Managing your RTO's transition
to ASQA and
the National VET
Regulation Act 2011
and standards for NVR
From 1 July 2011, The Australian Skills Quality Authority has become the national regulator for Australia's vocational education and training sector. The National VET Regulation Act 2011 has established a new approach which will drive some of the biggest changes we have seen for many years.
Effective change management and clear communication processes are critical during transition to ASQA to ensure RTOs continue to deliver quality training and assessment services.
In a series of Q&A's we will provide interpretation and advice on how to action the transition to ASQA in your RTO and how to maintain compliance/font>
This is a quickly changing landscape. We will keep the FAQ's updated so keep watching the site. Why not bookmark this page so you can come back to it and check for transition advice.
There is also considerable information on the ASQA website
ASQA FAQ MENU
Q How urgent is it for our RTO to change our documentation and train staff in the NVR legislation and ASQA processes?
A That depends on a range of factors relating to your current registration.
Is your RTO:
Waiting for the outcome of an appeal to a decision
Resubmitting evidence against an audit report to address non-compliances
In the process of completing a financial audit
Addressing incomplete matters from a Flying Squad Audit
Approaching your re-registration date
If you answered yes to any of these questions then you are in the HIGH RISK category. Immediate attention is required to comply with all NVR legislation and ASQA processes.
Is your RTO:
Waiting for an audit for an initial registration application
Approaching re-registration in about 3 months time
Waiting for a response to an amendment to scope application
Waiting for a response to an application for other changes to
your RTO registration e.g. increase to capacity
If you answered yes to any of these questions then you are in a MEDIUM RISK category. Immediate action to specific NVR legislation and ASQA processes and modifications to your application are required.
If your RTO:
Is not planning any changes to registration
Has no pending applications lodged with a regulator
Has no conditions imposed on operations
Then your RTO is in a LOW RISK category. You should establish and implement an ASQA implementation plan or build it into your continuous improvement processes to ensure you transition to the new NVR legislation and ASQA processes.
Q What should our RTO do as a priority?
A Remove references to the State or Territory body - top priorities are: Remove State and Territory logos and wording from Testamurs and marketing materials.
Q What do we change on the Qualification (testamur) and Statement of Attainment if our RTO has moved to ASQA?
A NSW RTOs - Remove the VETAB logo and the sentence about the testamur being issued under the VET Act.
Victoria - Remove the VRQA logo
All Qualification testamurs
must include the following elements: name, code and logo of the issuing body; name of person receiving the qualification; awarded AQF qualification by its code and full title; date issued; authorised signatory; the AQF logo or the words, “The qualification is recognised within the Australian Qualifications Framework”; the Nationally Recognised Training (NRT) logo; the issuing organisation's seal/ watermark or corporate identifier.
A record of results or transcript should be issued together with the qualification and include the following elements applicable: industry descriptor, e.g. Engineering; occupational or functional stream, in brackets, e.g. (Fabrication); where relevant, the words, 'achieved through Australian Apprenticeship arrangements' and where relevant, the words, 'has been delivered and assessed in ; where the qualification is from a Training Package, include the words, 'A summary of the employability skills developed through this qualification can be downloaded from http://employabilityskills.training.com.au'.
ASQA RTOs must not include a state or territory registering body logo on testamurs. In some cases, for example within User Choice contracts, RTOs may need to include a state or territory training body logo on testamurs, where directed by a state or territory training body.
All Statements of Attainment should include: name and code of the issuing RTO; name of the person who achieved the competencies or modules; date issued; a list of competencies (or modules where no competencies exist) showing their full title and the national code for each unit of competency; o authorised signatory; the Nationally Recognised Training (NRT) logo; the words A Statement of Attainment is issued by a Registered Training Organisation when an individual has completed one or more accredited units; the words These competencies form part of [code and title of qualification(s)/course(s) (this is optional, where applicable); the issuing organisation's seal/ watermark or corporate identifier.
Statements of attainment must not include the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) words or logo. ASQA RTOs must not include a state or territory registering body logo on statements of attainment. In some cases, for example within User Choice contracts, RTOs may need to include a state or territory training body logo on statements of attainment, where directed by a state or territory training body.
For more information:
Refer to the NQC special bulletin 2 August 2011
See the ASQA website
Refer to the AQF website AQF website
Q There is a gap on our "master" testamur. What other logos could we use ?
A You could use.
The new AQF logo on testamurs and graduation statements, student information and advertising and promotional material. You cannot use this logo on records of results, statements of attainment or testamurs for non AQP qualifications. Use this link to access logo and conditions of use. http://www.aqf.edu.au/
Study in Australia logo (particularly for CRICOS providers),
ACPET or other membership logos. Use this link to access logo and conditions of use: http://www.acpet.edu.au/members/resources/acpet-logo
Or you could redesign your master template.
Q It costs me $$ to change the testamur template through the AVETMISS database. Can our RTO be sure this will be the only change?
