Australian Skills Quality Authority has made it crystal clear that “Registered training organisations (RTOs) and Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) providers are not permitted to transfer their registration from one legal entity to another. However, where a change of company shareholdings occurs, but the ABN/ACN of the entity registered with ASQA does not change, then the provider may continue as long as they notify ASQA of the change of ownership”.
If you are involved in a change of ownership, either as disposer or acquirer, it is important you understand your obligations. These obligations are set out in the NVR Act and the ESOS Act. If your provider is only registered as an RTO, then you are required to notify ASQA of change of ownership as soon as practicable after the event. This is a requirement under s25(2) of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011. If your training provider is registered as a CRICOS-only provider, or as both an RTO and CRICOS provider, you must notify ASQA of a change of ownership as soon as practicable before the change takes effect. This is a requirement under s17A (3) of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000.
ASQA is considering the registration is provided to the applicant’s ability to comply with the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Quality Framework and the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Framework (if applicable). ASQA seeks to ensure that buying into a training provider is not a way for a purchaser to circumvent the scrutiny applied to initial applications. When an entity that is an RTO changes ownership, therefore, its registration cannot transfer to a person or corporation that acquires the RTO as a different legal entity.
Additional evidentiary requirements