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FAQs

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Can I sell my RTO?

Yes—if a business, including its legal entity, is being sold, ASQA needs to be notified of the sale via a Notification of material change or event using asqanet.

However, registered training organisation (RTO) registration is not transferable. The new owners of the business will have to apply to ASQA for initial registration as an RTO.

How can I add an Australian delivery location to my scope of registration?

You must submit an Notification of change of provider details using asqanet to add an Australian delivery location to your scope of registration.

How do I notify ASQA if my RTO business is entering liquidation?

You can notify ASQA of your business is entering liquidation by submitting a Notification of material change or event using asqanet.

How do I notify ASQA of a change of CEO?

You can notify ASQA of a change of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) by submitting a Notification of material change or event using asqanet.

How do I update my RTO contact details on training.gov.au?

You can change update your registered training organisation (RTO) contact details by submitting a Notification of change of provider details using asqanet.

If I want to issue units relating to licensing outcomes, do I need to inform ASQA?

You will need to apply to ASQA if you wish to issue a unit leading to a licensed outcome as a 'standalone' unit.

You will also need to apply to ASQA to list these units on your scope using the Application to change RTO scope of registration on the asqanet website.

What RTO changes need to be reported to ASQA?

It is a condition of registration that all registered training organisations notify the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) of any changes to contact details and changes or events that affect the operation of the registered training organisation (RTO).

RTOs must notify ASQA of these changes as soon as possible after they happen (preferably within 20 working days).

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.

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