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FAQs

What is ASQA doing to integrate VET and Higher Education?

ASQA’s role as the VET regulator does not extend to instigating structural changes to VET or Higher Education systems. However, ASQA works closely with TEQSA when dealing with multi-sector providers to ensure that actions relating to those providers are consistent.

What is happening in relation to accredited course transparency?

On 24 November 2017, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Industry and Skills Council (CISC) endorsed the recommendations of the review into alignment of the Standards for VET Accredited Courses with the Standards for Training Packages. One recommendation of this review was to publish additional information on accredited courses on the National Register of VET (training.gov.au).

On 12 July 2018, the Australian Government amended the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Regulations 2011. This amendment requires the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to publish the following additional information on VET accredited courses:

  • the titles and codes of units of competency or modules comprising a VET accredited course for current accredited courses and expired courses with training delivery reported through the Total VET Activity collections since 2015;
  • a description of the course for those courses newly accredited or reaccredited from now, and
  • a reference to an earlier (previous) version or later version of a course that is accredited on or after 1 September 2018.

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 is the difference between a contractor – that is not a third party – and a non-RTO– that is a third party?

A contractor who is not subject to a third party arrangement is a person or organisation (that is not an RTO) who is engaged by an RTO to complete a specific task for an RTO. In this instance, an RTO has recruited another person or organisation to complete activities for the RTO and in the RTO’s name.

A non-RTO who is subject to a third party arrangement is a person or organisation (that is not an RTO) who is engaged by an RTO to provide services on behalf of the RTO.

What is the required staff-to-student ratio?

The required staff-to-student ratio is indicated in Standard 14 of the National Code 2018, which states:

‘The registered provider must have and implement policies and procedures to ensure its staffing resources are adequate and have the capabilities as required by the quality assurance framework applying to the course. Where the course provided by the registered provider is not subject to an appropriate quality assurance framework, the registered provider must have and implement appropriate documented policies and processes for the recruitment, induction, performance assessment and ongoing development of members of staff involved with the recruitment or delivery of education or client services to students.’

The staff-to-student ratio for the teaching of ELICOS should not exceed 1:18 per class.

What is the transition process for providers delivering courses (other than VET courses of concern) under third-party arrangements to comply with the General Direction—third-party arrangements for training and or assessment of VET courses

You must transition students in accordance with the process below if:

  • you have third-party arrangements for delivery of any VET course with an RTO that does not have that course on scope.

Students enrolled with the third party must complete training/assessment with the third party before 1 November 2019.

Any student who has not completed training/assessment with the third party will, from 1 November 2019, continue training/assessment with the principal RTO (or another third party linked to the principal RTO that has been approved by ASQA).

At all times, the student has been and remains the responsibility of the principal RTO.

What is the transition process for providers delivering ‘VET courses of concern’ to comply with the General Direction—third-party arrangements for training and or assessment of VET courses

Transition process for providers delivering courses of concern (TAE training products) under third-party arrangements from 1 November 2019

You must transition students in accordance with the process below if:

  • you have third-party arrangements for delivery of any course of concern with an RTO that does not have that course on scope
  • you have third-party arrangements for delivery of any course of concern with a non-RTO and ASQA has not approved your request to continue this arrangement.

The transition process requires that:

  • no new students are enrolled with the third party after 1 September 2019
  • students enrolled with the third party must complete training/assessment with the third party before 1 November 2019
  • any student who has not completed training/assessment with the third party will, from 1 November 2019, continue training/assessment with the principal RTO (or a suitable third party).

At all times, the student has been and remains the responsibility of the principal RTO.

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).

What standards do I need to comply with as a CRICOS provider?

A CRICOS provider must comply at all times with the:

  • Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act)
  • Education Services for Overseas Students Regulations 2001, and
  • National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2017.

In addition:

  • if offering vocational education and training (VET) courses, the provider must comply with the VET Quality Framework, and
  • if offering English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS), the provider must comply with the ELICOS National Standards.

What student assessment items do I need to keep and how long do I need to keep them for?

A registered training organisation (RTO) is required to securely retain—and to produce at audit, if requested—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 work completed by a student or evidence of that work, including evidence collected for a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process.

If you are unable to retain a student’s actual work, an assessor’s completed marking guide, criteria, and observation checklist for each student may be sufficient. However, this evidence must have enough detail to demonstrate the assessor’s judgement of the student’s performance.

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.

What type of providers are exempt from the AVETMISS reporting requirements?

There is are a range of Australian Vocational Education and Training Management Information Statistical Standard (AVETMISS) reporting exemption categories that may apply to registered training organisations (RTOs) or to the delivery of training products.

Please refer to the National VET Data Policy for detailed information.

What types of exemptions are available from the AVETMISS reporting requirements?

There are a range of AVETMISS reporting exemption categories that may apply for particular learner cohorts or to the delivery of training products.

Please refer to the National VET Data Policy for detailed information.

When is an application ‘referred to regulatory operations’?

