)   a trust arrangement with an independent trustee;

(c)   a trust account, with an ADI, specifically established for that purpose.

 

13    Meaning of ceases to provide an eligible VET course of study

The first body ceases to provide an eligible VET course of study to a student who is enrolled as a VET student in one or more VET units of study forming part of an eligible VET course of study with the first body if:

(a)   all of the following apply:

(i)    the course does not start on the day the course was scheduled to start, or on a later day agreed between the first body and the student;

(ii)    the student has not withdrawn from the course before the day applying under subparagraph (i);

(iii)    an arrangement has not previously been made between the first body and the student to undertake a suitable alternative VET course of study; or

(b)   the first body commences providing the course to the student but, before the student completes the course, ceases to provide the course for any reason (other than that the student has withdrawn from the course); or

(c)   the first body’s approval as a VET provider has been suspended or revoked under the Act, and a determination under subclause 35(1) or 37(1) of Schedule 1A to the Act has not been made in respect of the course; or

(d)   notice is served on the first body, or proceedings are taken, to:

(i)    cancel the first body’s incorporation, or registration, under the

Corporations Act 2001 or similar legislation; or

(ii)    dissolve the first body as a legal entity; or

(e)   the first body comes under one of the forms of external administration referred to in Chapter 5 of the Corporations Act 2001 or corresponding provisions in similar legislation, or an order has been made to place the first body under such external administration; or

(f)   the first body ceases to be a registered training organisation listed on the National Register; or

(g)    the Secretary declares under paragraph 14(2)(b) that the first body has ceased to provide the course.

 

14    Requirements that may amount to ceasing to provide a VET course of study

(1)   The first body must, as soon as possible, give written notice of any of the following events (should they arise) to the first body’s VET tuition assurance administrators and to the Secretary:

 

 

 

 

12                                         Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015


Tuition assurance Part 3

General requirements Division 4

 

Section 14

(a)   the first body fails to comply with a statutory demand within the meaning of section 459F of the Corporations Act 2001;

(b)   the first body is unable to pay all of its debts when they become due;

(c)   proceedings are initiated for an order for the first body’s winding up;

(d)   a shareholder, member or director of the first body convenes a meeting to consider a resolution for the first body’s winding up.

(2)   If the Secretary becomes aware (whether under subsection (1) or otherwise) that any of the events described in that subsection have arisen, or may arise, in relation to the first body, then:

(a)   the first body must, within the period specified in writing by the Secretary, provide the Secretary with such information about the event that the Secretary reasonably requests in writing; and

(b)   the Secretary may, after considering any information provided by the first body under paragraph (a), declare in writing that, for the purposes of this Part, the first body has ceased to provide one or more specified VET courses of study; and

(c)   the Secretary must give a copy of the declaration to the first body and to the first body’s VET tuition assurance administrators.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015                                           13


Part 3 Tuition assurance

Division 5 Administrative and activation requirements

 

Section 15

 

 

Division 5—Administrative and activation requirements

 

15    Administrative and activation requirements

To meet the administrative and activation requirements, a body (the first body) must meet the requirements in this Division.

 

16    Statement of VET tuition assurance—content

(1)   The first body must make a statement of VET tuition assurance that clearly explains the VET tuition assurance requirements that the first body has in place for a student enrolled in each of its eligible VET courses of study if:

(a)   the first body ceases to provide the course; and

(b)   at that time, the student was enrolled as a VET student in a VET unit of study forming part of the course.

(2)   Without limiting subsection (1), the statement must:

(a)   describe the nature of the VET tuition assurance arrangements that the first body has in place if the first body ceases to provide the course at a particular time; and

(b)   explain that, if that happens, the student will have the choice of the VET course assurance option, or the VET tuition fee repayment option, for each VET unit of study (each affected unit) forming part of the course that the student is enrolled in at that time; and

(c)   explain that the VET course assurance option is an offer of a place in a similar VET course of study that:

(i)    comprises VET units of study that meet the requirements of subclause 45(1) of Schedule 1A to the Act; and

(ii)    is undertaken with a second provider without any requirement to pay the second provider any VET tuition fees for any replacement units; and

(d)   explain that the VET tuition fee repayment option involves:

(i)    refunding the student’s up-front VET payments (if any) for any affected units; and

(ii)    re-crediting the student’s FEE-HELP balance in respect of any affected units; and

(e)   if the student chooses the VET course assurance option and the first body’s tuition assurance administrator is a second provider or a VET course assurance guarantor:

(i)    describe the nature of the similar VET course of study that would be offered to the student; and

(ii)    specify the name of the second provider that would be providing this similar course; and

(iii)    specify the VET qualification to which this similar course would lead and how much credit towards this similar course the student would receive for the VET units of study they have completed with the first body; and

 

 

 

 

14                                         Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015


Tuition assurance Part 3

Administrative and activation requirements Division 5

 

Section 17

 

Note:       This will be full credit unless the Secretary agrees otherwise (see paragraph 9(5)(b)).

