ASQA liaises with Skills Service Organisations (SSOs), industry regulators and peak and professional bodies to seek technical advice on the relevant industry area when accrediting a course.
Does ASQA seek specialist advice about courses’ technical content?
For online training, what counts as ‘supervised’ hours? Is the time a student spends working on assessment counted as ‘supervised’?
Online directed study classes may count towards supervised hours. Assignment work is considered to be an unsupervised activity.
How do I access the content of endorsed training package units?
The content of all endorsed training package units can be accessed from training.gov.au
How do I appeal an ASQA decision about my application?
If you are dissatisfied with a decision made by ASQA you have a number of options:
- Consider the reasons for the decision, address the outstanding areas of non-compliance and submit a new application
- Ask ASQA to reassess its position
- Ask ASQA to review the decision
- Apply to have the decision reviewed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). Refer to the ASQA fact sheet―AAT review of an ASQA decision.
How long does the course accreditation process take?
If you develop and complete the course document and course accreditation submission in accordance with the Standards for VET Accredited Courses 2012, ASQA may accredit your course within six months. However, this is an indicative timeframe only. Timeframes for course accreditation vary depending on a range of factors, including the quality of the submission.
If I have a course accredited does that mean I can automatically deliver it?
No—only registered training organisations (RTOs) can deliver accredited courses. If you are registered with ASQA as an RTO, once the course is accredited you need to apply on the asqanet website to have the course added to your scope of registration. Once ASQA has approved this application you can deliver the course. (If you are not registered as an RTO, you will need to apply and be approved to operate as an RTO, and apply to include the course on your scope of registration.)
Is it possible to include units of competency from training packages in an accredited course?
Yes—you can apply to accredit a course that includes units of competency from an existing training package, or enterprise units (units you write yourself).
Is there a resource I can refer to for guidance in writing a unit of competency?
Yes—units of competency should be written in accordance with the requirements of the Standards for Training Packages.
Is workplace training part of supervised assessment?
If the workplace training is supervised by the RTO trainer/assessor, this is included in the nominal (supervised) hours. Nominal (supervised) hours do not include the hours associated with unsupervised activities such as work experience or field placement.
What action might a course owner take to meet the requirements of Standard 7.13 (Monitoring)?
To meet the requirements of 7.13, course owners might consider:
- reviewing the course for currency (for example, did the graduates of the accredited course meet the needs of industry?)
- undertaking periodic reviews of the course content and outcomes
- seeking feedback and conducting surveys of RTOs, employers and graduates
- conducting trend analyses of the industry and emerging trends
- liaising with regulatory/industry associations and peak bodies.
Advice should be included regarding how frequently the monitoring and evaluation activities will be undertaken (e.g. annually). The information to be included should not solely relate to the outcomes of assessment moderation/validation activities unless they relate to informing the monitoring and evaluation of the course content and outcomes.
What are the qualification levels in the VET sector?
The qualification levels in the VET sector are:
- Certificates I, II, III and IV
- Advanced Diploma
- Graduate Certificate
- Graduate Diploma.
What fees apply to accredit a course?
The application fee for accreditation of a vocational education and training course with ASQA is $8070 per course.
Where can I identify co-requisite unit relationships?
Some courses identify units that can be completed in conjunction with other units. Where co-requisite unit relationships exist they must be identified in the ‘Assessment conditions’ field of an enterprise unit developed for inclusion in a course.
Where do I find the hours assigned to training package units of competency included in an accredited course?
The hours assigned to training package units of competency included in an accredited course can be found in the Victorian Purchasing Guides.
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 offer the same CRICOS course with different durations?
Yes—a course will only be approved for registration on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) once however it can be offered for different durations as long as the duration does not exceed what is listed on CRICOS.
Does a National ELT Accreditation Scheme (NEAS) accredited English language school offering courses to overseas students apply to ASQA for registration?
ASQA is responsible for the approval and registration of CRICOS providers delivering ELICOS programs except where the ELICOS program is delivered:
- by the provider in its capacity as a school
- by the provider in its capacity as a higher education provider, or
- under an 'entry arrangement' with at least one higher education provider.
An 'entry arrangement' provides a pathway arrangement for an overseas student to study a higher education course or a Foundation Program with a higher education provider. The student completes an ELICOS course to meet the higher education provide's minimum English proficiency entry requirements.
ASQA does not require providers to be accredited with NEAS.
How can I check the status of my application?
You can check the status of an application if you are a registered contact on training.gov.au.
To obtain a status update, you can email the ASQA Info line on enquiries [at] asqa.gov.au. (Due to Australian privacy legislation, ASQA cannot provide status updates over the phone because a caller’s identity cannot be verified.)
