Be wary when selecting vocational education and training courses. Every year NSW Fair Trading receives complaints from students about training and educational courses regarding fees and refunds, misleading information and course quality.
Australia has a national system of accrediting vocational education training qualifications and courses. Only registered training organisations can deliver nationally recognised qualifications and accredited courses.
If you are interested in undertaking any qualifications or courses you should make the following essential checks:
Check the training provider and course are recognised by industry on the new national register for Australia's training system which lists registered training organisations as well as accredited courses and training packages at training.gov.au
Shop around for the training course that best suits your needs. Compare prices, fees, length of the courses and job opportunities following completion. You may wish to start by investigating what comparable courses are offered by TAFE at www.tafensw.edu.au
Be wary of making large up-front payments especially for private training courses until you are sure the course is recognised by industry and it meets your needs. Ask yourself these questions:
Read the training contract carefully before you sign it and check the cancellation and refund conditions in case you change your mind. Ask to see a copy of the student handbook which should have information about the training organisation’s grievance and appeals policy.
If you have a problem with your training provider or course about delivery of training, assessment, marketing and student information or issuing national qualifications you should try to resolve it with the training provider first. If you are unsuccessful you can lodge a complaint with the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) by filling in a form or calling 1300 701 801.
ASQA complaint form in Word format (size: 259kb)
If you are seeking a refund of the course or enrolment fees, please contact Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or lodge a complaint online.
If you are from overseas and have a student visa you must check the organisation you wish to study with is registered to deliver training to overseas students and is listed on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) at cricos.deewr.gov.au
If your provider has not provided you with the course you are enrolled in, and you believe that the provider has defaulted, you may be entitled to a full refund. Contact the Education Services for Overseas Student (ESOS) Helpline on 1300 363 079 or email to email@example.com
Be aware that you cannot transfer to another course or training organisation without first receiving a written offer from your provider. If you do not agree with this offer, and you do not wish to transfer to another course or training organisation, you are entitled to a full refund. If you have any concerns regarding these matters, contact the ESOS helpline.
If you are attending a self-accrediting university, for example the University of Sydney, you should contact the International Students Office of your university for any concerns or enquiries.
For any questions about your visa please contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship on 13 18 81.