(iv)    explain that the VET tuition fees for the VET units of study for the similar course may be different from the VET tuition fees that were to be payable for the course the first body ceased to provide; and

(v)    explain that the student is not obliged to enrol in the similar course under the VET course assurance option; and

(vi)    explain that if the student elects to enrol with another VET provider that is not the second provider, the other VET provider is neither obliged to offer the full amount of credit for the VET units of study the student completed with the first body nor obliged to offer replacement units free of charge; and

(f)   if the student chooses the VET course assurance option and the first body’s tuition assurance administrator is a VET course assurance TAS operator:

(i)    specify the name of the VET course assurance TAS operator; and

(ii)    explain that the VET tuition fees for VET units of study with the second provider may be different from the VET tuition fees students would have paid for VET units of study that were part of the course the first body ceased to provide; and

(iii)    explain that the student is not obliged to enrol in the similar course under the VET course assurance option; and

(iv)    explain that if the student elects to enrol with another VET provider that is not the second provider, the other VET provider is neither obliged to offer the full amount of credit for the VET units of study the student completed with the first body nor obliged to offer replacement units free of charge.

 

17    Statement of VET tuition assurance—publishing and access

(1)   The first body must clearly and prominently publish its statement of VET tuition assurance on its website.

(2)   The first body must ensure that, when enrolling a student, the student is provided with clear information about how to access (on the first body’s website) the statement of VET tuition assurance.

 

18    Keeping information for VET tuition assurance administrators and the Commonwealth

(1)   The first body must keep up-to-date enrolment information on students enrolled as VET students in VET units of study with the first body. This information must include the information described in paragraphs 21(2)(a) to (f).

(2)   The first body must ensure that, if one of its VET tuition assurance arrangements is activated, the information described in subsection (1) can be given to the Secretary and to the first body’s VET tuition assurance administrators.

(3)   The first body must ensure that each of its VET tuition assurance arrangements provides that, if it is activated, each VET tuition assurance administrator must:

(a)   as soon as possible, seek to obtain the information described in subsection (1) from the first body; and

 

 

Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015                                           15


Part 3 Tuition assurance

Division 5 Administrative and activation requirements


Section 19

(b)    if such information is not readily available, make all reasonable efforts to fulfil the obligations that the VET tuition assurance administrator has assumed under the VET tuition assurance arrangement.


 

19    Written VET tuition assurance offer for VET students

The first body must ensure that each of its VET tuition assurance arrangements provides that:

(a)   if:

(i)    the first body ceases to provide an eligible VET course of study covered by the VET tuition assurance arrangement; and

(ii)    at that time, a student is enrolled as a VET student in a VET unit of study forming part of the course;

the VET tuition assurance administrator for the course must provide the student with written advice (the written VET tuition assurance offer) that the student may choose either the VET course assurance option or the VET tuition fee repayment option; and

(b)   if the VET tuition assurance administrator is a second provider, the written VET tuition assurance offer must clearly make a direct offer of enrolment as described in paragraph 16(2)(e); and

(c)   if the VET tuition assurance administrator is a VET course assurance guarantor, the written VET tuition assurance offer must clearly name the second provider and the similar VET course of study that the student may choose to enrol in as described in paragraph 16(2)(e); and

(d)   if the VET tuition assurance administrator is a VET course assurance TAS operator, the written VET tuition assurance offer must clearly specify and explain the matters described in paragraph 16(2)(f); and

(e)   if the VET tuition assurance administrator is a VET repayment TAS operator or VET repayment guarantor, the written VET tuition assurance offer must clearly make a direct offer of repayment as described in paragraph 16(2)(d); and

(f)   the written VET tuition assurance offer must clearly:

(i)    explain, and enclose, a copy of the first body’s statement of VET tuition assurance; and

(ii)    describe how to obtain an electronic copy of this written VET tuition assurance offer, including specifying how such a copy can be obtained from the first body; and

(iii)    include directions that the student must follow in order to notify the first body, the VET tuition assurance administrator and the Secretary of the student’s choice of the VET course assurance option or the VET tuition fee repayment option for each affected unit; and

