2.8 Voluntary suspension of service approval

National Law & Regulations

[ National Law, Section 85 ] An approved provider may apply for voluntary suspension of a service approval and put the service approval ‘on hold’ for up to 12 months.

During that time, the person must not operate the service.

An approved provider may apply if, for example, they no longer wish to operate the service but have not negotiated transfer of the service to another approved provider, or if they need to temporarily relocate a service to different premises during refurbishment.

See Monitoring, Compliance and Enforcement for information on non-voluntary suspension of a service approval.

How does the approved provider apply?

National Law & Regulations

[ National Law & Regulations, Section 85, Regulation 40 ] An application for voluntary suspension must be in writing and include payment of the prescribed fee.

The National Regulations specify information that must be included in an application to suspend service approval (see Application checklists – Table XI).

Applications and notifications can be submitted to the regulatory authority online using the National Quality Agenda IT System on the ACECQA website at www.acecqa.gov.au.

Incomplete applications

If an application does not include all the prescribed information, the regulatory authority may treat the application as invalid. The timeframe for processing an application does not begin until an application is complete and therefore valid.

For more information refer to Incomplete applications in the Application for service approval section.

Notification to parents

An approved provider must notify parents of children enrolled at their services of their intention to apply for voluntary suspension of service approval at least 14 calendar days before making the application.

Timeframes for assessing an application

A decision must be made within 30 calendar days of the regulatory authority receiving a complete application.

Calculating time

The National Law sets out how timeframes are calculated at schedule 1, clause 31.

An application cannot begin to be processed unless the application is complete/valid and includes all the required information.

For more information refer to Calculating time in Application for provider approval.

Considering the application

National Law & Regulations

[ National Law, Sections 85, 101 ] The regulatory authority should consider whether the suspension is reasonable in the circumstances.

The regulatory authority can only suspend a service approval of a family day care service after consulting with the regulatory authority of each jurisdiction where the approved provider operates an education and care service. This includes the regulatory authority which granted the service approval. Failure to consult other regulatory authorities does not affect the validity of the decision.

Determining an application

National Law & Regulations

[ National Law, Section 85 ] If the regulatory authority grants an application for voluntary suspension of service approval, it may agree to the date the suspension takes effect with the approved provider.

After approval has been suspended

The suspension of the service approval remains in force for the period specified in the written notice of decision. The regulatory authority can lift a period of voluntary suspension at the approved provider’s request.