Feature Article: Why you need to conduct regular quality checks of your training and assessment strategies and practices

Feature Article Why you need to conduct regular quality checks of your training and assessment strategies and practices

Clauses 1.1 to 1.4 and 2.2 of the SRTOs 2015 require RTOs to implement, monitor and evaluate training and assessment strategies and practices. Quality checking processes form an important part of your RTOs overall self-assessment system and can provide an early indicator of compliance risks ensuring your RTO delivers products and services that meet customers’ needs and expectations.

Course Review: 

Your RTO should have a process in place to review your RTO’s courses at least annually and analyse data from enrolments; surveys; feedback; complaints and validation so you are effectively monitoring the quality of your training and assessment. RTOs should ensure they retain evidence of reviewing training and assessment strategies and practices and including trainers and assessors in the process is an effective way of doing so. You may determine in your checks that you are performing well and don’t need to make any significant changes to processes and this is fine so long as you can provide evidence of having undertaken such a review. However, in most cases RTOs will find something that needs improving and this is perfectly normal and expected.

Monitoring Systems:

Your RTO should have strategies in place to monitor and evaluate training and assessment strategies and practices. This could include internal audits, quality reviews and health checks. Ideally, you should have a plan and schedule that identifies when you are going to carry out these activities so you can resource it appropriately. The outcomes of your checks will inform you as to what improvements and changes you need to make to RTO processes. Ensure you include a focus on high risk areas such as third party arrangements so you regularly monitor the quality and compliance of these services being provided by your partners.

Continuous Improvement:

RTOs should implement processes that ensure reviews at regular intervals of strategies for training and assessment so as to reflect changes in industry technology and techniques, legislation, and the training package itself. Your RTO should also update strategies when resources change e.g. staff so as to ensure they reflect current practice. It is important to ensure you maintain comprehensive records of your reviews and updates so you can evidence systematic improvements made to processes within your organisation.

Other feature articles:

Tips, tricks and tools for ensuring your RTOs assessment practices are compliant

Why you need a staffing matrix in your TAS’s

The role of internal audit in RTO self-assurance

Common non-compliances found in TAS’s and how to rectify them

Ultimate training and assessment strategy validation checklist

References: 

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.1-to-1.4-2.2

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/compliance-governance/clauses-2.1-8.4-to-8.6

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/compliance-governance/clauses-2.3-2.4-8.3

Feature Article: How to identify non-compliances in your assessments

How to identify non-compliances in your assessments

RTOs should undertake quality checks of assessment tools before implementing them to confirm they are fit for purpose and meet the units of competency requirements, principles of assessment and rules of evidence. Validating your assessment resources as part of quality assurance processes in your resource development activities ensures your RTOs assessment system provides quality outcomes for students and industry. Here is some advice on how to quality check your assessment tools and identify non-compliances before using them.

Check that assessment tools meet unit of competency requirements:

Creating assessment mapping matrices when developing assessment tools is an effective way to confirm that your resources reflect the requirements of the relevant unit of competency. The mapping documents should identify if there are any gaps in the evidence being collected as you will be able to determine at a glance if the performance criteria; knowledge evidence; performance evidence and assessment conditions have all been covered in the assessment tasks provided. Ensure that your assessment tools are mapped to the dimensions of competence and foundation skills if required. Some common issues to look for include if you are assessing performance with written tasks or have all assessment conditions been addressed in your task instructions. If you have assessment resources that are not mapped start with this process and use an assessment mapping matrix template to determine if you have addressed all requirements of the unit of competency in your tools.

Check that assessments address the principles of assessment:

Conduct the following checks on your assessment tools to fix non-compliances:

  • Fairness – Are your assessment task instructions clear and do they provide guidance on the assessment process and advise of the appeal process and incorporate reasonable adjustment?
  • Flexibility – Are you using an appropriate range of assessment methods and is the evidence being gathered coming from a variety of sources reflecting the needs of learners. Are you providing options for RPL or alternative assessment only pathways?
  • Validity – Is the evidence being gathered by the tool addressing the requirements of the specific unit of competency including assessment conditions and reflects workplace practice
  • Reliability – Does the tool provide assessors with benchmark answers / marking criteria, so judgements are consistently made regardless of who is conducting the assessment.

