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Principal purpose requirement

From 1 January 2012 the VRQA cannot approve an application for RTO registration, or renewal of registration unless the applicant's legal entity has the principal purpose of providing education and training.

From 1 January 2013 a principal purpose assessment fee applies to all applications for RTO registration or renewal of registration.

The VRQA may waive the principal purpose assessment fee where an assessment is not required as the organisation applying for RTO registration, or renewal of registration:

1. demonstrates that it is automatically exempt from the principal purpose requirement, (see below), OR

2. declares that the organisation does not meet the principal purpose requirement and provides an application for Ministerial Exemption (see below).

In all other circumstances, the principal purpose assessment fee must be paid as part of the RTO application process. Please see the VRQA Fee Schedule for details on the principal purpose assessment fee for 2014. Please note that the VRQA only charges a portion of fee upfront ($1584), however, an additional invoice may be issued for a further amount at the completion of the audit process if the cost of the principal purpose assessment is more than $1584

Automatic Exemption from the Principal Purpose Requirement

The Education and Training Reform Amendment (Skills) Act 2010 automatically exempts a range of organisations from the principal purpose requirement, including:

  • universities, TAFE institutes or adult education institutions
  • registered schools
  • bodies in receipt of ACFE funding
  • public sector bodies or Commonwealth or State departments or authorities.

Ministerial Exemption

RTOs that are not automatically exempt from the principal purpose requirement, and do not have the principal purpose of providing education and training, may apply to the Director, VRQA for a Ministerial exemption from the principal purpose requirement if they:

(a) are a community based organisation or
(b) provide education and training on a not-for-profit basis or
(c) provide education and training only to their staff members or staff members of a related entity.

To apply for an exemption from the principal purpose requirement, you must:

  1. download the Guide for organisations seeking an exemption from the principal purpose requirement of providing education and training (pdf - 56.44kb)
  2. complete the Application for exemption from the principal purpose requirement (pdf - 76.49kb).

All applications should be forwarded to:

The Director
Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority
GPO Box 2317
MELBOURNE VIC 3001