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Prepare for an audit

ASQA undertakes two distinct types of audits—registration audits and compliance audits.

About registration audits

ASQA conducts registration audits to ensure that RTOs are operating (or will operate) effectively within their scope of registration.

You will be required to undergo an ASQA registration audit:

  • when you apply for initial registration as a registered training organisation
  • in some cases, when you apply to renew your registration
  • in some cases, when you apply to make changes to the scope of your registration.

The registration audit may involve a visit to one or more of your delivery sites. If the audit involves a site visit, these usually take between one and two days. However, this may vary according to the size and scope of the RTO.

Registration audits—frequently asked questions

How does ASQA charge for registration audits?

The cost of registration audits is factored into ASQA's application lodgement and assessment fees and you are not charged an additional fee for a registration audit.

How can I prepare for a registration audit?

It is advisable to conduct a self-assessment before an audit.

Will ASQA audit my CRICOS and VET registration at the same time?

ASQA aims to combine registration based audits to include all outstanding applications where a risk assessment determines that an audit is required. The time between receipt of applications will impact on ASQA’s ability to achieve this.

Compliance audits

ASQA conducts compliance audits to assess RTOs' ongoing compliance with the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (the NVR Act) and the VET Quality Framework (which includes the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015).

ASQA will generally conduct a compliance audit:

  • if your RTO was registered prior to 1 July 2018, within two years of initial registration (this is the 'post initial audit'), or
  • if an assessment has determined there is a significant risk of the RTO failing to meet its regulatory obligations.

Compliance audits are scheduled at ASQA’s discretion, with the authority of an ASQA Commissioner or nominated delegate.

Under ASQA’s student-centred audit approach, audits are likely to be triggered by information from ASQA’s risk intelligence.

Compliance audits—frequently asked questions

When might ASQA conduct a compliance audit?

ASQA’s student-centred audit approach means ASQA is taking a more proactive approach to scheduling audits.

ASQA generally conducts compliance audits:

  • if your RTO was registered prior to 1 July 2018, within two years of initial registration (this is the 'post initial audit'), or
  • when an assessment has determined there is a risk of the RTO failing to meet its regulatory obligations. For example, the initial assessment may be triggered by:
    • the receipt of serious complaints against the training provider
    • a recommendation by a Commissioner or Manager, Regulatory Operations (for example, a recommendation based on the outcome of a previous ASQA audit).

Under ASQA’s student-centred audit approach, audits are most likely to be triggered by concerns from ASQA risk intelligence. ASQA may initiate an audit in response to concerns about a provider based on its risk profile and a range of inputs.

How does ASQA charge for compliance audits?

Compliance audits are charged at the following rate:

  • $250 per auditor per hour (with a minimum charge of $1,000)
  • any official ASQA travel costs
  • if any part of the audit is conducted outside Australia, any additional reasonable expenses incurred by ASQA relating to that part of the audit.

The charge applies to time spent by ASQA, including time spent in conducting the audit, auditor travel, preparing the audit report and reviewing any additional evidence (where non-compliance has been identified).

ASQA cannot provide an estimate of the cost of your audit in advance, as the final cost of the audit depends on the time taken to conduct the audit, including the time taken by the auditor to analyse and report on any additional evidence provided in response to non-compliance identified at audit.

ASQA will invoice you when the audit is finalised.

Currently, no charges apply to compliance audits against the legislative requirements under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (the ESOS Act).

How much notice will I receive before a compliance audit is scheduled?

Compliance audits are often conducted as a result of serious concerns about an RTO. These concerns may have been raised through complaints, as a result of a previous ASQA audit, or through intelligence received.

In cases where ASQA considers the RTO’s practices pose a serious risk, the audit may be conducted with little or no notice.

How can I be prepared for a compliance audit?

It is important to note that ‘audit preparation’ immediately before your audit is unlikely to significantly affect your audit outcome.

ASQA’s student-centred audit approach means that the quality of your RTO’s practices and behaviours at each stage of the student journey largely determines the audit outcome.

To ensure that your RTO is delivering quality training and assessment and meeting the required standards, you are encouraged to:

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