Advancing Australia’s VET Sector. Curated industry news #05 2018

From the beginning of this month, ASQA has increased its scrutiny of all new RTO registrations which is already creating an impact on the industry. What does this mean for new providers? You’ll be expected to show evidence that your organisation is fully financially prepared to operate a sustainable training business; have all the appropriate training resources, processes and systems in place to commence delivery at the time of submitting your application; and you will need to ensure that all staff involved in the operation are suitable and suitably qualified.

Importantly, you will need to be fully compliant at submission and you will no longer have the opportunity to correct non-compliances prior to a final decision being made by ASQA on approval of your new RTO registration. It’s therefore vital that you carefully select an advisory team with in-depth industry experience to assist you through this complicated process.

In addition, ASQA has announced implementation of revised fees and charges to provide cost reductions for providers that demonstrate high levels of compliance and to support its new risk-based regulatory approach.

In a report on the levels of satisfaction of RTOs with the new ASQA audit approach, 90% of respondents reported being ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the fairness and transparency of the audit approach. ASQA’s next site audit survey on audits completed between 1 January and 31 March 2018 will be released soon, so watch this space.

Moving onto a broader view of the state of tertiary education in Australia, spanning higher education as well as vocational education and training, the Mitchell Institute have provided commentary that it’s now time to start thinking about future participation rates. A smaller proportion of people are expected to take up tertiary education over the next decade if recent trends continue, meaning we’ll have fewer qualified people to support our workforce as older people retire.

“The consequences of declining participation in tertiary education for Australia’s future challenges to increase workforce participation and workforce productivity are serious.”

It’s essential we get this right. The good news is that Australia is at the very least getting something very right in the education sphere, with a focus on fostering learning based not only on knowledge but also on capabilities. It has been identified that in the future of work, the capabilities of creative thinking, collaboration, perseverance and self-perception are going to be essential as human being work alongside artificial intelligence systems.

The Mitchell Institute has issued another fantastic commentary piece on how Australia is leading the way in teaching capabilities, and there seems to be a key opportunity for us all to tap into this global trend as vocational education providers and help continue to pave the way.