In response to the recommendations of the Rapid Review, ASQA has recently changed the way they audit and assess the performance of VET providers, including
Let’s break down the key changes of ASQA’s new approach.
Building on improvements made in 2020, there are four key areas of change.
1. Clarifying that the audit process is a part of the ‘performance assessment’ process
The main change to note here is the new language:
2. A focus on self-assurance
Self-assurance is a regulatory approach used in VET in Australia and around the world, referring to the way providers manage their operations to ensure a focus on quality, continuous improvement, and ongoing compliance. This means providers need to have systems in place to be able to identify ways to continuously improve quality, compliance with the Standards and student outcomes.
ASQA is now focusing more on provider systems of self-assurance when assessing provider performance. Effectively self-assuring means providers can:
3. Strengthening the interaction between practice, systems and continuous improvement
ASQA’s assessors will place stronger focus on providers’ systems and how practices are monitored, reviewed and improved.
There are three questions ASQA will use to do this:
4. Increased focus on clause 2.2 of the Standards for RTOs
This clause requires providers to systematically monitor, evaluate and continuously improve their training and assessment strategies and practices. You will see clause 2.2 included in the scope of most performance assessments (audits).
1. Regulatory response
Looking at ASQA’s graduated approach diagram below, we can see that the response to non-compliance is based on the level of risk and the provider’s commitment and capability to deliver quality.
2. Decision making
If a provider shows non-compliance, ASQA will give them procedural fairness. This usually means an opportunity is given for the provider to respond to the non-compliance before a decision is made that could adversely affect the provider.
3. Tools to promote and ensure compliance
Looking at the graduated approach diagram again, we can see that ASQA is focusing on encouraging compliance first, with resources such as information, education and advice, and provider self-assurance and continuous improvement.
At the directing compliance stage, ASQA may issue
Basically, at this stage ASQA has found it necessary to use the NVR and ESOS Acts to inform their approach.
When ASQA isn’t confident in the providers ability to address the non-compliance voluntarily or following a direction, or where the nature of the non-compliance is moderate to significant, a number of tools in the sanctions stage are used. ASQA may use:
At the tip of the triangle, we have court actions. If a provider ever reaches this level of non-compliance, they may face injunctions, civil penalties, or criminal proceedings.
These diagrams by ASQA show a good breakdown of the key timing periods:
Timeline for making a review decision
Timeline for making a stay decision
Timeline for extension of time decisions
Read more about ASQA’s Regulatory Risk Framework here.
Want to know more about how you can stay compliant without complaint? Here are some useful articles:
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