VET Student Loans legislation and policy documents

Information about the Acts of Parliament and Legislative Instruments which govern the VET Student Loans program.

This page also contains information about the closure of the VET FEE-HELP Scheme.

On this page:

Acts of Parliament

The VET Student Loans program is governed by the VET Student Loans Act 2016 and the VET Student Loans Rules 2016. The VET Student Loans (Charges) Act 2016 allows for the imposition of an annual approved course provider charge on providers.

Legislative Instruments

Approved course providers must also comply with their requirements under other Commonwealth and state and territory legislation. Relevant legislation includes the Privacy Act 1988, the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011, the Higher Education Support Act 2003, the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015, the Crimes Act 1914, the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and the Corporations Act 2001.

Review of the VET Student Loans Eligible Course List and Loan Caps Methodology

In February 2017, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, the then Minister for Education and Training began a comprehensive review of the methodology of the VET Student Loan Course list and course caps. The outcome of the review was published on 11 December 2017.

Redevelopment and Audit of the VET Student Loans Data Collection Discussion Paper

The Redevelopment and Audit of the VET Student Loans Data Collection Discussion Paper (the paper) opens consultation with VSL stakeholders to seek views on how the department and Services Australia can ensure relevant, high quality data is collected through the Collection, using best practice submission processes. This paper is similar in purpose and aim to the Redevelopment and Audit of the Higher Education Data Collection Discussion Paper distributed to higher education providers in January 2018.

Cost Recovery Implementation Statement 

This Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS) provides information on how the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (the department) implements the regulatory charging associated with the VET Student Loans program. The department is currently undergoing a review of the CRIS.

VET Student Loans Program Evaluation

KPMG conducted a full evaluation of the VET Student Loans program in 2019. The evaluation considered perspectives from multiple stakeholders inside and outside of the government including departmental staff, VET providers and students.

VET FEE-HELP (VFH)

The VFH scheme operated between 2008 and 2016, with legislative and policy changes implemented from 1 April 2015.

In 2017, VFH was replaced by VSL under the VET Student Loans Act 2016, with existing students maintaining access to VFH until 31 December 2018 under grandfathering provisions. The decision to cease providing VFH was in response to ongoing concerns about widespread misuse of the program.

The VET Student Payment Arrangements (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 2021 (the Act) contains measures relating to the closure of the VFH scheme and minor amendments to the VSL Act. 

The key outcome of the Act is to facilitate the closure of the VFH scheme through: 

  • ending the Commonwealth’s obligation to pay VET providers amounts of VFH assistance for a student unless the VET provider has confirmed the student’s liability for tuition fees by specified deadlines
  • permitting the Commonwealth to offset VFH amounts owed by VET providers to the Commonwealth against FEE-HELP and VSL amounts payable to the provider and 
  • from 1 July 2021, revoking the approval of all remaining providers that operated under the VFH scheme

There is advice for VET FEE-HELP student related enquiries, including frequently asked questions, VET FEE-HELP Student Redress Measures and Notices of debt removal.