Hundreds of international students in Sydney and Brisbane are facing uncertainty after authorities decided to cancel the registration of a training provider for breaching several conditions including inaccurate marketing practices.
The national regulator for Australia’s vocational education and training sector says it has decided to cancel Australia Institute of Business and Technology's registration after finding the education provider had breached several of its conditions.
Operating as AIBT, the provider is registered under the name Brighton Pacific Pty Ltd with the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) number 41138.
In a statement provided to SBS Nepali earlier today, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) said the decision to cancel AIBT's Vocational Education and Training accreditation and the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for International Students or CRICOS registration was based on the provider's failure to demonstrate that its marketing practices were accurate and factual.
The cancellation is said to take effect from 26 March 2019 and AIBT has 28 days to appeal this decision at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
“Providers offering the Diploma of Nursing who do not have ANMAC approval must ensure their marketing, including by their Education Agents, does not mislead students in relation to obtaining a licensed or regulated outcome”, said ASQA.
It further stated that AIBT could not demonstrate that “its training and assessment practices enabled each learner to meet all requirements of their course, it had sufficient resources including qualified staff and facilities or it had implemented an assessment system to ensure learners had the skills needed.”
AIBT to defend its position
In a response to SBS after the regulator’s decision, AIBT said "the matter is subject to an appeal in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), which includes a stay of ASQA’s decision.
"AIBT intends to strenuously defend the decision of ASQA and has already instructed specialist lawyers and senior counsel".
“AIBT is able to continue to operate its business until this matter is heard by the AAT and until the AAT hands down its decision, which may not be until later this year/early next year”, said the email response.
The issue came to a head after more than 800 overseas students enrolled in the Diploma of Nursing (HLT54115) were told their education at AIBT would not be recognized with reports that the provider had enrolled students in the Diploma of Nursing without accreditation from ANMAC - the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council.
“Providers offering the Diploma of Nursing who do not have ANMAC approval must ensure their marketing, including by their Education Agents, does not mislead students in relation to obtaining a licensed or regulated outcome”, says ASQA.
ANMAC accreditation is mandatory for anyone wanting to work as an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse (EEN) in Australia.
A joint statement from the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) and ANMAC issued to SBS Nepali states:
"It is the view of the NMBA that Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) should clearly advise students if a program is not accredited by ANMAC and not approved by the NMBA, and that the program will not lead to registration as a nurse or midwife in Australia under the approved qualification pathway.
The NMBA and ANMAC communicated this expectation in a letter to education providers last year, including the expectation that prospective students should be advised of the approval status of programs prior to enrolment."
It further states that if an education provider is offering a course to international students, the national code of practice for providers of education and training to overseas students applies.
According to the Australian Skills Quality Authority, AIBT “did not demonstrate it had undertaken satisfactory remedial action to identify and address the impact caused to students”.
Overseas students impacted by the provider’s practices should contact the Tuition Protection Service on (02) 6271 3440 or the Commonwealth Overseas Student Ombudsman: http://www.ombudsman.gov.au/How-we-can-help/overseas-students