Check that assessments gather evidence that meet the rules of evidence: 

Conduct the following checks on your assessment tools to fix non-compliances:

  • Validity – Does the evidence being collected from the learner confirm that they have the skills, knowledge and attributes as reflected in the specific unit of competency
  • Sufficiency – Is the evidence being collected from the learner enough to confirm that the assessor’s judgement of competence is sound
  • Authenticity – Is the evidence being collected from the learner being authenticated as their own work e.g. declaration and signature
  • Currency – Is the evidence being collected from the learner considered recent or from the present time

Other feature articles:

Cheat sheet for validating assessments prior to use 

Four ways to ensure your RTOs assessment practices are compliant

A quick way to deal with non-compliances in your assessments

Implementing systems for self-assurance

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

Common compliance mistakes every RTO makes

References: 

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.8-to-1.12

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/videos/video-understanding-assessment

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/fact-sheets/conducting-validation

https://www.asqa.gov.au/distance-learning/training-and-assessment

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/fact-sheets/using-other-parties-to-collect-assessment-evidence

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/guides/guide-developing-assessment-tools

Feature Article: Tips, tricks and tools for ensuring your RTOs assessment practices are compliant

Feature Article: Tips, tricks and tools for ensuring your RTOs assessment practices are compliant

Your RTOs assessment system must ensure that assessment judgements are routinely validated and consistently made on a sound basis. By introducing robust quality assurance measures in your RTO that focus on compliant assessment practices you will improve the quality of assessment and student and industry outcomes as a result of your self-assurance measures. The following advice provides suggestions for RTOs in meeting these compliance obligations.

Validating your assessors judgements:

The SRTOs 2015 in Clauses 1.9 – 1.11 require RTO’s to conduct validation of assessment practices and judgements. According to ASQA validation is the quality review of the assessment process. This means validation of assessment judgements is conducted post assessment on completed student work. This process involves checking that the assessment tool/s produce/s valid, reliable, sufficient, current and authentic evidence to enable reasonable judgements to be made as to whether the requirements of the training package or VET accredited courses are met. It includes reviewing a statistically valid sample of the assessments and making recommendations for future improvements to the assessment tool, process and/or outcomes and acting upon such recommendations. ASQA also suggests that validation helps ensure RTO’s training and assessment practices are relevant to the needs of industry.

 

RTO’s are required to validate the assessment practices and judgements from a sample of the units of competency within each training product on scope of registration. At least two units of competency should be sampled when validating a training product as suggested by ASQA. You can expand the number of units to be validated at any time during the validation process, particularly when validation outcomes indicate that assessment judgments are not valid and the risk level increases.

Moderating your assessment judgements

ASQA defines moderation as a quality control process aimed at bringing assessment judgements into alignment. Moderation is generally conducted after assessment and before the finalisation of student results as it ensures the same decisions are applied to all assessment results within the same unit of competency. RTOs may consider implementing moderation of assessment judgements for high risk delivery areas such as programs delivered by third parties or off-shore for example.

Conducting quality checks on student files:

Another self-assurance measure that ensures assessors are being consistent in their assessment practices is to undertake regular quality checks on student files that compliments validation activities and targets courses of concern or high risk areas. These checks should be focused on identified systemic issues or known areas of non-compliance including:

  • Version control of assessment tools used by assessors
  • Verification that learners have undertaken all required assessment tasks 
  • Confirmation of accurate record keeping by assessors
  • Marking has been done in line with benchmark answers and marking guides 
  • Correct recording and issuance of results

These quality checks are valuable in monitoring your RTO’s continuing compliance with the SRTOs 2015 and effectiveness of your self-assurance system. 

Professional development for assessors: 

You can determine from the outcomes of your validation, moderation and quality checks on student files if you have systemic issues relating to your assessors practices. This data provides information that you can use to  establish what professional development needs assessors may have and develop a targeted approach to providing professional development to build their capability. That data may be telling you for example that your RPL assessors need some additional coaching or mentoring in RPL processes, collection of sufficient RPL evidence and recording of their judgements appropriately.

Other feature articles:

Cheat sheet for validating assessments prior to use 

Four ways to ensure your RTOs assessment practices are compliant

A quick way to deal with non-compliances in your assessments

Implementing systems for self-assurance

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

Common compliance mistakes every RTO makes

References: 

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2019C00503

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/fact-sheets/conducting-validation

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment

Feature Article: How to prepare for and conduct validation of assessor judgements activities

Feature Article: How to prepare for and conduct validation of assessor judgements activities

ASQA has defined validation as a quality review process that ensures your RTO’s assessment system can consistently produce valid assessment judgements. A valid assessment judgement is one that confirms you have collected sufficient evidence of a learner holding all of the knowledge and skills described in the relevant unit of competency. This activity is carried out post assessment on completed student work so you can confirm the validity of both assessment practices and judgements. The following practical advice assists RTO’s in preparing for post-delivery validation activities so as to simplify the process.

