The Vet Quality Framework, Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations 2012, requires existing RTOs and those applying for registration to comply with one of five listed fee protection options if they intend to collect student fees in advance.
ASQA published an update on 14th April to advise that option 4 would no longer be acceptable fee protection measure. This option pertained to a financial guarantee from a bank operating in Australia for the full amount of funds held in advance, as required by standards 11.3 (initial RTO registration) and 22.3 (continuing RTO registration).
The only remaining acceptable options under these standards (for RTOs that are not administered by a state, territory or Australian Government agency) are:
- Option three―the RTO may accept payment of no more than $1000 from each individual student prior to the commencement of the course. Following course commencement, the RTO may require payment of additional fees in advance from the student but only such that at any given time, the total amount required to be paid which is attributable to tuition or other services yet to be delivered to the student does not exceed $1500.
- Option five—the RTO has alternative fee protection measures of equal rigour approved by the National VET Regulator. The Australian Council for Private Education and Training’s (ACPET) Australian Student Tuition Assurance Scheme (ASTAS) is the only alternative fee protection measure currently approved by ASQA.
RTOs may also apply to have an ‘alternative fee protection measure of equal rigour’, approved by ASQA by submitting the form called : Application for alternative fee protection measures, available on their forms list here.