Strengthened communications protocols between Victorian Government and national skills regulator

Strengthened communications protocols between the Victorian Government and the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) will bolster information sharing between the agencies and assist in identifying poor quality training providers earlier.

The protocols were signed by the-then Commonwealth Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Senator Scott Ryan, and the Victorian Minister for Training and Skills, Steve Herbert.

“ASQA, as the national regulator of Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) system, is consistently working to improve and better target its regulation of the VET sector,” ASQA’s Chief Commissioner Chris Robinson said.

“ASQA recognises that building and maintaining strong relationships with key stakeholders, such as government funding agencies, is an important element in identifying poor quality training providers.

“Effectively sharing information, at the earliest opportunity, enables swift and appropriate action to be taken, by both ASQA and the funding body.”

“A memorandum of understanding between the Victorian Department of Education and Training has been in place for a number of years. However, ASQA staff and Victorian government officials have worked together to strengthen communication arrangements to bolster information sharing between the agencies.”

Craig Robertson, Deputy Secretary, Higher Education and Skills Group within the Victorian Department of Education and Training, said the protocols were another milestone in the efforts by both the Commonwealth and State government to remove poor quality training providers from the VET sector:

“The Victorian Government invests over $1.2 billion per year in the delivery of training and skills. This protocol will assist us to further ensure value for money and strong outcomes for Victorian students.”

“ASQA and the Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) working together in this way, and sharing information more proactively, means we are both better placed to predict and respond to poor provider behaviour and minimise marketplace risks.”

“DET enjoys a close working relationship with ASQA, as the national VET regulator, and we look forward to an ongoing productive relationship.”

The protocols commit the two levels of government to:

  • consult with each other to promote regulatory and administrative coherence and to reduce administrative burden
  • establish processes to determine which agency is best-placed to deal with matters of mutual concern and where a joint response is appropriate
  • improve regulatory and administrative decision-making, particularly in areas that are highly technical and complex
  • establish and maintain a detailed schedule of information to be exchanged on an ongoing basis and explore the feasibility of developing a secure, accessible information technology portal to do so, and
  • establish joint working groups or taskforces to coordinate specialist knowledge, resources, plans and actions and avoid duplication of tasks and resources.
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