Go to top of page

Coming soon: ASQA to automatically update scope of registration for equivalent training package products

6 June 2014

From 1 July 2014, equivalent training package products (qualifications and/or units of competency) will be automatically added to your scope of registration without requiring an application or a fee.

This process applies to all ASQA registered training organisations (RTOs) with a training package product listed on their scope that an Industry Skills Council has superseded with a new training product that it has deemed equivalent.

On 1 July 2014, ASQA will update all training products on an RTO’s scope that are in transition, having been superseded by a new equivalent product in the last 12 months. There will be no application required or fee payable.

From 1 July 2014, ASQA will apply this process for all future training package updates.

Those providers that do not wish to have the new, equivalent product on scope can choose to opt-out through a simple application process. There is no fee for this.

This approach supports the Australian Government’s policy of minimising regulatory burden on Australian businesses.

Questions and answers

What is an ‘equivalent’ qualification or unit?

Industry Skills Councils are responsible for determining if a new training package product (qualifications and/or units of competency) is equivalent to any current product(s) it is superseding.

When training packages are endorsed, the Industry Skills Council will publish a mapping statement to outline whether the new product is deemed to deliver an equivalent or non-equivalent outcome to the one it has superseded. The mapping information is available in the published documents attached in the ‘content’ section on the National Register (training.gov.au) or in the Companion Volume/Implementation Guide developed for each training package which is published on the website of the Industry Skills Council.

What is ASQA’s current process for ‘equivalent’ changes to scope?

An RTO that delivers a superseded product must have the new product listed on its scope of registration on the National Register (training.gov.au) before it can commence delivery of the new product.  ASQA currently requires the RTO to apply and pay a fee to change its scope of registration. 

What process will apply from 1 July 2014?

From 1 July 2014, when a new or revised training package is released, ASQA will identify all qualifications and units of competency that have been endorsed as being ‘equivalent’ to a current training package product.

If you have one of these products on your scope of registration, ASQA will:

  • update your scope of registration with the new, equivalent training product
  • (if any current sanction or condition applies to the products the RTO has on scope) apply this sanction or condition onto the new, equivalent products, and
  • inform you by email that your scope has been updated to include one or more new training products.

What fees will apply for these changes?

No application will be required to have your scope updated with a new equivalent product and no fee will be charged.

The superseded product will remain on your scope of registration for twelve months unless you apply to have the superseded product removed. There is no fee for this application. A product cannot be removed until all enrolled students have been appropriately managed.

No additional fees will apply for annual registration or renewal of registration due to an increase in the number of products on scope resulting from having both the superseded and new, equivalent products on scope.

What are my compliance obligations if a training package product is added to my scope?

The Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations 2012 allow a 12 month period for RTOs to fully transition to new equivalent training package products from the date of publication on the National Register. 

You are required to review the training package changes that have occurred and make the required resource adjustments. You should continue to deliver the superseded product on until you are ready to deliver the new equivalent product within this 12 month period.

If an audit is conducted and the RTO has both the superseded and new equivalent product on scope, the auditor will check which product is being delivered and audit against that product.

Further information is available in ASQA’s General direction—Learner transition

What if I don’t want my scope updated?

If you do not want the new, equivalent product added to your scope, you can opt out at any time provided there are no current enrolments. This can be done by submitting an application to change scope of RTO registration on asqanet. There is no fee applied.

Who decides whether a new qualification or unit of competency is equivalent to one that it has superseded?

The relevant Industry Skills Council determines equivalence in keeping with the Standards for Training Packages and supporting policy documents including the Training Package Development and Endorsement Process and the Training Package Products Policy.

Where do I locate equivalence mapping?

This information is located on training.gov.au under the heading ‘Usage recommendation’ for each superseded training product or in the published documents attached in the ‘content’ section of this site. Alternatively, collated mapping information is available in the Companion Volume (also known as the Implementation Guide) available for every training package developed under the Standards for Training Packages

What happens with training package products that are ‘not equivalent’ to the product they are superseding?

There will be no change to ASQA’s current processes. RTOs will be required to apply, and to pay the relevant application fee, to have these products added to their scope of registration.

Will my CRICOS registration also be updated with new qualifications that are equivalent to those I’m already registered for?

The automatic extension of scope for equivalent training products now extends to training providers registered with the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

Does the policy also apply to new accredited courses that are equivalent to those on my current scope?

Not immediately. Until notified otherwise, you must continue to apply to ASQA to add any accredited courses to your scope.

As a Queensland school, what does this mean for my registration through Queensland Studies Authority (QSA)?

You will not have to apply to QSA to have your scope updated.  ASQA will perform this change automatically.

What about skill sets?

A skill set is a single unit or combination of units from one or more Training Packages which link to a licence or regulatory requirement, or defined industry need. ASQA does not register an RTO for a skill set as an explicit product listed on their scope of registration.

Will I get a refund if I applied to add a new equivalent training product to my scope of registration prior to 1 July 2014?

No.  This policy commences on 1 July 2014 and only applies from that date.

Any change of scope applications received prior to this date will incur a non-refundable fee.

Does this apply to every RTO registered with ASQA?

Yes, all eligible RTOs registered with ASQA will have their scope updated in accordance with this new policy.

This will occur regardless of any other regulatory action in progress between ASQA and the RTO.

What happens if I have a sanction or specific conditions imposed on my current scope?

Sanctions or conditions of registration that apply across an RTO’s total scope of registration will also apply to training package products added under this policy. 

If a specific sanction or condition is applied to a training product on your scope that has been superseded, the same sanction and condition will apply to the new equivalent product. 

Does this policy also apply to Victorian and Western Australian RTOs that are not regulated by ASQA?

Following the Australian Government’s reform, the Western Australian Training Accreditation Council (TAC) has announced that a WA training provider’s scope of registration will automatically be updated to include any new equivalent training package products they are already registered to deliver. Further information is available on the TAC website.

The Department of Industry continues to work with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority to implement a similar reform in Victoria.