Opportunity for ASQA

The training regulator, and all it regulates has not had a happy time since it was established. Improvements are in the offing

As part of broad VET reforms, in October the government commissioned a “rapid review” of the Australian Skills Quality Authority’s policies and practises. And rapid was MP Consulting, with its review now released to early approval by industry observers.

Although, it is alarming that some of the recommendations need to be made at all, such as (seven); “build a common understanding of ASQA’s role and regulatory approach, what stakeholders can and cannot expect of ASQA and areas of shared stakeholder responsibility.”

While others rather show why ASQA has been less disliked than loathed by some reputable providers, for example, number two. “Develop new standards in consultation with the sector, with a view to decreasing prescriptive detail and increasing the focus on quality training delivery and outcomes for students and employers.

As Andrew Laming (Lib-Queensland) put it in the House of Reps, ASQA has a reputation for, “an absolute focus on administrative trivia,” (CMM August 2 2019).

Among a mass of policy and procedural improvements, there is one thing CMM suspects will have registered training providers out of their seats applauding; “stakeholders noted that ASQA’s audit reports can be long, convoluted and difficult to read, such that they do not support providers to understand the non-compliance and identify what is at the heart of the issue.”

Reaction: Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia was quick to support findings.

“The review presents an honest assessment of ASQA’s past deficiencies and recognises the ongoing trust deficit that exists between the regular and training providers. (It) contains a solid set of recommendations that will, if implemented, set ASQA on the course to be a regulator that’s more focussed on helping training providers achieve quality outcomes.”