Provider survey provides valuable insights

16 November 2021

Thank you to all our stakeholders who took part in ASQA’s 2021 Provider and Course Owner Survey. The independent survey conducted by ACIL Allen in July and August 2021, surveyed over 3,600 participants on their interactions and experiences of engagement and education with ASQA.

ASQA is committed to delivering best practice regulation for Australia’s VET sector. We engage with providers and course owners to understand our performance, and improve the quality, impact and relevance of our regulatory interactions with organisations.

Your feedback is important during our transition

We seek feedback through the annual provider survey on our key activities. 2020-21 was characterised by implementation of new measures to shift our regulatory posture, away from input and compliance, controls towards a focus on self-assurance and excellence in training outcomes, enabled by improved engagement with all stakeholders and expanded use of education as a regulatory tool.

Helpfulness of our education and support

Our use of education as a key regulatory tool through which we support stakeholders to better understand risk and providers to meet their regulatory obligations and to self-assure rated highly. This includes the introduction of our new ‘Spotlight On’ series, which has been well received by providers and was reflected in the consistently highly rated responses for our work in these areas. Most (76 per cent) respondents were aware of the support and guidance we publish on distance learning, expansion of scope, work placement and practical assessments to assist in responding to challenges presented by COVID-19.

Some of the highest rated responses related to the support and guidance ASQA publishes on clarifying regulatory obligations in distance learning, expansion of scope, work placement and practical assessments to assist in responding to challenges presented by COVID-19.

Positive experience with audits

We know we have further work to do on maturing our performance assessment (audit) framework, but we are pleased with some of the results about our new performance assessments (audits). The majority of the 205 providers on this survey who experienced an audit with ASQA during this time reported a positive experience with our audit process. Nearly all (90 per cent), received clear information about the purpose, scope, processes and charges in relation to the audit. Most (86 per cent) agreed they were given a sufficient opportunity to provide evidence during the performance assessment while (84 percent) reporting that our audits were professional and respectful with high response given for communication throughout the process. Overall, our results on audit-related questions improved by approximately 7 per cent from the previous year. These early results on our process improvements to audits are encouraging and will help us during future engagement.

Opportunities for improvement

The survey results also show an opportunity to improve our application processes, including timeliness of decisions and to how we communicate with applicants throughout the process and to making our reports clearer and easier to understand.

In 2020-21 we consulted with the sector to implement a new performance framework to align with our strategic purpose and deliverables set out in our Corporate Plan 2021-22.

Measuring our strategic deliverables

For the first time this year, the survey included questions around our 6 strategic deliverables. We were pleased to see that most respondents (80 per cent) agreed that our regulatory approach promotes a culture of self-assurance and continuous quality improvement as these areas have been the focus area for our reform work. We are establishing a baseline to measure the improvement in provider self-assurance capability within our 4-year corporate plan reporting period and will continue to deliver provider guidance and support.

More than half of respondents (63 per cent) agreed with the transparency and accountability of ASQA’s regulatory approach, while 64 per cent also either agreed or strongly agreed that ASQA’s regulatory decision making (both positive and negative decisions) is appropriate and proportionate.

Using your insights for continuous improvement

This feedback against our strategic deliverables will assist us to work with stakeholders to understand our performance and the impact and effectiveness of our regulation and provide us with important insights into where we might need to adjust and improve our approach going forward. We are committed to publishing these results year on year to provide transparency and demonstrate progress in stakeholder confidence in the value of our regulation. 

We will utilise the survey results to identify areas of focus for improvements as we maintain our focus on best-practice regulation across all aspects of our performance, capability and culture.

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