On 26 September 2014, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Industry and Skills Council agreed to the new regulatory standards for training providers—the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015 (“Standards for RTOs 2015”).
The Standards for RTOs 2015 were implemented for all ASQA RTOs from 1 April 2015.
RTOs transferring from the VRQA to ASQA
When an RTO registered with the VRQA begins offering courses to overseas students or in a state other than Victoria or Western Australia (including by offering courses online), that RTO must transfer its registration to ASQA.
It is a requirement under the National Vocational Education and Training Act that nationally registered training providers are compliant with the Standards for RTOs 2015 at all times. If your RTO transfers from VRQA to ASQA after 1 April 2015, ASQA will use a fair and reasonable approach to ensure that there is no disadvantage to VRQA RTOs in the process of transferring from the requirements of the VRQA to ASQA.
The following guidelines will help ensure a smooth transition from the AQTF and VRQA Guidelines to the Standards for RTOs 2015:
- Regulatory audit activity will not be automatically triggered by the transfer from VRQA to ASQA. This will allow time for VRQA RTOs to transition to the Standards for RTOs 2015 prior to an ASQA audit. However, when you apply for renewal or change of scope, you may be required to undergo an audit. In addition, ASQA may require you to undergo a compliance audit if ASQA receives information that raises the need for regulatory scrutiny.
- A mapping summary has been produced to detail how the AQTF and VRQA Guidelines align with the Standards for Registered Training Organisation 2015. This summary highlights the similarities between these Standards and Guidelines and any additional requirements in the Standards for RTOs 2015.
- If ASQA audits your RTO, ASQA will clearly explain any non-compliances against the Standards for RTOs 2015. Your RTO will then have 20 working days in which you can rectify any issues and provide evidence to demonstrate compliance.
- Consideration will be given to aspects of the Standards for RTOs 2015 that do not have a directly equivalent requirement to the AQTF and VRQA Guidelines. Transition arrangements are in place for non-compliances identified with particular Clauses, which allow an RTO to provide a plan of how they will become compliant with the Clause identified by 1 July 2015. These transition arrangements are outlined in the Summary mapping and treatment of non-compliances—Standards for RTOs against SNRs.
- ASQA will provide information and guidance on the Standards for RTOs 2015. Support material is available to assist with the interpretation of the Standards for RTOs 2015, including:
- Videos of the Standards for RTOs 2015 Information Sessions on ASQA’s YouTube channel
- A Users’ Guide to the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015
- Answers to frequently asked questions about the Standards for RTOs 2015
- ASQA’s Info line (1300 701 801 or enquiries [at] asqa.gov.au) is also available to provide assistance.
Although it is a legislative requirement that ASQA RTOs are required to be compliant with the Standards for RTOs 2015at all times, ASQA will apply a fair and reasonable approach to ensure that there is no disadvantage in a transfer process. ASQA acknowledges that there may be circumstances where RTOs transferring from VRQA will need to be treated on a case-by-case basis, depending on the timing of the transfer.
If you have any questions, email enquiries [at] asqa.gov.au or call the ASQA Info line on 1300 701 801.
The Info line operates from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm, EST, Monday to Friday.