How to be a VET Student Loan Approved Course Provider Leave a comment

Australian Skills Priority List 2023 has highlighted that there is a national skill shortage (which is 5% higher than in 2022). An alarming situation for the economy and Australians. Vocational education is getting better with the addition of newer qualifications and updated courses, but the skills shortage highlights a slew of issues – one of them is higher VET fees.

Yes, schemes like VET FEE FREE are a huge help but there is another scheme that is a lifesaver – that is the VET Student loan.

Today, we will discuss how you as an RTO can become a VET student loan approved course provider. Sounds new? Don’t worry!

We will tell you:

  • What is a VET Student loan approved course provider?
  • How to be a VET students approved loan course provider?
  • What are the requirements for the application process?
  • How to fill out the application form?

but before that for those of you who know nothing about VET student loans here is a brief.

What is a VET Student loan?

The VET Student Loans (VSL) program assists eligible students in paying tuition fees for approved higher-level (diploma and above) vocational education and training (VET) courses when studying at VET Student Loans approved course providers.


If you are an RTO that provides training to address workplace and industry needs providing VET student loan approved VET courses is a golden opportunity. How? Here’s how?

Advantages of Becoming an Approved VET Student Loans Course Provider

  • Training approved VET student loan courses is a gateway for students who otherwise cannot afford a higher VET qualification.
  • Since VET student loans mainly focus on qualifications that are in demand in the workforce, RTOs providing approved VET student loan courses become a vital contributor to the growth and strength of the country.
  • Providing an approved VET Student Loans Course is seen as a mark of quality and attracts more students. It will also boost your reputation among the industry employers.

What is a VET Student loan approved course provider?

Any training provider who is approved by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations to provide a VET student loan approved course is called a VET student loan approved course provider.

Let’s see how you can become one.

Application Process to become a VET student loan approved course provider.

Becoming a VET Student Loans (VSL) approved course provider opens doors to a wider student base and empowers individuals to pursue higher-level VET qualifications. But before embarking on this journey, it’s crucial to assess your eligibility and ensure your Registered Training Organisation (RTO) meets the necessary criteria.

Here’s how to take the first step:

Self-Assessment through the VET Student Loans Provider Eligibility Quiz

The VSL provider eligibility quiz is your gateway to understanding your RTO’s potential for VSL approval. This online tool guides you through a series of questions that assess your compliance with key criteria, such as:

Registration and compliance: Is your RTO properly registered and compliant with VET regulations?

Financial capacity: Does your RTO have financial stability?

Track record: Does your RTO have a good track record of delivering quality VET courses?

Governance and management: Does your RTO have robust governance and management practices in place?

Completing the quiz is a quick and efficient way to gauge your eligibility before investing time and resources in the formal application process.

Accessing the Quiz and Resources

The VSL provider eligibility quiz is readily available on the Australian Government’s Department of Education and Workplace Relations website:

Here, you’ll also find additional resources to help you navigate the eligibility criteria and understand the application process in detail. These resources include:

VSL Applicant Guide: This comprehensive guide provides an overview of the application process, eligibility requirements, and key documentation needed.

VSL Provider Application Form: This form is used to formally submit your application for VSL approval.

VSL Key Personnel Curriculum Vitae template: This template helps you prepare CVs for key personnel involved in VSL delivery.

Ensuring Eligibility Before Proceeding

Remember, completing the quiz and accessing resources are valuable steps, but they don’t guarantee VSL approval. It’s crucial to thoroughly review the eligibility criteria and ensure your RTO meets all requirements before proceeding with the formal application.

By taking the time to self-assess and gather information, you can make an informed decision about whether pursuing VSL approval is the right path for your RTO.


  • There are no closing dates for applications, but applications received after September 30th, 2023 might not be finalised until the following year.
  • Incomplete applications and those without the required application fee will not be considered.

