2021 is shaping up to be another busy year as ASQA continues their reform agenda with the main goal being to deliver quality VET outcomes.
Here, we have summarised some of the ‘can’t miss’ info that you need now in this quick ASQA ‘HIIT” session.
New People and Structures
On 1st January 2021, ASQA’s governance structures were refreshed in response to findings from the Rapid Review. This included the appointment of staff to guide the required changes and a series of structural changes to strengthen their strategic oversight and managerial capacity.
Among these changes, the regulatory decisions that were being made by Commissioners has been moved to other senior officers within ASQA. This will make sure that the right people are responsible for making decisions, and improve their internal review function.
In addition to these governance changes was the appointment of Saxon Rice as ASQA’s CEO and Accountable Authority for the next five years. This provides some stability and structure for ASQA during this time of change and will encourage the continuation of reforms that will accomplish a fair, transparent, effective and consistent regulation of the VET sector.
A Statement of Expectations has recently been issued that clarifies Saxon Rice’s role and responsibilities as CEO and outlines the Government’s expectations of ASQA as a best practice regulator.
This Statement emphasises ASQA’s priorities and achievement of their strategic objective which is:
Through our regulation and partnership with the sector, to ensure quality VET so that students, employers, governments and the community have confidence in the integrity of national qualifications issued by providers.
ASQA continues to work with the Stakeholder Liaison Group on the draft ASQA Compliance Policy that was released in November 2020. This policy identifies the concept of Undertakings to Remedy, which is a huge improvement in the way ASQA and providers will work together to achieve and maintain compliance. The Stakeholder Liaison Group will ensure good coverage of the market voice is heard when creating and implementing reform.
ASQA have released a 2021 RTO obligations checklist to make it easier for training organisations to keep on top of their main reporting obligations.
The checklist includes general information and key dates for:
- Total VET Activity AVETMISS data - due 28 February
- Annual Declaration on Compliance - due 31 March
- Quality Indicator data - due 30 June
You can find the checklist available for download here.
Strategic Review of Online Learning
In the first half of 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many RTOs turned to distance learning to continue to provide training and assessment services for their students. ASQA was quick to respond to the rapidly changing situation and was supportive of the adaptive measures. They published a new website section outlining compliance guidelines for these arrangements. You can read more about this here.
In the second half of 2020 following the massive shift online in response to the pandemic, ASQA launched the strategic review of online learning. This is still underway, with sector consultation having commenced in December via a webinar to discuss the new online skill set, the challenges presented by COVID-19, and ideas for building e-learning capability. The webinar welcomed a panel made up of ASQA and industry representatives and great feedback and insight was given.
ASQA continues to offer support to training providers by way of webinars and forums to assess the complexities of this ‘new normal’. You can view past webinars here, and subscribe to their YouTube channel to be notified when new videos are released. You can also check out their Upcoming Events page to hear about upcoming ASQA events when they are announced.
ASQA has also teamed up with NCVER to collaborate on a survey to collect even more input from providers. This is expected to go live this month.
In addition, a number of other consultation opportunities are in the works to give training providers more ways to give input into the strategic review. Make sure to visit the ASQA website for more information on how you can contribute.
Changes to Data Provision Requirements
From 1st March 2021 training providers must inform ASQA of any changes that may influence their ability to comply with the Financial Viability Risk Assessment Requirements or Fit and Proper Person Requirements.
ASQA must also be kept informed about training delivery sites and campus locations.
For more information on ASQA’s legislative changes, click here.
It’s great to see that ASQA is listening to what government and the VET sector have to say and are using this information to reform appropriately.
Don’t miss the Digital Learning Day webinar on Thursday 25 February 2021 Beyond COVID-19: ASQA’s Strategic Review of Online Learning in the VET Sector.
Stay tuned for more updates and information!