Student & Training Provider Activation Portal

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is ACPET?

The Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) is the peak industry body for Private education and training across Australia.

As part of our role we run one of the two Tuition Assurance Program (ASTAS) for training providers. What this means is that the Australian Government has approved ACPET to operate a tuition assurance scheme.

What is ASTAS?

ASTAS (Australian Student Tuition Assurance Scheme) is a protection scheme operated by ACPET that ensures that any Australian student displaced from a course due to a training provider’s inability to continue a course is relocated to a comparable course with another training provider or a refund of tuition fees paid in advance and not utilised is made to the student.

ASTAS is sometimes just referred to as the TAS (Tuition Assurance Scheme).

Where are my Certificates/Academic Transcripts/Academic Records?

ACPET is not authorised to issue students certificates, academic transcripts or academic records, only the regulator ASQA or your new training provider can give you copies of any records if they’re available. You can visit the ASQA website www.asqa.gov.au to complete the Application for a Copy of Student Records form, or contact the ASQA InfoLine on 1300 701 801 or email: enquiries@asqa.gov.au for further information. There may be a wait of up to 30 days for your records to be sent and there might be a fee charged, although you could ask for the fee to be waived for you.

If you have a discrepancy with your results, ACPET will not be able to change anything, however if you have sufficient evidence you will be able to speak with your new college regarding Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL).

Where is the money that was paid to the college?

This will be determined by the authorised parties involved in the college closure. ACPET does not have student fees to give to a new college. ACPET does not receive any money from a closed college, nor does ACPET transfer any fees to another provider to accept displaced students.

What choices do I have?

You have two choices as follows:

Option One – Placement in a new college

Students will be offered a place in a similar VET course of study by ACPET, as the administrator of the ASTAS. The offered VET course will lead to the same or comparable qualification without any requirement for a student to pay the new provider any tuition fees for any replacement units (that is, units that the student had commenced but not completed due to the closure.)

A student will receive course credit from the second provider for any VET units of study successfully completed with the first provider (the closed college). The second (new) provider may have different tuition fees to the fees that would have been paid to the first (closed) provider.

Option two – Tuition Fee Repayment

Students selecting this option may have their VET FEE Help debt re-credited for the uncompleted VET units, or the TAS Administrator undertakes to refund the student for any up-front payments already paid for any VET units of study commenced but not completed due to the closure.

How do I go about making this choice?

Based on information received about your previous course, ACPET searches for a college that offers a course that closely matches the one you were undertaking at a similar fee level. This matching process will attempt to consider your location, needs and mode of delivery (e.g. Face to face or on-line learning) where possible.

You will then receive a Letter of Offer from ACPET advising you of your study options asking you to advise us of your choice by a specific date. You must reply within the timeframe.

You can expect to receive this letter within 20 business days from the college closure date, provided ACPET receives your correct contact details.

What if I select my own new provider?

Not all colleges are ACPET Members. If you decide to enrol yourself in another college without ACPET’s assistance, you will disadvantage yourself in the following ways:

  • ACPET cannot negotiate a credit-free tuition period for any money you may have lost as a result of your college closing
  • you may be waiving your rights under Legislation to claim a refund
  • the new college is entitled to charge full fees as per a normal student enrolment which means you may pay for the same qualification twice.

It is highly recommended that you wait for ACPET’s Letter of Offer.

What is teach out?

Sometimes a provider will close off its operations and will not offer places to new students. However what it will do is ensure that the students that are currently enrolled are provided the teaching to let them finish their qualification/course. This is called “teach out”.

What is recredit?

This relates to students who are funding their learning through income contingent loans from the government.

When a provider has completely closed, no new students are enrolled and, current students are no longer offered the opportunity to complete.

In this case, the currently enrolled students will be “re-credited” for the outstanding portion of debt that they have incurred from the government as part of their tuition loan. Importantly, the re-credit is not cash in hand. It is a re-credit of a loan against your future earnings which will be recognised by the ATO.

Why do colleges close?

Training providers close for a range of reasons. It could be that they are sold to another owner, it becomes no longer viable for them to continue and sometimes, it could be because the regulator wants them to close down.

At the end of the day from the student’s perspective, regardless of the reason, it is distressing and very inconvenient.

This is where ACPET and the Tuition Assurance program comes in. It is designed to support and protect students move onto another provider, or arrange for a recredit of the course loan (VET FEE HELP LOAN) back to the Government (through the Tax Office).

