VET Information and VET Student Loans

VET Student Loans at NCAT RTO 6736

VET Student Loans are available for the Diploma of Photography and Photo Imaging and the Diploma in Visual Arts ONLY.

You may be eligible to apply for a capped loan under the federal VET Student Loans scheme. VET Student Loans are only available for diplomas and higher qualifications.

The VET Student Loan will not be approved for students who do not meet the eligibility requirements.

The maximum payable loan for Diploma of Photography and Photo Imaging is $16,788. The maximum payable loan for the Diploma of Visual Arts is $16,788.

After eligible students opt in and apply for a VET Student Loan the government contacts you to verify the enrolment. Enrolled students must notify NCAT of any change of contact details.

Note: VET Student Loans will not be approved for students who do not meet eligibility requirements. A VET Student Loan becomes a personal debt due to the Commonwealth. It is a debt until it is repaid. The loan may, until the debt is repaid, reduce a student’s take home (after-tax) wage or salary and may reduce the student’s borrowing capacity. A student may wish to seek independent financial advice before applying for a loan.

Check your eligibility for a VET Student Loan

VET Student Loans are managed federally through the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations and the links below have information for prospective students wanting to access the loan.

VET Student Loans

Information for VET Student Loans Approved Providers

Information for VET Student Loan Students


Fees & Charges

Tuition Fee
Your tuition fees are calculated based on the number of nominal hours you are enrolled in. Tuition fees are calculated by multiplying the rate per nominal hours for the qualification by the number of nominal hours you are enrolled in. The term “nominal hours” refers to the average learning, teaching and assessment hours required to fulfil the requirements of a unit of competency. These hours provide a basis for government funding and student contributions for your course.

You will be provided with a Schedule of Fees prior to enrolment detailing all the Fees due upon enrolment.

Payment Options

There are two options for tuition fees. 1. The payment by the student as fees become due. OR  2. A VET Student Loan.

Government Subsidised Place (Skills First Funding)

Students may be eligible for state government funding. Check your eligibility on the Victorian Skills Gateway website.

Fee Concession

Students who hold a Healthcare Card, Pension Card, Veteran’s Gold Card or are a dependent of a card holder, are of Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander descent or Asylum Seekers are eligible for a concession on their government subsidised tuition fees.
Diploma level students are not eligible for a concession or exemption of tuition fees. However, Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander students in a government subsidised place are eligible to access fee concessions.

NCAT Materials Fee – The materials fee covers the cost of the basic materials (paint, paper, film etc.) required to undertake the assessments.

NCAT Amenities Fee
The amenities fee is a contribution towards the costs of cleaning and maintenance incurred by NCAT.

NCAT Fees Charges and Refund Procedure

2024 Schedule of Fees for Tertiary Courses

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) acknowledges the full range of an individual’s skills and knowledge including competencies gained through formal study, work experience, employment and other life experiences.

The college will recognise a student’s existing competence against the course learning outcomes or competencies. If a student believes they have achieved some or all of the learning outcomes or competencies, they can apply for RPL.

National Recognition

NCAT recognises nationally recognised Statements of Attainment and Qualifications issued by other Registered Training Organisations. This is done at no cost and will not require any further assessment.

Credit Transfer

Credit transfer assesses the initial course or subject that an individual is using to claim access to, or the award of credit in, a destination course. The assessment determines the extent to which the client’s initial course or subject is equivalent to the required learning outcomes, competency outcomes, or standards in a qualification. This may include credit transfer based on formal learning that is outside the Australian Qualifications Framework.

The credit transfer is identified through the pre-training review and enrolment process. The result is entered into the student management system and a training plan will be produced showing the credit transfer.

Census Days

The census date is important as it is a legal deadline. The census date is the last day you can:

  • submit your Request for VET Student loan form, or
  • withdraw your enrolment, following NCAT’s withdrawal procedure, without incurring the cost or debt for that unit / part of the course.

NCAT sets their own census dates within rules set by the Government. Each unit has a own census date. Therefore you are charged for your course as you progress through the course. You do not pay for the whole course at the beginning. NCAT will confirm the census dates for each unit and the exact deadline of the census date (i.e. close of business).