(g)    the VET tuition assurance administrator must provide the written VET tuition assurance offers within 20 business days after the day it knows, or should know by reasonable enquiries (including enquiries of the first body and of the Department), that the first body has ceased to provide the course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16                                         Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015


Tuition assurance Part 3

Related matters Division 6

 

Section 20

 

 

Division 6—Related matters

 

20    Related requirements for exempt bodies

 

Requirements for exempt bodies

(1)   An exempt body must make a statement of VET tuition assurance exemption

that clearly explains:

(a)   the exemption the body has been granted from fulfilling or complying with the VET tuition assurance requirements; and

(b)   what this means in the event that the body ceases to provide an eligible VET course of study.

(2)   The exempt body must clearly and prominently publish its statement of VET tuition assurance exemption on its website.

(3)   The exempt body must ensure that, when enrolling a student as a VET student in a VET unit of study with the exempt body, the student is provided with clear information about how to access (on the VET provider’s website) the statement of VET tuition assurance exemption.

(4)   The exempt body must keep up-to-date enrolment information on students enrolled as VET students in VET units of study with the exempt body.

 

Seeking to be an exempt body etc.

(5)   A body may seek an exemption under subclause 8(1) of Schedule 1A to the Act, or a VET provider may seek a declaration under subclause 20(2) of that Schedule, by applying to the Minister in writing setting out the grounds why the exemption or declaration should be made.

 

21    Related requirements for second providers

(1)   A VET provider in its capacity as a second provider must meet:

(a)   its obligations as a second provider under any legally-binding agreement referred to in paragraph 9(2)(b) that it is a party to; and

(b)   the requirements placed on a second provider under this Part.

Note:          The requirements in this section apply to all second providers, including VET providers that are exempt bodies.

 

(2)   A VET provider in its capacity as a second provider must keep up-to-date enrolment information on students enrolled as VET students in replacement units with the second provider. This information must include the following:

(a)   each student’s full name and contact details;

(b)   the name of the VET course of study and the VET units of study in which each student is currently enrolled;

(c)   the amount of the VET tuition fees for each VET unit of study in which each student is currently enrolled;

(d)   details about the payment of those fees, including if they are to be paid upfront or involve amounts of VET FEE-HELP assistance;

 

 

 

Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015                                           17


Part 3 Tuition assurance

Division 6 Related matters


Section 21

(e)    details of any VET units of study successfully completed by each student with the VET provider;

(f)    details of credits granted under paragraph 9(5)(b) by the VET provider as a second provider.


 

Students withdrawing from replacement units under special circumstances

(3)   If a VET provider receives an application from a student under

paragraph 46(2)(d) of Schedule 1A to the Act in relation to a replacement unit:

(a)   that meets the course requirements under subclause 45(1) of that Schedule; and

(b)   that is a unit in which the student is enrolled as a VET student with the VET provider in its capacity as a second provider; and

(c)   that replaces a VET unit of study in which the student was enrolled with another VET provider (the first body);

the second provider must:

(d)   notify the first body and the Secretary of the application as soon as possible; and

(e)   ensure that the up-to-date information kept by it under subsection (3) can be accessed by:

(i)    the Commonwealth; and

(ii)    the first body’s VET tuition assurance administrators (for those administrators to meet their obligations under the relevant VET tuition assurance arrangements and this Part); and

(f)   deal with the application in accordance with subclause 50(1) of that Schedule; and

(g)    as soon as possible after having dealt with the application, notify the first body and the Secretary as to whether, in respect of the replacement unit, the second provider is satisfied that the requirements of subclause 46(2) of that Schedule are met.

Note:          Under subclause 46(3) of Schedule 1A to the Act, the Secretary may act for certain purposes where the relevant VET provider is unable to do so, in which case the Secretary may give the notice referred to in paragraph (g) of this subsection.

 

(4)   If a notice given under paragraph (3)(g) states that the second provider is satisfied that the requirements of subclause 46(2) of Schedule 1A to the Act are met:

(a)   the second provider, the first body and the Secretary must liaise and do all things reasonably necessary to enable the re-crediting of the student’s

FEE-HELP balance in respect of the replaced unit within 20 business days after the second provider gives the notice; and

(b)   the first body must as soon as possible after the re-crediting has been effected, notify its VET repayment TAS operator or VET repayment guarantor (as applicable) to that effect.

