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ASQA Stakeholder Liaison Group Communiqué (May 2021)

The ASQA Stakeholder Liaison Group (SLG) held its second meeting for 2021 on 18 May.

ASQA update

The SLG discussed the following updates:

ASQA and the 2021–22 Commonwealth Budget

The SLG noted the funding announcements for the VET sector in the May Budget, including for ASQA’s regulated community through the extension of fee relief for VET providers and accredited course owners until 31 December 2021, and the deferral of the introduction of cost recovery by six months to 1 January 2022.

Introduction of ASQA reforms in April 2021

From 6 April 2021, ASQA commenced new regulatory practices to its methodologies for provider performance assessment, compliance management and the internal review of ASQA decisions, based on a new Regulatory Risk Framework and Regulatory Operating Model. The changes incorporated feedback from sector stakeholders, including the SLG.

A framework for post-implementation evaluation of the reforms will be developed in consultation with provider peak associations, the SLG and other sector consultants and stakeholders, in late 2021.

Members shared insights from the broader sector about how the changes are being implemented. ASQA continues to welcome feedback from all stakeholders for continuous improvement of practice.

Departmental consultation on VET reform, including a review of the Standards for RTOs

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) is leading a consultation process in Skills Reform.

Strategy and performance: Performance framework

ASQA’s Corporate Plan features a Performance Framework against which ASQA measures, assesses and reports on its performance in achieving its purpose. ASQA is redeveloping its Performance Framework to reflect its newly articulated purpose, strategic deliverables and planning for the next four years.

ASQA sought the views of SLG members about the current framework and an associated set of survey questions intended for completion by providers and course owners, and members agreed to be part of a wider stakeholder consultation on this project.

Stakeholder consultation on ASQA e-scan 2021

Engaging strategically about risk is core to ASQA’s regulatory approach, and ASQA regularly scans the environment to identify risks to VET quality.

SLG members are participating in consultation activities for ASQA’s 2021 environmental scan, and ASQA acknowledged those members who had already participated. Members supported active contribution to ASQA’s ongoing environmental scanning for provider and systemic risk in the sector.

VET Student Experience Survey (VETSES)

The VET Student Experience Survey (VETSES) is developed jointly by ASQA, DESE and the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER). The intention is to provide more frequent and more timely data on student experiences and satisfaction, at the RTO level.

ASQA and an NCVER representative provided SLG members with an update on the first wave of the survey, to be launched soon, and sought SLG member ideas on how to encourage RTOs and their students to participate in the current and future waves of the survey.

ASQA Stakeholder Engagement Strategy consultation

As raised at the March 2021 SLG meeting, ASQA is developing a Stakeholder Engagement Strategy that will articulate the agency’s principles and priorities for strategically engaging with its stakeholders over the next four years.

SLG members noted ASQA’s draft plans and intention to consult further with a range of stakeholders on the proposed strategy, implementation plans, and performance measures.

Education and Guidance update

An overview was provided of ASQA’s Spotlight On educational series, including discussion of upcoming topics. Members discussed opportunities for direct collaboration and participation to develop content.

ASQA provided an update on the progress of a planned Engagement and Education Management System as a learning management resource.

SLG members discussed the training package transition process, noting a number of training packages had become superseded within the last 12 months. ASQA undertook to provide a further update by the next meeting.

ASQA provided an update on a past SLG meeting moderation item regarding credit transfers. Proposed guidance for the sector will be shared with members for discussion prior to finalisation.

A trial for a pre-verification of callers to the ASQA Info Line has commenced. The practice will enable ASQA to provide more tailored information to designated provider representatives during phone calls. ASQA will provide analysis of the trial at the next meeting.

Members also discussed the importance of SLG meeting Agendas to reflect member suggestions, consistent with the SLG Terms of Reference.

Next meeting

The next meeting of the SLG will be held on 13 July 2021.

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