Feature Article: Who is responsible for quality and compliance in your RTO?

RTOs who leave compliance and quality functions up to a single employee or team can put the organization at risk of non-compliances and breaches, lead to a lack of engagement and buy-in from other employees, and undermine transparency and accountability. Rather, it is the responsibility of all employees to adhere to required standards, legislation and regulations and to follow your RTOs policies and procedures so all contribute to a culture of quality and compliance. In any organisation, ensuring quality and compliance is a shared responsibility of all employees, from the CEO to front-line staff. However, it is the role of senior leaders, including the CEO, to create and maintain a strong quality culture within the business and RTOs are no exception. Here are some suggestions how setting a positive example, communicating expectations and the importance of quality, and allocating necessary resources can ensure senior leaders create a strong quality culture that is supported by all employees.

Continuous improvement:

A strong quality culture is one in which all employees are committed to continuous improvement and the delivery of high-quality products or services. This requires the active engagement and support of senior leaders, who must communicate the importance of quality and compliance to all employees and establish clear expectations and policies. A well-developed continuous improvement culture can help RTOs identify and address areas for improvement before they become major issues. By regularly collecting and analysing data on student outcomes, staff performance, and other key metrics, RTOs can identify trends and areas for improvement early on. This can help them take proactive steps to address these issues before they become a larger problem, ultimately improving the quality of their training programs and the outcomes for students.

Modelling the way:

One key way in which senior leaders can create a strong quality culture is by setting a positive example. This means modelling good quality practices and behaviours and holding themselves and others accountable for meeting quality standards. Senior leaders can model the way by being open to feedback, investing in their own professional development, and taking calculated risks. By demonstrating these behaviours, they can create a culture of continuous improvement that inspires their staff to strive for excellence in everything they do. Senior leaders in RTOs can also benefit greatly from actively engaging and supporting a culture of continuous improvement. By fostering a culture of excellence, staying ahead of industry standards, empowering staff members, and proactively addressing areas for improvement, RTOs can improve their performance, increase their competitiveness, and ultimately achieve greater success in the marketplace. 

Clear communication: 

Another important aspect of creating a strong quality culture is communication. Senior leaders must clearly communicate their expectations and the importance of quality and compliance to all employees and ensure that there are channels in place for employees to report any concerns or issues. Clear communication of expectations and the importance of quality and compliance is crucial for senior leaders in RTOs to ensure that their organisation operates effectively and efficiently. When senior leaders clearly communicate their expectations, staff members have a better understanding of what is expected of them and are more likely to work towards those goals. Additionally, communicating the importance of quality and compliance helps staff members understand the role they play in ensuring the organization operates within regulatory requirements. Clear communication of expectations and the importance of quality and compliance can also help senior leaders mitigate risks and non-compliance. When staff members understand the importance of compliance and the potential consequences of non-compliance, they are more likely to take the necessary steps to ensure that the organization operates within regulatory requirements.

Provide resources and support:

In addition to setting a positive example and effective communication, senior leaders must also allocate the necessary resources and support to ensure quality and compliance within the organization. This may include providing training and development opportunities for employees, as well as investing in technology and other tools to support quality practices. By allocating resources and support senior leaders can help ensure that the organization operates within regulatory requirements. This can involve investing in professional development programs, hiring additional staff members to support compliance efforts, or partnering with external organisations to ensure that staff are up to date with regulatory requirements and industry developments. This can help prevent non-compliances and breaches, legal issues, and reputational damage.

Other feature articles:

Why you need to focus on your RTOs customers not compliance

How to build a culture of quality in your RTO

Why compliance does not equal quality in your RTO’s training and assessment

How to use systems to manage your RTOs self-assurance effectively

Top 5 quality priorities for RTOs in 2023

Five important self-assurance focus areas for RTOs to implement in 2023

Three ways in which RTO self-assurance systems can turn your business into a high performing organisation