ASQA Regulatory Strategy Updates for Initial Registration and RTO Transfer of Ownership
The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) recently released its Regulatory Strategy 2019-2021, setting out the agency’s priorities to 2021. Included in ASQA’s regulatory strategy are the changes in the application process for new Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and RTO or CRICOS ownership.
What are the Changes to the initial Registration for RTO Applicants?
ASQA’s role as the country’s national VET regulator is to ensure that training providers deliver high-quality training and assessment so that all VET students receive the skills and knowledge they expect and deserve. The agency hopes to achieve this by protecting and supporting the integrity of RTOs. Part of the process is to require all applicants meet the high standards expected from RTOs delivering VET accredited courses.
Additional changes include a shorter initial registration period and closer scrutiny on the people associated with the applicant to ensure they meet the Fit and Proper Person (FPP) requirements. The FPP requirement forms an integral component of the VET Quality Framework. It ensures that the RTO provider can meet the standards for delivering high quality training to students.
What does ASQA expect from new initial registration applicants?
Applicants applying for initial registration as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) or Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) are expected to:
- be fully financially prepared to operate a sustainable training business
- have all the appropriate resources, processes and systems in place to commence delivery at the time of submitting the application
- ensure all people that will be involved in the operation of the training provider are suitable
What are the key changes to Initial Registration for RTO applicants?
In line with ASQA’s push to improve the quality of education provided by RTOs, the new guidelines aim to increase the level of scrutiny for new applicants. With these updates, applicants will now:
- be required to submit more extensive financial viability data and provide greater disclosure on the backgrounds of people associated with the organisation
- need to complete a comprehensive self-assessment to ensure that they are ready to deliver training, and submit evidence to support compliance
- no longer have an opportunity to correct non-compliances prior to a decision being made on the application
- no longer be able to make changes to a submitted application
- generally, be registered for a two-year period.
Applicants who successfully register as an RTO will also be subject to close security during the first two years as they apply to add new training products to their scope of registration.
What are the Proposed Changes to RTO Transfer of Ownership?
The change of ownership can have a huge effect on the quality of training provided by an RTO. A change of ownership can involve the addition or change of training personnel which can affect the RTO’s ability to meet its compliance with training and assessment requirements. ASQA intends to introduce changes in the RTO change of ownership process to address these concerns.
ASQA’s Regulatory Strategy 2019-2021 outlines the agency’s policies and priorities for the next two years. This should provide valuable information especially for initial registration applicants and RTOs planning to change ownership.