Unregistered Training School Provider Fined for False Claims

The director of an unregistered private training school was charged with false marketing claims following the unapproved enrolment of international students. Daniel Hunt and his private training establishment, The Career Academy (TCA), were fined $56,000 for breaching the Education Act 1989. Hunt claimed that the establishment was approved by the New Zealand Qualification Association (NZQA) and used protected terms such as ‘New Zealand’ when describing the courses offered, when this was not true. The NZQA exists to provide quality education that students can depend upon.

Hunt’s false claims diminished the integrity of the students enrolled in his school and risked discrediting their qualifications. Hunt requested a name suppression for both himself and the school, as he did not want the school’s reputation and that of the students’ to be tarnished by the accusations. However, this name suppression was later dismissed as it was decided that the harm caused by negative publicity would not be greater than the harm dealt to potential students who believed TCA was approved by the NZQA. 

Students in New Zealand are encouraged to check the status of all private training establishments on the NZQA website to ensure that the school they are enrolling into is legitimate, and any past or current TCA students concerned about the status of their qualifications can contact NZQA at TCAstudents@nzqa.govt.nz. If Australian consumers feel that they are being deceived in a similar manner to the students of TCA, they can visit the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) website to make a complaint: https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/complaints-problems/make-a-consumer-complaint

Transparency and clarity are important in any small business. Whenever you make a claim, you must be able to back it up, and you must be clear about what your business offers to avoid any confusion. The Australian Small Business Centre offers a module on Legal & Risk Management Agreement & Policies as part of their Business StartUp Online Training Course. The course includes all of the necessary steps to starting your own online business. It will help you gain an understanding of small business laws and the right legal structure for your business. To avoid making mistakes like those made by Daniel Hunt, you can view the course here: https://www.australiansmallbusiness.com.au/training-courses/small-business-startup-and-administration/#.YZh1D2BBxPZ.

Source article: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/nzqa-takes-unregistered-tertiary-provider-director-to-court/Z67LDKINNAPEQBKTQRHZ4LU6CU/?c_id=1&objectid=11908560

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