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Skynet Corporation Pty Ltd
PO Box 388, Avondale Heights, 3034
Tel 0409 855 986

Is Your RTO Compliant? Ninety One RTOs Refused Renewal of Registration - 2011 to 2013

In my September Newsletter, I spoke about the Risk of being assessed by the Regulator as Non-Compliant. I made a statement [generally speaking] that there is a big chance that you are in breach of one or more of the respective standards.
My statement was ground in the fact that many of the RTOs I have audited were found to have possible contraventions with certain legislative instrument(s). As a consequence, they may have been found non-compliant by a regulator had they not corrected the findings.
Non-compliance, whether minor or critical is arguably often overlooked by managers that are either too busy or too close to the system.

ASQA Report
A report by ASQA for the period 12 months to 30 June 2013, found only 23.5% of RTOs fully compliant at initial audit. This is arguably a sad indictment on our VET system and we should then ask the questions, why are so many RTOs non-compliant? and how can this be corrected?
The National Regulator – ASQA, in a presentation to Skills Tasmania [10, 11 & 12 September 2013] provided some interesting facts in regard audit outcomes. I strongly recommend you review the remainder of this newsletter or acquire a copy of the above presentation. Once you have read this report; consider your own level of compliance.
Please note: Skynet is not responsible for the continuity of the hyperlink.

I have taken what I regard as the main points, and referenced the slides for your further analysis:
ASQA regulates approximately 4000 RTOs, [refer slide 2]
In the period 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2013, ASQA received 1385 applications for renewal of registration, they completed renewal applications of 896 and refused renewal of registration for 91 providers. This is approximately a 10 percent refusal rate.
In the same period, ASQA received 679 applications for initial registration; they completed 435 and refused 90. This is a 20 percent refusal rate [refer slide 8]

Regulatory Decisions for Existing RTOs
‘ASQA has taken the decision to cancel/suspend the registration or to refuse the re-registration of 165 individual existing RTOs.’ [refer slide 10]

The Percentage of Compliance to the Standards
The percentage of compliance for RTOs seeking re-registration in 2012-13 was: SNR 15 - 61%, SNR 16 - 52%, SNR 17 - 56%, SNR 18 - 62%, SNR 19 - 44%, SNR 20 - 62%, SNR 21 - 43%, SNR 22 - 60%, SNR 23 - 51%, SNR 24 - 47% and SNR 25 - 36%. [slide 12]. These statistics are quite damning, however, they do provide RTOs a general trend of where the major areas of non-compliance has been found - 'all areas'.
This highlights an endemic issue of non-compliance in the VET sector that certainly requires more focus by providers.

My Comments
I have found that the RTOs with a rigorous quality and compliance system, including systematic completion of audits and/or mini-audits, are the providers that have minimal non-compliances at audit.
In contrast, we have the RTOs that spend their energy and focus mainly in sales and marketing. And as a result, some of these providers only consider quality and compliance when the regulator has contacted them for an audit and/or when they are inline for re-registration. The latter RTOs are the ones that are found to have numerous areas of deficiencies in respect to meeting the standards.

Further Evidence of Weakness in VET:
The NCVER Issues Paper, Halliday-Wynes, S & Misko, J 2013, Assessment issues in VET: minimising the level of risk, NCVER, Adelaide [pg 12] found:

  1. Trainers and assessors not having the depth of assessment skills and knowledge to conduct valid and reliable assessments
  2. Inadequate rigour applied to assessments, especially to recognition of prior learning (RPL) assessments
  3. Lack of regular and widespread systematic processes for the moderation and validation of assessments either within or between registered training organisations

If you don’t measure your system, then you are like a yacht without a mast, and could end up in a place where you don’t want to be, such as – ‘Sanction’ Cove.
However, if you maintain a quality and compliance focussed RTO, then you will have a robust business that does what it is registered to do – Provide Quality Education and Training to our Students and for the Betterment and Upskilling of Our Society.

In Closing
If you have not completed an Internal Audit in the last year, and you would like a rigorous audit completed by a pedantic hardnosed professional auditor then contact us now. The investment in a 1 day audit starts from only $1350. We are booking audits for late November through to February 2014.

Furthermore, if you know that your compliance materials are non-compliant and would like to have a quality management system which has received many positive reviews from RTOs throughout Australia, then click here for more details of our compliance products. Our Quality Management Systems for the VET Quality Framework starts from only $990. A small investment now could save you a lot of pain down the track, don't wait till its too late.


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