Note:          Under subclause 46(3) of Schedule 1A to the Act, the Secretary may re-credit the student’s FEE-HELP balance if the second provider is unable to do so, in which case the Secretary may give the notice referred to in paragraph (b).

 

 

 

 

 

 

18                                         Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015


Quality and accountability requirements Part 4

Financial viability and quality Division 1

 

Section 22

 

 

Part 4—Quality and accountability requirements

Division 1—Financial viability and quality

 

22    Financial viability requirements

(1)   This section applies to a body (the first body) unless it is:

(a)   a body covered by section 6 of this instrument; or

(b)   a Table A provider, Table B provider or Table C provider.

(2)   For the purposes of paragraph 13(f) of Schedule 1A to the Act, other requirements for VET quality and accountability are that:

(a)   the first body must maintain a positive equity position while it is approved as a VET provider; and

(b)   the first body must not provide any new guarantees, or loans, that:

(i)    are made to any person or body; and

(ii)    could have a material effect on the first body’s finances while it is approved as a VET provider; and

(c)   the first body must not offer its assets as security for the benefit of any other person or body while the first body is approved as a VET provider, except for a commercial loan arrangement with an ADI; and

(d)   if the first body had a total of at least 100 enrolments for:

(i)    its courses leading to awards of qualifications in the Australian Qualifications Framework; and

(ii)    its most recently completed annual financial reporting period;

at least 20% of the first body’s total revenue for that period must have been from sources other than payments of Commonwealth assistance that give rise to HELP debts.

Note:          Conditions about financial matters could be imposed on a body’s approval as a VET provider (see clause 12A of Schedule 1A to the Act). For example, a condition could be imposed requiring the body to maintain cash (or cash-equivalent assets) to a value  equal to at least 25% of its total expenses in the previous annual financial reporting period.

 

 

23    Quality requirements

(1)   This section is made for the purposes of subclause 17(2) of Schedule 1A to the Act.

 

Quality requirements for NVR registered training organisations

(2)   The requirements relating to quality, for a VET provider that is an NVR registered training organisation (within the meaning of the NVETR Act), are as follows:

(a)   the Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations, and the Quality Standards, within the meaning of the NVETR Act;

(b)   the Australian Qualifications Framework, to the extent that it relates to vocational education or vocational training.

 

 

 

Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015                                           19


Part 4 Quality and accountability requirements

Division 1 Financial viability and quality


Section 23

Quality requirements for other VET providers


(3)   The requirements relating to quality, for a VET provider that is registered by an agency or authority of Western Australia or Victoria as a provider of vocational education or vocational training, are so much of the following as the conditions of that registration require the VET provider to meet:

(a)   the standards referred to in paragraph (2)(a);

(b)   the Australian Quality Training Framework;

(c)   the Australian Qualifications Framework, to the extent that it relates to vocational education or vocational training.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20                                         Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015


Quality and accountability requirements Part 4

Civil penalty provisions and inappropriate marketing etc. Division 2

 

Section 24

 

 

Division 2—Civil penalty provisions and inappropriate marketing etc.

 

24    Civil penalty provisions

A VET provider must not contravene a civil penalty provision.

Note:          The VET provider must also take reasonable steps to ensure that none of its agents or associates contravenes provisions that are similar to some of the civil penalty provisions (see subsection 28(1)).

 

 

25    Inappropriate marketing etc.

(1)   A VET provider must not contravene subsection (2) or (3).

 

Marketing etc. that suggests the availability of tablets or other things

(2)   A person contravenes this subsection if:

(a)   the person does any marketing, advertising or promoting that suggests that, if a person (the student) enrols in a VET unit of study or a VET course of study, a thing will:

(i)    be provided to the student or another person; or

(ii)    be otherwise available for the student to use; and

(b)   this suggestion would be reasonably likely to induce the student to:

(i)    enrol in the unit or course; and

(ii)    complete, sign and give an appropriate officer of a VET provider a request for Commonwealth assistance relating to the unit or course; and

(c)   the student’s use of the thing is required or necessary for the student to externally complete all or part of the unit or course (having regard to the learning objectives and outcomes of the unit or course).

Note:          A VET provider must also take reasonable steps to ensure that none of its agents or associates contravenes this subsection (see subsection 28(1)).

 

Cold-calling etc.

(3)   A person contravenes this subsection if:

(a)   the person cold-calls another person when marketing, advertising or promoting a VET unit of study or VET course of study; and

(b)   when doing so, or as a result of doing so, the first-mentioned person mentions the possible availability of VET FEE-HELP assistance (however described) for students undertaking the unit or course.

