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The proposed standards for training providers and VET regulators have now been released. These new standards have been prepared in response to extensive consultation and seek to be responsive to industry, support quality outcomes and be less onerous.
Here are some key features that are included in the proposed standards:
Clarity about compliance
There is an attempt to provide more clarity on what it means to be compliant for an RTO. This is supported by a requirement for the regulator to provide general education and guidance to assist RTOs understand what they need to do to be compliant.
There is also a new requirement for an RTO to provide an annual declaration of compliance with the standards. This will mean that there is a formal way of acknowledging to the regulator that you have reviewed your RTO, acted on all areas of identified improvement to ensure that you are compliant with the standards. Although this is another administrative process, it does support our belief in the value of a systematic and continuous approach to compliance and provides an external requirement that might keep you on track.
There is also a reduced requirement to demonstrate financial viability during re-registration for many RTOs.
There is no longer a requirement, as was suggested in the last draft version of the standards, for each RTO to have an Accountable Education Officer, however there is an emphasis in the standards for an RTO to demonstrate educational expertise to deliver quality training and assessment.
Greater industry engagement
There is a greater emphasis on engaging with industry and using feedback to shape training and assessment practices. There is a requirement for an RTO to use a range of strategies to engage with industry and maintain current evidence of these activities.
Emphasis on assessment systems
There is a requirement that an RTO implements a comprehensive assessment system. This is defined in the standards and brings together all the related processes and policies that underpin assessment in the RTO. Assessment must now be validated by an independent person who is not employed by the RTO to provide training and assessment and has no other involvement in the operations of the RTO. This means that you will have to establish an independent and external process to support the validation activities of the RTO.
Clarity about advertising and marketing of courses
There are clearer requirements in relation to advertising and marketing of courses and the need to ensure that learners are making informed decisions prior to enrolling in a course.
Defining the role of the regulator
There is some clarity about the role of the regulator as a first step towards a more responsive and tailored regulatory model, rather than the ‘one size fits all” approach. As mentioned earlier there is also a requirement that the regulator provides general education and advice to support RTOs.
Clarification of subcontracting arrangements
There is more detail regarding subcontracting arrangement to ensure greater transparency of the relationship and appropriate monitoring of training and assessment delivered on your behalf. There is a requirement to notify the regulator of all subcontracting arrangements.
What do you think of these new standards? Your opinions matter. You can read the full draft here.
Proactively staying on top of your compliance responsibilities is critical in this changing landscape. If you would like assistance with managing compliance or would like us to assist you with conducting an internal audit please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 1300 307 745.