ASQA applies a risk management approach to assessing applications. The majority of applications to renew or change an RTO’s scope of registration are approved following a risk assessment. If ASQA’s Initial Assessment and Referral team determines the application warrants further regulatory scrutiny, the application will be referred to a Regulatory Operations team who may elect to conduct a desk or site audit or to approve the application.

When will additional information on accredited courses be 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 (training.gov.au) by the VET regulators. The information will be published for current accredited courses as well as expired courses with training delivery reported in the Total VET Activity collections since 2015.

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. Application forms will be updated to allow this information to be entered shortly.

A reference to an earlier or later version of the course will be inserted later this year for courses, where that earlier or later version is a VET accredited course on or after 1 September 2018.

When will my RTO registration expiry date be updated on training.gov.au after my application has been approved?

If your application is approved following a risk assessment (e.g. without an audit), ASQA will update the information in asqanet within 1-2 working days.

If your application progresses to audit, once the audit is complete, your auditor prepares a report.

Once the report is completed, ASQA commissioners or their delegates will then make a decision about your application based on the report’s recommendations. In some cases, this decision will be made by all of ASQA’s commissioners.

Once your application is finalised, you will be notified in writing and provided with a copy of the audit report. If your application is approved following an audit, the relevant information in training.gov.au will usually be updated within 10 working days of the date your application is finalised.

When your expiry date is updated on training.gov.au, if your current expiry date is in the future, the new expiry date will not appear in the ‘current’ section of training.gov.au. You will need to select ‘View History’ to view all registration periods, past, current and future.

Where can I find information about ASQA audits and how to prepare for them?

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 can I locate what AVETMISS data to report?

RTOs should refer to NCVER’s publications “AVETMISS 8.0 VET Provider Collection Specifications” and “AVETMISS data element definitions” on the NCVER website.

Where can I obtain further information regarding AVETMISS data requirements?

For further information, and a range of fact sheets about data collection and reporting, please see the:

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.

Where do I view the progress of my provider report?

If you are using asqanet as an agent or administrator on behalf of an RTO or CRICOS provider:

  1. Log in to asqanet https://asqanet.asqa.gov.au/
  2. Access the Provider Reports menu
  3. Select Submitted Reports

If you registered to use asqanet specifically to submit a complaint about the VET sector:

  1. Log in to asqanet https://asqanet.asqa.gov.au/
  2. You can either:
    • access the Provider Reports menu and select Submitted Reports, or
    • select the Provider Submitted Reports button on your asqanet home page.

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) in due course, which sources information from the National Register of VET (training.gov.au). My Skills entries for accredited courses will show the unit of competency/module titles, the course description, and a reference to the earlier or later version of the course (when available).

The unit of competency information will also be included on Unique Student Identifier transcripts.

Which logos need to be published on testamurs and statements of attainment?

Registered training organisations (RTOs) must include the Nationally Recognised Training (NRT) logo on testamurs. (However, the NRT logo is not to be used on the record of results).

To obtain the NRT logo, send a request from a registered contact from your organisation to enquiries [at] asqa.gov.au

Which software should I use to record and report AVETMISS data?

There are a number of student management systems that can record and produce AVETMISS data files for reporting. A register of data entry tools and student management systems is available on the NCVER website.

NCVER has developed a free AVETMISS data entry tool for RTOs with less than 100 students and an AVETMISS validation software for RTOs to validate their data before submission. Both tools are available on the NCVER website.

Who do I contact for queries or errors regarding AVETMISS data submission?

NCVER’s helpdesk is available via telephone 1800 649 452 or www.ncver.edu.au/contactform.html

Who do I send my AVETMISS data to?

Usually data regarding government funded training is submitted to the relevant State Training Authority and other training data is submitted to NCVER. Please visit the NCVER website for further details.

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 at VETquality [at] education.gov.au.

Why are CRICOS fees different to RTO fees?

ASQA's fees reflect the cost of conducting regulatory activities for the vocational education and training (VET) sector. CRICOS providers and registered training organisations are subject to different standards and legislative frameworks. Differences between ASQA’s fees for CRICOS providers and RTOs reflect the relative complexity involved in performing the associated regulatory activities.

Why are risk ratings no longer in use?

Risk ratings are often used in transactional regulatory models where regulation focuses largely on assessing applications for approval. ASQA’s regulatory approach has shifted from a transactional model to a risk-based model, which relies on the analysis of data and intelligence and the identification of risks posed at both the system and provider levels.

Why can providers not share the survey report or results from the student survey?

Student surveys are used by ASQA to inform the scope of audits. Student surveys help ASQA to identify potential areas of concern that may need to be further looked into during the audit process.

Survey findings may also be used to identify appropriate students for further involvement (i.e. interviews) as well as to corroborate/support audit findings.

ASQA holds the copyright for student survey findings document and providers are not permitted to republish these survey results in any form, including on their websites. The survey results alone are not an indicator of a provider’s quality. As such, to publish them is potentially misleading and could inaccurately imply to students ASQA’s endorsement of an provider’s performance in a particular area.

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