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Why publish additional information on accredited courses?

As part of the review into alignment, many stakeholders noted that the lack of information on accredited courses made it difficult for prospective students and employers to understand the content and suitability of a course. This lack of information also means that students that have completed an accredited course currently only have the title of the course reflected on their Unique Student Identifier (USI) transcript.

Publishing additional information on accredited courses on the national register will have clear benefits for both students and employers, as it will assist them in determining the suitability of an accredited course.

The publication of the titles and codes of units of competency/modules will assist registered training organisations with their total VET activity reporting obligations and corrections to USI transcripts.

When will additional information on accredited courses be made publicly available?

Over the coming months, the titles and codes of units of competency/modules for a large number of accredited courses will be entered onto the national register by the VET regulators. The accredited courses selected include currently accredited courses as well as expired courses with training delivery reported in the Total VET Activity collections.

In addition, course owners will soon be required to provide a description of their course for publication purposes as part of their initial accreditation or reaccreditation process. The exact timing of when this condition will apply is yet to be determined.

Further details on timings will be made available in the near future.

What if I do not want information on my accredited course to be made publicly available?

Information to be published will only include the titles and codes of units of competency/modules and a brief description of the course. Course owners will control the description that will be published for their course on the national register, which they will provide upon either accreditation or reaccreditation.

Will publishing additional information on my accredited course allow others to copy my course?

The substantive course content will not be published. Information to be published will include the titles and codes of units of competency/modules, as well as a brief description of the course.

What if the information published on my accredited course is incorrect?

If the information that has been published on your accredited course is incorrect, please contact the VET regulator responsible for accrediting your course. Contact details are as follows:

  • Australian Skills and Quality Authority: accreditation [at] asqa.gov.au
  • Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority: vrqa [at] edumail.vic.gov.au
  • Training Accreditation Council of Western Australia: taccourseaccreditation [at] des.wa.gov.au

Where else will additional information on my accredited courses be published?

Additional information on accredited courses will also be made available on the My Skills website (www.myskills.gov.au), which sources information from the national register of VET. My Skills entries for accredited courses will show the unit of competency/module titles and the course description (when available).

Who should I contact for further information?

Course owners with further questions in relation to the publication of additional information on accredited courses can contact the Australian Government Department of Education and Training at VETquality [at] education.gov.au.

Why did my provider close?

An RTO might close because it has:

  • Entered voluntary administration: When a business goes into voluntary administration it means the business is financially troubled. An administrator takes control of the organisation, evaluates the issues, and makes recommendations. Frequently the business is then sold or enters liquidation. A business can either continue to trade or cease trading during voluntary administration.
  • Entered liquidation: This means the business is no longer financially viable and is winding up its affairs. The owner has either voluntarily entered liquidation or a creditor has requested their liquidation due to unpaid debts. The control of the organisation is transferred to the liquidator. The business must cease trading once it enters liquidation.
  • Had its registration cancelled by ASQA: ASQA will only cancel an RTO’s registration after investigating them and establishing they have not been delivering training to the standard required. ASQA publishes information about our regulatory decisions, including cancellations of registration and other regulatory decisions made.
  • Voluntarily withdrawn from the sector: This means the provider has elected to cease delivering nationally recognised training, and this could be for a number of reasons.

I have heard rumours my provider might close, what should I do?

If you hear rumours about your provider closing, contact ASQA on 1300 701 801 or email via enquiries [at] asqa.gov.au and we can tell you the most up-to-date information we have received, or we can investigate further.

I am part way through study and I cannot get in contact with my provider. What should I do?

Contact ASQA on 1300 701 801 or email via enquiries [at] asqa.gov.au ASQA can tell you the most up-to-date information we have received about the provider or investigate further.

I completed study several years ago, my provider is closed and I need a copy of my student records. What should I do?

ASQA may be able to provide you with copies of your student records, if your RTO transferred them to us. Contact ASQA to find out if we hold your records on 1300 701 801 or email via studentenquiries [at] asqa.gov.au. You will then need to complete an application for a copy of student records form and pay a $60.00 application fee.

How do I transfer my training to another provider when my provider closes?

What is RPL?

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is a process that assesses your competency—acquired through formal and informal learning—to determine if you meet the requirements for a unit of study.

You can use a variety of documentation to apply for RPL. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • records of completed training
  • assessment items
  • assessment records
  • declarations from your employer, and/or
  • a copy of your student records provided by ASQA.

Each provider has its own RPL process, so when you are accepted by a new provider, speak to your new provider for assistance with applying for RPL.

What fees am I obliged to pay to my closed provider?

All students are obliged to pay the fees for the part of a course they have completed and for which they have been assessed.

How do I get a refund from my closed provider?

When a provider is in liquidation, or ceases to operate, you need to contact the training provider or the liquidator for any matter regarding course fees. ASQA does not have a role in recovering fees; however, ASQA can provide you with contact details for the liquidator, or for the relevant consumer protection agency in your state or territory.

  • Please refer to ASQA’s information on ‘What to do when your provider closes’

How can ASQA assist me if my provider closes?

ASQA can provide a copy of your student records if your former training provider has transferred them to us.

We can also advise you on how to continue your training and, depending on your situation, direct you to organisations that can assist you.

How do I obtain recognition of prior learning RPL?

All nationally accredited training organisations are required to offer RPL when a student is accepted.

The process and cost vary between training providers.

You can find providers offering your course on the My Skills website. You can discuss your options and the RPL process with your new provider.

