We investigate in an independent and impartial way. This means we do not advocate for either the student or the provider. Complaint investigations are conducted in private and are usually informal.
When we receive a complaint, we assess it to determine if it raises issues we can investigate. In some cases, we may decide not to investigate a complaint. This might be because:
- the student has not complained to the provider first, or
- another organisation is better placed to deal with the complaint.
If we decide not to investigate, we will tell you why and let you know what to do next. More information about seeking a review of your VET Student Loan or VET FEE-HELP complaint is available in our factsheet.
If we decide to investigate a complaint, we will ask the provider about the problem. We may request relevant information from the provider, such as student records.
As a general rule, we will not, and in some cases cannot, investigate a complaint until it has first been raised with the provider. As a condition of registration as a training organisation, providers are required to have a two-step internal complaint-handling process published on their website. Following this process gives the provider an opportunity to resolve the matter first. We have found that this is usually a more efficient way of resolving a complaint.
To find out how to make a complaint with your provider, read our factsheet.
I was a student of a provider that closed down before I could finish my course. What do I do?
If your provider closed while you were part-way through your study, you should read the tuition assurance and provider closures information on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website which explains the available options.
The VET FEE-HELP Student Redress Measures allow people to dispute a VET FEE-HELP debt because of inappropriate conduct of providers or their agents. This legislation allows debts to be removed if the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations find that the conduct of the provider was inappropriate.
To dispute your debt through this process, you need to make a complaint with us. You can do this by filling out our online form.
Read our factsheet to find out more.
For your complaint to be considered under the Student Redress Measures you will need to show us you didn’t apply earlier due to exceptional circumstances. Some examples of why you didn’t make your complaint earlier could include:
- You didn't know you had a VET FEE-HELP debt or you didn't know it could be cancelled under the measures.
- You, or someone you were caring for, were impacted by COVID-19 or a different disability or illness between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2020.
- You have trouble understanding or communicating in English.
- You were under financial stress – such as homeless or without a job.
- You tried to make a complaint earlier, but something went wrong.