Note:          A VET provider must also take reasonable steps to ensure that none of its agents or associates contravenes this subsection (see subsection 28(1)).

 

(4)   Cold-calling includes making unsolicited contact with a prospective student:

(a)   in person; or

(b)   by telephone, email or other form of electronic communication.

Note:          Some examples include making unsolicited contact with a prospective student:

(a)        in person when the prospective student is leaving a Centrelink office; or

 

 

Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015                                           21


Part 4 Quality and accountability requirements

Division 2 Civil penalty provisions and inappropriate marketing etc.

 

Section 25

 

(b)       in person at the prospective student’s residence when marketing from door-to-door; or

(c)        by telemarketing.

 

Other requirements for marketing etc.

(5)   A VET provider must ensure that all marketing, advertising or promoting of any of its VET units of study or VET courses of study clearly and prominently mentions:

(a)   the VET provider’s name, registered business name (if any), any other business name it uses; and

(b)   the maximum VET tuition fees payable for the units or courses.

Note:          This requirement extends to any marketing, advertising or promotion done by another person or body for the VET provider.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22                                         Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015


Quality and accountability requirements Part 4

Agents or associates Division 3

 

Section 26

 

 

Division 3—Agents or associates

 

26    VET providers must take reasonable steps to ensure their agents and associates act responsibly

The purpose of this Division is to ensure that VET providers take reasonable steps to ensure their agents and associates act responsibly.

 

27    Meaning of agent or associate

(1)   A VET provider’s agent or associate is any person who acts as agent for the VET provider.

(2)   Without limiting subsection (1), the VET provider’s agent or associate is also any person who acts, for financial gain or other benefit, on behalf of the VET provider to:

(a)   market or promote the VET provider’s VET courses of study; or

(b)   recruit persons to apply to enrol in the VET provider’s VET courses of study; or

(c)   provide information or advice on the VET provider’s VET courses of study; or

(d)   provide information or advice on the VET FEE-HELP scheme; or

(e)   accept an application to enrol from any person on the VET provider’s behalf; or

(f)   enrol any person on the VET provider’s behalf; or

(g)    refer a person to a VET provider for the purposes of enrolling the person in a VET course of study or VET unit of study; or

(h)   provide career counselling to a person on the VET provider’s behalf.

 

28    Actions of agents or associates

(1)   A VET provider must take reasonable steps to ensure that none of its agents or associates contravenes any of the following provisions:

(a)   subsection 25(2) or (3) (about inappropriate marketing etc.);

(b)   subsection (3) or (4) of this section.

(2)   Reasonable steps must include more than merely having an agreement with the agent or associate that complies with section 29.

Example:   The VET provider could conduct regular audits of the agent’s or associate’s activities, and regularly ask questions of new students signed up by the agent or associate.

 

Agent or associate must not publish information suggesting that VET FEE-HELP assistance is not a loan etc.

(3)   A person contravenes this subsection if:

(a)   the person publishes information, or causes information to be published; and

(b)   the information suggests:

 

 

 

Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015                                           23


Part 4 Quality and accountability requirements

Division 3 Agents or associates


Section 29

(i)    that VET FEE-HELP assistance for a VET unit of study or VET course of study is not in the nature of a loan, or does not need to be repaid; or

(ii)    if a student receives VET FEE-HELP assistance for such a unit or course, that the unit or course is free from any fees or charges.


 

Agent or associate must not directly or indirectly offer or provide inappropriate inducements

(4)   A person contravenes this subsection if:

(a)   the person:

(i)    offers another person a benefit; or

(ii)    provides another person with a benefit; or

(iii)    causes another person to be offered or provided with a benefit; and

(b)   the benefit would be reasonably likely to induce a person (the student) to:

(i)    enrol in a VET unit of study or VET course of study; and

(ii)    complete, sign and give an appropriate officer of a VET provider a request for Commonwealth assistance relating to the unit or course; and

(c)   the student receives VET FEE-HELP assistance for that unit or course.

(5)   To avoid doubt, the person in paragraph (4)(a) who is offered, or provided with, the benefit need not be the student.

(6)   Clause 39DD of Schedule 1A to the Act applies in relation to subsection (4) of this section in a corresponding way to the way that clause applies in relation to subclauses 39DC(1) and (2) of that Schedule.

 

29    Agreement with each agent or associate

(1)   The VET provider must ensure that it has a written agreement, with another person, that is in force at all times while that person is the VET provider’s agent or associate.

