Feature Article: Implementing systems for self-assurance

The definition of self-assurance according to the Oxford Dictionary is confidence in one’s own abilities or character. RTOs need systems in place to be able to confirm that they are compliant with the SRTOs 2015 and their students are meeting industry expectations. Implementing systems to ensure self-assurance will depend on the size of your RTO, the number of training products on scope and the risks associated with the training and assessment services you provide. Self-assurance is the process of RTOs accepting responsibility and accountability for their on-going performance and student outcomes. It is important to note that self-assurance is not self-regulation.  ASQA as the National Regulator will continue to ensure that RTOs meet their regulatory obligations and adhere to legislative requirements.

Annual declaration of compliance:

Part of the process of completing the annual declaration of compliance requires confirmation that your RTO is systematically monitoring compliance with the SRTOs 2015. To be able to do so you should include an analysis of data you have obtained from your RTOs internal audits, reviews or quality checks. One way to identify if you currently meet compliance obligations and have also done so in the past year is to utilize ASQA’s Self-Assessment Tool to assist in preparation of the annual declaration.  

Course reviews:

Using AVETMISS data such as completion rates and student outcomes when reviewing courses delivered can provide insight into how your RTO is performing. It is an effective way to determine what improvements your practices, systems and processes may require. Additionally, using feedback obtained from students and employers from sources such as your Quality Indicator Data enables RTOs to continuously improve services for clients. You can also refer to outcomes of validation activity and internal audits to determine if specific courses have areas of concern that need addressing.

Scope of registration: 

By reviewing the training products you have on scope at least annually you can determine if you continue to be sufficiently resourced and are managing your scope of registration appropriately in accordance with Clause 1.3. Your enrollment data should provide information on whether there is an on-going demand for the training products you are registered for and inform your decisions to change your RTOs scope of registration if necessary.

Internal audits: 

An effective internal audit programme will provide valuable data that identifies the risks in your training and assessment. Regular monitoring of your operations provides a CEO with assurance of the RTOs risk management, internal controls and governance processes. It also drives a regular cycle of continuous improvement within an organisation and accountability for meeting regulatory obligations and legislative requirements. Internal audits also identify areas where efficiencies or innovations need to be made.

Compliance Staff:

Whether you have dedicated compliance staff in-house or you outsource compliance experts like EDministrate when required it is critical that RTOs have the necessary expertise to quality assure it operations. The risk of non-compliance with regulatory obligations and legislative or contractual requirements is real and has severe consequences for your RTO that can lead to financial, legal and reputational impacts on your business. The role of compliance staff is vital in protecting your RTO from compliance risk and regulatory action. 

Other feature articles:

Key benefits of conducting regular quality checks of your training and assessment strategies and practices

Cheat sheet for validating assessments prior to use

The do’s and don’ts of creating an internal audit programme for your RTO

Preparing your ASQA CEO annual declaration response 






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