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Strategic reviews

In regulating Australia’s vocational education sector, ASQA continually assesses risks presented by registered training organisations (RTOs), courses, qualifications and the vocational education and training (VET) system.

Where system risks are identified, ASQA seeks to prevent damage to the VET sector undertaking strategic reviews of these training areas or issues.

How do strategic reviews work?

ASQA identifies risks to the VET system using a number of information sources, including:

  • information provided by Australian, state and territory governments
  • government reports, for example the Productivity Commission reports
  • feedback from industry regulators and associations
  • complaints data
  • regulatory outcomes from ASQA’s work, for example trends in non-compliance, and
  • analysing data, including data on student and employer outcomes, and visa data.

ASQA may then undertake a review of a particular sub-sector of the VET system, or of a particular type of qualification, course, or method of delivery.

The focus of our work is on examining systemic poor practice and identifying appropriate actions to address poor practice across the system, and not just to resolve issues with individual RTOs.

2014–15 strategic reviews

In 2014-15, ASQA undertook three reviews, of training in the following areas:

  • early childhood education and care in Australia
  • security programs in Australia, and
  • equine programs in Australia

The reports for the early childhood education and care and training in equine program reviews were published in August and December 2015. The review report for training in security training was released in January 2016.

2016 strategic reviews

ASQA is conducting two strategic reviews in 2016.

These reviews will focus on:

  • examining the duration of vocational education and training (VET) courses, and
  • assessing VET FEE-HELP program providers of concern (in line with ASQA’s regulatory strategy).

ASQA’s previous strategic reviews have identified very short courses as a particular risk that may prevent students from gaining all of the skills and competencies they should be getting from VET courses. The results of the review into course duration will be released later this year.

The proposed 2016 VET FEE-HELP Regulatory Strategy has been developed in consultation with the Department of Education and Training and responds to the findings of the ASQA 2015 VET FEE-HELP targeted audit program. This review will not result in a detailed report; however, ASQA will release a statement later in 2016.

How can I find out more about ASQA’s strategic review program?

Contact strategicreviews [at] asqa.gov.au for more information.