Clauses 2.1 and 8.4 to 8.6—Compliance and reporting

Clause 2.1

The RTO ensures it complies with these Standards at all times, including where services are being delivered on its behalf. This applies to all operations of an RTO within its scope of registration.

Clause 8.4

The RTO provides an annual declaration on compliance with these Standards to the VET [vocational education and training] regulator and in particular whether it:

  1. currently meets the requirements of the Standards across all its scope of registration and has met the requirements of the Standards for all AQF [Australian Qualifications Framework] certification documentation it has issued in the previous 12 months
  2. has training and assessment strategies and practices in place that ensure that all current and prospective learners will be trained and assessed in accordance with the requirements of the Standards.

Clause 8.5

The RTO complies with Commonwealth, state and territory legislation and regulatory requirements relevant to its operations.

Clause 8.6

The RTO ensures its staff and clients are informed of any changes to legislative and regulatory requirements that affect the services delivered.

What clauses 2.1 and 8.4 to 8.6 mean for your RTO

Under these Standards, RTOs are responsible for:

  • compliance with the Standards at all times and compliance with all relevant legal requirements (clauses 2.1 and 8.5)
  • reporting on compliance (clause 8.4)
  • keeping staff and clients informed (clause 8.6).

You must remain compliant with the Standards at all times. When you monitor and review your RTO’s services, ensure you include any arrangements where services are provided by a third party.

The existence of a third party agreement does not absolve the principal RTO of responsibility for compliance with relevant regulatory obligations. In all circumstances, the principal RTO is fully accountable for the actions of the third party as they relate to the delivery of relevant services, regardless of any part of a third party agreement that may suggest otherwise.

An RTO cannot seek to extend its scope of registration by entering into a third party arrangement with another RTO that has the applicable VET course on scope.  If an RTO wants to provide training and/or assessment – either under its own RTO code or under a third party arrangement – it must have that qualification on its scope of registration.

You are required to provide an annual declaration on whether your RTO complies with the Standards. Failure to submit this annual declaration is a breach of your conditions of registration as an RTO. All RTOs registered by ASQA as at 1 January in a given year must submit an annual declaration by 31 March that year. The declaration must cover your entire RTO scope (including any third party services within Australia or overseas).

Your RTO must also comply with all relevant legislative and regulatory requirements at all times. This includes, but is not limited to, demonstrating compliance (if applicable) with:

  • the NVR Act and the legislative instruments it enables
  • the VET Quality Framework
  • legislation, regulations and standards related to delivery of training to overseas students
  • VET Student Loans legislation and rules
  • workplace health and safety legislation and regulations
  • anti-discrimination legislation and regulations
  • consumer protection requirements.

You must keep your staff and clients (including students) informed about any changes to legislative and regulatory requirements that may affect the delivery of training and assessment. It is your RTO’s responsibility to ensure it is aware of all relevant requirements.

A guide to compliance

Providing an annual declaration confirms you have systematically monitored your RTO’s compliance with the Standards and whether any issues identified have been rectified or otherwise appropriately risk-managed. The declaration must be signed by your RTO’s chief executive officer (CEO), who is responsible for the RTO’s operations.

The declaration requires your CEO to testify that:

  • all information about the RTO on is accurate (or, if it is inaccurate, that ASQA has been notified of necessary changes)
  • to the best of the CEO’s knowledge, all owners and high managerial agents meet the Fit and Proper Person Requirements.

ASQA reviews your provider’s profile prior to performance assessment (audit) or at any time there is concern about risks, triggered by information from ASQA’s risk intelligence. Your provider profile incorporates information about your RTO from a broad range of sources, including your annual declaration. At performance assessment, ASQA will seek to determine that your practice matches what you have referenced in your annual declaration.

You should use the annual declaration as an opportunity to make a self-assessment of your RTO’s systems and practices against the Standards, but your RTO may also choose to undertake more frequent self-assessments. ASQA has developed a self‑assessment tool to assist RTOs in this task. The tool is available here.

In terms of keeping your staff and students informed about any changes to legislative and regulatory requirements, your RTO might demonstrate compliance with requirements by showing that you have:

  • published updates on legislation on a staff intranet
  • sent regular newsletters to staff and students
  • published online information about relevant changes.

ASQA may notify the relevant regulatory agency in cases where an RTO has not complied with any legislative or regulatory requirement. Breaches of legislative or regulatory requirements may have an impact on the continued registration of the RTO.

Guidance for applicants for initial registration

In relation to clause 2.1, you should ensure you have documentation in place to meet your obligations under clauses 2.3 and 2.4, as this will demonstrate that you are in a position to comply with the Standards at all times in relation to any third‑party arrangements.

In relation to clauses 8.4 to 8.6, you could show that you have identified all relevant legislative requirements and have processes in place to advise staff and students of any updates as they occur.

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