Understanding the Application Fee and Potential Discounts

Here’s a breakdown of the application fee and potential waivers or discounts for those seeking VET Student Loans (VSL) approved course provider status:

Application Fee

Amount: Currently $5,110 (subject to change)

Purpose: Covers the costs of processing and assessing applications

Payment: Required within 14 days of receiving the invoice

Refundability: Non-refundable, even if the application is unsuccessful

Potential Waivers or Discounts

While the Department of Education and Workplace Relations (DEWR) doesn’t currently offer specific waivers or discounts for the application fee, there are a few possibilities to consider:

Not-for-Profit RTOs: While not guaranteed, not-for-profit RTOs might be eligible for fee reductions or payment plans in certain cases. It’s essential to contact DEWR directly to discuss potential options.

Government Grants: RTOs, especially those in regional or remote areas, might be able to access government grants or funding programs that could assist with covering application fees or other costs associated with becoming a VSL approved course provider.

Important Notes:

  • Application Process Changes: DEWR may amend the application process, guide, or form at any time. Applicants will be notified of any changes.
  • Application Updates: In some cases, applicants might be given the opportunity to update their applications if changes occur during the assessment process.
  • Seeking Clarification: For the most up-to-date information on application fees and any potential discounts or waivers, it’s crucial to contact DEWR directly.

Key Recommendations

  • Thorough Research: Investigate potential government grants or funding programs that could support your application fee costs.
  • Early Engagement: Contact DEWR as early as possible to discuss your eligibility and any potential options for fee reductions or payment plans, especially if you’re a not-for-profit RTO.

Application: Support Systems for RTOs

Becoming a VET Student Loans (VSL) approved course provider can unlock new opportunities for your RTO, but the application process can seem daunting. Fear not, comprehensive support is available to guide you every step of the way!

Dedicated Contact Points

  • General Inquiries: For any questions about the application process, eligibility criteria, or documentation requirements, don’t hesitate to email This dedicated address ensures your query reaches the relevant team for prompt assistance.
  • HITS Support: If you encounter technical difficulties accessing the HELP Information Technology System (HITS), where applications are submitted, reach out to Alternatively, you can call the VSL Applicant’s Enquiry Line at (02) 6240 0650 during business hours (9:00 am – 5:00 pm AEST) for troubleshooting and guidance.

Essential Resources:

  • VET Student Loans Applicant Guide: This comprehensive document is your go-to resource for the entire application process. It breaks down eligibility requirements, application steps, key documentation, and timelines, providing valuable insights to navigate your journey.
  • Application Form: Ensure you download the current VSL Provider Application Form from the relevant resources on the Department of Education and Workplace Relations website. Filling it out accurately and completely is crucial for a smooth application assessment.
  • Additional Resources: The DEWR website provides a wealth of information on VSL, including eligibility tools, FAQs, and updates on the program. Explore these resources to stay informed and make informed decisions.


  • Seeking support and clarification early on can prevent delays and ensure your application is complete and compliant.
  • Don’t hesitate to contact the dedicated email addresses or phone line if you have any questions or technical difficulties.
  • Utilise the valuable resources available, including the Applicant Guide and Application Form, to navigate the process effectively.

Guiding Documents for VET Student Loans Course Provider Approval

To successfully navigate the process of becoming a VET Student Loans (VSL) approved course provider, it’s crucial to grasp the essential requirements outlined in two key documents:

  • VET Student Loans Act 2016 (the Act)
  • Sets the overarching legal framework for the VSL program.
  • Outlines the course provider requirements that must be met for approval (Section 25).

Accessible here:

  • VET Student Loans Rules 2016 (the Rules)
  • Provides more detailed regulations and guidelines for administering the VSL program.
  • Specifically outlines the provider suitability requirements (Sections 22 to 35).
  • Offers further details on the “fit and proper person” requirements (Sections 15-20).

Accessible here:

Review and Understand These Documents Thoroughly:

Before starting your application: Carefully review these documents to ensure your RTO meets all eligibility criteria and understands the expectations for approved course providers.

Throughout the application process: Refer back to these documents as needed to ensure your application aligns with the requirements.