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) is also required for any additional study in a course undertaken by an overseas student whilst in Australia on a student visa.

What if students provide inaccurate responses to the student survey—what rights/opportunities do I have to reply?

The student survey collects information from students about their individual experiences.

An individual student’s survey response will not, on its own, result in a training provider being found non-compliant. Student survey responses are one of many inputs that inform the areas that ASQA uses to inform the audit process and identify areas of an provider’s operation that may be of concern.

If concerns with a particular area are identified through the student survey, ASQA will seek further evidence to support this information, including through student interviews in some cases.

The training provider has an opportunity to respond to findings and evidence outlined in the audit report.

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.

Our students do not read emails—how will ASQA deal with this?

ASQA is seeking an average response rate of 10 per cent of students invited to the survey. If the response rate is not achieved, ASQA will seek to improve this rate through reminders, including text (SMS) reminders. ASQA may also ask the provider to encourage students to participate in the survey.

How will ASQA survey students with, for example, intellectual disability?

Where students have specific communication needs, ASQA will work with the provider to identify these and to determine the best way to seek information on these students’ experiences. ASQA may use alternative methods such as face to face or phone interviews.

Do the ASQA student surveys replace the learner questionnaire?

No, the requirement for providers to collect and submit data relating to learner engagement is a requirement of the VET Quality Framework/Data Provision Requirements 2012.

ASQA’s collection of data from students as part of the audit process is a separate procedure.

How will ASQA survey students who are studying English (i.e. students who may have very limited English capacity)?

The survey questions have undergone cognitive testing to ensure that they are easy to complete for most students, including students who speak languages other than English.

Where students have specific communication needs that make completing the survey difficult, ASQA will work with the provider to identify these and to determine the best way to seek information on these students’ experiences. We may use alternative methods such as face-to-face or phone interviews.

What happens if we do not have email addresses for students or former students (for example, some VET in schools students or former students for whom we have deleted the provider-issued email address)?

ASQA will also provide the survey link by text message/SMS.

I am a student and my training provider has asked me to complete gap training as the result of an ASQA audit. What does this mean?

When ASQA audits a training provider, we look at the quality of the training and assessment that the provider is currently delivering and has delivered to former students.

In some cases, ASQA will find that the provider has not delivered training and assessment properly for a particular qualification or for some students.

When this happens, ASQA may ask the provider to undertake remedial action to make sure that their current and former students have received the quality of training and assessment that they are entitled to.

In some cases, a training provider may offer students ‘gap training’ or the chance to undertake ‘gap assessments’ to allow the students to develop the skills and knowledge they need. This gap training helps students to make sure that they have the required skills and knowledge expected for their qualification.

Training providers may offer gap training to current students, or students who have graduated in the past six months.

To ensure credibility of qualifications from the VET sector, training providers must meet the requirements of the AQF Qualifications Issuance Policy, which states that issued qualifications and statements of attainment can be revoked under the terms of the issuing organisation’s policy.

Training providers must have controls in place to ensure qualifications, statements of attainment and records of results are not issued unless the learner has completed all requirements. This means in some cases, a training provider may seek to revoke a qualification where a learner has not completed all the requirements.

I am a former student who has completed a qualification, and now my RTO is approaching me and asking me to complete gap training. Do I have to complete the gap assessments?

Students who have already graduated may be asked to undertake ‘gap training’ or ‘gap assessment’ by their former RTO.

This means the RTO has identified a ‘gap’ in the student’s training and/or assessment and the RTO is seeking to help the student remedy that gap. RTOs may need to offer this training and/or assessment to current students or students who have graduated in the past six months.

Students are not obligated to undertake gap training offered by an RTO if they are no longer enrolled. However, in accordance with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), RTOs must have controls in place to ensure qualifications, statements of attainment and records of results are not issued unless the learner has completed all requirements. This means in some cases, an RTO may seek to revoke a qualification where a learner has not completed all the requirements.

Students should also consider that their original training may not have provided them with all the skills and knowledge that they need. Gap training and assessment can provide students with the opportunity to supplement or improve the skills and knowledge they developed when undertaking their qualification.

Students should not be charged a fee for gap training or assessment provided by an RTO beyond the original enrolment fee.

What happens if an RTO’s assessment of the impact of non-compliance is different to ASQA’s assessment of the impact of non-compliance?

This is something that can be addressed in the rectification process; however, ASQA will move forward with the audit assessment of the impact and expects that RTO undertakes the required remedial action.

Under ASQA’s student-centred audit approach, is my training provider still likely to have an audit when renewing registration?

When a training provider applies to renew registration, ASQA undertakes a risk assessment of the application. This includes reviewing the provider’s risk profile and a wide range of other sources of data and intelligence.

In some cases, the risk assessment may indicate that an audit is required. (The application may also be approved or rejected at the risk assessment stage—read more about renewal applications here.)

ASQA’s risk-based approach means that applications do not always trigger an audit. Rather, ASQA may audit a provider at any time if risk indicators raise concern about the provider.

How does the student-centred model apply to a training provider that does not exercise good practices, but enrols 'non-genuine' students who may not provide accurate information about these practices to ASQA?

ASQA’s intelligence sources, which inform regulatory action against RTOs with ‘non-genuine students’, will continue to include a wide range of sources, such as other government agencies and information and complaints from non-student sources.

While the focus of the audit model is the student experience, students are only one of many sources of data that informs ASQA’s audit process.