Tuition Protection Service - VET

VET Provider Information

VSL Provider Overview

Waiver of the 2020 Domestic TPS Levies

On 30 September 2020, the Minister for Education and the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business announced the waiver of the 2020 HELP Tuition Protection Levy and the 2020 VSL Tuition Protection Levy, in support of the Covid-19 economic recovery.

For more information, please see the Ministers' press release, click here.

COVID-19 Information

The TPS understands that the current COVID-19 situation may be concerning for some students and providers. Providers and students are encouraged to stay up-to-date on current advice, and consider flexible approaches to support the continuity of education and training delivery.

Information for students and providers about COVID-19 is available on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment's website.

Additional information about VET Student Loans and COVID-19 is available here.

Tuition Protection Arrangements for VET Student Loans (VSL) Providers

'Tuition protection' refers to the protections and assistance available to support VSL students in the event their private education provider defaults.

A provider default occurs in relation to a VSL student when either a course, or part of a course:

  • fails to start on the day on which it was scheduled to start; or
  • ceases after commencement but before completion; and
  • the student has not withdrawn.

All non-exempt VSL providers are part of the VSL Tuition Protection arrangements set out in the VET Student Loans Act 2016 and VET Student Loans Rules 2016. The VSL Tuition Protection arrangements impose obligations and requirements on providers.

TAFEs, other Government-owned providers including 'Table A' Universities are exempt from the tuition protection arrangements, with the exception of obligations relating to providing information about replacement courses and that of replacement providers. These providers are required to provide tuition protection assistance to students in the event they default.

In the event of a provider default, the TPS assists VSL students to:

  • continue their studies with a replacement provider in an equivalent or similar course; or
  • if a suitable replacement course is not available, receive a loan re-credit for affected parts of the course (the units/course they were unable to complete because of the provider's default).

The Principles for determining affected parts of a course in the event of a VSL provider default outlines the principles and types of evidence the TPS may consider when determining the parts of a course that have been affected by a VSL provider default.

Further information for providers is available on the VET FAQs page.

Defaulting Providers

The VSL tuition protection arrangements impose a range of obligations with associated timeframes on defaulting providers. The VET Student Loans Defaulting Provider Fact Sheet provides further information about these obligations.

Providers that expect they may be at risk of defaulting in the near future are encouraged to contact the TPS as early as possible at operations@tps.gov.au. The TPS will work with providers to ensure they understand their responsibilities and obligations in the event of a default.

Providers are encouraged to be transparent and upfront in their communications with their students, ensuring students are aware of the assistance available to them and their responsibilities. VSL students should be directed to the TPS website at tps.gov.au/Vet for further information about tuition protection.

Replacement Providers

All VSL providers have obligations under the tuition protection arrangements. Replacement providers are those VSL providers that take on students affected by the default of their provider and assist them to complete their studies. Affected students may have just commenced their course, be part way through, or almost finished their course.

VSL providers are encouraged to act as replacement providers to assist affected VSL students to continue and complete their study. The VET Student Loans Replacement Provider Fact Sheet provides further information about the replacement provider process and obligations.

A replacement provider may receive an incentive payment, which is intended to contribute to a portion of administrative costs that may be incurred in taking on students affected by a provider default. These payments are payable at the discretion of the TPS Director. Further information is provided in the VSL Provider Incentive Payment document.

VSL Tuition Protection Levy

The tuition protection arrangements are sector-funded and underpinned by a sustainable provider levy framework. The levy framework will cover the long-term costs of tuition protection by requiring all non-exempt VSL providers to contribute annual levies commensurate with their size and risk.

A leviable VSL provider will pay a levy comprised of an administrative fee component, a risk rated premium component and a special tuition protection component. The levies are set using legislative instruments. The risk rated premium and special tuition protection components are reviewed and set annually, to ensure they remain appropriate to the sector. The legislative instruments specifying the settings for the 2020 VSL tuition protection levy have been finalised and are available for you to view at the following links:

Please note, providers will not be required to pay the 2020 VSL tuition protection levy following a decision by the Australian Government to waive the 2020 levy.

Higher Education and International

If you are a higher education provider, and would like information about tuition protection, please visit the Higher Education TPS page.

If you are an international education provider, and would like information about the Tuition Protection Service, please visit the International Student TPS Page.