7 July, 2021

Part 2- How compliance and quality assurance are two separate but intertwined concepts

When we look at the current Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015, the clauses relevant to Registered Training Organisations’ regulatory compliance, the reporting and governance practice, they all clearly underpin good management practices and effective compliance control procedures—and, as a result, the effective functioning and sustainability of RTOs.
These Standards support RTOs to provide high-quality student experiences and learning outcomes.
Under the Standards, RTOs are responsible for:

  • Ensuring authorised Executive Officers and High Managerial Agents meet the Fit and Proper Person requirements and are vested with sufficient authority to ensure the RTO complies with the RTO Standards at all times (clause 7.1)
  • Satisfying financial viability risk assessment: Your RTO is required to present an acceptable level of financial viability risk at all times (this includes any parent entities). ASQA assesses each RTO’s financial viability risk to evaluate the likelihood of business continuity and the RTO’s capacity to achieve quality outcomes, as outlined in the Financial Viability Risk Assessment Requirements 2011. ASQA considers this against the potential for adverse consequences if your entity collapses or becomes unviable and makes a judgement about whether the level of risk is acceptable, unacceptable, or requires additional controls. To enable a preliminary financial viability risk assessment, the initial registration application requires the applicant to provide:
    • a range of financial sustainability information
    • independent certification.

ASQA may also require your RTO to undergo a financial viability risk assessment at any other time. (clause 7.2)

  • Compliance and reporting: The RTO must make sure it complies with the SRTO’s 2015, other Commonwealth, State and Territory legislation and regulatory requirements relevant to its operations, at all times, including where services are being delivered on its behalf. The RTO is required to provide an annual declaration on compliance to confirm whether it:
    1. currently meets the requirements of the Standards across all its scope of registration and has met the requirements of the Standards for all AQF [Australian Qualifications Framework] certification documentation it has issued in the previous 12 months.
    2. has training and assessment strategies and practices in place that ensure that all current and prospective learners will be trained and assessed in accordance with the requirements of the Standards.

RTOs are also required to make sure its staff and clients are informed of any changes to legislative and regulatory requirements that affect the services delivered. (clauses 2.1 and 8.4 to 8.6)

  • Recording, monitoring and reporting third-party arrangements: All third-party arrangements must have a written agreement, the RTO must have sufficient strategies and resources to systematically monitor any services delivered on its behalf, and notifies the Regulator:
  1. of any written agreement entered into under clause 2.3 for the delivery of services on its behalf within 30 calendar days of that agreement being entered into or prior to the obligations under the agreement taking effect, whichever occurs first, and
  2. within 30 calendar days of the agreement coming to an end.  (clauses 2.3, 2.4 and 8.3)
  • Holding public liability insurance: RTOs are responsible for ensuring they hold public liability insurance throughout their registration period. Your RTO must hold public liability insurance to cover all training and/or assessment activities it provides as an RTO. (clause 7.4)
  • Meeting Data Provision Requirements:

RTOs are responsible for providing accurate information about their performance and governance in accordance with clause 7.5.
The Data Provision Requirements outline information that your RTO is required to submit. Apart from information required with applications, this falls generally into two categories:
Australian Vocational Education and Training Management Information Statistical Standard (AVETMISS) data
Quality Indicator Data.
Data such as national training activity is very important—this informs decision-making about policies and funding for the national VET system and allows measurement of the system’s performance.
The quality indicator data provides information for RTOs about their students’ experiences of their services and can be used to continuously improve the quality of the training for students and employers. (clause 7.5)
Providing requested information to ASQA:
RTOs are responsible for:

  • Cooperating with ASQA
  • Ensuring any third party delivering services on the RTO’s behalf is required to cooperate with ASQA.

Your RTO and any third parties delivering services on your behalf must cooperate with ASQA in responding to requests for information, undergoing audits and managing records. The information you and third parties provide to ASQA must be accurate, truthful and authentic. Any documentation provided at audit must be an accurate representation of your RTO’s practices.
You must notify ASQA within 90 days of the following:

  • Changes to executive officers or high managerial agents
  • Changes to financial administration status (e.g. liquidators being appointed)
  • Changes to legal name or type of legal entity
  • Changes to ownership, directorship or control (including changes to parent entities)
  • Significant mergers or associations with other RTOs
  • Registration (or application) with other education regulators (e.g. higher education provider with the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency)
  • Anything that may affect the fit and proper person status of an influential representative of the RTO
  • Changes to any fundamental funding/revenue source (e.g. access to or loss of government funding contract allocation)
  • Changes to the RTO’s business strategy (e.g. more to online delivery, assessment-only delivery, offshore delivery)
  • Delivery to apprentices or trainees employed under a training contract
  • Any other significant event.

(clauses 8.1 and 8.2).
In the next post we will look into the “quality assurance” requirements and obligations for your RTO.
To be continued…

3 years ago