Functions & guiding principles
VARTA strives to be an efficient, transparent, accessible, collaborative and consistent regulator of the fertility treatment industry in Victoria. Regulatory functions are performed according to the key guiding principles set out in section 5 of the ART Act, which provide that:
(a) the welfare and interests of persons born or to be born as a result of treatment procedures are paramount;
(b) at no time should the use of treatment procedures be for the purpose of exploiting, in trade or otherwise—
- the reproductive capabilities of men and women; or
- children born as a result of treatment procedures;
(c) children born as the result of the use of donated gametes have a right to information about their genetic parents;
(d) the health and wellbeing of persons undergoing treatment procedures must be protected at all times;
(e) persons seeking to undergo treatment procedures must not be discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation, marital status, race or religion.
What we do
VARTA’s primary functions are to:
- Regulate the provision of fertility treatment in Victoria.
- Manage the Central and Voluntary Registers, process applications from people who want to seek and store information on the registers, and offer support and advice to those applying.
- Provide donor linking services, facilitating the exchange of information, correspondence and contact between consenting parties.
- Translate and promote education and research about fertility, infertility and fertility treatment options and procedures.
VARTA’s responsibilities under section 100 of the ART Act include:
- administering the registration of fertility clinics in Victoria
- monitoring and reporting on treatment outcomes
- approving the import and export of donor gametes and embryos formed from donor gametes into and out of Victoria.
VARTA is also required to advise the Minister for Health of any contraventions of the ART Act or Regulations, or any breaches of an ART provider’s conditions of registration.
VARTA’s Regulator Plan sets out its regulatory role, including its approach to fulfilling its regulatory functions in a targeted and risk-based way to protect the interests and wellbeing of those undergoing treatment, and the children born from such procedures. VARTA works alongside co-regulators and stakeholders to achieve a cohesive, collaborative approach to regulation of the assisted reproductive treatment industry. More information on VARTA’s key priorities, projects and achievements is set out in its annual reports.
VARTA’s aim is to work continuously towards regulatory best practice in administering aspects of the ART Act in a transparent way. The Statement of Expectations issued by the Minister for Health for 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2021, along with a revised Statement issued in October 2019, and VARTA’s Response have shaped VARTA’s Strategic Plan for 2018-21. The plan sets out VARTA’s strong commitment to:
- Undertake risk-based regulatory planning to effectively use regulatory tools.
- Embed learnings to enhance future processes and minimise risks and build expertise in investigating potential legislative breaches by ART providers.
- Increase engagement with consumers, and build VARTA’s knowledge of behavioural insights and technology to broaden its methods of innovative and appropriate education methods, to enable more people to understand fertility, infertility and ART.
- Evaluate the impact of the ‘Right to Know’ legislation on donor-conceived people, donors, parents and VARTA’s systems and processes.
- To analyse VARTA’s systems and practices, and share learnings with others nationally and internationally.
- Operate with sustainable human and financial resources to undertake VARTA’s functions and achieve strategic outcomes, as an innovative, responsive, capable, transparent and sustainable organisation with a positive culture.