What happens when things have not been resolved and you have to take your matter to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal?
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) provides an independent review of a wide range of administrative decisions made by the Australian Government (and some non-government bodies). The AAT aims to provide fair, impartial, high quality and prompt review with as little formality and technicality as possible.
How do I lodge an application for review?
Your application to the AAT must be lodged:
- in writing (using the forms available from the AAT Registry in your capital city, or from the AAT website), and
- lodged within 28 days of receiving a notification of the ASQA decision that you want reviewed.
Once your application has been lodged, you will receive a letter confirming receipt of the application and telling you what happens next.
What is the AAT’s review process?
In most cases, the first step in a review is a conference. This is an informal meeting conducted by the AAT with you and an ASQA representative. You will have a chance to talk about your case and explain why you think the decision should be changed. The AAT will, where possible, try to help both parties reach an agreement on how the case should be resolved.
The AAT might hold a second conference or another type of meeting, such as a conciliation or mediation meeting. Many cases are finalised at this stage.
If agreement cannot be reached, then the AAT will hold a hearing and make a decision.
The AAT's procedures and the amount of time needed to complete the review will vary from case to case. The AAT aims to have cases finalised within 12 months.
Timelines for steps in the process are available from the AAT website.
Some useful tips and suggestions:
- Read and understand ASQA’s decision on your RTO application and operations: Try to be logical and find out the reasons that have led to the action.
- If you are not satisfied with a decision made by ASQA, you can use this link to find a number of options.
- Review the publicly available decisions: ASQA links a complete list of all publicly available Tribunal and Court reasons for decisions involving ASQA, in order to assist students and potential students to make an informed decisions about choosing a provider, and provide industry, government and the public with accurate and accessible information on the merits and legality of ASQA's regulatory decisions.
- Apply your case to Administrative Appeals Tribunal: You will get at-least two telephone mediation hearings to resolve your matter with the regulatory body. Apply online
- Time to collect information and evidence: Immediately start working on collecting the evidence and information required to support your application. It is important to note that the AATs decision is based on the RTOs level of compliance at the date of the final hearing.
- You will need support from experienced VET consultants. Compliance consultants can help you in a number of ways, such as – preparing and collecting your supporting information and evidence, dealing with the regulatory body, and give you the information they have from their past experiences at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. We at Compliance and Quality Assurance (CAQA) have a number of quality consultants who have represented clients in AAT matters.
- You may also need legal advice, so speak to a solicitor who is experienced in VET related matters.
- Find relevant information: You can find relevant information from the following websites: