Frequently Asked Questions

Read this information to understand more about how the National Training Complaints Hotline operates.

On this page:

About the hotline and hours of operation

What is the National Training Complaints Hotline?

The National Training Complaints Hotline is a national service for consumers to register complaints concerning vocational education and training. The service refers consumers to the appropriate agency/authority/jurisdiction to assist with their complaints.

Why was the National Training Complaints Hotline established?

The vocational education and training sector is complex, with many different organisations involved, including the Australian, state and territory governments.

Consumers deserve a streamlined and simple way to report complaints.

To address this issue, in September 2014 the COAG Industry and Skills Council announced an agreement to implement a National Training Complaints Hotline. The National Training Complaints Hotline was launched on 20 January 2015 by the former Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham (the now Minister for Education and Training). You can view the media release via the Department of Education's website.

Will the National Training Complaints Hotline handle my complaint?

Most agencies that handle complaints will not be able to assist until you have completed the formal complaints process of the training organisation with which you have a grievance.

Training providers are required to have a formal complaints and appeals process to make sure that complaints are addressed effectively and efficiently.

This process should include the option for you to appeal your complaint if you are not satisfied with your training provider’s response. This means that you can have someone independent to your training provider look at your complaint.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint with the National Training Complaints Hotline, it is important to follow your training provider’s formal grievance process.

The National Training Complaints Hotline does not investigate complaints but will forward complaints to the most appropriate agency, authority or jurisdiction for consideration.

When does the National Training Complaints Hotline operate?

The National Training Complaints Hotline operates Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm Canberra time.

Complaints handling process and contact options

How long will it take for my complaint to be investigated?

Once referred to the appropriate agency, responses to complaints will be subject to the relevant authorities’ performance standards.

It is important to understand that not all complaints can be investigated. For example, some agencies or authorities take a risk-assessment approach to complaints. Their resources are limited so they need to decide which complaints they will prioritise and focus on.

In other cases some agencies or authorities will use the complaints to target their longer-term compliance and enforcement efforts rather than investigating individual complaints.

I’d rather just put my issues in writing and/or supply written evidence. Can I do this or do I need to ring the National Training Complaints Hotline?

Written complaints can be emailed to

Please include as much detail as possible including your contact details so your complaint can be thoroughly considered.

I struggle with speaking English. Can I still call the National Training Complaints Hotline?

Interpreter services are available through the Australian Government's Translating and Interpreting Service by calling 131 450.

Please ask for the National Training Complaints Hotline. The telephone number is 13 38 73 (please select option 4).

I have hearing and speech difficulties. Can I still call the National Training Complaints Hotline?

The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business uses the National Relay Service to ensure our contact numbers are accessible to people who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment.

To access the National Training Complaints Hotline:

  • TTY users – phone 133 677 then ask for 13 38 73.
  • Speak and Listen (speech-to-speech relay) users - phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 13 38 73 (option 4)
  • internet relay users - visit the National Relay Service website and ask for 13 38 73 (option 4).

I’d like to speak on someone else’s behalf. Can the National Training Complaints Hotline help me?

If you are a parent/carer calling on behalf of your child who is aged 16 years or under, then the hotline will be able to assist you.

If you are calling on behalf of someone else, it is important to have the appropriate authority to provide the information on that person’s behalf. Otherwise, the individual involved will need to make the complaint directly to the hotline, or provide verification of their consent for the complaint to be raised on their behalf.

You need to email a signed written letter of consent from the person on whose behalf you are calling to If you call the National Training Complaints Hotline on 13 38 73 (please select option4), they will provide you with more information on this process.

In order to comply with the Australian Privacy Principles complaints on behalf of someone else cannot be proceeded with until verification is received.

The following will enable the National Training Complaints Hotline to verify that you have authority to submit a complaint on behalf of another person:

My issue is complex. How will the various aspects be managed?

The National Training Complaints Hotline will manage and forward all aspects of complaints to the relevant authorities.

My complaint is about alleged fraud. Can the National Training Complaints Hotline help me?

There are a range of issues which are outside of the scope of responsibility of the National Training Complaints Hotline.

Callers raising issues such as fraud, criminal activity, visa issues, discrimination, consumer goods/services, wage issues, results of freedom of information, decisions of government will be provided with relevant contact details.

The National Training Complaints Hotline will not play a further role in assisting with these queries.


How will the information collected be used?

The National Training Complaints Hotline will provide valuable evidence to governments to inform policy development; legislative and regulatory development; and continuous improvement in the vocational education and training system.

Consumer feedback will also help authorities deal with poor quality providers and organisations.

Do I have to identify myself when I complain?

While anonymous complaints can be accepted, they can be less effective. While agencies can consider some anonymous complaints, they won't be able to contact you to request more information or to let you know the outcome of their consideration.

How will the Australian Government protect my personal information?

Personal information will be collected, stored, used and disclosed in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles and the department's Privacy Policy.

The department will disclose the information you provide to the appropriate Australian, state or territory agency or authority for it's information, or for potential investigation of your complaint.

Where personal information is disclosed to a state or territory agency/authority to investigate the complaint, the information will be dealt with by that agency/authority in accordance with the privacy legislation in operation in that jurisdiction.

For further information on how the department handles your personal information, how you may make a complaint about the department’s handling of your personal information, or how you may access your personal information, please refer to the department’s Privacy Policy.