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FAQs

About the International Skills Training Courses Program

The International Skills Training Program is managed by the Department of Education and Training. More information can be found at www.education.qov.au/internationalskillstraininq and enquiries can be directed to internationalskillstraininq [at] education.qov.au.

The International Skills Training (IST) Courses have been developed by the Australian Government for offshore delivery by approved Australian RTOs to support offshore skilling needs. The courses are not AQF qualifications and therefore are not accredited or regulated by ASQA. The Department of Education and Training manages the program and its associated compliance requirements. Information or queries relating to the regulation and oversight of the program should be referred to internationalskillstraininq [at] education.qov.au.

Not all Australian registered training organisations can deliver the IST courses. RTOs must apply for a licence to deliver the IST courses. A detailed list of eligibility criteria can be found in the Program Guidelines − available at www.education.gov.au/internationalskillstraining.

Are electronic signatures instead of original signatures acceptable on testamurs and statements of attainment?

Electronic signatures are acceptable if you can demonstrate that there are effective systems in place to prevent fraudulent use of the signature.

Are equivalent training products automatically added to CRICOS providers’ scopes?

Where a superseded training product is replaced on an RTO’s scope of registration with an equivalent product, and the same superseded training product is on the provider’s CRICOS registration the equivalent training product is automatically added. The superseded training products end dates are changed to reflect the end of the transition period.

Are nominal hours referred to as supervised hours for assessment?

Yes. Nominal hours are also referred to as supervised hours for course accreditation. Nominal hours represent the supervised, structured learning and assessment activity required to sufficiently address the content of each unit.

Are providers required to print all testamur and statements of attainment?

There is no specific requirement in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) regarding printing testamurs and statements of attainment. Providers should retain a soft copy.

ASQA auditors will often require that you provide a sample of testamurs and statements of attainment.

The National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 requires that you retain student records for a period of 30 years.

Are state or territory occupational regulators/licensing bodies involved in ASQA audits?

A representative of a state or territory occupational licensing body may be invited to be part of the audit team and contribute to an ASQA audit as a technical advisor.

The technical advisor may provide ASQA with evidence-based recommendations.

Are there fees associated with the accreditation of ELICOS courses?

Yes—fees depend on the number of accredited courses. Refer to ASQA’s Guide to fees for more information.

As a staff member or consultant, how do I link my user account to my organisation?

  1. First, you will need to Register to use asqanet as a staff member or consultant. When registering, you should select the option Represent an existing stakeholder.
  2. Click on your name in the top right corner of any non-form asqanet page and select My Account.
  3. Select Request Agent Access for Organisation.
  4. You can now search for and select your organisation. You can request agent access to one or more organisations.
  5. To search, begin typing the name of the organisation in the Organisation field and then select from the drop down list. Press the ‘+’ (plus) icon to include additional organisations and the ‘-‘ (minus) icon to remove organisations.
  6. Click Send request to finish the request.
  7. Your Account administrator will need to approve your access request.

Can a person own more than one RTO?

Yes—the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 does not limit the number of registered training organisations (RTOs) that a person can own.

However, the application requires you to disclose any current, past and pending RTO ownership and RTO association. You will also need to complete the Fit and Proper Person Requirements form, which will ask you about your ownership of and association with other RTOs. This information will be taken into consideration as part of a risk assessment of the entity.

Can a trainer or assessor sign a testamur or statement of attainment?

The AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy requires that testamurs and statements of attainment include the authorised signatory. In most cases, that is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The CEO is able to delegate that authority; however, there needs to be a formal delegation of that authority.

Can an overseas student who holds a student visa undertake additional study at the same time as their principal course?

An overseas student is defined in Section 5 of the ESOS Act as a person (whether inside or outside Australia) who holds a student visa (as defined in regulation 1.03 of the Migration Regulations 1994), excluding:

  • a Subclass 576 (Foreign Affairs and Defence Sector) visa, or
  • a person who satisfies the secondary criteria, but not the primary criteria, under the Migration Regulations 1994 for the grant of the visa, or
  • a secondary exchange student within the meaning of the Migration Regulations 1994, or
  • an overseas student who has been approved under a scholarship scheme, or an exchange scheme, sponsored by the Commonwealth to undertake a course of study or training in Australia.

As specified in Section 8 of the ESOS Act, a provider must be registered on CRICOS to provide a course at a location or do so in accordance with an arrangement they have with another registered provider.

As such, an overseas student in Australia on a student visa is permitted to undertake additional study (that is, a course of education or training) at the same time as the principal course for which they hold a student visa. However, any course undertaken by a student visa holder must be registered on CRICOS. A Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) should be issued for any additional study in a course undertaken by an overseas student whilst in Australia on a student visa.

CRICOS providers are responsible for all aspects of compliance with the requirements under the ESOS Act and its associated legislation. For example, as a CRICOS provider, you must have a written agreement with each student, and you must complete the visa-related reporting requirements relating to the student’s enrolment for each course. Failure to comply with the requirements in one course could lead to a student’s visa being cancelled and the student defaulting in both courses.

A student on a student visa who is seeking to undertake additional study should be aware of the requirements of their student visa and the need to:

  • remain enrolled in a registered course
  • achieve satisfactory course attendance, and
  • progress in their principal course of study.

Can an RTO enrol an overseas visitor into a course and not be CRICOS registered?

In some cases, registered training organisations (RTOs) may enrol students who are temporarily visiting Australia on certain visas, other than study visas. However, some visas include restrictions on training. Further information is also available from the Department of Home Affairs.

However, any course undertaken by a student visa holder must be registered on CRICOS. A Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) should be issued for any additional study in a course undertaken by an overseas student whilst in Australia on a student visa.

Can an RTO provide ASQA with the results of its own student survey, or undertake the survey on ASQA’s behalf?