(2)   A VET provider must ensure that the agreement with the agent or associate (the

agent) specifies:

(a)   the responsibilities and requirements the agent must meet and comply with when acting on behalf of the VET provider; and

(b)   the processes the VET provider is to use for monitoring how the agent acts on behalf of the VET provider; and

(c)   termination conditions; and

(d)   the remuneration or fees to be paid to the agent by the VET provider.

(3)   Without limiting paragraph (2)(a), the agent’s responsibilities and requirements must include the following:

(a)   the agent must not contravene any provision mentioned in subsection 28(1);

(b)   the agent must act in a manner consistent with the VET provider’s obligations under the Act, this instrument and any other applicable law, and that the agent gives an undertaking to that effect;

 

 

 

24                                         Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015


Quality and accountability requirements Part 4

Agents or associates Division 3

 

Section 30

(c)   the agent must not subcontract the agent’s role described in the agreement;

(d)   the agent must identify themselves as the VET provider’s agent to each person the agent approaches on behalf of the VET provider;

(e)   for each prospective student of the VET provider that the agent approaches in a way that does not involve cold-calling—the agent must disclose to the prospective student:

(i)    the name of the VET provider that the prospective student’s name would be referred to; and

(ii)    the VET course of study to which the referral relates; and

(iii)    that the agent will receive a fee or commission if the prospective student were to enrol with the VET provider; and

(iv)    full, accurate and up-to-date information about VET FEE-HELP assistance.

(4)   A VET provider must clearly and prominently publish on its website a list of all of its current and past agents or associates. The list must include, for each agent or associate, the period the agreement under subsection (1) with the agent or associate is in force.

 

30    Keeping material and making it available to the Minister

(1)   A VET provider must keep a copy of the following material:

(a)   each of its agreements under section 29 with one of its agents or associates;

(b)   the name and contact details of that agent or associate; until at least 5 years after the agreement ends.

(2)   The VET provider must make this material available to the Minister at the time, and in the form and manner, requested by the Minister.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015                                           25


Part 4 Quality and accountability requirements

Division 4 Providing information to prospective students etc.

 

Section 31

 

 

Division 4—Providing information to prospective students etc.

 

31    Providing information to prospective students

(1)   The purpose of this section is to ensure that persons seeking to enrol in a VET course of study:

(a)   are fully informed of the VET tuition fees that apply to the course; and

(b)   are clear about their responsibilities, obligations and rights if they request VET FEE-HELP assistance.

(2)   Before enrolling a prospective student in a VET course of study, a VET provider must give the prospective student the following information:

(a)   all information required to be provided under any provision of the Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations that relates to ensuring that each learner is properly informed and protected;

Note:       In 2015, the provision was Standard 5 of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015.

(b)   the prospective student’s options for paying their VET tuition fees, including the following payment options:

(i)    up-front payment;

(ii)    government loan through the provision of VET FEE-HELP assistance;

(c)   details of the eligibility criteria for VET FEE-HELP assistance;

(d)   the course’s VET tuition fees for which VET FEE-HELP assistance may be available, and any other fees for which VET FEE-HELP is not available;

(e)   whether a VET FEE-HELP loan fee will apply for each VET unit of study forming part of the course, and if so the total of those loan fees, if the prospective student requests VET FEE-HELP assistance;

(f)   how to access (on the VET provider’s website):

(i)    the VET tuition fees for the VET units of study forming part of the course; and

(ii)    the census dates for those units; and

(iii)    the VET provider’s withdrawal procedure;

(g)    information about VET-FEE HELP assistance, including that:

(i)    VET FEE-HELP assistance is a loan from the Commonwealth; and

(ii)    this loan will remain as a personal debt obligation until it is repaid to the Commonwealth; and

(iii)    this loan may reduce a student’s take-home (after-tax) wage or salary until the debt is repaid, and may reduce the student’s borrowing capacity until the debt is so repaid; and

(iv)    giving a request for Commonwealth assistance can trigger this loan for the entire VET course of study, charged on a unit by unit basis, unless the student pays some of the VET tuition fees; and

(v)    a census date will apply to each of the VET units of study forming part of the course, and in which the student enrols, with this loan covering any VET tuition fees that remain unpaid at the end of each census date; and

 

 

 

26                                         Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015


Quality and accountability requirements Part 4

Providing information to prospective students etc. Division 4

 

Section 32

(vi)    a student may cancel the student’s enrolment by withdrawing from each VET unit of study forming part of the course on or before the census dates for those units, and in accordance with the VET provider’s withdrawal procedure; and

(vii)    such a withdrawal will result in the student not incurring a VET FEE-HELP debt and receiving a refund for any up-front VET payments made on or before those census dates; and

(viii)    a student may wish to seek independent financial advice before requesting VET FEE-HELP assistance.

