ASQA has published updated guidance on third-party arrangements that will come into effect from 1 September 2019 for new third-party arrangements and 1 November 2019 for existing arrangements’.
This updated guidance comprises:
- a new Fact sheet—third-party arrangements, which sets out the practical implications for providers seeking to deliver training and assessment
- a new General Direction—third-party arrangements for training and or assessment of VET courses, which provides clarity and guidance on third-party arrangements permitted under the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (the NVR Act).
Why has ASQA revised its advice?
Registered training organisations (RTOs) have indicated that they are unclear of the extent to which they can use third parties for the delivery of training and assessment. ASQA has found some RTOs hold arrangements for delivery of training and assessment by third parties that do not meet the requirements of the NVR Act and, therefore, cannot be entered into.
ASQA holds concerns with third parties undertaking marketing and recruitment on behalf of RTOs that is not in line with the requirements of the NVR Act. ASQA’s guidance clarifies the existing requirement for VET courses to be marketed in the name of and on behalf of a registered training organisation that is registered to deliver that course only. This helps to ensure students know who will provide their course.
In addition, ASQA has identified a risk to the quality of VET through a number of RTOs entering into third-party arrangements for delivery of training products from the Training and Education (TAE) Training Package. TAE training products have been identified by ASQA as ‘VET courses of concern’.
The General Direction—third-party arrangements for training and or assessment of VET courses sets a requirement for RTOs to seek written agreement from ASQA prior to entering into a new third party arrangement for any VET course of concern as of 1 September 2019. The General Direction requires RTOs to seek written agreement from ASQA before 1 November 2019 to continue existing arrangements.
I have existing arrangements for delivery of training and assessment by a third party—how will I be affected?
ASQA has emailed all training providers that have previously notified the regulator that they hold third-party arrangements with information about the new requirements and the transition period. If you have not received this email, please contact the ASQA Info Line on enquiries [at] asqa.gov.au
When does the revised advice come into effect?
You may not enter into any new arrangements that do not meet the requirements outlined in ASQA’s guidance from 1 September 2019.
All third-party arrangements, including existing arrangements, must meet the requirements outlined in ASQA’s General Direction from 1 November 2019. For more information on what this means for your RTO, please refer to the email advice ASQA has provided.