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Clause 7.1—Authorised officers

Ensure authorised executive officers are in place and meet Fit and Proper Person Requirements.

Clause 7.1

The RTO ensures that its executive officers or high managerial agent:

  • are vested with sufficient authority to ensure the RTO complies with the RTO Standards at all times
  • meet each of the relevant criteria specified in the Fit and Proper Person Requirements in Schedule 3.

What clause 7.1 means for your RTO

RTOs are responsible for:

  • ensuring authorised officers are in place and vested with sufficient authority to ensure compliance
  • ensuring authorised officers meet Fit and Proper Person Requirements.

To operate effectively, managers must have authority to ensure that their RTO complies with the Standards at all times. If your RTO is part of a larger organisation, it is particularly important that the people actually managing the RTO are able to make decisions that ensure compliance.

All executive officers (defined by the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (NVR Act) as anyone who has a role in managing the RTO or who owns more than 15 per cent) and high managerial agents (defined by the NVR Act as anyone with responsibilities that may represent the organisation) of your RTO must meet all relevant criteria of the Fit and Proper Person Requirements at all times as outlined in Schedule 3.

A ‘fit and proper person’ declaration, including any relevant disclosures, is to be provided in accordance with ASQA’s requirements, when:

  • you apply for initial registration or to renew registration as an RTO
  • you engage a new manager or agent (on either an employment, contract or volunteer basis)
  • a person procures more than 15 per cent of the RTO’s ownership (either directly or through their ownership of another corporation).

In your annual declaration on compliance, you will also be required to testify that:

  • all executive officers and high managerial agents have been reported to ASQA
  • that they continue to meet the Fit and Proper Person Requirements.

Based on information disclosed in fit and proper person declarations and any other information available or accessible to ASQA, ASQA will assess whether your organisation satisfies the Fit and Proper Person Requirements for initial or continued registration.

You also need to advise ASQA if anything happens that means one or more people may no longer meet the requirements.

A guide to compliance

Evidence that shows compliance will vary depending on the structure of the organisation:

  • If you are a sole trader or the sole shareholder/director, it is obvious that the relevant authority is in place and no evidence would be required.
  • If your RTO is larger, with multiple influential managers and agents, you might demonstrate that managers and agents have sufficient authority by providing organisational charts, position descriptions, duty statements and delegation documents.

Evidence would usually be provided with applications for initial registration or renewal of registration, or when you notify ASQA of any new managers. ASQA’s registration and notification processes provide guidance to RTOs about any evidence required at that point. These processes can be accessed on ASQA’s website at https://www.asqa.gov.au/news-publications/forms-guides

Be aware that under ASQA’s proactive risk-based approach to regulation, ASQA may request evidence at any time.

Disclosure that a manager or agent has reportable history against the fit and proper person criteria does not necessarily mean the RTO does not satisfy the requirements. Likewise, removal of a manager or agent who has reportable history does not necessarily mean the RTO does satisfy the requirements.

ASQA makes decisions about whether an RTO satisfies the Fit and Proper Person Requirements through a holistic assessment. This assessment considers multiple factors including officers’ disclosures, known information, provider cooperation and potential risk exposure.

Guidance for applicants for initial registration

You must provide relevant evidence with your application. The application process provides guidance to applicants about the specific evidence required for all executive officers and high managerial agents to declare reportable history against suitability criteria and for the entity to demonstrate how it satisfies the Fit and Proper Person Requirements.