Governance changes for ASQA
New governance arrangements to support ASQA’s continued evolution as a best practice regulator were passed by the Australian Parliament on 24 August 2020. The agency’s new governance arrangements outlined in the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Amendment (Governance and Other Matters) Bill 2020 will come into effect following assent and proclamation.
The Bill sets out arrangements that replace the role of commissioners with a single head of agency who is the accountable authority. It also introduces an advisory council that will be comprised of experts from fields such as regulatory practice, sector and business engagement, and education and training. In addition to the new governance arrangements, the Bill includes other matters that improve the transparency, efficiency and effectiveness of ASQA.
ASQA Chief Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Saxon Rice, said the new governance arrangements are a key part of the reform work underway to improve ASQA’s alignment with best practice regulation for the benefit of all students.
Ms Rice said ASQA’s new internal structure also gives effect to the recommendations made in the recent Rapid Review, including a stronger focus on engagement and education and the appointment of new senior staff to guide the change.
Ms Rice said that the organisation welcomes the latest development in ASQA’s reform alongside the implementation of other recommendations of the Rapid Review.
“In addition to our internal changes, ASQA is working together with vocational education and training (VET) providers on developing a shared understanding of self-assurance and will be engaging with the sector over coming months on further improvements to our audit practice,” said Ms Rice.
Since the Rapid Review was published on 30 April 2020, ASQA has:
- implemented a more effective internal structure with senior staffing to focus on sector engagement and education
- implemented the first stage of improvements to our audit practice which includes more effective engagement with providers throughout our regulatory activity and improved treatment of any minor deficiencies identified by that activity
- begun sector engagement on the concept of self-assurance
- established the Stakeholder Liaison Group (SLG) to contribute to ASQA’s engagement and educative function, with the first meeting held on 28 July 2020.