ACPET – Funding for Members only.
May 4, 2015 Leave a comment
Some of you may have seen the article in the Australian on Saturday where there has been a suggestion that only members of ACPET be allowed to access government funding. Now while I am a supporter of ACPET I have to say I think this suggestion is dead wrong. Firstly just because an organisation if not a member of ACPET does not make it unscrupulous, nor does despite an updated code of ethics and membership standard does membership mean an organisation is scrupulous or always behaving ethically or in the best interests of students.
There are significant reasons why a non-public training provider may not have chosen to be a member of ACPET. These reasons for non-membership relate quite closely to the variety of kinds of non-public training providers which exist in this industry (So who are these private RTOs anyway). Many not for profit and enterprise RTOs do not view themselves as being ‘private’ providers, and are in most cases certainly not ‘for profit’ style providers and given the membership landscape and language of ACPET, at least a proportion of these providers feel uncomfortable joining a membership organisation that does not seem espouse their position in terms of in particular the money side of the business. I expressed such feelings at the recent QLD State Forum where I expressed disappointment that there wasn’t much representation from providers that weren’t ‘for profit’.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not in any way opposed to for profit providers, despite claims to the contrary learning is a business and non-public providers are a vital part of it, but back to the matter at hand.
To attempt to tie funding to a membership organisation that is not representative of all non-public providers is deeply anti – competitive and would restrict the access of a range of high quality providers.
The added suggestion that student contribution fee levels be set, is also wrongheaded. As I have said in other places as a community services organisation we strive to make our courses as accessible as possible and stipulating a minimum contribution fee eve if such a fee was say $500 would disadvantage a significant number of our clients.
Add to this the fact that this would simply add another level beurocracy and regulation to an already heavily regulated system and the entire suggest seems difficult to support.