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ACPET revises Code of Ethics

10 December 2014

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The significant media scrutiny of the quality of vocational education and training by certain private providers has led the Australian Council of Private Education and Training (ACPET) to revise its Code of Ethics, particularly around using the services of agents and brokers.

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ACPET says the revision of the Code is a strategy to help ensure “the industry take(s) responsibility for (its) own quality journey, to demonstrate that we aspire to the highest in quality and provide quality assurance for students, industry and government in dealing with ACPET members.”

The Code affirms the professional standards expected of education and training providers, most importantly to act with integrity in all dealings with students, and reflects the relevant national VET regulatory standards.

A significant addition to the Code concerns the use of the services of agents/brokers to provide a framework for agents and brokers when working with or partnering with an ACPET member. The dubious (and often unscrupulous) practices of some agents and brokers has cast a shadow over the reputation of the industry as a whole and been at the heart of the compliance failures at Vocation and acquire.

ACPET will establish a preferred agent/broker list, requiring preferred agents to agree to a number of conditions, similar to those adopted by ACPET members.

ACPET has also called for the creation of Australia’s first national industry ombudsman scheme for the sector. There is currently no simple, national consumer-focused complaint handling process for students, which ACPET says needs to be rectified.

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