Identify the unit of competencies to be validated:

Your RTOs validation plan should identify the units of competency scheduled for validation. Units should be prioritised for validation according to their risk levels. Be sure to extract enrolment data from your Student Management System that confirms units actually delivered and results for the students selected. 

Nominate suitable validation leads:

Ensure that you have nominated qualified and/or experienced validation leads for your validation panels and advise them of their responsibilities. It is recommended that your validation leads hold the unit of competency TAEASS503 Lead assessment validation processes. It is also advisable to provide validation training or a refresher of your RTOs validation processes for those leads participating in your validation activities so you get the best possible outcome from the process.

Nominate validation panel members:

Once you have identified your validation lead/s you should confirm appropriately qualified validation panel members and advise them of their responsibilities. RTOs must ensure you have people on the panel who are vocationally competent and current for the units being validated and have appropriate training and assessment credentials and VET currency. If possible have someone from industry on your panel as well. Provide your panel members with appropriate validation training or a refresher of your validation processes as required.

Recordkeeping systems:

Documenting your validation outcomes is critical in ensuring an effective validation process is conducted and appropriate records kept. Ensure you accurately calculate your statistically valid student sample size and gather the student evidence required. Organise an electronic filing system and create folder structures to organise the records according to your process. Make sure you inform your validation panel of the availability of the records and where they are located. If you are accessing student records from within your Learning Management System ensure all of your validation panel has the required system access beforehand.

Know your unit of competency:

Read the unit of competency thoroughly as found on www.training.gov.au to familarise yourself with its requirements before you conduct the validation exercise.

Look at the assessment tool:

It is advisable you familiarise yourself with the unit’s tool before you look at the completed student work. Review assessment tasks and check the instructions provided. Check the version of the assessment tool for the unit of competency to be validated so you can compare it with the version administered by the assessor in the sample of completed student work being reviewed. Check the templates used and other supporting documentation to ensure they are the correct versions as required by your RTO’s assessment system.

Review the assessment mapping document: 

Check the assessment mapping document for the relevant unit of competency to confirm that the assessment tasks meet all the requirements so you know the evidence collected by the assessor is relevant and sufficient.

Locate the completed student work: 

Gather the assessment evidence collected by the assessors, student outcomes/records of results issued and feedback given post-delivery. All completed student assessments for the specific units of competency need to be collated for the validation. You are checking that the assessor has marked student’s assessments appropriately and according to benchmark answers and other marking criteria. You are also confirming they have documented their judgement appropriately and their recordkeeping is sufficient.

Complete your validation report:

Pre-populate your report with the details of the units of competency being validated. Be sure to identify required actions to be assigned to responsible officers in your report once the outcomes/findings have been determined. Store your completed validation records in your electronic filing system and other supporting documentation/evidence so they are easily located in one central place.

Other feature articles:

Cheat sheet for validating assessments prior to use 

Four ways to ensure your RTOs assessment practices are compliant

A quick way to deal with non-compliances in your assessments

Implementing systems for self-assurance

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

Common compliance mistakes every RTO makes 

References:

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/fact-sheets/conducting-validation

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.8-to-1.12

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clause-1.25

https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/i-am-only-trainerassessor-our-small-rto-how-do-i-meet-requirement-clause-111-which-states

https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/what-difference-between-validation-and-moderation-clauses-19-111

https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/i-work-small-rto-and-am-also-only-trainer-and-assessor-my-specific-industry-area-how-can-our

https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/are-rtos-applying-add-tae-training-package-products-scope-required-provide-independent

Feature Article: How to simplify documenting evidence of industry engagement and consultation

Feature Article: How to simplify documenting evidence of industry engagement and consultation

RTO’s must comply with Clauses 1.5 & 1.6 in the SRTOs 2015 by retaining evidence that demonstrates feedback has been obtained from industry stakeholders relating to training and assessment strategies and practices. Records of outcomes of industry consultation and subsequent changes made to RTO processes as a result should be stored appropriately. Evidence of your formal and informal discussions with employers and how you used their input should be kept so you can ensure your delivery is industry relevant. The following advice provides suggestions of how your RTOs interactions with industry can be documented and maintained.

