Feature Article: Quick guide for developing a compliance program for RTO contracts and agreements

RTOs can save time, money and resources by implementing an effective contract compliance program. As a vendor by accepting a contract you have promised your client that you will perform so establishing a compliance program that ensures you meet expectations and get what you agreed to is critical. As your RTO grows you can also expect to enter into more business relationships bound by contractual arrangements. Knowing your responsibilities and implementing a robust compliance program will ensure that your business and staff meet contractual obligations satisfactorily.

Contract management:

By failing to invest in proper contract management RTOs risk losing a significant amount of the value of their funding agreements and/or statuses as approved providers of training services which could have significant reputational impact on your business. Transparency and effective communication is essential in preventing issues that can adversely impact on your organisation. In managing your contracts effectively you can address issues promptly. Poor visibility of your contractual arrangements can make them difficult to track and monitor.

Contract compliance:

RTOs should implement a contract compliance program that mitigates risks and remedies any breaches before they impact on your organisation adversely. An effective contract compliance program can save your business time and money. RTOs can significantly improve performance against contract KPI’s by creating a system and processes that prevents non-compliances or breaches. Your RTO should regularly train staff on compliance issues relevant to their roles and scope of work. They will be motivated to meet compliance goals if strong leadership from management is displayed by establishing contract compliance as a top priority.

Establish a compliance plan:

The process of establishing a compliance plan involves developing a matrix that identifies existing organisational controls in your RTO and determining if they are sufficient to manage all regulatory requirements and contractual obligations you must adhere to. In planning your RTO’s approach for managing it’s contractual obligations you can ensure management is able to devote sufficient resources to your compliance training program and track specific performance metrics critical to your organisation’s success.

Monitor contract performance:

RTOs should have processes in place that set and regularly review specific KPI’s as identified in contract terms and conditions. In doing so you can ensure quality, achievement of milestones and cost effectiveness. Many RTOs lack sufficient resources to monitor contract performance continuously ,underestimating the importance of regularly monitoring achievement of contract milestones.

Conduct reviews on contract compliance:

By conducting regular reviews of your compliance with contracts in place you can verify the effectiveness of your RTO’s internal processes and systems. Your findings will determine if your processes are working and if you are adhering to all requirements of your contracts. When conducted systematically your internal reviews will identify improvements needed in your RTO’s processes. It will also sufficiently prepare your RTO for any external audit that licensing authorities or funding bodies want to conduct.

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References:

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/enrolment/clauses-5.1-to-5.3

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/compliance-governance/clauses-8.1-8.2

https://www.dese.gov.au/about-us/corporate-reporting/budget/budget-2020-21

https://www.employment.gov.au/vet-student-loans/vet-student-loans-applicants

https://desbt.qld.gov.au/training/providers/sas

https://www.csq.org.au/registered-training-organisations/

https://smartandskilled.nsw.gov.au/for-training-providers

https://www.education.vic.gov.au/training/providers/funding/Pages/serviceagree.aspx

https://providers.skills.sa.gov.au/Get-Started/Contracting

https://www.dtwd.wa.gov.au/vet-jswa

https://www.skills.tas.gov.au/providers/rto/funding_programs_for_endorsed_rtos

https://nt.gov.au/learning/adult-education-and-training/for-registered-training-organisations-rtos/introduction

https://www.skills.act.gov.au/registered-training-organisations

http://fundassist.flinders.edu.au/uploads/docs/Sample_Compliance_Matrix.pdf

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