Census Dates

Diploma of Photography and Photo Imaging

Census 1 – 12th March 2024

Census 2 – 11th May 2024

Census 3 – 4th August 2024

Census 4 – 1st September 2024


Diploma of Visual Arts

1st Year Group

Census 1 –  4 March 2024

Census 2 – 13 May 2024

Census 3 – 5  August  2024

2nd Year Group

Census 4 – 12 March 2024

Census 5 –  29 may 2024

Census 6 –  26 August 2024

Entry Process

Student Entry Process
Students must meet the citizenship and residency requirements (Acts 11):

  • be an Australian citizen or
  • a qualifying New Zealand citizen or
  • a permanent humanitarian visa holder, who is usually resident in Australia. Permanent humanitarian visas are defined in the Migration Regulations 1994, Volume 1, Part 1, Regulation 1.03 – Definitions. See: Migration Regulations 1994 for the latest version of the Migration Regulations

A qualifying New Zealand citizen is a New Zealand citizen who:

  • holds a special category visa; and
  • has been usually resident in Australia for at least 10 years; and
  • was a dependent child when he or she was first usually resident in Australia; and
  • has been in Australia for periods totalling 8 years during the previous 10 years; and
  • has been in Australia for periods totalling 18 months during the previous 2 years.

Students must be academically suited for entry to the course.
They must be:

  • Academically suited to undertake the course.
  • The student must hold a senior secondary certificate awarded by the state; or
  • The student is assessed at or above EXIT Level 3 in the ASCF in reading and numeracy; and
  • The course coordinator believes the student displays the competence for the course; or
  • The student holds Certificate IV level or above AND the course was delivered in English.

You will need to provide documents for the list above as relevant to your case. Students must meet the enrolment and loan application requirements:

  • be enrolled with an approved course provider in an approved course
  • be undertaking the course primarily at a campus in Australia

LLN Testing, Tool & Report

NCAT Language Literacy and Numeracy testing is conducted by the Australian Council for Educational Research under a third party license arrangement.

Prior to enrolment, prospective students will be complete a reading test and a numeracy test. This will be conducted during your interview. The two tests together take about an hour and half to complete and must be completed with honesty and integrity.

The reports (results from the test) will be emailed to you as soon as practicable after the assessment. The report can be requested by the VET Student Loan Secretary for our VET Student Loans programs.


Access & Equity
NCAT is an equal opportunity education provider. The College values diversity and cultural differences, has a long-standing commitment to Social Justice and encourages the active participation students and the community in all aspects of the College. It provides a positive and supportive environment where differences in social or cultural backgrounds are celebrated and there is an expectation that all students can become successful and confident members of society.

In the post-compulsory years and subject to the constraints of its physical and staffing facilities, NCAT attempts to offer enrolment in its programs including VET to all who meet course entry requirements. The opportunity for re-entry is provided for those students who have left the college earlier to pursue other programs and adults to study on a fulltime or part-time basis.

As a Senior College and Registered Training Organisation we will ensure that Access and Equity principles for all people are implemented through the fair allocation of resources and the right to equal opportunity without discrimination. It will abide by all relevant legislation with regard to Equal Opportunity and Anti-Discrimination.


If you are considering withdrawing from your course or any part of your course, we suggest you talk to the course coordinator first. Withdraw correctly and avoid a VET Student Loan debt!

How to Withdraw from your Course or Individual Units of Study
To avoid incurring a VET Student Loan debt it is important to withdraw before the census date. You will be issued with a list of census dates for your course.

It is important that you check the census date for each unit of study. If you commence a unit of study on a date other than what is listed on the Schedule of VET Tuition Fees, the census date will be automatically set at 20% of the unit from your first attendance date.

Should you wish to withdraw from the course or part of the course you will need to officially request to be withdrawn by sending an email to with the Withdrawal Form advising your intention to be withdrawn from the entire course or part of the course. If you are only withdrawing from part of the course you need to list the units of study. To avoid a VET Student Loan debt, the email must be received prior to the census date.

You will receive a confirmation email of your withdrawal, including the date and time of the withdrawal, the unit of study, part of a course or whole course and the relevant census day. If you do not receive an acknowledgment email, please ring and advise the main office. The email will also confirm whether you have incurred a debt for the unit, part of the course or whole course. No debt will be incurred if you withdraw prior to the census day.

If you withdraw before the census day, you will not incur tuition fees for the course or part of the course, to which the census day applies.

Special Circumstances
If you withdraw from a unit after the census date because you become seriously ill or because of other special circumstances, you can apply to the college to have your VET Student Loan balance re-credited and your VET Student Loan debt removed. You cannot have your debt removed if you have already successfully completed your unit of study.

