Go to top of page

About ASQA’s audit process

ASQA’s student-centred audit approach was introduced from late 2016 and was an evolution of ASQA'S previous audit practices.

ASQA audits focus on practices and behaviours as well as compliance of systems and processes of:

  • registered training organisations (RTOs)
  • providers registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) to deliver to overseas students.

The approach reflects ASQA's risk-based approach to regulation, which targets regulatory resources towards providers that are identified as posing the greatest risk to the quality of Australia's vocational education and training and international education sectors. The approach also supports timely and effective regulatory processes

What are the key features and benefits?

ASQA’s approach to audit means that:

  • audits are organised around five key phases of the student experience—marketing and recruitment; enrolment; support and progression; training and assessment; and completion
  • the depth and scope of audits are customised for each provider and informed by risk intelligence and increased input by students
  • providers that demonstrate a higher risk profile, a poor compliance history and/or poor student outcomes are targeted through deeper-level audits
  • RTOs and CRICOS providers are required to redress any impact the non-compliance may have caused to past and current students.
Key features Benefits
Uses risk analysis and intelligence to trigger audits (proactive regulation) ASQA is able to direct its resources to the most significant sector-wide risks and providers of greatest concern.
Focuses on the student experience and the provider’s practices and behaviours. Audits can effectively correct the provider practices and behaviours that lead to poor-quality student outcomes.
Provides options for longer, standard or early notice periods. Notification periods are customised and fit for purpose.
The scope of an audit is flexible, and is based on intelligence and the provider’s profile. Audits are customised and can effectively target poor practices and behaviours.
Information used to inform the audit is drawn from a wide range of sources, including intelligence from other government agencies. ASQA draws on a wide range of evidence—including shared intelligence—to avoid duplication and to effectively target and test the providers practice during an audit.
Student input, through interviews and surveys, informs the evidence base. ASQA draws on a strong base of evidence to verify an RTO’s practices and behaviours and to inform its regulatory decisions.
Use of trainer and assessor and third-party input to inform evidence base. ASQA draws on a strong base of evidence to verify a provider’s practices and behaviours and to inform its regulatory decisions.
The opportunities for providers to respond to ASQA’s findings of serious concern are limited to legal procedural fairness requirements. The audit process is concluded in timely manner; ASQA’s regulatory actions are timely and effective.
Providers are required to rectify the impact that non-compliance may have had on past and current students. Providers are accountable for correcting poor practices and ensuring they will not recur (‘prospective compliance’).
Audit outcomes are reported against the phases of student experience (‘the student journey’) and referenced to the relevant sections of the Standards for RTOs 2015, the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018, and the ELICOS Standards 2018. The audit report clearly reflects both student experiences and RTO practices.