To ensure its resources are effectively targeted, ASQA applies an intelligence-led and risk-based approach to regulation.
ASQA’s Regulatory Risk Framework outlines how ASQA manages risk on two levels:
- operational (provider risk)
- strategic (systemic risk).
This is a risk likely to exist across the sector or in a portion of providers. If left untreated, significant systemic risks can have a detrimental impact on the quality of training and assessment for individuals, industry and the wider community and may lead to loss of confidence in the vocational education and training (VET) sector.
ASQA’s Regulatory strategy 2017-18 outlines the systemic risk priorities that will be the focus of ASQA’s regulatory efforts. Key inputs into the regulatory strategy included:
- Australian Government priorities
- ASQA’s Environmental scan 2016-17 (E-scan), which was developed through stakeholder consultation, market research, media monitoring and VET data analysis
- a review of the projects undertaken to address risks identified by the Regulatory strategy 2016-17 and the outcome of these projects.
Where systemic risks are identified as a target area, ASQA may decide to undertake a strategic review of these training areas or issues. While each strategic review is designed to respond to the particular risk factors, the reviews may involve:
- research and review of available literature and information
- collaboration with government, industry, provider and student stakeholders
- analysis of relevant data sources, including ASQA compliance information
- release of a final report documenting the findings of the review, and where appropriate, making recommendations.
2017–18 strategic reviews
ASQA announced in 2017 that it would undertake a strategic review of international VET and English language education services delivered by ASQA-regulated providers (the International Education Strategic Review).
The Terms of Reference for the International Education Strategic Review have now been finalised:
The findings of the review will be published by June 2019.
2016–17 strategic reviews
ASQA undertook two strategic reviews in 2016-17:
- examining the duration of VET courses
- assessing VET FEE-HELP program providers of concern.
ASQA’s previous strategic reviews 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 report, A review of the issues relating to unduly short training, was released in June 2017.
The 2016 VET FEE-HELP regulatory strategy was developed in consultation with the Department of Education and Training. It responds to the findings of ASQA’s previous 2015 VET FEE-HELP targeted audit program. The 2016 VET FEE-HELP regulatory strategy resulted in regulatory action being taken against individual providers.
2015–16 strategic reviews
In 2015-16, ASQA released three reviews, of training in the following areas:
- early childhood education and care in Australia
- security programs in Australia
- equine programs in Australia.
The reports for the early childhood education and care and training in equine programs reviews were published in August and December 2015. The report for security programs in Australia was released in January 2016.
ASQA also conducted the 2015 VET FEE-HELP targeted audit program.