On the first day of Christmas, ASQA gave to me… non-compliance, in a pear tree.
Not a great way to start Christmas, right? Well, for a good portion of our RTOs, non-compliance is not on their radar––they’re prepared, persistent and proactive with their processes. In saying that, they may also have some very helpful elves(elves=aXcelerate) getting everything in order behind the scenes to ensure compliance is continuously top of mind.
Now, in RTO reality, we don’t all have access to the luxury of elves to support us, which is why we need to put our own Santa hat on and figure out what aspects of our RTO are currently naughty or nice.
In the spirit of the Christmas season, we want you to sit back, relax and have a jolly time unpacking this journey to compliance.
Vagueness is the enemy of your Training and Assessment Strategy (TAS). Your TAS needs to be detailed as this is usually the first thing to be scrutinised by auditors. So, you need a comprehensive framework for every training product (Skill Set, Qualification, etc.) that you have on offer.
Delivering different packages to different cohorts? You will need separate TAS’s for these too.
Your TAS acts as a guide for your assessors and covers the essential information they require to successfully run a course –– the when, where and how.
Exceptional resource management and access to version-controlled documents can definitely help this process of updating and establishing your compliant TAS.
An absolute critical priority of your RTO is to deliver quality training. This is why the capability of your trainers and assessor is also a critical concern for ASQA.
What does your trainer matrix look like? Do you have sufficient evidence and trainer competency mapping to support this?
Even though your trainers may be delivering quality, up-to-date training, you need the evidence to support this, or the auditors simply won’t know.
Figure out what options would be most suitable for your trainers to maintain skills currency and ensure your trainer matrix can flag any lacking evidence for you. If you want to expand on this topic any further, Lauren Hollows has some great tips here.
It can feel like those pesky USIs are out to get you at times, even when you are sure you had already received that one student’s paperwork a few months ago.
Often the most frustrating steps can be identifying and fixing these errors, even if you do have quite a few hundred to solve. A pre-validation tool is exceptionally useful for this, as you will be able to quickly identify what areas your errors stem from.
Preparation is key for a stress-free reporting season so tackle your research now and make sure you know how to solve five of the most common AVETMISS errors.
Online research is the first port of call for most students, so if your enrolments aren’t online then you’re most likely not capturing all prospective students. A well-designed website and intuitive enrolment process will help this decision-making process immensely.
Online enrolments with appropriate AVETMISS fields also help speed up the pathway to compliance rather than leaving you to chase after the student for key information at a later date.
Here are a few more tricks on how you can leverage your RTO’s current website.
If your RTO is not living up to its perceived expectations then you may have some unhappy students. Clause 4.1 of the Standards details that your RTO must provide clear, current and accurate information about the training and assessment you provide. Basically, your marketing can not deceive or confuse any clients or learners.
You also need to honour all commitments made in any marketing or advertising materials–so, how do you ensure transparency across all of these touchpoints?
By mapping out the student experience journey, you can visualise and understand your RTO’s key touchpoints and pain points with any clients or learners. This will not only help your RTO become more student-focused but allows you to stay attuned to changing student perspectives.
Relying on separate systems to support your RTO is not a fun time. With finance, accounting, surveys or a CRM not communicating, you’re wasting valuable administrative time trying to connect the dots. Get yourself a student management system that can link these systems together and support your RTO holistically.
We suggest the One System approach.
The stress of non-compliance is amplified when you’re left waiting for hours, or days, for support from your SMS provider. Various streams of support such as live chat, Zendesk tickets and a direct customer success manager can help alleviate this anxiety-inducing wait time.
An SMS that allows direct, human support to help your RTO through any compliance queries will be a huge help.
A repository of short videos that may help you find the answer you’re looking for will also speed up this process.
Assessment mapping is not mandatory but boy does it make a huge difference in mitigating the risk of non-compliance. Your assessment tools need to accurately address all training package requirements so mapping this out will give you a clear indication on any performance criteria, skills, knowledge and assessment conditions you may have missed.
Simple drag and drop functionality that is built within your SMS can speed up the process of mapping––this will allow you to quickly and easily outline the linkage between your assessment tasks and training items. Having a clear visual outline of exactly what needs addressing will help simplify your mapping relationships.
Paperwork can be cumbersome and time-consuming, especially if you’re having to manage and file all student documents including forms, licenses, passports or insurance. It’s a lot to keep your tabs on, and it also presents quite a few opportunities for pieces to be missed or lost along the way.
Keeping a digital portfolio of all student documents will ensure you have all of the right documentation at all times. This portfolio can also be supported by a checklist that flags you to any missing documents you may still require. Having key reminders and reports notify you of any missed documents is super handy in gathering evidence for any funding as well.
If you’re still here, we are very, very sorry. More than ten areas of non-compliance for your RTO have definitely landed on ASQA’s naughty list. But, fortunately, we may have the answer you need…
You see, we don’t mean to be biased, but Christmas can come early if your RTO is supported by an award-winning student management system.
We are here for you every step of the way with your compliance-needs, even over this upcoming holiday period.
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