ACCC’s Small Business Online Program
As busy business owners you may or may not have delved much into the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission commonly known as the ACCC (pronounced A triple C). In a nutshell, the ACCC is an independent Commonwealth statutory authority whose role is to enforce the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and a range of additional legislation, promoting competition, fair trading and regulating national infrastructure for the benefit of all Australians. In other words, the ACCC protect, strengthen and supplement the way competition works in Australian markets and industries. This means they will take action where such action improves consumer welfare, protects competition or stops conduct that is anti-competitive or harmful to consumers, and promotes the proper functioning of Australian markets.
All businesses operating in Australia are subject to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the Act). However, many small businesses don’t know such an Act exists nor what it says.
Part of the ACCCs role is to inform and educate business owners on their rights and obligations under the Act. To this end, the ACCC has released a free online education program for small business owners to help you learn.
The program is a simple, interactive learning tool which provides a broad overview of the key parts of the Act through ten (10) modules. Each module takes about 15-20 minutes to complete and covers:
- Misleading conduct & advertising;
- Pricing and unfair selling practices;
- Consumer rights and guarantees;
- Selling safe products;
- Consumer contracts;
- Unconscionable conduct;
- Exclusive dealing & resale price maintenance;
- Cartels; and
- Misuse of market power.
You don’t have to do all modules, only those relevant to your business.
Dr Michael Schaper, ACCC Deputy Chair said “the ACCC is committed to helping businesses understand their rights and responsibilities under the Act. We recognise that small business operators are busy running their businesses and need simple clear information which can be accessed at any time, at their own pace.” Dr Schaper went on to say “I strongly encourage small businesses to take advantage of this free, easy-to-use online education program to ensure they are aware of all the protections and obligations they have.”
Dr Schaper is right – business owners, particularly small business owners, are very busy getting on with running their businesses. Being time poor, it is great to have information culled and explained in a simple way so time is not wasted on error or noncompliance.
Here’s the link to the program for your benefit http://www.ccaeducationprograms.org/?page=smallbusiness .