A This is still unclear. ASQA advice seems to be definitive. But watch the AQF website. The "Templates" for testamur are set out in the AQF Implementation Handbook. This handbook will be re-released in the next few months (Aug-Sept) and so you may want to wait a bit longer until the AQF Implementation Handbook (currently version 4. 2007) is released as a final updated handbook to align to the new AQF Framework release date July 2011.
The NQC Special Bulletin
NRT logo specifications
Q Can I continue to issue qualifications from 1 July 2011 using up our "old" certificates?
Q What will I do with our "old" certificates? This is a waste of money.
A You could possibly keep them to use as replacement testamur for student who completed prior to 30 June 2011. But you risk complicating your administration processes. Make sure you remove State and Territory logos from other pre-enrolment information.
Q What else do I have to check ?
A The most urgent changes should be in "public" or pre-enrolment information where there is a risk that you will be obviously not compliant if you are still referring to State and Territory bodies and using "old" logos. Check your Website - pages and downloads, Prospectus / College brochure, Enrolment form, courses and fees information, general marketing material including trade show banners and handouts, Employer packs, Agent packs.
Q What do I do about the marketing material that is "out there" - distributed to agents, employers, AAC, schools and so on?
A Your RTO must have an existing process for communicating with representatives to update them of changes. Follow this process and record the communication in an ASQA transition implementation plan.
Q We have spent a lot of money $$ on marketing material. And we have stocks. Can we add a sticker and cover over sentences in our marketing material ?
A Yes, for a reasonable period of time. Record this decision in an ASQA transition implementation plan and set a date. Also include a plan for updating all your marketing material.
Q What about staff professional development ?
A Think through the communications that is needed in an ASQA transition implementation plan. Prioritise the staff that need to know basic information quickly, such as marketing and administration staff. Obviously record the emails and minutes meetings. Choose the professional development seminar, conferences and other avenues of information that will provide professional development for your CEO/Principal, compliance person and other key staff who will lead the ASQA transition. Attend seminars and do your research and reading. Integrate ASQA transition into your continuous improvement plans and records OR set up a separate ASQA Transition Implementation Plan and follow this. Allow a reasonable amount of time to transition - 6 months or up to December 2011 depending on each RTO's situation. (see question 1)
Q Should I just get a new Policy Manual ?
A No. Definitely not. If your RTO's existing Policy Manual is up to date, AQTF complaint, reflects the way your RTO operates and is supported by good working processes and procedures, there is no need to replace your system. Update and revise - yes.
Q What are the main things I need to do to our Policies and the
Policy Manual ?
A When you complete professional development training or read and study the ASQA website, you will be better informed to answer this question yourself. But the changes to content and intent of the standards (AQTF to SNR) are not great and can be easily updated by your RTO. The modifications are mainly to numbering and codes. Don't panic. Don't rush out and buy a complete new system unless there are other reasons for doing this.
Q What about forms? What changes does our RTO need to make?
A The answer again, is possibly none or minimal change. If your forms and procedures are "operational" and do not refer to the AQTF standards, you may not need to do anything.
Q What about Business Plans, Risk Management, Fit and Proper Persons Tests and Financial Viability and Data Provision ?
A This is where there is probably more work for every RTO. In addition to the Standards for NVR RTO's, the National Vet Regulation Act contains conditions that must be met.
The Fit and Proper Person Requirements are on the ASQA website and in the legislation. The purpose of this requirement is to make sure that managers and people of influence within an RTO are suitable to manage or be involved in the organisation. Your RTO will be required to provide a Fit and Proper Person Declaration for each executive officer or senior manager when you apply for initial registration or renewal of registration.
Financial Viability Risk Assessment Requirements (FVRA) is also in the legislation. The purpose of this assessment is to make sure that an applicant or an RTO has sufficient financial resources to operate their organisation. You will be required to submit an assessment of financial viability risk during the initial registration process and when applying to renew your registration. You may also be required to submit an assessment at other times during your registration period. Some information about what will happen during an audit is available on the ASQA website however the guidelines for financial viability are still unclear at this stage. Some VRQA and NSW RTO's have gone through a similar process but the ASQA details are not available.
As part of the risk management process, ASQA may ask you to provide a range of data at any time during your registration period. This data could include: business registration details; information relating to financial viability; information relating to the Fit and Proper Person Requirements; information on strategies, facilities, trainer's credentials, materials used for training and assessment; public liability insurance coverage or past and present student details. RTOs will also need to complete the Quality Indicator Reporting.
Q What changes have been made to the ESOS Act and National Code and how will ASQA audit these ?
A No changes. ASQA audit processes may be "tougher" but not different.
Q Now NTIS is gone, what has replaced it?
A The new register of information on Training packages, qualifications, courses, units of competency and RTOs is http://training.gov.au/
RTOhelp Pty Ltd ABN: 91 120 303 755 Phone 02 9918 9271 Mobile 0403 070 864 Skype: robynrtohelp