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Assessment of your application

Assessment overview

ASQA will assess your application to make sure your organisation is able to comply with, and remain compliant with, the complex requirements and responsibilities outlined in the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Framework. Your application must meet the requirements at each stage before it can be progressed.

When you submit a registration application, you are declaring that your organisation is ready to start delivering immediately. If you are not completely prepared, and you do not have adequate resources, ASQA is likely to reject your application.

As outlined in the ASQA service standards, ASQA will finalise initial registration applications within six months of accepting a properly completed and fully compliant application.

Assessment stages overview

Completeness check

ASQA conducts an initial completeness check of each application. If your application is incomplete, ASQA will contact you. You will have ten working days in which to provide all required information or supporting evidence. If you do not provide appropriate evidence within this ten-day timeframe, ASQA will reject your application and your application lodgement fee will be forfeited.

Once ASQA has commenced the ‘completeness check’ you will not be eligible for a refund of the application lodgement fee.

Risk assessment

If you successfully submit a complete application, your application will progress to a risk assessment.

At this stage, ASQA conducts initial assessment checks on the people associated with the organisation seeking registration to ensure they are Fit and Proper (essentially, that they are of good character, and do not have a history that prevents them from being involved in an RTO).

ASQA will also conduct an initial assessment of your financial viability risk assessment tool during this stage. This assessment considers your organisation’s performance against particular financial metrics, selected to determine an applicant’s capacity to maintain registration as a CRICOS provider and continue to comply with all registration requirements. If your organisation is determined to be of an acceptable financial risk at this stage, the tool and supporting documents will be further reviewed during the assessment stage.

An application may be rejected at this stage if it does not satisfy the financial viability risk assessment requirements.

Once the application is assessed as acceptable to progress to the next assessment stage, ASQA will generate an assessment fee invoice. ASQA will not continue assessing your application until the assessment fee is paid in full.

Assessment (registration audit)

If your application progresses past the risk assessment stage, ASQA will commence its assessment, which will include an audit. The audit confirms that your organisation is prepared to commence delivering and assessing nationally recognised training and/or ELICOS courses. This audit includes a desk component, usually followed by a validation component, which may include a site visit.

The audit will confirm whether your organisation is compliant with the National Code (and if relevant, the ELICOS Standards). The audit will assess whether your organisation has the relevant systems in place to deliver quality training and assessment for each course in your application.

The auditor will conduct an assessment that considers:

  • the application form
  • the self-assessment and accompanying evidence
  • the financial viability risk assessment tool and accompanying evidence
  • the fit and proper person declarations
  • any other evidence ASQA has on file.

The auditor may also contact you for other evidence, or for clarification during the audit process.

The validation component will focus on confirming that evidence presented during the desk component was complete and accurate, and on assessing the suitability of facilities and resources available for the delivery of training and assessment. The validation component of the audit is not an opportunity to present new or revised evidence to address non-compliance identified during audit process. If the validation process is to be conducted via a site visit, the auditor will contact you to set a date. ASQA will conduct the audit at one or more of your organisation’s venues.

The audit process does not include an opportunity to correct and re-submit additional evidence if non-compliances are identified during the audit process.

If you have existing registration as an RTO, the audit will also consider your practices against the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015.

If you have also applied for initial registration as a registered training organisation (RTO)

In most cases, if you have submitted applications simultaneously, ASQA will assess compliance with the requirements for both RTO and CRICOS registration during the same assessment process.

ASQA’s decision

The auditor will document the findings in an audit report. 

If non-compliance has been identified, the report will include a description of the gap in compliance.

ASQA will make a decision about whether your organisation complies with the ESOS Framework and whether your application will be approved in response to the findings in the report.

ASQA will notify you of the decision, and provide a copy of the audit report after the audit and decision-making processes are complete.