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How your RTO can create and maintain a strong system of self-assurance

January 25, 2022

Self-assurance refers to the way training providers manage their operations to ensure a focus on quality, continuous improvement and ongoing compliance.  

As a regulatory approach used in VET in Australia (and around the world), providers who effectively self-assure their practices have systems in place to be able to identify ways to continuously improve quality, compliance with the Standards and student outcomes. 

When assessing provider performance, ASQA places a strong focus on provider systems of self-assurance. ASQA views providers who have effective self-assurance practices as showing a commitment and capability to delivering quality training. 

What does it say in the Standards?

Standard 2 (the operations of the RTO are quality assured) states that the RTO is ultimately responsible for ensuring quality training and assessment within their organisation and scope of registration. RTOs are also responsible for evaluating information about performance, and should use that information for quality assurance and improving training and assessment. 

What does a provider who applies effective self-assurance practices do?

A provider who is applying effective self-assurance practices will:

  • identify and fix issues as they arise
  • manage risks to quality outcomes and, in doing so, ensure quality student outcomes
  • have confidence that they meet regulatory requirements (including meeting the quality standards) now and into the future.

What are some important questions providers should ask for self-assurance?

  1. How do we know how we’re doing? – what evidence are you using to understand how you’re performing and the outcomes your students are achieving?
  2. How are we doing? – reflect on how you are actually performing and the outcomes your students are achieving. 
  3. What do we need to do next? – where have you identified deficiencies in your processes and what actions can you take to improve?

What are some examples of provider self-assurance that your RTO can implement?

Self-assurance practices vary across different types and sizes of RTOs. Here are some examples of what providers have been doing as part of their self-assurance practices: 

  • Having a program of internal audits and/or self-assessments
  • Following continuous improvement plans
  • Having dedicated compliance staff (internal or external)
  • Having governance boards or education committees to oversee multiple regulatory requirements, such as standards and the industry, government or financial requirements 
  • Engaging trainers, assessors and industry when developing training and assessment strategies 
  • Regularly reviewing feedback 
  • Professional development for staff to develop capability and maintain currency
  • Inviting industry to be part of internal reviews
  • Networking with other providers 
  • Analysis and reporting of student data, including progress, completion and complaints
  • Pre- and post-course validation and moderation activities involving a range of internal and external stakeholders 

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this, so it's up to you to decide which tasks work best for your organisation. 

Read more about how ASQA defines self-assurance here. ASQA is also currently co-designing a model for self-assurance with the sector, which you can learn more about here.

Did you know?

aXcelerate is Australia’s number 1 cloud-based Student Management System and Learning Management System. 

From starting out as an RTO, to developing our software and continuing to grow through many changes in the VET sector over the past 33 years, we’ve helped 900+ training organisations thrive with aXcelerate’s One System SMS/LMS solution.

Learn how we can help your training organisation here, or chat with us to see how we can work with you to reach your training management goals here

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