Student & Training Provider Activation Portal

Definition of ASTAS for students and stakeholders

ACPET offers tuition assurance protection to students in the event that a student is unable to complete a course as a result of the insolvency of a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). Tuition Assurance relates to that portion of a student’s tuition fees that were paid in advance of that tuition.

The Scheme offers two choices. When an RTO ceases to trade, students can request to continue their study in a comparable course with an alternative provider, or to discontinue with their studies and obtain a refund for the fees prepaid but unutilised. The ASTAS is underpinned by an Insurance Policy and all refunds are carried out in accordance with this policy.

The Insurance Policy does not provide for the full refund of all fees as at the date of payment of those fees. Rather, the policy operates based on the effluxion of time, from the commencement of your enrolment to your expected completion date.

The policy will pay out the proportion of your course fees, calculated from the date of your provider’s insolvency. That is, the proportion of unutilised fees left as at the date of insolvency.

This effectively means that if you paid 100% of your course fees in advance and are half way through the time agreed for your course, you would receive 50% of your fees, subject to the other terms and conditions in the policy.

When a independent (private) provider closes, the providers Tuition Assurance Scheme with ACPET is “activated”. The Tuition Assurance needs to be called upon to assist students in:

  1. Re-credit of student loans (VET FEE-HELP, VET Student Loans or FEE HELP) for independent (private) provider closures in 2017 and prior.
  2. Refund of tuition fees paid in advance and not utilised, is made to the student in accordance with clause 7.3 of the RTO Standards 2015 or the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015.
  3. Assisting students in finding another provider to continue their studies.

What are the stages?

Activation called

There are a range of reasons why an activation is called. These include:

  • Provider goes into insolvency and the closure is managed by an Administrator
  • Sudden closure of provider.

At this stage the activation may be called but it may be resolved by the liquidator or even the provider themselves. If this occurs the activation is said to have been resolved informally.

Student data collected

If an activation is formally called for the process commences with ACPET obtaining student data from the provider or administrator. After collecting the data:

  • Student records are analysed for priorities, progression through census dates and learning program.
  • The industry (ACPET Members) are approached to ascertain what opportunities exist for students to be placed with their providers.
  • A specific strategy is developed per provider, and
  • The potential for matching the courses that students in the closed college are in, with places available in the industry for the same learning program is assessed.
Communication with Students

Soon after course closure ACPET directly communicates with students to define their rights in the process and highlight possible pathways moving forward. For some colleges that have closed this communication may have already commenced before ACPET takes receipt of the student records. For each college closure a specific communication strategy is created

  • Each student will be contacted to establish if they wish to continue their course through a matched provider or, seek re-credit of their student loan or refund of tuition fees paid in advance and not utilised, is made to the student.
Student assistance provided

The following assistance is provided by ACPET through the Tuition Assurance Scheme to students:

  • Re-credit of student loans (VET FEE-HELP, VET Student Loans or FEE HELP) for independent (private) provider closures in 2017 and prior.
  • Refund of tuition fees paid in advance and not utilised, is made to the student.
  • Assisting students in finding another provider to continue their studies.