After approval: Maintain a thorough understanding of the Act and Rules to ensure ongoing compliance with regulations and avoid potential issues.

Additional Resources:

  • VET Student Loans Applicant Guide: This guide provides a more user-friendly overview of the application process and requirements, linking back to relevant sections of the Act and Rules. It’s available on the Department of Education and Workplace Relations (DEWR) website.
  • DEWR Website: Explore the DEWR website for further information, FAQs, and updates on the VSL program.


  • Meeting the course provider requirements is essential for VSL approval and ongoing compliance.
  • Your application will be assessed based on the information provided in the Application Form and evidence demonstrating your RTO’s alignment with the Act and Rules.
  • If you have any questions or need clarification, don’t hesitate to contact DEWR for assistance.

Central Management and Control to become a VET Student Loan Approved Course Provider

One of the crucial requirements for becoming a VET Student Loans (VSL) approved course provider is demonstrating that your central management and control is located in Australia. This principle ensures that the entity offering VSL-funded courses operates within the Australian regulatory framework and is accountable to local standards.

What does central management and control mean?

It goes beyond simply having an office in Australia. It refers to the location where the key decisions shaping the organisation’s direction and operations are made. This often involves:

  • Setting investment and operational policies: Defining the overall course of action for the RTO, including areas like expansion, resource allocation, and risk management.
  • Appointing and empowering key personnel: Choosing and granting authority to company officers and agents who oversee and manage the organisation’s daily operations.
  • Making crucial financial decisions: Determining how profits are used, investing resources, and managing financial risks.

Demonstrating Compliance

To satisfy the central management and control requirement, you must provide evidence that your key decision-making occurs within Australia. This could include:

  • Meeting minutes and documents: Showing that high-level decisions on policy, operations, and finances are made within Australia.
  • Financial records: Evidence that dividends are declared and paid in Australia, indicating financial accountability within the country.
  • Location of key personnel: Demonstrating that the individuals with ultimate decision-making authority reside in Australia.

Additional Resources:

  • ATO Practical Compliance Guideline PCG 2018/9: Offers guidance on identifying where a company’s central management and control is located.
  • TD 2017/26 | Legal database ( Provides further information on matters of finance related to central management and control.


Meeting the central management and control requirement is an essential part of VSL approval. By providing clear evidence of your decision-making processes and key personnel locations, you can demonstrate compliance with this crucial criterion.

Suitability Requirements for VSL Approval

Meeting the basic eligibility criteria for becoming a VET Student Loans (VSL) approved course provider is just the first step. To secure approval, your RTO must also demonstrate its suitability through specific requirements outlined in the VET Student Loans Rules 2016. Let’s explore three key aspects:

Commitment to Quality and Student Success:

This requirement goes beyond simply offering VET courses. You must demonstrate a genuine commitment to:

Delivering high-quality vocational education and training: Your curriculum, resources, and instructional methods should meet industry standards and equip students with relevant skills and knowledge.

Achieving the best outcomes for students: You should prioritise student success by providing effective support services, monitoring progress, and offering career guidance.

Maintaining ethical and fair practices: All interactions with students and stakeholders should be transparent, honest, and compliant with relevant regulations.

Satisfactory Conduct in VET Funding:

Your RTO must have a track record of responsible behaviour when delivering any government-funded VET programs, including:

  • VET FEE-HELP: If you’ve previously participated in this scheme, ensure you have satisfactory compliance records (no breaches or sanctions) and can provide supporting documentation.
  • Other VET funding programs: Any past involvement in government-funded VET programs should be disclosed, and you should demonstrate responsible conduct in those programs as well.

Demonstration of Workplace Relevance:

Your VSL-approved courses must be demonstrably relevant to current and future workforce needs. You should showcase:

  • Strong industry engagement: Collaborate with relevant industry stakeholders to ensure your courses reflect current and emerging skills needs.
  • Career outcomes for graduates: Provide evidence of successful graduate employment in relevant fields, such as graduate satisfaction surveys or employment placement data.
  • Up-to-date course content: Regularly review and update your curriculum to stay aligned with industry best practices and technological advancements.

