Marianna Papadakis Reporter

Marianna writes for The Australian Financial Review and Business Review Weekly from the Sydney newsroom. She has an interest in legal affairs, technology and business.

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Business training group Amstar Learning wins appeal to retain registration

Published 20 February 2013 12:10, Updated 21 February 2013 09:33

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Business training group Amstar Learning wins appeal to retain registration

Amstar Learning was found to have not provided support services for students with special needs such as language, literacy and numeracy. Photo: Rob Young

Business training provider Amstar Learning has won an appeal against the national vocational education and training regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) which cancelled its registration, but there are strong conditions placed on its operation.

The case is a reminder to workplace training providers that they must provide sufficient assessment, trainers and support services for students.

Australian Business Skills, which trades as Amstar Learning, is contracted by employers who provide traineeships in vocational areas.

Some of its big-name clients include Accor Asia Pacific, owners of the hotel chains Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, Ibis as well as Radisson, developer Mirvac, Harvey Norman, Good Guys and Gloria Jeans.

ASQA cancelled its registration because it failed to adequately supervise workplace trainers, did not provide proper assessments for trainees and did not provide support services for students with special needs such as language, literacy and numeracy.

An appeal panel of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal affirmed a previous determination by the tribunal that ASQA’s cancellation was justified, but set aside its refusal of Amstar’s application for renewal, instead imposing a three-year restriction on its registration and conditions to ensure its compliance with standards.

The appeal panel overturned the tribunal’s previous decision that Amstar trainers and assessors were not routinely present at workplaces, saying while Amstar had failed to provide direct supervision during some part of the training, it was not enough to amount to a non-compliance.

The tribunal had found that as Amstar had several hundred young students it was unlikely none had needed support services in an eight year period.

But the appeal panel overturned this decision saying it could not be said to be a fact and Amstar could have tendered statistics to show this.

The appeal panel upheld the tribunal’s finding that Amstar failed to provide adequate assessment for its trainees.

The trainer has been operating since 2004 and offers certificates and diplomas in business, financial services, insurance services and hospitality.

It is currently providing employment-based training to around 100 trainees in 12 workplaces.

Amstar has been contacted for comment but is yet to respond.

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