Dealing with issues and problems

If you have concerns relating to your training contract, our team can provide advice and, if necessary, investigate disputes or complaints.

Call us on 1300 722 603 from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday, or email us at

Parents or guardians can call on behalf of apprentices and trainees under 18 years.

If you feel an employer is not meeting their obligations under a training contract, get in touch with us. Most issues can easily be resolved.

Your Apprenticeship Network provider is also a good source of advice if you are having problems.

For issues relating to occupational health and safety, bullying, harassment or exploitation, see:

  • WorkSafe
  • or call Worksafe on (03) 9641 1444 or 1800 136 089 (toll free).

If you wish to raise the issue formally, this can be done as a dispute or a complaint.

Disputes and dispute resolution

A dispute is a formal disagreement between an apprentice or trainee and an employer about their training contract. The most common dispute is where an apprentice and their employer do not agree to cancel their training contract. Disputes can also involve the threatened dismissal of an apprentice or trainee, or an apprentice, trainee or employer not meeting their training contract obligations.

Where a dispute results in an apprentice's employment ceasing before the dispute is resolved, an apprentice or employer can request to have the dispute considered by us within 30 days of the employment ceasing.

To resolve the dispute, our authorised officers may visit the workplace and interview those involved.

If the dispute cannot be resolved, it may be referred to a VRQA Delegate to make a decision.

If there is insufficient evidence to make a decision, the VRQA Delegate may invite those involved to attend a proceeding to gather more information to make a decision.

The parties can negotiate a resolution to the dispute outside the formal dispute resolution process at any time.

To read our dispute resolution policy, see:

Complaints and investigations

We also investigate complaints about employers or apprentices and trainees.

Complaints investigations are separate to the dispute resolution process. They are still about training contracts and regulatory requirements, but they may come from current or former employers, from apprentices or trainees, or from third parties.

For more information about how to lodge a complaint or our how we handle complaints, see: