ASQA Releases New Regulatory Strategy

Date —

11 August 2020

Education Sector/s —
Vocational Education & Training

Summary —

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has issued its regulatory strategy for 2020-22 that has been developed in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. In publishing the strategy.  The document is particularly important to independent Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) that will be undergoing audit and compliance activity in coming years as it highlights where ASQA will be particularly attentive to an RTO's level of compliance.

Key Issues —

The 2020-22 ASQA Regulatory Strategy has been developed in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic where independent Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) have faced unprecedented challenges. ASQA has taken account of the pressures the pandemic has placed on the VET sector, including the financial impact on RTOs, in determining its regulatory priorities for 2020-22. To do this, ASQA engaged with peak bodies including the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) and TAFE Directors Australia.

While ASQA has modified its regulatory approach and activity in recognition of the practical constraints for providers, the regulator continues to monitor and respond to concerns that some RTOs may not be meeting their regulatory obligations. It’s in this context that ASQA has signalled that it will focus on the following areas. These will be particularly important to independent RTOs that are facing audit and compliance activity over the next thee years.

 

ASQA Focus ―
Online Learning & Assessment


 

Australia’s VET and international education sectors have faced major disruption as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the closure of Australia’s international borders and implementation of social distancing requirements to reduce the transmission of Covid-19.

The use of technology for education in the VET sector is not new and online training comprised around 13% of VET delivered in 2017; however, in 2020, more than 1,000 providers have advised ASQA they now deliver all or a number of their courses online as a direct result of Covid-19.

 

ASQA Focus ―
Vocational Education & Training In Schools

   

While the education of school students is the domain of various state government and non-government schooling sectors, ASQA, as the national regulator of VET in Australia, has responsibility for providers who deliver VET to secondary school students. ASQA has acknowledged that research points to a range of benefits for school students who undertake VET studies.

However, stakeholders have continue to raise concerns about the quality of delivery and outcomes, industry relevance and employer engagement and thus ASQA will review this sector.

 

ASQA Focus ―
Trainer & Assessor Capability

   

Some stakeholders have raised concerns with ASQA that the quality of training and assessment in the VET sector is inconsistent, and that trainer and assessor capability is a contributing factor. These concerns include whether providers engage sufficiently qualified trainers with relevant trade qualifications and industry experience.

Over 2020–22, ASQA will work with DESE and other key stakeholders to identify any additional actions that will support improved trainer and assessor capability, and the organisations best placed to take them forward. 

 

ASQA Focus ―
Training Products Of Concern

   

In determining current risk priorities, ASQA uses internal regulatory data and feedback from key stakeholders to identify training products with a degree of risk that warrants closer scrutiny. The following training products have been identified through this process:

......◾ TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
......◾ CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support
......◾ SIT30816 Certificate III in Commercial Cookery
......◾ SIT40516 Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery
......◾ CPCCWHS1001 Prepare to work safely in the construction industry

ASQA has stated it will actively monitor providers that intend to deliver or currently deliver these training products. Where we identify common areas of concern, we will develop advice and guidance to support providers to review and improve their delivery, and to assure ongoing confidence and quality outcomes for students, employers and the community.

The suitability of the initiatives contained in the regulatory strategy will be considered as circumstances change throughout 2020-22, with ASQA committed to revising and updating the strategy as appropriate.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has presented independent RTOs with an unprecedented set of challenges, particularly in the area on online learning. ITECA will closely with ASQA to ensure that its strategic focus protects the reputation of the VET sector whilst primarily working with providers to improve outcomes rather than using unnecessarily harsh punitive action in the first instance,” said Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.

The early signs are encouraging, with ASQA stating it is committed to working with ITECA and other stakeholders to provide advice on strategies to support providers in the VET and international education sectors.

Getting Involved —

ITECA’s ability to play a lead role in matters associated with this issue rests on the advice and guidance of individuals serving on the ITECA Vocational Education & Training Reference Group.  ITECA Membership – It's a great time to get involved.

Further Information —

If you're an ITECA member and would like more information on this matter, the ITECA team would value the opportunity to talk to you.  Simply send an email to [email protected] or telephone 1300 421 017.  Stay up to date via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

 

Disclaimer & Copyright —


This information may be reproduced in limited circumstances under a Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.  Information published on this webpage is intended for general information only and no warranty is providers as to accuracy or completeness thus any reliance you place on this material is therefore strictly at your own risk.

 


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