Understanding the Lapse of Registration for RTOs and What to Do if You Are Affected

Understanding the Lapse of Registration for RTOs

As of 1 July 2024, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has implemented the regulation that results in the automatic lapse of registration for RTOs that have not delivered any training or assessment for 12 consecutive months or more. This significant change impacts 152 RTOs, who now face de-registration due to non-compliance with this requirement, as notified on training.gov.au. Here’s what you need to know if your registration has lapsed, or you are at risk.

What Does “Registration Period Expired” Mean?

From 1 January 2023, any RTO that does not deliver training and/or assessment to VET students for a consecutive period of 12 months will see their registration automatically lapse. This is known as the “measurement period.” ASQA will notify affected providers, who must then return their certificate of registration within 10 days of notification.

Immediate Steps if Your Registration Has Lapsed

If your registration has lapsed, you will have received a notification from ASQA. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Return Your Certificate of Registration: Ensure you return your certificate to ASQA within 10 days of receiving their notification.
  2. Inform Your Stakeholders: Communicate the lapse to your students, staff, and other stakeholders to maintain transparency and trust.
  3. Consider Re-Applying: You are not prohibited from re-applying to register as an RTO. This involves going through the usual market entry processes.

Requesting an Extension to the Measurement Period

If you believe there are valid reasons that prevented your RTO from delivering training, you can request an extension to the measurement period. Here’s how:

  1. Submit a Request 90 Days Prior: You must submit your extension request at least 90 days before your registration lapse date.
  2. Provide Supporting Evidence: Your application should detail circumstances outside your control that caused the non-delivery, such as:
    • Exceptional personal circumstances (e.g., death or prolonged illness of an Executive Officer).
    • Exceptional external circumstances (e.g., major fire, flood, or pandemic events).
    • Critical VET workforce shortages.
  3. Detailed Plan for Resuming Delivery: Include a detailed plan outlining how and when you will resume training and/or assessment.
  4. Understand ASQA’s Criteria: ASQA will extend measurement periods sparingly and only in compelling circumstances. Reasons unlikely to warrant an extension include protracted sales processes, dormancy awaiting CRICOS registration, or voluntary absence of an Executive Officer.

Impact of the New Regulation

If Your Measurement Period Ended Before 1 July 2024

If your RTO’s measurement period (12 consecutive months of non-delivery) ended before 1 July 2024, you were required to apply to ASQA for an extension to the measurement period by 1 May 2024. If you failed to do so, your registration has now lapsed.

If Your Measurement Period Ends Within 30 Days After 1 July 2024

If your RTO’s measurement period ends within 30 days after 1 July 2024, you must apply to ASQA for an extension at least 60 days before your lapse date. For instance, if your lapse date is 31 July 2024, you should have applied for an extension by 1 June 2024.

Example Scenarios

Scenario 1: Registration Lapsed Prior to 1 July 2024

An RTO that has not delivered training since 1 January 2023 would ordinarily see its registration lapse on 31 December 2023. However, under the transition provisions, this RTO’s registration lapsed on 1 July 2024. If the RTO did not request an extension by 1 May 2024, its registration has now lapsed.

Scenario 2: Registration Lapse After 1 July 2024

An RTO that ceased delivery on 1 September 2023 will have a lapse date of 31 August 2024. The RTO needed to apply for an extension by 1 June 2024, at least 90 days prior to the lapse date. If the RTO submits an extension request with the necessary supporting evidence, ASQA will assess the request and notify the RTO of its decision prior to 31 August 2024. If the RTO disagrees with ASQA’s decision, it may apply for reconsideration.

What Happens if You Disagree with ASQA’s Decision?

If ASQA denies your extension request, you can apply for reconsideration of the decision. This must be done promptly, and you must present any additional evidence or arguments to support your case.

Final Thoughts

Navigating these new regulations can be challenging, but understanding the requirements and acting swiftly can mitigate the impact on your RTO. If you are at risk of your registration lapsing, consider seeking professional advice to ensure your extension request is robust and well-supported.

For more detailed guidance and to apply for an extension, visit the ASQA website or contact their support services.

If you need assistance with your compliance or to understand more about these changes, contact Vivacity Coaching and Consulting. Our experts are here to help you navigate these regulatory challenges and keep your RTO on track. Book a Discovery Call with our team to learn more about how we can help.

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