Record of conversation template:

By documenting the conversations you have with industry stakeholders in a template you will ensure your evidence is provided in a consistent format. Your template should include verification of the input provided from the industry representative by having them sign and date the record. A representative from your RTO should also sign and date the record to confirm its authenticity. The record of conversation template should require your RTO representative to ask appropriate questions of the industry stakeholder that address the requirements of Clauses 1.5 & 1.6 so the feedback captured from the representative is meaningful and specific to relevant training products.

Evidencing consultation with industry stakeholders:

The SRTOs 2015 require RTOs to gather feedback from industry on the choice of electives, contexts, methods, resources and current industry skills of trainers and assessors for all training products on scope of registration. The input gathered from industry should be reflected in training and assessment strategies and practices. Using an Industry Consultation Record is one data collection method that will ensure your RTO can effectively record the formal or informal discussions held with industry. Whether done in person, via email or by phone documenting your engagement and consultation with industry will ensure your RTO has recorded meaningful feedback and is able to use that information effectively in your strategies.

Recordkeeping:

Maintaining your industry consultation records in a centralised document management system ensures you can effectively evidence your ongoing industry engagement activities. The records kept should both include past and recent industry feedback relating to your RTOs training and assessment strategies and practices. It is critical to ensure that your organisation has an appropriate record keeping system in place for physical and/or digital records so they are easily retrieved in the event of an audit or information request.

Other feature articles:

Effective industry engagement strategies for your RTO

Practical guide to developing your RTO’s industry engagement plan

How to evidence industry engagement and consultation for your RTO

Tips for implementing effective industry engagement strategies in your RTO

How to create an effective industry engagement plan 

Tips for evidencing that your RTO has engaged with industry

How to plan industry engagement activities effectively

References:

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.5-1.6

https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/what-evidence-do-i-need-demonstrate-i-have-engaged-industry-what-meant-range-strategies

https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/do-i-need-engage-industry-outside-my-organisation-clauses-15-16

https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/what-evidence-could-i-provide-show-trainers-and-assessors-have-current-industry-skills-clauses

https://www.aisc.net.au/content/industry-engagement-guide

Feature Article: Effective industry engagement strategies for your RTO

Feature Article: Effective industry engagement strategies for your RTO

Using a systematic approach to engage with industry stakeholders about your RTO’s training and assessment strategies and practices will ensure you obtain appropriate input from employers and businesses about your courses and trainer/assessor currency requirements. Here are some of the key components that your organisation should consider when implementing industry engagement strategies that will meet the requirements of the SRTOs 2015 (1.5 & 1.6).

Steps for consulting with industry:

By developing a written procedure that outlines your RTOs approach to industry consultation you will ensure staff have clear processes for how to conduct industry engagement activities.  The steps you outline in your processes should guide staff in gathering evidence that demonstrates your training and assessment is industry current and relevant. The documented steps should also include the periodic review of training and assessment strategies and practices as part of your industry engagement and consultation so you can confirm your delivery meets expectations of employers and other industry stakeholders. 

Planning your industry engagement and consultation:

By developing an Industry Engagement Plan for your RTO or each individual academic team that identifies the activities your RTO undertakes to gather feedback from industry stakeholders you will ensure your approach is co-ordinated and systematic. A detailed and well thought out plan will ensure consistency in your strategy and identify appropriate activities that will result in meaningful feed being gathered from industry stakeholders. 

The practice of consulting with industry is an on-going process and contributes to continuous improvement including the utilisation of data gathered from your RTO’s formal and informal interactions with industry. Your interactions with employers and other industry stakeholders provide you with the opportunity to obtain feedback and input into your RTOs course offerings ensuring that your delivery meets the needs of your local employers.

Obtaining feedback: 

RTOs can utilise different methods to obtain feedback and input from industry stakeholders. Sources such as Employer Questionnaire data that RTOs are required to report annually to ASQA can be used to analyse feedback from industry on the relevance of the training your RTO provides. You can use this information to contribute to the continuous improvement of your programs. By standardising your industry engagement surveys you can ensure your RTO has a consistent mechanism to capture feedback from industry at scale that informs training and assessment strategies, course planning, funding and business decisions.  

