Increasing scrutiny on new entrants to the training market

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) will further enhance its scrutiny of entities seeking to provide nationally-recognised vocational education and training (VET) and English language courses to students in Australia and overseas.

Chief Commissioner Mark Paterson said that ASQA had, since it was established in 2011, assessed more than 2500 applications from prospective training providers wanting to enter the sector.

“Australia’s VET and English language education sector makes a significant contribution to the nation’s economy as well as the lives of more than four million students who engage with the sector each year,” Mr Paterson said.

“ASQA exists to ensure VET and English language course providers deliver the high-quality training and assessment that students, their employers and the wider community expect and deserve.

“ASQA receives around 500 applications for initial registration each year and spends a considerable proportion of its regulatory resources on these applications. On average, one in four applications are rejected because the applicants do not have the educational capacity or the financial resources to deliver quality training.

“ASQA’s 2017-18 Regulatory Strategy identified the need to implement even stronger controls on new training providers entering the market as a priority.”

Mr Paterson said that from 1 July 2018, additional scrutiny would be applied to prospective training organisations and English language course providers to ensure they are adequately resourced and have a genuine interest in providing quality training and assessment.

New applicants for registration with ASQA will now need to:

  • submit more extensive financial viability data, including more information on projections and business plans to ensure they will operate a sustainable training business
  • provide more disclosure on the backgrounds of people applying for registration and their associates to ensure they are suitable to operate a training organisation
  • complete a comprehensive self-assessment to ensure that they are ready to deliver training and provide this assessment, and supporting evidence, to ASQA.

Providers registered after 1 July will generally only be granted a two-year registration period and be subject to additional scrutiny during this period of operation if they apply to deliver new courses.

“As the national regulator ASQA wants to make sure that registration is granted only to providers that have adequate resources and will genuinely strive to deliver quality training outcomes for students,” Mr Paterson said.          

“By further raising the bar that prospective providers must meet in order to become registered, we are ensuring greater protection for students, employers and the wider community.”

More information about the increased regulatory scrutiny on prospective training providers is available from the ASQA website.

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