VET Student Loans & VET Information for Diplomas

Students enrolled in the course, CUA50920 Diploma of Photography and Digital Imaging, or the course CUA51120 Diploma of Visual Arts, may be eligible for a VET Student Loan.
Northern College of the Arts & Technology RTO 6736




Students may be eligible to apply for a capped loan under the Australian Government's VET Student Loans. Loans will not be approved for students who do not meet eligibility requirements.

After eligible students apply for the Loan the Department will contact you to verify the enrolment. 

A VET Student Loan gives rise to a debt that continues to be a debt owed to the Commonwealth until it is repaid.

The maximum payable loan for Diploma of Photography and Photo Imaging is $10,813. The maximum payable loan for the Diploma of Visual Arts is $16,221.

It is important for enrolled students to notify NCAT of any change of contact details.


NCAT does not normally have students under 18 years of age enrolling in their current range of courses where a VET Student Loan can be accessed. However, if an individual under 18 years is deemed eligible and the course is suitable and deemed to meet the individual’s needs, then parental consent would be needed for all RTO and VET Student Loan documentation.

NCAT must collect and verify

• Information about students’ identity and date of birth

• A tax file number or the certificate that an application for a tax file number has been lodged 

• Evidence of Australian Citizenship or the qualifying New Zealand citizenship documentation


Students must meet the citizenship and residency requirements [Act s 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.

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

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

LLN Testing, Tool and Report
It is a requirement of enrolment in VET courses and for VET Student Loans that students complete an approved Language Literacy and Numeracy test for entry into the course. Students are assessed on reading and numeracy skills against the Australian Core Skills Framework. The college uses the ACER Core Skills Profile for Adults (CSPA) Reading and Numeracy tests. The two tests together take about an hour and half to complete and must be completed with honesty and integrity. The test result reports will be emailed to students as soon as practicable after the assessment. The report can be requested by the VET Student Loan Secretary.

Diploma of Photography and Digital Imaging

16 March 2022, 27 April 2022, 25 May 2022, 20 July 2022, 8 August 2022

Diploma of Visual Arts
 First Year Students 2022 – 2023 

First Year 4 March 2022, 25 May 2022, 15 July 2022, 3 March 2023, 5 May 2023, 4 August 2023
Second Year 2021 – 2022 4 March 2022, 5 May 2022, 5 August 2022

The census days are an important as a legal deadline.

The census date is the last day a student can:

• submit the Request for VET Student loan form, or

• withdraw their enrolment, following NCAT’s withdrawal procedure, without incurring the cost or debt for that unit of study (part of the course).

Training Providers set their own census dates following the rules set by the Government. Every unit of study has its own census date, so students are charged progressively for courses as they undertake their studies, and not have to 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).


Tuition fee:
Tuition fees are calculated by multiplying the number of nominal hours in your course by the rate per hour as determined by the Department of Education and Training. Nominal hours are decided by state authorities for determining state funding payments for state government subsidised positions (eligibility criteria apply).

Government subsidised place (Skills First funding):

 Students who hold a Centrelink Healthcare Card, are of Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander descent or Asylum Seekers are eligible for a concession on their government subsidised tuition fees.

Fee Concession:

 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 Amenities fee:

The amenities fee covers the costs of cleaning and maintenance incurred by NCAT.


Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) acknowledges the full range of an individual's skills and knowledge, irrespective of how they have been acquired. This includes competencies gained through formal study, work experience, employment and other life experiences.

The college will recognise a student's existing competence against the learning outcomes or competencies in a unit of competency. If a student believes they have achieved some or all of the learning outcomes or competencies of a course in which they have enrolled, they can apply for RPL. See the current NCAT VET & General Student Handbook for more details. 

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


NCAT provides credit transfer to students for units of competency and/or modules, unless licensing or regulatory requirements prevent this. The certification documentation from the registered training organisation must be provided.

A prospective student must tick the credit transfer box on the enrolment form. They will then be issued with a Credit Transfer Application Form to complete. This form and the resultant outcome will be recorded and stored on the student file.


Access and 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 students are considering withdrawing from their course or any part of it, we strongly suggest talking to the course coordinator first.

Students need to withdraw correctly and avoid a VET Student Loan debt.

How to withdraw from a course or individual units of study
To avoid incurring a VET Student Loan debt it is important to withdraw before the census date.

Students are issued with a list of census dates. It is important to 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.
To withdraw from the course or part of the course students officially request to be withdrawn by sending an email to [email protected] with the Withdrawal Form advising your intention to be withdrawn from the entire course or part of the course. If a student withdrawing from part of the course the units of study need to be stated. Work with your course coordinator on this so that it is correct.

To avoid a VET Student Loan debt, the email must be received prior to the census date.
Students will receive a confirmation email of their 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/s. If students do not receive an acknowledgment email, please ring and advise the main office. The email will also confirm any incurred debt for the unit, part of the course or whole course. No debt will be incurred if the student withdraws prior to the census day.

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


A former student who withdrew from a VET Student Loan Course can apply to re-enrol in the remainder of the course or the equivalent of the course.


• The student must email the course coordinator and request to re – enrol in part of the course

• The coordinator will respond to the email and may ring the student to clarify the request

• The coordinator will require the student to participate in a face to face or phone interview

• If there is a space available and a mutually agreeable option to re- enrol a position will be offered.

Special circumstances
If a student withdraws from a unit after the census date because of serious illness or other special circumstances, the student can apply to the college to have their VET Student Loan balance re-credited and the VET Student Loan debt removed. The debt cannot be removed if the unit of study has already been successfully completed.

A change of mind or failing a unit are not good enough reasons to apply for special circumstances and the VET Student Loan debt will still need to be repaid.

A student must be able to satisfy the college that the special circumstances
• were beyond the student’s control,

• did not make their full impact on the student until on or after the census date, 

• making it impractical for the student to complete the requirements of the unit(s) of study.

The student must submit their application for special circumstances to the college within 12 months of the withdrawal day.


In the event of a cancellation of a student enrolment NCAT will:

• Provide at least 28 days for the student to start a grievance procedure before the cancellation takes effect and

• provide for the cancellation to take effect only after any grievance procedures initiated by the students have been completed and duly considered by the college according to the Complaints and Appeals Procedure. 


Complaints and 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.

Complaints and 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 relate to enrolment and personal information held by the provider.

⁄ A complaint can be made about any third parties delivering services for NCAT.
⁄ An appeal is against a decision such as an assessment result or complaint outcome.

⁄ 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 appeals 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

⁄ 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.


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 need 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 a student thinks this decision is wrong, they may request reconsideration of this decision by someone who was not involved in making this decision. They 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.

Any additional relevant evidence to the reconsideration of the decision should be included.

Send or deliver the reconsideration request to: North Western Region of the Department of Education and Training, Locked Bag 2001 Coburg, 3058

Time limits apply. The student application must be made within 28 days after the day the notification of the decision was received. [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 the student is requesting a reconsideration

• assess any new evidence provided

• provide the student  with a written notice of the decision, with a statement of reasons.

If the student does not receive a response within 45 days of their request for reconsideration, the original decision is taken to be confirmed.

If, after the Regional Director  has reconsidered the decision, the student is dissatisfied with the outcome, they 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 the Regional Director ’s decision.
Further information about this process will be given to the student at the time of the decision notification.

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.

What happens if Northern College of the Arts and Technology ceases to provide a course after it starts but before it is completed?

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.


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.