Auditors may look at any relevant internal survey results; however, whether or not a provider conducts internal surveys will not affect the requirement for ASQA to survey a provider’s students.

The student survey is administered by ASQA to ensure students are able to provide honest and accurate information about their journey to an organisation independent of the training provider.

Can ASQA provide advice about obtaining funding to provide VET?

ASQA cannot provide advice on funding.

ASQA’s role as the national vocational education and training (VET) regulator is to register VET and Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) providers and accredit VET courses.

There are a range of funding bodies in different states and territories. State/territory governments provide funding for VET in various ways, and Australian Government funding is for the most part provided through agreements with those state/territory governments.
Providers are advised to contact their state funding body or state training department for information on funding.

Can ASQA verify if my training and assessment strategies are compliant before I submit them with my application?

ASQA cannot teach providers specifically how to comply with the standards and cannot provide private rulings. This is because it is important for training providers to design tools and systems that meet their specific business needs and for each unique business to demonstrate to ASQA how the standards are being met.

ASQA assesses the compliance of your training and assessment strategies through the application process. If your strategies are not compliant, ASQA will provide you with 20 working days to rectify the situation and provide evidence that you have done so.

Can consultants to the provider participate at an audit?

Yes, consultants can participate in an audit.

Can course owners use an industry expert to meet the requirements of Standard 7.12?

The Assessor competencies identified in a course must ensure RTOs will meet the requirements of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015.

Can entry requirements be completed during the course?

No, a learner must satisfy all entry requirements, including holding specified units of competency, prior to commencing the course.

Can I add an ELICOS non-award course to my scope?

Yes―you must be registered on Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) to add an English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) program to your scope of registration.

Non-award ELICOS programs are covered under ASQA’s definition of ‘qualification’ for the purpose of calculating registration fees.

Can I advertise a qualification or unit of competency if I have applied to ASQA to add it to my scope of registration (if ASQA has not yet approved the application)?

No—it is an offense under the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 to advertise a qualification or unit of competency that is not on your scope of registration.

Can I apply for RTO registration if I have been convicted of an offence against the law, previously had my RTO registration cancelled or suspended, become bankrupt, or if I answer ‘yes’ to any of the other fit and proper person questions?

The Fit and Proper Person Requirements are designed to ensure that key registered training organisation (RTO) personnel have the characteristics and principles necessary to ensure the delivery of high-quality vocational education and training.

The Fit and Proper Person Requirements Declaration form requires information about your personal and professional history. ASQA uses this and other information that you submit to conduct a risk assessment of your organisation.

While answering ‘yes’ to any of these questions will not preclude you from applying for RTO registration, it will be a factor that is taken into consideration along with the other information submitted.

Can I apply to have a course accredited that addresses an outcome of another accredited course?

Yes—there are many accredited courses that provide training and assessment to address an outcome in the same area. However, you cannot accredit a course to address an outcome that can be achieved via a training package.

Can I change a scheduled audit date if my circumstances change?

Audit dates can be changed in certain circumstances such as serious illness, however, ASQA will not change a date because it no longer suits a provider.

If you wish to change the date of your audit, you will need to contact your assigned auditor. The auditor will try to organise a new date within a one-month timeframe.

Can I change or improve my Compliance History?

Your Compliance History is simply an indicator of your history of compliance with core regulatory obligations and is one of many indicators that ASQA uses to profile your provider.

An RTO that has an ongoing history of meeting all regulatory requirements, including data provision and fee payment requirements, is more likely to have a stronger compliance history.

Can I deliver an AQF qualification or unit of competency in a language other than English?

Yes―however, the statement of attainment and testamur needs to include the language in which the course was delivered.

The registered training organisation delivering the qualification or unit would also need to provide ASQA auditors with access to an interpreter.

In addition, there may be further requirements set by licensing bodies regarding what language a specific course can be delivered in.

Can I deliver courses overseas as an RTO?

Yes—RTOs are registered to deliver Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualifications and these can be delivered in Australia and offshore.

The Charges Act enables ASQA to audit offshore delivery sites and charge the RTO for the costs incurred in doing this.

If you are applying for initial registration and you want to deliver courses overseas, you must include the intended offshore delivery locations in the initial registration application.

If you are currently registered, you must notify ASQA of the overseas delivery using asqanet (Notification of change of provider details). This notification is free of charge.

All registered training organisations notify ASQA of any changes to contact details and changes or events that affect the operation of the RTO. RTOs must notify ASQA of these changes as soon as practicable after they happen (preferably within 20 working days) and without being requested to do so.

Can I deliver VET in schools?

A training provider interested in delivering VET in schools will need to contact the relevant department of education in that state or territory.

Can I find out the Compliance History of another provider?

ASQA can release certain information to the public if satisfied that the release of the information would reasonably inform a person’s choice to enrol as a VET student with a registered training organisation, encourage improvement in the quality of vocational education and training services provided, or encourage compliance with the VET Quality Framework.

ASQA publishes a list of regulatory decisions it has taken in relation to specific providers.

ASQA does not publish or share providers’ Compliance Histories as these are only one indicator that feeds into a provider’s profile and may be subject to misinterpretation as an endorsement or an indicator of provider quality.

Can I have a copy of my audit report?

Yes, you will receive a copy of the audit report or evidence analysis when ASQA notifies you of the outcome of the audit.

Can I make an anonymous complaint about ASQA?

Yes—you can make an anonymous complaint. ASQA respects both privacy and natural justice considerations in handling complaints. This means that complainants will be advised how their information was used in the regulatory process although in some instances the advice will not be detailed and the process can be lengthy if audit activity is involved.

ASQA will also not be able to contact you to request more information. This may prevent effective investigation of your complaint.

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