Recent media has highlighted the significance of the public register of training providers maintained by the Australian Skills Quality Authority, and the similar registers maintained by other regulators with a licensing function.

Public registers are key sources of legal and regulatory information, allowing consumers and business partners alike to identify whether a business is licensed for a certain purpose, and what the licence allows them to do. Typically, such registers may also record when a license has been cancelled, restricted in scope or subjected to adverse conditions.

Unsurprisingly, the recording of an adverse decision on the register may have a significant reputational impact for the business in question, particularly if the decision remains open to appeal.

In many cases, regulated businesses will apply to a court or tribunal for urgent orders that an adverse decision be stayed pending an appeal, and the matter be kept confidential until the appeal is determined. The court will balance the prospects and legitimate interests of the parties, including the interest of the business in maintaining its reputation until avenues of appeal have been exhausted. If a stay or confidentiality order is granted, it may come with conditions intended to balance the parties’ interests until the appeal is determined.