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AFTA cancels ATAS accreditations, tightens charter

October 23, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has advised the industry and consumers that a number of travel participants are no longer ATAS accredited – and on a separate matter has listed 10 changes to the ATAS charter and code.

ATAS accreditation cancelled:

A.L Travel (ABN: 53719842830)

Aus Voyage Pty Ltd (ABN: 95601869952)

Australian Capital Travel (ABN: 53719842830)

Blue Ocean Travel (ABN: 17612118840)

Discount Air Travel (ABN: 80119344768)

Emerald Travel (ABN: 80867769363)

Flight Travel (ABN: 92453685402)

Flightwizard (ABN: 58143957724)

Go Up Travel (ABN: 63151325852)

Helen Wong’s Tours (ABN: 45061891263)

HT Travel Centre (ABN: 12102767386)

NB Holidays (ABN: 94169380983)

Royal Discovery Holiday (ABN: 90219627701)

Skyblue Escapes (ABN: 80603624264)

Southern Cross Travel (ABN: 52055465122)

Trans Turk Travel (ABN: 11001906538)

Travel Dons (ABN: 93615987892)

Utravel Group (ABN: 25159944573)

Venus Holiday Australia (ABN: 95169370889)

Zara World Travel (ABN: 22586164670)

Voluntarily withdrawn:

Braga Travel (ABN: 93212984931)

Beyondz Travel (ABN: 2862097761)

AEA Australian Education Alliance (ABN: 49607180478)

Go Travel Group (ABN: 25101090653)

R2R Travel (ABN: 55614116559)

Tamborine Travel (ABN: 88423067059)

Travel Jet Centre (ABN: 96136641953)

AFTA advised yesterday: “ATAS participants who are no longer accredited must immediately take steps to remove any logo or reference to AFTA or ATAS from their website, business cards, any ancillary internet or social media sites you may use (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), any printed material used to promote your business like brochures, flyers or newsletters and any other in store promotional materials used like certificates, stickers or window decals.

“Cancelled Participants are no longer eligible for the AFTA Chargeback Scheme (ACS).”

MEANWHILE, AFTA has advised of 10 changes to the ATAS Charter and Code.

The ATAS Charter and its attachments, including the Code of Conduct, are the framework documents that establish the criteria for eligibility and the obligations of ATAS accredited agents to consumers.

Earlier this year, a fourth-year review of the ATAS Charter and Code was conducted resulting in Revision 5 of the ATAS Charter being released effective 1 July 2018.

Here’s the top 10 changes that all ATAS participants need to be aware of, as advised by AFTA yesterday.

  1. Background Checks

Addition of “formal background checks are required” for new applicants to determine fit and proper requirements are met, see cl 2.5(d).

  1. Fit and Proper

Addition of civil convictions in assessing whether an applicant is fit and proper (see cl 2.5(d)(ii) B(VI).

  1. Solvency Definition

Attachment D Solvency Definition revised to show greater transparency in how AFTA conduct financial assessment tests, see cl 2.5(d)(i).

  1. Workforce Development

Increase from 30% to 50% of consumer facing staff that must hold a Certificate III – Travel, or equivalent (or recognition of prior learning of at least 2 years in a front-line travel selling position), see cl 2.5(j).

  1. Addition of Australian Consumer Law obligations

The ATAS Code of Conduct has incorporated the Australian Consumer Law Guarantees and other obligations into the Service Quality Promise, see Code cl 3.2(a)(vi), (vii),(viii),(xi).

  1. Ineligible Complaints

Removal of some types of ineligible complaints, see cl 5.5(c).

  1. Time frames aligned

Discrepancies removed and business day references removed. Agents to acknowledge a complaint within 5 days and inform of an outcome within 21 days, see Code 5.1(c), (e).

  1. Change of name from ACCMC to ACAC

The independent committee has been renamed from ATAS Code Compliance Monitoring Committee (ACCMC) to ATAS Complaint Appeal Committee (ACAC).

  1. Right of ACAC to reopen a closed complaint removed

The ACAC may only reopen a closed complaint where they or the ATAS Compliance manager has been misled, refer cl 2.2 of Terms of Reference.

  1. ACAC Terms of appointment

Adjusted to stagger end of appointment dates, see Attachment F Terms of Reference, cl 5.2.

Edited by Peter Needham

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