Compliance Guidance

To fulfil these suitability requirements, consider providing the following evidence:

Policies and procedures: Document your policies on quality assurance, student support, career guidance, and ethical conduct.

Staff qualifications and experience: Highlight the expertise and qualifications of your instructors and support staff.

Student satisfaction surveys and feedback: Demonstrate commitment to student success through positive feedback and improvement initiatives.

Graduate employment data: Showcase graduate placement rates and types of job placements related to your courses.

Industry partnerships and collaborations: Provide evidence of your engagement with industry stakeholders and their endorsement of your programs.

Providing Accurate Entity Details: Setting the Foundation for Your VSL Application

The “Entity Details” section of the VET Student Loans (VSL) Provider Application Form serves as the foundation for introducing your organisation to the Department of Education and Workplace Relations (DEWR). Here’s a guide to completing this section accurately:

Information Required:

  • Basic Organisational Information:
    • Legal name of the organisation
    • ABN (Australian Business Number)
    • ACN (Australian Company Number)
    • Date of incorporation or registration
    • Legal form of the organisation (e.g., company, trust, partnership)
    • Principal place of business address
    • Governing state or territory
    • Website address
  • Contact Details:
    • Primary contact person’s name, position, email address, and phone number
    • Any additional contact persons for specific areas (e.g., finance, compliance)

Guidance for Accuracy:

  • Double-check accuracy: Ensure all information provided is up-to-date and matches official records.
  • Review legal documents: Consult your organisation’s registration documents or incorporation certificate for precise details.
  • Confirm contact details: Verify that email addresses and phone numbers are active and accessible.
  • Nominate appropriate contacts: Select individuals who are authorised to act on behalf of the organisation and are knowledgeable about VSL matters.
  • Maintain consistency: Use the same legal name and contact details throughout the application form and any supporting documentation.
  • Notify changes promptly: Inform DEWR immediately of any changes to entity details after submitting the application.

Financial Viability and Protection: Essential for VSL Approval

To ensure the stability and ethical operation of VET Student Loans (VSL) providers, the VSL Rules 2016 outline specific financial and insurance requirements that RTOs must meet to gain approval. Here’s a breakdown of these requirements and guidance on fulfilling them:

Documentation and Information Required:

Financial Statements

  • Purpose: To demonstrate your RTO’s financial health, ability to meet obligations, and responsible financial management.
  • Compliance:
    • Prepare statements according to Australian Accounting Standards (AAS).
    • Provide statements for the last two financial years, or for the period since incorporation if less than two years.
    • Include an independent audit report if required by AAS.

Certificates of Currency

  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: To protect employees in case of workplace injuries or illnesses.
  • Public Liability Insurance: To cover potential claims for property damage or bodily injury to third parties.
  • Compliance:
    • Present valid certificates from reputable insurance providers.
    • Ensure coverage meets minimum requirements specified in the VSL Rules.

Additional Information for Specific Applicants

  • Applicants with 100+ Enrolments: Complete a “Financial Performance – Breakdown of Applicant Revenue Sources” attachment to demonstrate financial viability and diversity of income sources.
  • Listed Course Providers: Exempt from providing financial statements but must still provide insurance certificates.

Meeting the Requirements

  • Review and Understand: Carefully examine the specific requirements in subsections 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 of the Application Form, as well as the relevant sections of the VSL Rules.
  • Gather Documentation: Assemble the required financial statements, insurance certificates, and any additional forms as applicable.
  • Ensure Compliance: Verify that all documents meet the specified standards and timeframes.
  • Address Discrepancies: If any information raises concerns about financial viability or compliance, be prepared to provide further explanations or evidence.


  • Transparency and Accuracy: Provide clear and accurate financial information to ensure a smooth assessment process.
  • Seek Assistance: If you have questions or need guidance, reach out to DEWR or consult with financial and insurance professionals.
  • Maintain Compliance: Continue to meet these requirements throughout your VSL approval period to maintain good standing.

