ASQA Provider Roundtable Communiqué (May 2022)
The ASQA Provider Roundtable held its second meeting for 2022 on 26 May.
Training Package Assurance Function
The Roundtable noted that, as announced in March 2022, ASQA is taking on a new, independent Training Package Assurance Function (TPA Function). In this new role, which will commence from 1 January 2023, ASQA will assess the compliance of training products against standards and policies set by Skills Ministers and build the capacity of Industry Clusters by providing guidance and support with training product development.
Members noted that ASQA has formed a project team and is working closely with the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) to develop and implement the future-state model for the TPA Function.
ASQA encouraged members to share any concerns or suggestions about the establishment and governance of the TPA Function, for consideration by ASQA and DESE.
ASQA regulatory and corporate performance
The Roundtable noted that ASQA has initiated a four-year project to evaluate its work and produce findings to support continuous improvement. Members noted that an Evaluation Framework, currently being drafted, will guide the planning, conduct and use of evaluation at ASQA.
Members were advised that the initial evaluation projects will focus on reforms that ASQA implemented from April 2021 to respond to issues identified in the Rapid Review, including: a new performance assessment methodology; a new compliance management process; the introduction of agreements to rectify; and changes to ASQA’s internal review process.
Performance Framework and Corporate Plan
The Roundtable discussed ASQA’s 2021–22 Corporate Plan and was asked to provide feedback on the effectiveness of the current deliverables and associated performance measures. This feedback will help ASQA develop its 2022–23 Corporate Plan.
Members will discuss engagement priorities for the next financial year at the Roundtable quarterly meeting in August 2022.
Performance against the Standards for VET Regulators
Members noted the results of a review by Pitt Group of ASQA’s performance against the Standards for VET Regulators 2015, in which ASQA was regarded as compliant with 42 Standards out of a total of 44 Standards assessed.
The Roundtable noted ASQA’s proposed transition arrangements for the re-introduction of fees and charges, which will commence with the issuance of Annual Registration Charge invoices in July 2022.
Members also noted that ASQA will participate in the forthcoming Best Practice Cost Recovery Project led by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Priorities and challenges raised by Members included:
- the need for sufficient notice before the removal of temporary arrangements currently in place for CRICOS-registered providers
- the impact of processing times for international student visas
- processing by ASQA of registration-related applications and changes
- engagement of disadvantaged and vulnerable students, many of whom have been reluctant to commence training since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic
- persistent shortages in the availability of trainers and assessors, particularly trainers with aged care and foundation skills specialities
- review of the TAE Training Package
- the implications of changes to the framework for training package development and endorsement, including for industry engagement and students (refer also TPA Function listed above).
The next meeting of the Provider Roundtable will be held on 3 August 2022.