(3)   A VET provider must:

(a)   retain, for at least 5 years, a record of all information given to each prospective student under subsection (2); and

(b)   must make these records available to the Minister at the time, and in the form and manner, requested by the Minister.

 

32    Withdrawing from a VET unit of study etc.

(1)   A VET provider must clearly and prominently publish on its website its procedure for:

(a)   a student to withdraw from a VET unit of study undertaken with the VET provider; and

(b)   a student to enrol in a VET unit of study with the VET provider, in a case where the student had earlier withdrawn from a VET unit of study undertaken with the VET provider.

(2)   A VET provider must not have financial, administrative or other barriers to a student withdrawing from the unit before the unit’s census date.

Note:          A consequence of this subsection is that the VET provider’s withdrawal procedure published under subsection (1) must not contain any of these barriers.

 

(3)   If:

(a)   a student is enrolled in a VET unit of study forming part of a VET course of study with a VET provider; and

(b)   the student withdraws from the unit; the VET provider:

(c)   must not, after the withdrawal, enrol the student in a further VET unit of study without the student’s written permission given after the withdrawal; and

(d)   must confirm with the student whether the student wishes to continue any enrolment in any other VET unit of study forming part of the course.

Note:          A VET provider contravenes a civil penalty provision if it refuses certain withdrawal requests, or charges a fee etc. for doing so (see clauses 39DF and 39DG of

Schedule 1A to the Act). Contravening a civil penalty provision is also a contravention of the requirement in section 24 of this instrument.

 

 

33    Requests for Commonwealth assistance

(1)   The purpose of this section is to ensure that students are allowed time to fully consider the implications and responsibilities associated with requesting VET FEE-HELP assistance.

 

 

Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015                                           27


Part 4 Quality and accountability requirements

Division 4 Providing information to prospective students etc.

 

Section 33

(2)   A VET provider must document and keep accurate records of enrolments and requests for Commonwealth assistance, including:

(a)   the day and time a person enrols in a VET course of study or a VET unit of study; and

(b)   the day and time the person gives an appropriate officer of the VET provider a request for Commonwealth assistance in relation to the course or a VET unit that forms a part of the course.

(3)   A VET provider must:

(a)   retain, for at least 5 years, all records required to be kept under subsection (2); and

(b)   must make these records available to the Minister at the time, and in the form and manner, requested by the Minister.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28                                         Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015


Quality and accountability requirements Part 4

Student entry procedure Division 5

 

Section 34

 

 

Division 5—Student entry procedure

 

34    Purpose

This Division is made for the purposes of clause 23B of Schedule 1A to the Act.

 

35    VET courses of study to which student entry procedures must set out requirements etc.

(1)   A VET provider must make a student entry procedure setting out requirements and matters relating to qualifying VET courses undertaken with the VET provider.

(2)   The student entry procedure need not set out any requirements or matters relating to other kinds of VET courses of study.

 

36    Publication requirements

A VET provider’s student entry procedure must be published on the provider’s website in such a way that:

(a)   the procedure can be accessed by clicking:

(i)    no more than 2 links from the VET provider’s home page; and

(ii)    a single link from the home page for each qualifying VET course; and

(b)   each link to the procedure is short, clearly visible and includes the words “student entry procedure”.

 

37    When a student is academically suited

(1)   A VET provider’s student entry procedure must specify that a student is academically suited to undertake a particular VET course of study if:

(a)   the student satisfies one of the requirements in subsection (2); and

(b)   the student satisfies any other specified entry requirements for the VET course of study; and

(c)   the VET provider reasonably believes that the student is academically suited to undertake the VET course of study.

Note 1:       The other specified entry requirements could include any prior education qualifications the provider considers are needed for a student to be academically suited to undertake the course.

Note 2:       A VET provider must comply with its student entry procedure (see subclause 23B(2) of Schedule 1A to the Act).

 

(2)   For the purposes of paragraph (1)(a), the requirements are that:

(a)   the VET provider obtains a copy of a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education that has been awarded to the student by an agency or authority of a State or Territory for the student’s completion of year 12; or

(b)   both:

(i)    the student is assessed as displaying competence at or above Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework in both reading and numeracy; and

 

 

Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015                                           29


Part 4 Quality and accountability requirements

Division 5 Student entry procedure


Section 38

(ii)    the VET provider reasonably believes that the student displays that competence.