Changing your mind or failing a unit are not good enough reasons to apply for special circumstances and you will still be required to repay your VET Student Loan debt.

For your provider to be satisfied that special circumstances applied to you, you must be able to prove that the circumstances:

  • were beyond your control,
  • did not make their full impact on you until on or after the census date, and
  • made it impractical for you to complete the requirements for your unit(s) of study.
    You need to submit your application for special circumstances to the college within 12 months of your withdrawal day.


Complaints & Appeals Policy
Northern College of Arts and Technology (NCAT) is committed to:

  • Providing an environment where complaints or appeals are responded to promptly, with minimum distress and maximum protection to all parties with no charge for internal nor external stages.
  • Mutually acceptable resolution being reached through negotiation, conciliation and/or mediation.
  • To ethical and responsible management, and a visible, accessible and fair complaints or appeals handling process with a view to achieving mutually acceptable and fair outcomes.
  • Viewing client complaints and appeals as providing an opportunity to review and improve its policies and practices and gain insight into levels of client satisfaction. Complaints and appeals will be viewed as opportunities for improvement.
  • Adopting an ethical and professional approach to handling complaints and appeals.
  • Respect for privacy and confidentiality wherever possible within the constraints of the need to fully investigate the complaint or appeal.
  • Allowing parties who have used the procedures to access records relevant to their case but otherwise keeping record confidential.
  • Providing information to students in a non-threatening way by providing the form on the NCAT website.
  • Providing the opportunity to appeal or seek a review without discrimination.

Complaints & Appeals Procedure

  • A complaint can be made about an academic matter (product) or a non-academic matter (service) provided by NCAT.
  • Academic matters relate to student progress, assessment results, curriculum and qualification awards.
  • Non-academic matters include matters relating to enrolment and personal information held by the provider.
  • A complaint can be made about any third parties delivering services for NCAT.
  • An appeal can be made against an assessment decision
  • Complaints and appeals are handled through the same procedure.

Students are encouraged to informally discuss a complaint or appeal directly with their teacher/trainer or VET Coordinator before the following formal process is undertaken:

  • A complaint or appeal must be submitted in writing on the NCAT Complaints and Appeals Form to the RTO Manager.
  • Within 10 working days of lodgement NCAT will act on and begin investigating each complaint or appeal.
  • A complaint about a third party RTO for example, First Aid training from another RTO must be discussed with the teacher of the course and the RTO Manager.
  • No complaint or appeal will be pre-judged.
  • Each complainant/appellant will have an opportunity to formally present their case and be represented by a third party.
  • Each party can be accompanied or assisted by a third party, at the party’s cost.
  • Within 2 weeks of the complaint/appeal being made each complainant/appellant will be given written notice of the decision and the reasons and advice about how to have the decision reviewed.
  • This decision can be appealed to the Assistant Principal and the Principal who will consult with an internal committee for the appropriate expertise knowledge if need be.
  • If after exhausting the RTO’s process an appellant is still not satisfied with the outcome they can put their appeal in writing to the Director, North-Western Victoria Region of DET, Locked bag 2001, Coburg. VIC. 3058
  • If after arbitration the student is still not satisfied they can also contact the VRQA or use the complaints page on the VRQA website.
  • Each party can be accompanied or assisted by a third party, at the party’s cost.
  • Each complaint or appeal and its outcome will be recorded in writing, discussed at the appropriate meetings (if required) and filed in an individual student’s file.
  • Each party to the appeal will be given written notice of the review.
  • Students can access documents relating to this on request.
  • All complaints and appeals will be noted in the Continuous Improvement Register and any actions recorded and the entry closed in the Register at the resolution of the complaint and appeal.

This procedure applies to internal and external VET students. For external VET students, the student’s home school may be involved in the resolution if necessary.

Where appropriate, NCAT may seek to resolve a complaint by:

  • an apology or expression of regret
  • a change of decision
  • a change of policy, procedure or practice
  • offering the opportunity for student counselling or other support
  • offering a re- assessment
  • other actions consistent with school values that are intended to support the student, parent and school relationship, engagement, and participation in the school community.

In some circumstances, NCAT may also ask you to attend a meeting with an independent third party, or participate in a mediation with an accredited mediator to assist in the resolution of the dispute.

Re-crediting a VET Student Loan Balance

Under the Part 6 of the Student Loans Act a student’s VET Student Loan balance can be re‑credited. It can be re-credited under section 68 because of special circumstances.

