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If I need to add a VET 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 2015 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.

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.

How are multi-sector providers regulated?

ASQA works with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and with the Australian Government Department of Education, to regulate multi-sector providers.

Through the arrangements outlined in a memorandum of understanding agreed between ASQA and TEQSA in 2011, the agencies seek to implement the following principles in the regulation of multi-sector providers:

  • clear and consistent regulatory expectations
  • streamlined data requests from TEQSA and ASQA to minimise duplication
  • common evidence requirements to demonstrate compliance with common standards applicable  to higher education and vocational education and training regulation
  • joint regulatory and quality assurance assessments, where feasible.

How do providers deal with the different requirements of ASQA and occupational health and safety regulators for high-risk work licenses?

ASQA regulates training providers against the vocational education and training (VET) Quality Framework and has no jurisdiction over regulatory requirements of other authorities. Similarly, other authorities such as state occupational health and safety regulators or Work Safe Australia do not have the authority to mandate requirements for delivery of nationally recognised training. However, these authorities may refuse to recognise qualifications or statements of attainment which have been issued by providers that do not meet their standards.

Providers that come under the jurisdiction of multiple industry regulators may need to comply with multiple requirements. If ASQA is notified of conflicting requirements, ASQA's Industry Engagement team works with relevant authorities to address these conflicts.

Does ASQA notify other bodies (such as funding providers) if a provider is found to be non-compliant?

ASQA publishes information about certain decisions in the Regulatory decisions list.

ASQA publishes information about:

  • decisions to cancel or suspend registration
  • conditions placed on registration
  • decisions to not renew registration, and
  • decisions to apply other types of administrative sanction.

These decisions are only published after all reconsideration and review activity is complete.

ASQA may also contact funding bodies or other relevant government agencies with this information.

How does ASQA deal with non-compliance?

If ASQA identifies non-compliance, you will be given 20 working days to provide evidence that you have rectified that non-compliance.

ASQA will then consider this evidence. If you remain non-compliant with the required standards, ASQA will make a decision about what actions to take next. In making this decision, ASQA will consider your history of compliance and the risks associated with the non-compliance.

Actions might include:

  • applying a sanction or condition to your registration, and/or
  • rejecting your application.

The National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 provides a range of sanctions of increasing severity—escalating from enforceable undertakings and additional conditions on registration through to suspending or cancelling the registration of a registered training organisation (RTO).

I have a unit of competency relating to a licensed outcome on my scope of registration. Does this mean I can issue licenses? Will students that have completed a unit of competency relating to a licensed outcome be eligible for a license from a licensing b

No—it is the licensing body that will issue a license. The licensing body may set additional requirements for obtaining a license.

As a registered training organisation, you may issue a statement of attainment to students that have met the requirements of a unit of competency. However, this alone does not indicate eligibility for a licence.

Students and providers can find more information on the requirements for obtaining licenses from the relevant licensing bodies.

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 request a review of my Compliance History?

No, your Compliance History is not reviewable. Your Compliance History is drawn from finalised audit and complaint activity and your compliance with data reporting requirements, payments to ASQA of fees and charges and submission of your annual declaration of compliance. Your Compliance History is updated regularly and may change as a result of newly finalised regulatory activity.

Will my Compliance History change?

It’s important to note that your Compliance History is a historical indicator, rather than an indicator of the current quality of a provider. So your Compliance History may be affected when new information about your provider is received. If your provider fails to meet regulatory requirements or makes substantial improvements in meeting requirements, your Compliance History may change.

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.

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 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 units from the Foundation Skills Training Package be included in accredited courses?

Units from the Foundation Skills Training Package can be included in accredited courses if they are relevant to the vocational outcome of the accredited course.

Can we specify a pre-requisite unit which needs to be completed by the end of the course, not the beginning of the course?

Pre-requisite unit relationships must be defined within the course structure at Section B: 5.1. This must include any pre-requisite requirements for imported training package units or units from an existing accredited course. Learners must be deemed competent in a pre-requisite unit prior to the determination of competency in the associated unit/s. Advice to RTOs on the sequence of delivery of the accredited course must also be provided within the course structure. For example, knowledge-based units should be completed prior to units requiring the application of practical skills.

Can we use consultants to develop a course?

Course Developers may utilise a consultant to develop a course; however, ASQA does not endorse any particular consultants. Industry bodies such as Velg and the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) publish lists of consultants that may help you find a suitable consultant.

Can working with children or police checks be included as an entry requirement?

The possession of a current blue card or a police check can be included as an entry requirement into accredited courses. Course owners will need to provide a rationale for including this entry requirement if it prevents a student from undertaking work placement.

Do foundation skills need to be addressed specifically in the performance criteria of accredited courses?

Trigger words that align to foundation skills may be used in the performance criteria. If foundation skills are not explicit in the performance criteria they must be identified in the ‘Foundation skills’ field of the unit of competency.

Does ASQA seek specialist advice about courses’ technical content?

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.

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:

  1. Consider the reasons for the decision, address the outstanding areas of non-compliance and submit a new application
  2. Ask ASQA to reassess its position 
  3. Ask ASQA to review the decision 
  4. 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
  • Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Graduate Diploma.