 

38    How to assess whether a student is academically suited

(1)   For the purposes of subparagraph 37(2)(b)(i), a VET provider’s student entry procedure must:

(a)   describe the process (including the tools) for validly and reliably assessing a student’s competence in reading and numeracy against the Australian Core Skills Framework; and

(b)   specify one of the following as a tool to be used as part of that process:

(i)    the software platform titled Core Skills Profile for Adults, published by the Australian Council for Educational Research Limited in July 2013, as the platform exists on 1 January 2016;

(ii)    the title of a tool approved under subsection (2) for the VET provider; and

(c)   require that process to be conducted with honesty and integrity.

Note:          The platform mentioned in subparagraph (b)(i) was in 2015 available on that Council’s website (www.acer.edu.au).

 

(2)   The Minister may, on application by a VET provider in a form approved by the Minister, approve a tool for assessing a student’s competence in reading and numeracy if the Minister is satisfied:

(a)   that the tool is a valid, reliable, fair and well-constructed way of assessing whether that competence is at or above Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework; and

(b)   that the VET provider has had the tool appropriately, and independently, verified and evaluated using evidence-based assessment.

Note:          A decision refusing to approve a tool is reviewable under Part 11.

 

(3)   In approving a tool under subsection (2), the Minister must have regard to the document titled Assessment of LLN testing instruments and processes for VET FEE-HELP providers, published by the Department in December 2015, as the document exists on 1 January 2016.

Note 1:       A consequence of this subsection is that the person or body verifying and evaluating a tool as described in paragraph (2)(b) will also need to have regard to this document.

Note 2:       This document could in 2015 be viewed on the Department’s website (www.education.gov.au).

 

(4)   A fee may be charged by a person or body for the use of a tool referred to in paragraph (1)(b).

Note:          A person or body verifying and evaluating a tool as described in paragraph (2)(b) could also decide to charge the VET provider a fee for doing so.

 

 

39    Results of assessments

(1)   A VET provider’s student entry procedure must specify that the results of assessing a student’s competence in reading and numeracy under the procedure are to be reported:

(a)   to the student as soon as practicable after the assessment; and

 

 

30                                         Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015


Quality and accountability requirements Part 4

Student entry procedure Division 5

 

Section 39

(b)   to the Secretary in the form, manner and by the time requested by the Secretary.

(2)   A VET provider’s student entry procedure must specify that the VET provider must retain these results for at least 5 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015                                           31


Part 4 Quality and accountability requirements

Division 6 Compliance with plans for resolving audit concerns

 

Section 40

 

 

Division 6—Compliance with plans for resolving audit concerns

 

40 Compliance with plans for resolving audit concerns

If the suspension of a body’s approval as a VET provider under subclause 36(5) of Schedule 1A to the Act is partly of no effect (see subclause 37(6) of that Schedule), the body must comply with any plan that:

(a)   is agreed between the provider and the Commonwealth; and

(b)   is about resolving the concerns identified by the audit that led to that suspension.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

32                                         Higher Education Support (VET) Guideline 2015


Student fairness Part 5

 

 

 

Section 41

 

 

Part 5—Student fairness

 

41    Equal benefits and opportunity requirements

(1)   This section is made for the purposes of clause 18 of Schedule 1A to the Act.

(2)   A VET provider must treat equally and fairly all students seeking to enrol as VET students in VET units of study with the VET provider.

(3)   A VET provider must have open, fair and transparent procedures that the VET provider reasonably believes are based on merit for making decisions about:

(a)   the selection of students seeking to enrol as VET students in VET units of study with the VET provider; and

(b)   the treatment of such students.

(4)   Subsection (2) does not prevent a VET provider from taking into account:

(a)   any education disadvantages a particular student has experienced, provided that the student meets the entry procedure requirements under clause 45B of Schedule 1A to the Act for the VET unit of study; or

(b)   that a student may be enrolled in the VET unit of study in accordance with a VET restricted access arrangement applying to the VET course of study of which the unit forms part.

(5)   To avoid doubt, if it is necessary to provide a particular benefit to a student in order for the student to receive equal and fair treatment, then this Part does not prevent a VET provider from providing the student with that benefit.

Example:   The VET provider provides the student with a scholarship as a way for the student to receive equal and fair treatment.

 

(6)   Subsection (5) does not limit section 24 (about not contravening civil penalty provisions).

Note:          One of those civil penalty provisions (clause 39DC of Schedule 1A to the Act) deals with inappropriate