A student may apply to the Secretary for the student’s VET Student Loan balance to be re‑credited under section 71 of the Act because:

  • the training provider, or a person acting on the training provider’s behalf, engaged in unacceptable conduct in relation to the student’s application for the VET Student Loan, or
  • the training provider has failed to comply with the Act or an instrument under the Act and the failure has adversely affected the student.

What Are Special Circumstances?
Special circumstances are circumstances that are beyond the student’s control; do not make their full impact on the student until on or after the census day for a course, or the part of a course; and make it impracticable for the student to complete the requirements for the course, or the part of the course, during the student’s enrolment in the course, or the part of the course.

Applications for re‑crediting under section 68 of the Act must be made within 12 months after the census day for the course, or the part of the course, concerned, or within that period as extended by the training provider.

Applications for re‑crediting under section 71 of the Act must be made within five years after the census day for the course, or the part of the course, concerned or within that period as extended by the Secretary.

The processes available to students in relation to reconsideration and review of decisions whether or not to re‑credit FEE‑HELP balances, including relevant time limits that apply. Read the Notice of Review Section below.

There is no charge for reconsideration or review of decisions, other than review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

The Secretary may re‑credit a student’s FEE‑HELP balance in relation to special circumstances if an approved course provider is unable to act or is being wound up or has been dissolved; or has failed to act and the Secretary is satisfied that the failure is unreasonable.

Student Review Procedures

Notice of Rights of Review
When a reviewable VET decision has been made or reconsidered the person must be provided with a notice of rights of review along with the reasons for the decision/reconsideration. (Reviewable decisions are set out at section 74 of the Act and include ‘special circumstances’ decisions made by a provider under section 68 of the Act. Other decisions, which are not reviewable, may be reconsidered under section 81 of the Act).

A copy of the AAT Code of Practice for Notification of Reviewable Decisions and Rights of Review is available on the Federal Register of Legislation website.

The first rights of review notice needs to be provided after a reviewable decision has been made. An example of this is as follows (however, providers are responsible for ensuring that they satisfy the legislative requirements for such a notice). This type of notice should only be provided when a reviewable decision has been made.

Reviewable Decision (Review Rights)
If you think this decision is wrong, you may request reconsideration of this decision by someone who was not involved in making this decision. You will need to make your request in writing and must include the following information:

  • the date of this decision and
  • the reasons why you are requesting reconsideration.

You should also include any additional evidence that you think is relevant to the reconsideration of the decision. Contact : North Western Victoria Region Phone: 1300 338 691 email:

NCAT may also refer a complaint to the North Western Region if we believe that we have done all we can to address the complaint.

Time limits apply. Your application must be made within 28 days after the day on which you were notified of the decision. [Or insert greater time period – but no less than 28 days: VET Student Loans Act 2016, section 76(2)].

On receiving a request for reconsideration, the Regional Director will:

  • review the original decision
  • consider the reasons why you are requesting a reconsideration
  • assess any new evidence provided by you
  • provide you with a written notice of the decision, with a statement of reasons.

If you do not receive a response within 45 days of your request for reconsideration, the original decision is taken to be confirmed.

If, after the Regional Director has reconsidered the decision, you are dissatisfied with the outcome, you may apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review of decision. The application must be lodged at the AAT within 28 days of receiving notice of the Regional Director ’s decision. You will be provided with further information about this process at the time you are notified of that decision.



See the Administrative Appeals Tribunal website for further information on this process.

Tuition Assurance Processes
NCAT has a procedure in in place if an approved course had to cease after it starts but before it is completed. If this were to happen, the following would occur:

  • within 2 days, enrolled students would be notified in writing that the course is no longer being provided;
  • within 7 business days after notifying the students, hold a meeting with the students and the tuition assurance scheme operator for the course at the college;
  • as soon as practicable, update the website to reflect that the course is no longer being provided and to give tuition assurance information;
  • a tuition assurance operator would be appointed and arrangement made by them;
  • an new approved training provider would credit transfer the units of competency already achieved in accordance with RTO standards and regulators rules.
  • The student would not be charged tuition fees for a replacement component of the replacement course.


1. Tuition assurance protects students in the event a course provided by an approved VSL provider ceases to be provided after it starts but before it is completed. Affected students are offered a replacement course with another provider and where this is not possible, the students’ FEE-HELP balance for the affected part of the course will be re-credited.

2. As an approved provider under the VET Student Loans Act 2016, Northern College of the Arts and Technology (NCAT) ABN: 71 262267 338 must be a party to an approved tuition assurance arrangement or have an approved exemption in place.

