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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.

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.

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.