ASQA Provider Roundtable Communiqué (August 2022)
The ASQA Provider Roundtable held its third meeting for 2022 on 3 August.
The Roundtable noted that with the commencement of ASQA’s Advisory Council, there will be adjustments to chairing arrangements for the Roundtable. ASQA also noted the importance of communicating the role and purpose of its different engagement forums.
ASQA Strategic Objectives and Risk Priorities
The Roundtable noted ASQA has refined and updated its Strategic from six to five Strategic Deliverables as part of its Corporate Plan 2022-23. The plan has been strengthened by clearly setting out the key activities to be achieved under each deliverable, and the revised performance measures support ASQA to more effectively monitor its performance progressively throughout the year, including by seeking feedback on its performance from stakeholders.
ASQA thanked the Members for their engagement in the development of the Corporate Plan 2022-23 and advised that it will soon be publicly released.
The Roundtable also discussed ASQA’s regulatory risk priorities, noting that ASQA will shortly publish refreshed priorities for 2022-23.
Opportunities for collaboration 2022-23
Provider self-assurance of Standards for RTOs (Standards)
The Roundtable noted that the working model for provider self-assurance of Standards co-designed with the sector would be published shortly.
Members also noted the planned next steps by ASQA would include:
- Refining regulatory tools and approaches understanding self-assurance
- Piloting a new approach to the Annual Declaration of Compliance
- Working with providers to promote self-assurance practices
- Identifying capability, tools and resources required
The Roundtable noted the inter-connection between the upcoming revision of the Standards and self-assurance, and that when further information from the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations became available on the new Standards, it would be an important opportunity to critically examine any intended consequences or impacts.
Members agreed that there is an appetite for the regulated community and peak body groups to test and pilot the revised Standards with ASQA.
Priorities and opportunities for collaboration raised by Members included:
- engagement on reviewing current regulatory flexibility arrangements in place due to pandemic impacts and understanding the changes to business operations that have occurred during the pandemic period
- COVID safety measures for learners and trainers
- the impact and stress on trainers and assessors post pandemic and persistent shortages in the availability of trainers and assessors
- engagement of disadvantaged and vulnerable students, especially for community-based providers
- articulating and communicating the value for providers in undertaking the new student experience survey initiative
- improving the process for training package transitions
These ideas will be further explored with the Roundtable to identify those that can be further understood or addressed through collaboration between ASQA, within its role as the national VET regulator, and peak organisations.
The Roundtable noted ASQA has now introduced new fees and charges from 1 July 2022, with fee relief to continue for ELICOS providers until 31 December 2022. Members acknowledged ASQA’s consultation process leading up to 1 July 2022 had been effective and helped to prepare the sector for the resumption of cost recovery.
ASQA thanked the Members for their participation in working groups to support the development and implementation of the new fees and charges.
Assurance activities update
The Roundtable noted that an internal audit of ASQA’s risk management framework has been undertaken. The audit found ASQA has a comprehensive framework and approach to maturing identification and management of risk.
The next meeting of the Provider Roundtable will be held on 8 November 2022.