3. It is intended that, from 1 January 2019, Northern College of the Arts and Technology will be exempted from the requirement to be a party to an approved tuition assurance arrangement. Instead, Northern College of the Arts and Technology is required to comply with interim arrangements which ensure similar tuition assurance protection is provided to students.

4. This statement sets out the interim arrangements for tuition assurance that will apply from 1 January 2019 and Northern College of the Arts and Technology’s obligations from that date.

5. If any changes occur to the proposed arrangements outlined below, a revised statement will be provided on Northern College of the Arts and Technology ‘s website and advised to all students that have enrolled in the intervening period.

Information for Affected Students
6. Northern College of the Arts and Technology will notify affected students in writing that an approved course is no longer provided within 2 business days after Northern College of the Arts and Technology ceases to provide the course after it starts but before it is completed.

7. As soon as practicable, Northern College of the Arts and Technology will also update its website to reflect that the course is no longer being delivered and to give students information about the tuition assurance arrangements.

Replacement Courses
8. The Commonwealth Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business (the Department) (or a consultant engaged by the Department) will work with affected students to identify a replacement course and arrange for students to be placed with replacement providers.

9. Replacement courses must meet the following requirements:

  • the course must lead to the same or comparable qualification as the original course;
  • the mode of delivery of the replacement course must be the same as or, with the student’s consent, similar to the mode of delivery for the original course;
  • the location of the replacement course must be reasonable, having regard to the costs of, and the time required for, a student’s travel; and
  • the student will not incur additional fees that are unreasonable and will be able to attend the replacement course without unreasonable impacts on the student’s prior commitments.

10. Affected students will be offered a replacement course and may seek a review about whether the course offered to them meets the requirements for replacement courses.

11. A student who accepts the replacement course offered will not be-required to pay the replacement provider for the replacement components of the replacement course. However, the fees payable for the remainder of the replacement course may be different from the fees payable for the original course.

12. A student who accepts the replacement course offered will also receive course credits for parts of the original course successfully completed by the student, as evidenced by:

  • a copy of a statement of attainment or other Australian Qualifications Framework certification document issued by the course provider or an authorised issuing organisation in accordance with the Australian Qualifications Framework; or
  • a copy of an authenticated VET transcript issued by the Student Identifiers registrar.

13. Each affected student will have a period of six (6) months in which to accept the replacement course offer. The Department may extend that period in circumstances that justify an extension.

14. If an affected student enrols in a course that is not a replacement course, the student may be required to pay additional tuition fees, and might not receive the course credits the student would have received if the student had enrolled in a replacement course.

Re-crediting of Students’ FEE-HELP Balances
15. Where there is no suitable replacement course for a student, Northern College of the Arts and Technology will re-credit the student’s FEE-HELP balance for the affected parts of the original course. The amount re-credited will be equal to the amount of VET student loan used to pay tuition fees for the student for the course, or parts of the course.

Prepaid Fees
16. For tuition fees paid up-front greater or less than $1500, Northern College of the Arts and Technology students should seek a refund from Northern College of the Arts and Technology.

Record Keeping
17. It is suggested best practice for students to retain assessments, records of competencies or statements of attainment that they receive from their education provider.

Personal Information

Information Management Procedure
NCAT has Privacy policies and procedures for managing students’ personal information in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles, Department of education and Training. You can request to access your personal information. We can provide for students to have incorrect personal information corrected. We have checking procedures between Data Entry and Qualification Coordinator staff to minimise incorrect data upload. Information about the use and disclosure of personal information the college collects stated on application and enrolment documentation. This includes information that may be disclosed to the State and Commonwealth Governments.

NCAT as an RTO complies with both the Federal and relevant State Privacy Acts, and adheres to the following principles referred to in those Acts:

  • Collection of Data: NCAT will not collect personal information about an individual unless the information is necessary and it will be fair, lawful and not intrusive.
  • Use and Disclosure: NCAT will only use or disclose information for the purpose for which it was collected or for a secondary purpose which the provider of the information would reasonably expect. The NCAT may use or disclose personal information in circumstances related to public interest, such as law enforcement and public or individual safety. Information will only be disclosed to an unrelated third party if permission is sought and received in writing from the individual concerned first.
  • Data: NCAT will take reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information collected it uses or discloses, is accurate, complete and up-to-date. It will take reasonable steps to protect the personal information it holds from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.