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Education Training, Government Federal

ITECA Secures Safeguards In New Skills Training Regulator Legislation

Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia 2 mins read

After an intense period of lobbying, the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) has secured amendments to legislation reforming the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (Cth). The amendments secured by ITECA ensure that the Australian Government will no longer be able to impose a permanent ban on the establishment of new Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).

Through the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Amendment (Strengthening Quality and Integrity in Vocational Education and Training No. 1) Bill 2024, the Australian Government sought to introduce several changes to the regulatory framework governing RTOs. Among the changes proposed was the authority to indefinitely halt the approval of new RTOs.

“There are no sound arguments for the government to possess such a sweeping power, so ITECA successfully lobbied the parliament for safeguards within the legislation,” stated Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.

This success is a great example of the impact of ITECA’s member-driven advocacy. Working alongside the Opposition, minor parties, and independent parliamentarians in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, ITECA successfully lobbied for the inclusion of safeguards in the legislative amendment.

“The final version of the amendments passed by Parliament includes the safeguards ITECA sought. These comprise a twelve-month limit on the Australian Government's ability to ban the creation of new RTOs, along with the requirement to publish why such a ban was considered necessary,” Mr Williams said.

ITECA continues to express concerns with other aspects of the amended legislation and remains committed to advocating for further reforms.

“The Australian Government’s stated intent was to enhance quality in the skills training system; however, many legal experts and training sector stakeholders argue that the existing regulatory framework could achieve this goal if utilised effectively,” Mr Williams said.

In response to queries regarding whether the skills training sector considers the amendments to be legislative overreach, ITECA’s position is unequivocal.

“Some have likened the powers sought in this legislation to using a sledgehammer to crack an egg. However, a more apt analogy is that it is akin to using a tactical nuclear weapon for the same task,” Mr. Williams exclaimed.

When considering issues of quality in the skills training system, ITECA encourages the Australian Government to consider the fact that for government-funded students, private RTOs achieve the highest student satisfaction and highest completion rates, according to data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

Ends.

 


Key Facts:

The Australian Government sought to introduce several changes to the regulatory framework governing Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). Among the changes proposed was the authority to indefinitely halt the approval of new RTOs.

The final version of the amendments passed by Parliament includes the safeguards ITECA sought. These comprise a twelve-month limit on the Australian Government's ability to ban the creation of new RTOs, along with the requirement to publish why such a ban was considered necessary.


About us:

ITECA Introduction:  Formed in 1992, ITECA is the peak body representing independent providers in the vocational training, higher education, and international education sectors.  Independent Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) support around 89% of the 4.5 million students in skills training and around 10% of the 1.6 million students in a higher education awards program.


Contact details:

Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive
e: troy.williams@iteca.edu.au
m: 0400 599 934

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