Managing disputes, concerns and issues
The School Council should seek legal advice from the Department's Legal Division at each stage of dispute resolution, as outlined below. If the dispute remains unresolved, the School Council should seek further legal advice from the Legal Division regarding their options.
Disputes — Standard VET Purchasing Contract and Standard VET Auspicing Contract
The Standard VET Purchasing Contract and Standard VET Auspicing Contract outline a process to manage disputes between the parties.
If any dispute arises under or in connection with the Contract which is not able to be resolved by the School Council and the RTO within 14 days, the nominated senior executive officer (or equivalent) of each of the School Council and the RTO will promptly meet and discuss in good faith with a view to resolving the dispute.
If any dispute is unable to be resolved in accordance within 14 days, the parties have agreed in the contract to endeavour in good faith to settle the dispute by mediation administered by the Australian Commercial Disputes Centre (ACDC) in accordance with ACDC's guidelines, before resorting to arbitration or litigation.
If the parties fail to settle any dispute in mediation, the parties may agree to submit the dispute for resolution to final and binding arbitration under the Rules of Arbitration of the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia by one or more arbitrators appointed in accordance with those rules.
Disputes — School to School VET Purchasing Agreement and School to School VET Access Agreement
If a dispute arises between two government schools, within 14 days a nominated senior executive officer (or equivalent) of each party will promptly meet and discuss in good faith with a view to resolving the dispute.
If any dispute is unable to be resolved in 14 days, or such other time as the parties may agree, the parties agree to refer the dispute for resolution by the Secretary of DET.
Disputes — Continuing Obligations
The parties to a dispute will continue to perform their respective obligations under the contract or agreement, pending the resolution of the dispute.
Access to Information
The RTO is required under the standard Contracts to provide timely information on both attendance and reporting and assessment.
Where there are issues with obtaining access to information, in the first instance, the school should raise the issues with the RTO Key Contact Person as nominated in the contract as it is a contractual requirement that information listed in the Reporting Details schedule is provided to the school according agreed deadlines.
Complaints and Appeals
There are a range of complaint processes in relation to schools and RTOs.
Government Schools — Parent Complaints
If you are a parent, when making a complaint:
- your child's school should always be your first point of contact
- concerns are best resolved at the school
- the Department expects that most complaints will be resolved by the school
Further information on Parent Complaints – Government Schools is available at: Parent Complaints.
Complaints and Appeals — RTOs
RTOs are required to have a complaints and appeals process that will ensure learners' complaints and appeals are addressed effectively and efficiently. This is required whether the RTO is registered with VRQA or ASQA. This is also required under Part 4.6A.2 of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 . Contact the RTO directly for more information about their complaints and appeals processes.
Where schools are entering into purchase or auspice arrangements with an RTO, the RTO must be:
- registered with either the VRQA or ASQA; and
- the VET qualification and/or units of competency being purchased or auspiced must be listed on the scope of registration of the RTO, which is available at
Concerns about any aspects of registration requirements can be raised with either:
Reviewed 01 May 2020