Students will be better off with new VET complaints body

The Victorian Government’s decision to establish a new body with the power to resolve vocational education disputes is a win for students, according to the Consumer Action Law Centre.

The dispute resolution body, to be established in 2016, is part of a suite of recommendations outlined in an external Review of Quality Assurance in Victoria’s VET System. The Government today announced that it would support all recommendations of the Review.

Many of Consumer Action’s clients face lengthy court proceedings or negotiations if they have a dispute with a training provider. Some may have been enrolled in unsuitable courses, or have been unhappy with the quality of their course.

“Like the Review, we support an independent national ombudsman to resolve consumer disputes as this is a national market,” Consumer Action CEO Gerard Brody said, “but in the absence of this, our hope is that this new Victorian body will be able to provide a free and effective dispute resolution service to students”.

“The regulators have investigated the performance of training providers, but haven’t always been able to obtain redress for consumers, so this will correct a major flaw of the current system”, said Mr Brody.

Along with other recommendations, Consumer Action also welcomes the immediate commencement of an audit of 50 training providers to investigate behaviour such as exploitative marketing and fraudulent claims and substandard training.

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