ASQA can only provide you with a status update if:
- you send the email from the email address listed on training.gov.au, and
- you provide the application number.
If I need to add a course to my CRICOS scope, do I also need to add it to my RTO scope?
Yes—you must submit two applications to add the items to your registered training organisation (RTO) registration and to your Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) registration.
ASQA advises providers to submit these applications simultaneously. (ASQA does not require you to wait for the RTO application to be approved before submitting the CRICOS application and providers who do so are not eligible for the fee exemption discussed below).
Fee exemptions for applicants submitting RTO/CRICOS change of scope applications.
Application fees apply to both of these applications; however, the ASQA schedule of fees 2013 allows ASQA to offer an exemption from the lower of the two application fees when the two applications are submitted simultaneously.
In practice, this means that the RTO application should be submitted using ASQAnet, and the CRICOS application should be emailed or faxed to ASQA within one business day of the RTO application being submitted. This allows ASQA to process the applications concurrently, and reduces the cost of processing the applications.
Will it cost to change mode of delivery?
ASQA does not charge Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) providers to change the mode of delivery.
You must apply to ASQA to make this change using the Application to change CRICOS registration in asqanet.
Will it cost to change tuition fees?
ASQA does not charge Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) providers to change tuition fees.
You can request changes to the costs of one or more courses by using the ‘Course Cost Upload’ menu in PRISMS.
This function is only available to PRISMS users with CoE Administrator access.
The process on how to perform a course cost upload in PRISMS is available under Section 4.23 of the PRISMS Provider User Guide.
You can also apply to ASQA to make these changes using the Application to change CRICOS registration in asqanet.
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.
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) is also required 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.
How long must CRICOS student assessment items be kept for?
The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 requires Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) and English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) providers to keep student assessment records for a minimum of two years.
In addition, an registered training organisation (RTO) is required to securely retain, and be able to produce in full at audit if requested to do so, all completed student assessment items for each student for a period of six months from the date on which the judgement of competence for the student has been made.
Completed student assessment items include the actual piece(s) of work completed by a student or evidence of that work, including evidence collected for a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process. An assessor’s completed marking guide, criteria, and observation checklist for each student may be sufficient where it is not possible to retain the student’s actual work. However, the retained evidence must have enough detail to demonstrate the assessor’s judgement of the student’s performance against the standard required.
Qualifications, courses or units of competency that lead to regulated/licensed outcomes may also impose specific records retention requirements. RTOs should refer to specific regulatory requirements relating to that delivery.
If an overseas student has a confirmation of enrolment (CoE) from another provider, can an RTO that is not CRICOS-registered still deliver courses to that international student?
Whether an RTO can enrol overseas students is not related to the issuance of confirmations of enrolment.
It is a breach of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) for any provider to deliver courses to an overseas student on a student visa unless that course is registered on CRICOS. CRICOS providers are permitted to use third-party arrangements for the delivery of training and assessment. These arrangements must be approved by the ESOS Agency as per Section 10 Part C of the National Code.
If an overseas student is already studying 20 hours/week, are they allowed to study another course in their own time?
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. Only a CRICOS registered provider can deliver courses to overseas students on student visas.
A Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) is also required for any additional study in a course undertaken by an overseas student whilst in Australia on a student visa. 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.
Is a CRICOS provider required to provide health cover for its students?
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection requires all overseas students to have health insurance while in Australia.
It is not compulsory for the registered training organisation (RTO) to provide students with Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC); however, all providers should ensure that their students have this cover.
Further information is available from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
Is there a requirement for specific holiday periods for CRICOS courses?
Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) providers may choose when their holiday periods are.
Are superseded qualifications or units of competency counted for the cost of annual registration charges and renewal of registration fees?
If you have a new equivalent qualification or unit of competency on your scope of registration as well as the superseded product, these products will only be counted once for the purpose of annual registration charge and renewal of registration fee calculation (i.e. the superseded product will not add to the cost of the fees).
If you have a new training package qualification or unit of competency on scope that a Skilled Service Organisation (SSO) has deemed to be not equivalent to the superseded product, these products are counted as separate scope items for the purpose of annual registration charge and renewal of registration fee calculation (i.e. the superseded product will add to the cost of the charge or fee).
Are there any alternative fee protection measures approved by ASQA?
ASQA has approved the Australian Council for Private Education and Training’s (ACPET) Australian Student Tuition Assurance Scheme (ASTAS) as a suitable measure to protect student’s prepaid fees.
More information about ASTAS is available from the ACPET website.