Chronology of reforms implemented


Chronology of reforms implemented 


Reform measure

Brief Description

January 2014

Total VET Activity reporting

All training providers delivering nationally recognised training, except those exempted by regulators, are required to report their training activity. This provides comprehensive information about VET across Australia in both the public and private sectors, for the first time.

April 2014

Streamlined governance arrangements for VET

Established new, streamlined governance arrangements for the national training system, including the establishment of the COAG Industry and Skills Council to reduce overlap and increase accountability.

July 2014

Trade Support Loans

  • Eligible apprentices can apply for loans of up to $20,000 over the life of an apprenticeship. To be eligible, an apprentice must be undertaking an occupation or a qualification on the Trade Support Loans Priority List.
  • Apprentices who complete their apprenticeship receive a 20 per cent discount on the amount they borrowed. The loans become repayable once apprentices earn an income over $50,000.



Unique Student Identifier (USI)

Online system launched allowing individuals to generate a personal identifier, the USI,  which will:

  • link together training data submitted to the National VET Data Collection from 1 January 2015
  • provide individuals with access to their data in the form of a transcript of their nationally recognised training outcomes
  • make enrolment processes, credit transfers, and entitlement assessments  easier for students and training providers
  • support improved training policy development and regulation through better information on training pathways and completions.

January 2015

Standards for RTOs 2015 and Standards for Regulators 2015

  • New standards for training providers and regulators came into effect on 1 January 2015 for new training providers and for existing training providers on 1 April 2015.
    The revised standards:
  • ensure the different level of risks posed by different providers is better recognised;
  • enable the regulators to deal more effectively with poor quality in the sector to improve confidence; and
  • meet the Australian Government’s deregulation objectives.
  • The standards describe outcomes training providers must achieve, but do not prescribe methods to achieve these outcomes. This allows training providers to be flexible and innovative in their VET delivery.

January 2015

The National Training Complaints Hotline

The National Training Complaints Hotline allows consumers to lodge complaints if they are concerned about any aspect of the training system. Complaints are then referred to the most appropriate agency or authority for consideration.

April 2015


Banned inducements to students under the VET FEE-HELP scheme.

May 2015

Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC)

Provide industry with a formal, expanded role in policy direction and decision-making for the vocational education and training sector. The AISC is made up of industry leaders from across the country and is charged with providing advice to Ministers about the implementation of national training policies and quality assuring and approving training packages for implementation.

July 2015


Tightened marketing and recruitment practices to better protect students.

July 2015

Increased funding for Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)

The Government has committed $68 million over four years to assist ASQA to move towards a modern new regulatory approach to ensure that ASQA can properly investigate poor quality training providers.

July 2015

Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN)

AASN providers will target support services to the specific needs of employers and apprentices from pre-commencement to completion.

July 2015

My Skills enhanced

The updates to MySkills make the site easier to use, and include:

  • courses linked to skills in demand in each state and territory
  • overall student satisfaction and employment outcomes for the 230 most popular courses
  • identification of sanctioned training providers
  • a modernised, tablet-optimised homepage design
  • mandatory VFH price disclosure requirement on My Skills commenced from December 2015.

January 2016

VET FEE-HELP: Legislative and program amendments

From 1 January 2016 amendments to Higher Education Support Act strengthened requirements of the scheme including the introduction of a minimum of three fee periods per course and entry procedures to ensure students were academically suited to diploma-level study.

January 2016

New Arrangements for Training Product Development for Australian Industry

The new model for Training Product Development for Australian Industry places industry at the centre of training product development through Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) and overseen by the industry-led Australian Industry and Skills Committee.

January 2016

Announcement of Skills Service Organisations (SSOs)

SSOs were appointed to support Industry Reference Committees to develop modern and relevant training packages. SSOs were identified through an open Expression of Interest process and replaced the Industry Skills Councils. The new contestable model for the development of packages will  improve the responsiveness of qualifications to industry needs.

January 2016

Quality of assessment in vocational education and training discussion paper released

The discussion paper gathered stakeholder views on potential reforms to assessment in VET that may improve the quality and consistency of training outcomes.

April 2016

New national risk assessment framework for VET regulation

Currently being finalised. The Risk Assessment Framework supports the proactive regulatory approach of the regulators with a focus on environmental risks within the system, and recognises that VET Regulators do not operate as broad market regulators.

This Risk Assessment Framework represents a more targeted, efficient and effective regulatory approach in the VET sector.

April 2016

Redesigning VET FEE-HELP Discussion Paper released

Minister Ryan launched the discussion paper on the redesign of the VET FEE-HELP scheme, seeking to promote public discussion and inform the redesign.

September 2016

Introduction of new apprenticeship pilots programs

Five industry pilots were established under the $9.2 million Apprenticeships Training – alternative delivery pilots initiative to leverage the existing flexibility of the system and trial apprenticeship delivery arrangements, that could be adopted broadly by industry, giving greater choice in models for apprenticeship training.

November 2016

Announcement of final SSOs to work with industry to develop training packages

Following a thorough analysis of claims made by applicants, the final SSOs were announced for the automotive, resources and infrastructure and the manufacturing sectors.

November 2016

VET alumni program

The program will bring together the best of Australia’s VET students, training providers, teachers and employers to promote the sector. Alumni members will contribute to policy discussions, mentoring activities and share personal stories of their achievement through VET.

January 2017

Introduction of VET Student Loans

VET Students Loans replaces VET FEE-HELP. VET Student Loans provides students access to quality, higher level vocational education and training through the provision of income contingent loans for eligible courses. Other than for specified exceptions (e.g. aviation), there are three loan cap bands of $5000, $10,000 and $15,000, based on cost of delivery.