The Australian Government has released Draft Standards for Training Providers and VET Regulators that is due to commence 1 January 2015. The focus by the government was to streamline the standards so that they are flexible and responsive to industry and can provide Australians with skills they need to do their jobs now and into the future.

The Government is asking that RTO’s and interested industry bodies (Vivacity RTO Coaching & Consulting being one) review and provide feedback on the Standards. We have undertaken a review and have found the following:

  • 8 Standards
  • 54 Elements
  • 6 Schedules

where the RTO is to demonstrate compliance against.

There are 5 areas that we have identified as new:

  1. If you are delivering Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, you will now be required to undergo External Validation
  2. There are new Trainers requirements that will be rolled out over a couple of years, including the level of qualification they are to hold and more emphasis on Professional Development of the Trainers
  3. New requirements around Marketing, which aligns with the Ethical Marketing requirements. This Standard is much more descriptive than the previous marketing Standard.
  4. RTO’s will be required to report Annually to the National VET Regulator, more than the standard Quality Indicators and AVETMISS reporting. In the new standard “8.4”, it states that the “RTO will declare to the VET Regulator annually that its operations meet these standards”.
  5. There is a bigger emphasis on the Fit and Proper Person Requirements

Following are what we found are proposed changes in the standards that are significantly different from the old standards:

  1. There is no new Standard equivalent to the old Standard 7.2, whereby Senior Management are required to make an informed decision based on the experiences of trainers.
  2. Standard 8.1 seems to be removed, whereby new applicants are required to undertake a Self Assessment (which we believe is obsolete, due to how long it takes to get to audit a lot of changes can occur from when an applicant completes the Self Assessment to audit)
  3. Standards 16.6, 17.4 and 23.3, where they referred to Records Management requirements, have now been combined
  4. Standards 16.1 and 16.5 have been combined, which we found Auditors would generally audit these two standards together
  5. Standards 15.1, 16.2 and 17.2, where they referred to Continuous Improvement Strategies, have now been combined. (Don’t know why these were separated in the first place…)
  6. There are much more stringent requirements around Partnerships and how the RTO will monitor and audit the Partner, which we agree needed to be put into place
  7. Changes to Fee Protection measures, where Option C from SNR 22.3 has been changed, the RTO is now required to also have either
    1. An unconditional financial guarantee from a bank, or
    2. Membership with a Tuition Assurance Scheme, or
    3. Any other fee protection measure approved by the VET Regulator
  8. A “Cooling Off” period is proposed to be added for students

During the many ASQA audits that we have experienced since ASQA’s inception, we have found that the Auditors are inconsistent with their responses to what is required of the Standards, with there being a vast difference between what an Auditor will deem compliant and not compliant with the same Policies and Procedures.

From our review of the Standards, we have found that the new standards are much more descriptive, which will assist RTO’s to address the requirements with a better understanding of what will be audited. With the Standards being much more descriptive, you would hope that there will be more consistencies between the auditors when it comes to audit.

Our CEO Angela Connell-Holden will be speaking at the VELG Conference in September 2014 on “The VET Reform – How it will impact your RTO”. We look forward to seeing you at the conference. For more details go to: