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Prepare for an audit

ASQA undertakes two distinct types of audits:

Registration audits

ASQA conducts registration audits to ensure that providers are compliant with the relevant standards.

You will be required to undergo an ASQA registration audit:

  • when you apply for initial registration as a Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) provider
  • in some cases, when you apply to renew your CRICOS registration, and
  • in some cases, when you apply to make changes to the scope of your CRICOS registration. 

The registration audit will involve a visit to one or more of your delivery sites. Each site visit usually takes between one and two days. 

CRICOS registration audits—frequently asked questions

How does ASQA charge for registration audits?

The cost of registration audits is factored into ASQA's application fees—you are not charged an additional fee for a registration audit.

How much notice will I receive before a registration audit is scheduled?

The lead auditor will contact you to set a date for the audit. In most cases, the date for the audit will be set for between one and four months from the time the auditor contacts you. The auditor will contact you again between 10 and 20 working days before the audit to confirm the audit date and advise you of other key information, including the scope of the audit.

How can I prepare for a registration audit?

You may choose to assess your own compliance with the requirements of the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Framework by referring to the documentation used by ASQA's auditors. ASQA auditors assesses compliance using the:

Will ASQA audit my CRICOS and VET registration applications at the same audit?

In most cases, if you have submitted the CRICOS and vocational education and training (VET) registration applications at the same time (that is, within one business day of each other), and risk assessment determines that an audit of each application is required, ASQA consider your VET and CRICOS registrations at the same audit.

Compliance audits

ASQA conducts compliance audits to assess providers' ongoing compliance with the standards required for registration. 

ASQA will conduct a compliance audit if an assessment has determined there is a risk of the provider failing to comply with the relevant standards for registration. Compliance audits are scheduled at ASQA’s discretion, with the authority of an ASQA Commissioner or nominated delegate.

The audit is conducted at your nominated premises. The auditor (or audit team, which may include industry specialists) examines your ongoing compliance with the ESOS Act and National Code, and, where relevant, the English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) National Standards.

The auditor may also investigate:

  • integrity of marketing material and student information
  • how you monitor course progress and attendance
  • adequacy of facilities and equipment, and
  • how you manage the activities or your education agents.

CRICOS compliance audits—frequently asked questions

How does ASQA charge for compliance audits?

ASQA's legislation does not currently provide for charges for CRICOS compliance audits.

How much notice will I receive before a compliance audit is scheduled?

Compliance audits are often conducted as a result of serious concerns about a provider. These concerns may have been raised through substantiated complaints or as a result of an ASQA registration audit. In cases where ASQA considers the provider poses a serious risk, the audit may be conducted with little or no notice. 

How can I be prepared for a compliance audit?

You may wish to assess your own compliance with the requirements of the ESOS Framework by referring to the documentation used by ASQA's auditors. ASQA auditors assesses compliance using the:

After the audit

The auditor will document the audit findings in an audit report. You will be provided with a copy of the audit report. If non-compliance has been identified, the report will include the description of the gap in compliance, and the nature of further evidence ASQA requires.

In most cases, you have 20 working days from the date that the audit report is issued to provide additional or amended evidence to demonstrate  full compliance. Only one opportunity to provide the requested evidence is required. If you do not do this, your application may be rejected or ASQA may take regulatory action in relation to your registration, for example, by suspending or placing conditions upon your registration. 

Feedback on the audit process

You will also be provided with the opportunity to provide feedback on the audit process (not the outcome). ASQA conducts a quarterly audit survey. This contributes to the continuous improvement of the audit process and helps to ensure audit consistency.