ASQA Update - May 2023

4 May 2023

Welcome to the May edition of the ASQA Update

Ms Saxon Rice, Chief Executive Officer

I hope you had a restful Easter break and have returned energised for what promises to be a busy middle of the year.

Next month marks the end of flexible regulatory arrangements for Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) course delivery, which was communicated to providers in October 2022. By 30 June providers delivering courses to overseas students studying in Australia on a student visa are required to have returned to compliance with face-to-face delivery requirements in the National Code and the ELICOS Standards 2018. This is in response to international borders re-opening and overseas students once again being able to travel to Australia for study.

Providers should be well advanced in their planning and transition in order to comply with these settings from 1 July 2023. We are expecting providers to assess risks and plan for implementation of a return to face to face delivery requirements. This includes communication to students associated with the return to compliance and ensuring delivery locations are updated. In coming months, ASQA will be monitoring providers’ actions, with a particular focus on seeing providers demonstrate good practice surrounding governance and decision-making and transition planning to support these changes, and we may request information about a provider’s return to compliance strategy and implementation.

Delivery to international students, including unethical practices of third-party education agents, continues to be a regulatory priority for ASQA and a focus across government. Training providers who deliver Australian VET qualifications to international students must meet their legislative obligations under the ESOS Act and National Code to not engage in misleading or deceptive conduct when recruiting students or providing courses and not provide false or misleading information or guarantee a migration outcome in any marketing activities. Providers must also ensure that their marketing and promotion of courses and education services is not false or misleading and is consistent with Australian Consumer Law.

ASQA also continues to actively engage in Operation Inglenook with partner agencies and the Department of Home Affairs to undertake compliance activities, surveillance and monitoring activities, where concerns around provider practice in these areas are identified, including where intelligence suggests non-genuine students are enrolled. We are contributing intelligence about our regulated VET organisations to support a broader multi-agency response and will continue to take appropriate regulatory actions, including conducting site visits, to prevent VET providers from facilitating such activities.

I also remind all providers that the Annual Declaration of Compliance process closes this month, with submissions due by 17 May 2023. This process is a formal declaration to both your organisation and to ASQA that you are confident you have the systems and processes in place to assure the quality of your outcomes for students and industry. I encourage providers to take this opportunity to thoroughly assess their operations against the Standards and registration requirements to assure themselves that they are effective in monitoring and meeting these requirements and can identify and address potential or emerging risks, as well as areas for improvement. Our online Self-Assessment Tool is available to assist you with this process.

As a Commonwealth regulator, ASQA is committed to meeting the expectations outlined in the Regulator Performance Guide, released in July 2021. This means continuously improving our performance, capability and culture to build trust and confidence in Australia’s regulatory settings for VET. Next edition, I look forward to providing you with detail on the development of ASQA’s Service Charter, which sets out the most common interactions we have with regulated entities and what they can expect from us in responding to applications and other regulatory processed.

Finally, an important aspect of our commitment to continuous improvement is the Provider and Course Owner Survey. The survey opens this month, and we welcome your feedback on where we are doing well and where we can improve.

Stay safe and well,

In this edition

  • Submit your Annual Declaration on Compliance (ADC) by 17 May 2023

  • 2023 ASQA Provider and Course Owner Survey

  • RTO Annual Registration Charge

  • Top three RTO enquiries from the Service Delivery team

  • Spotlight On - Marketing and advertising finalises

  • What you told us – feedback results

  • Tips to keep your data safe

and more

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