Applying to become a higher education provider

This page explains the legislative eligibility requirements organisations must meet when seeking approval as a higher education provider (HEP) to offer FEE-HELP, as well as the process to apply for approval.

Before applying, organisations should consider whether FEE HELP is appropriate. HEPs are responsible for ensuring they comply with the legislative requirements. If approved, an organisation will have to change some of its business practices to ensure compliance. Breaches of legislative requirements may result in penalties including suspension or revocation of approval.

Eligibility

An organisation seeking approval as a HEP to offer FEE-HELP must meet certain legislative eligibility requirements. To be eligible to apply, an organisation must be a body corporate with its central management and control in Australia, be listed on the national register of higher education providers and offer at least one eligible accredited course. 

The national register is available on the Tertiary Education Quality and Standard Agency (TEQSA) website.

Registered higher education institutes applying must also meet legislative requirements in relation to financial viability, tuition assurance, student policies and procedures for fairness and equal opportunity, academic and non-academic grievance, refunds and re-crediting of a FEE-HELP balance. There are also ongoing responsibilities including certain administrative requirements and data reporting requirements associated with FEE HELP.

Making an application

The FEE-HELP Provider Application Guide (Application Guide) covers the requirements that applicants must address to become approved HEPs. For each requirement the Application Guide provides a checklist of information and/or documentation which must be provided, reference to the legislative provisions and a detailed discussion of the requirements.

The Financial Viability Instructions (FVI) for FEE HELP inform applicants of the financial information that is required, the form in which it must be prepared and how financial viability will be assessed.

You must read the Application Guide and FVI before applying.

How to apply

Applications must be lodged through the online HELP IT system (HITS). You will need to register for HITS to gain access, please refer to the HITS user guide for instructions.

Once you are able to access HITS, you will need to enter your organisation’s details, financial performance data and upload all documentation required to meet legislative requirements including mandatory forms. If you do not provide enough information the application will not be accepted by the department.

It is a requirement for some documents to be certified. The Guidelines for certification of documents provides advice on how to certify a document.

Legislation

Mandatory forms

Optional templates