Key Personnel for VET Student loan approved course provider

When applying for VET Student Loans (VSL) approval, your RTO’s success hinges not only on your organisation but also on the expertise and experience of your key personnel. They are the backbone of your operations, ensuring the quality of your courses and the responsible management of the program.

Who are Key Personnel?

The VSL Rules define key personnel as individuals who play a crucial role in your RTO’s leadership and decision-making. This includes:

  • Directors, officers, and members of your governing body: These individuals set the strategic direction and oversee the overall operations.
  • Executive and senior management: This group manages day-to-day operations and makes critical decisions about course delivery, finances, and student support.
  • Individuals with control over resource allocation: This includes those who manage budgets and determine how resources are used within the RTO.

Demonstrating Experience and Expertise:

To convince DEWR that your key personnel are up to the task, you need to showcase their relevant qualifications and experience. Here’s how:

  • Provide detailed information: In the application form, list all your key personnel and advisers, including their positions, qualifications, and relevant experience in VET delivery.
  • Highlight relevant skills: Focus on skills and expertise that directly relate to managing VSL programs, such as curriculum development, student support, financial management, and compliance with regulations.
  • Consider advisors: While advisors aren’t formally required to complete a “Fit and Proper Person” declaration, showcasing their expertise in relevant areas can strengthen your application.
  • Showcase educator and trainer experience: Provide CVs of key educators and trainers to demonstrate their qualifications and experience in delivering the specific courses you’re applying for.

Completion Rates and VET Expertise

For your VET Student Loans (VSL) application, showcasing your RTO’s experience and commitment to student success through accurate completion rates is crucial. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know:

Experience in VET Delivery:

  • Minimum Requirements: You must be a registered RTO with demonstrable experience in delivering vocational education and training.
  • Assessment Factors: DEWR considers factors like your organisation’s age, history of servicing genuine students, involvement in state/territory funding programs, and the range of qualifications offered.
  • Supporting Evidence: Provide comprehensive information in the application form and consider attaching additional documents highlighting relevant experience.

Completion Rates for Diploma or Higher Qualifications:

  • Mandatory Reporting: You must provide accurate completion rates for all Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Graduate Certificate, and Graduate Diploma courses offered in the past three years.
  • Existing Providers: If already approved for VSL, DEWR will access completion data from the Tertiary Collection of Student Information (TCSI) portal, so no further reporting is required.
  • Calculation Guidance: DEWR may consider the National Centre for Vocational Education Research’s (NCVER) observed actual completion rate of 56.2% (based on 2017 data) for Diploma or higher qualifications.
  • Additional Courses: If you offered more than six courses in any of the three years, use the dedicated “course completion rates table attachment” provided with the application.

Accuracy and Transparency:

  • Emphasis on Accuracy: Provide complete and accurate information regarding your experience and completion rates. Any discrepancies could raise concerns and impede your approval.
  • Transparency is Key: Openly communicate your strengths and areas for improvement. Demonstrating a commitment to ongoing progress can be an asset.


  • Highlighting your experience and strong completion rates boosts your credibility and showcases your commitment to quality VET delivery.
  • Providing accurate and comprehensive data demonstrates accountability and builds trust with DEWR.
  • If you have questions or need assistance, reach out to DEWR or seek professional guidance to ensure smooth and successful VSL application processing.

Process for listing proposed VSL courses and guidance on completing the relevant section of the application:

Eligibility and Scope of Registration:

  • Approved Courses: To offer VSL, you must provide at least one course listed in the VET Student Loans (Courses and Loan Caps) Determination 2016.
  • Registration Consistency: The courses you propose for VSL must be included within your approved scope of registration on the national register (

Completing the Table of Proposed Courses

  • Accuracy: Ensure the details you provide are accurate and up-to-date.
  • Fields to Complete:
    • Course code
    • Course title
    • Nationally recognised training (AQF) qualification
    • Maximum VSL loan amount (refer to indexed amounts at
    • Estimated loan amount for the proposed calendar year
  • Additional Courses: If you’re seeking VSL approval for more than 10 courses, use the “proposed VSL courses table attachment” provided with the application.