My agent (or broker) has offered to help me. What do I do?

ACPET does not work with agents or brokers in relocating students to a new college. ACPET is bound by the Privacy Act, therefore must communicate directly with each student so ACPET is not able to use any agent to pass information on to students. If you wish to engage a third party or agent, ACPET must have an authorisation letter with your signature before we can enter discussions with them.

How much does this service cost me?

ACPET does not charge students a fee to relocate you to a new college. The tuition assurance operator is the ONLY organisation that is able to negotiate a credit free tuition period in a new member college on your behalf.  Any agent claiming to work with or representing ACPET is not telling you the truth. Please do NOT follow their advice. Agents are also NOT able to negotiate or guarantee a refund on your behalf.

I owe fees and what about my due assignments?

Your college has closed, so cease any further payments that you may have scheduled.  Also any assignments that you may be working on should now be retained by yourself for discussion with the new college.  Please keep any unassessed assignments as you will need to give it to your new college to ensure that you are given full credit for your studies to date.

The length of my course has changed

Sometimes qualifications are reviewed or superseded from time to time and unfortunately, ACPET cannot do anything about that. Depending on whether there are changes made to the course you’re undertaking, you may have to commit to a longer duration of study if there are extra units attached to the new qualification. This would be at an additional cost to the student. It is assumed that the new college will try to help students transition to the new qualification to the best of their capacity.

I can’t get my statement of attainment that shows what I have completed. I want to go to another college. Can you help? What do I do?

You are right to ask for this. Every student has the right to have a record of what they have achieved in their learning.

At this stage we are still learning about the closure of this college. We will keep you up to date.

Please register your interest with the ACPET Membership Team to receive further information.

Students can contact Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)  to apply for a student record. Please note you will be charged a processing fee to secure this.

I can’t get my statement of attainment that shows what I have completed. I want to go to another college. Can you help? What do I do?

Students can contact Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)  to apply for a student record. Please note you will be charged a processing fee to secure this.

I am not on the student data records that have been provided to ACPET? What do I do?

It is really hard for us to ascertain the type of support that you require. IN the first instance, we recommend that you contact Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)  to apply for a student record. Please note you will be charged a processing fee to secure this.  This will accurately tell you the status of your record and enrolment.

My college closed down a few months ago but have just been too busy to get in touch with ACPET, What do I do?

It is really important to get in touch with ACPET as quickly as possible after you receive notice of closure. In the meantime please log your name and details with us to respond to and we will get back to you with next steps.

I just heard that my college fell over 2 years ago and I never got my transcript. Is this something you can help with.

It is really hard for us to ascertain the type of support that you require. IN the first instance, we recommend that you contact Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)  to apply for a student record. Please note you will be charged a processing fee to secure this.  This will accurately tell you the status of your record and enrolment.

Do I still have a debt?

If you were enrolled at the College and you opted for an income contingent loan from the Federal Government to pay for that course (otherwise known as VET FEE HELP) then yes, you probably do. The question is how much. To answer that question you should have records that tell you:

  • What course you were in
  • The cost of that course
  • The census dates – and how many census dates you have progressed through

To formally find out how much you owe you need to contact the ATO via the MyGov website. If you haven’t set up an account already – you will need to.

To go – https://my.gov.au/LoginServices/main/login?execution=e2s1 and click on “Create My Gov Account”. Through this process you will link up your ATO Account to this site so that you can track your VFH Debt.

Alternatively if you have questions contact Study Assist – http://studyassist.gov.au/sites/StudyAssist/

Do I need to contact Centrelink?

If you have a Youth Allowance payment or student allowance payment we really recommend that you contact Centrelink to advise them of your change in circumstances.

To find out more go to the Study Assist site for further information http://studyassist.gov.au/sites/studyassist/studentincomesupport

What do I do if I have received a letter to opt-in and my provider has closed down?

Students should ensure that they have opted-in using the letter sent by the department. This will allow your replacement VET FEE-HELP provider (following activation of tuition assurance requirements) to take you on as a student for any remaining parts of your course. Information about providers that are closing will be updated on the VET Student loans website. Students should refer to the Tuition assurance factsheet available at www.education.gov.au/vet-student-loans.  Please also refer to the specific fact sheet on opt-in here https://docs.education.gov.au/node/42256