Estimated Loan Amounts

  • Purpose: These estimates help DEWR understand your anticipated financial needs and potential impact on the VSL program.
  • Considerations: Base your estimates on factors such as projected student enrolments, course fees, and anticipated VSL uptake.
  • Review and Adjustment: Be prepared to review and adjust these estimates as needed throughout the approval period.


  • Align Courses with Registration: Verify that your proposed VSL courses align with your registered scope.
  • Refer to Current Information: Use the latest indexed loan amounts from DEWR’s website.
  • Seek Clarification: If unsure about any requirements or the application process, contact DEWR for guidance.

Management and Governance (Section 26 of the Rules)

  • Focus: Evidence of sound organisational structure, decision-making processes, and risk management strategies.
  • Documentation:
    • Organisational charts and role descriptions
    • Board or committee meeting minutes
    • Policies and procedures related to financial management, risk management, student complaints, and ethical conduct
    • Evidence of internal audits or reviews

Student Support (Section 34 of the Rules):

  • Focus: Demonstrate commitment to providing comprehensive student support services.
  • Documentation:
    • Description of student support services offered (e.g., academic counselling, career guidance, financial aid assistance, disability support)
    • Staffing levels and qualifications of student support personnel
    • Policies and procedures for handling student complaints and appeals
    • Evidence of student satisfaction surveys or feedback

Workplace Relevance (Section 35(1) of the Rules)

  • Focus: Demonstrate how courses align with industry needs and prepare students for employment.
  • Documentation:
    • Evidence of consultation with industry representatives in course development
    • Industry advisory committees or partnerships
    • Graduate employment outcomes data
    • Testimonials from employers or industry bodies

General Guidance

  • Relevance and Comprehensiveness: Ensure all responses and evidence directly address the specific requirements and provide a complete picture of your RTO’s capabilities.
  • Clarity and Conciseness: Present information in a clear, well-organised, and concise manner, making it easy for DEWR to assess your suitability.
  • Tailoring: Align responses with the specific language and criteria outlined in the VSL Rules.
  • Supporting Evidence: Back up claims with concrete examples, documentation, and data whenever possible.
  • Honesty and Transparency: Acknowledge any areas for improvement and demonstrate a commitment to ongoing development.


  • Compliance with Rules: Carefully review the VSL Rules to ensure all requirements are addressed accurately and comprehensively.
  • Seek Assistance: If unsure about any requirements or the application process, don’t hesitate to contact DEWR for clarification and guidance.

Submitting Your VSL Application

Where to Submit: Upload your completed application and supporting documents to the HITS portal.

Need HITS Access? Ensure you have an active HITS account or obtain one before submitting.

Contact Information: Nominate at least five authorised contacts, including one for application communication.

Key Deadline: Submit by September 30th for a decision by year-end. Late applications will be considered next year.

Tip: Avoid delays by ensuring complete and accurate application and documentation.

Remember: List your primary contact person(s) in both HITS and the application form.

For further details and assistance, refer to the provided resources.


VET Student loans are a ray of golden hope for the students. The information given in the blog will help you with application process preparation. We have detailed everything that you will need to complete the application including what and how to fill the application. Become a VET student loan approved course provider to boost your credibility not only among students but also in the VET community.

Looking for VET Student loan Approved Course resources?

Then VET Resources is your best option. Our resources are best in the VET sector. They are prepared by subject matter experts and industry experts. To get a free sample contact us here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a gap fees?

The difference between the cost of the course and the amount of VET student loan provided is known as the gap fees.

The information presented on the VET Resources blog is for general guidance only. While we strive for accuracy, we cannot guarantee the completeness or timeliness of the information. VET Resources is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. Always consult a professional for advice tailored to your circumstances.

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