Maintaining records:

Keeping good records of the discussions you have with industry is critical to be able to use it effectively. The feedback and advice received from employers and other stakeholders should be documented and used to ensure that the training and assessment your RTO provides is industry relevant. One way to document feedback from industry for your training and assessment strategies and practices is by using an Industry Consultation Record that details the input received from individuals contributing to meaningful industry engagement for your RTO.

Other feature articles:

Practical guide to developing your RTO’s industry engagement plan

How to evidence industry engagement and consultation for your RTO

Five key ways to evidence industry currency for trainers and assessors

References:

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.5-1.6

https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/what-evidence-do-i-need-demonstrate-i-have-engaged-industry-what-meant-range-strategies

https://desbt.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0025/7774/srto-evidence-guide.pdf

https://desbt.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/12012/sas-evidence-guide.pdf

Feature Article: Guide to fixing non-compliances in trainer files

Guide to fixing non-compliances in trainer files

RTOs must ensure that they address non-compliances found in practices and behaviours especially when they impact on students or industry outcomes. In an audit situation ASQA will provide RTOs with the opportunity to address non-compliance to ensure future learners are not negatively affected and any impact on past or current learners is remediated. The following information will assist your RTO in identifying and mitigating risks associated with compliance of your trainer files.

Training and assessment credentials:

If you identify trainers or assessors cannot evidence that they hold a relevant TAE qualification, skillset or recognised higher level qualification your RTO should not permit them to train and/or assess until you can confirm they are appropriately qualified. Where you have trainers and/or assessors that hold a TAE10 credential you need to ensure that they also have completed both upgrade units as required by Clause 1.14 in the SRTOs 2015. You must ensure you have this evidence on file so you can verify the documentation and maintain appropriate records. If you determine that you have staff who do not have sufficient evidence of holding the required training and assessment credential your RTO must develop a plan that identifies actions required to rectify the issue. This plan could include details of required supervision and support to obtain the necessary credentials. 

Vocational competencies:

If trainers or assessors do not hold the relevant industry qualification and/or unit(s) of competency (or their equivalent) and cannot demonstrate equivalence through mapping relevant industry work experience, skills & knowledge they should not be permitted to deliver training or conduct assessment until your RTO can evidence their vocational competence. To rectify non-compliance relating to vocational competencies you should remove these staff from your matrixes in your training and assessment strategies (TAS’s). It may be a simple case of providing missing or incomplete records where a trainer or assessor lacks sufficient evidence. You will need to develop a professional development plan if your trainer or assessor does not hold an industry qualification or cannot show equivalence of their work history to the units of competency being delivered then you that enables them to obtain relevant and sufficient industry experience.  The plan could identify return to industry to gain relevant experience for a specified period of time for the specific units of competency they are delivering. According to ASQA if a trainer/assessor have no vocational competence (experience) in the area they are teaching in or no formal training or assessment qualifications, training and assessment delivered by them may be inadequate and learners impacted therefore it is critical for RTOs to ensure vocational competence of staff is confirmed and sufficiently evidenced.

Some training products require that trainers and/or assessors hold mandatory vocational qualifications, licences or accreditations which are usually referred to in the assessment conditions of units of competency or in training package companion volumes or implementation guides. RTOs must confirm that trainers have evidence of holding the specified vocational qualification if required. If you have trainers that cannot provide these credentials you should not permit them to assess the units of competency they are delivering until they can provide the required evidence. Specific units of competency make reference to required industry experience in assessment conditions e.g. hospitality, hairdressing, fitness, civil construction. RTOs must have documented evidence that assessors have industry experience that meets these requirements. If you have assessors that do not have sufficient evidence of industry experience you should place them on a professional development plan that includes return to industry so as to obtain the required experience and not permit them to assess students until the evidence has been obtained. 

Industry currency: 

Your trainers and/or assessors must be able to evidence maintenance of their industry currency. Your RTO should have a policy in place that determines what evidence is considered recent enough based on industry feedback. If you have trainers or assessors that cannot evidence industry currency for some of the units of competency they are delivering you need to develop a professional development plan for them that details how they are going to obtain this evidence. The plan should identify appropriate currency activities for each unit of competency they are against on the staffing matrixes in your TAS’s. Ensure that you plan when these activities should be completed preferably before the next delivery of the specific units of competency requiring evidence. RTOs need to consult with the relevant industry sectors for specific training products regarding appropriate currency activities for trainers and assessors to complete to maintain industry currency.

VET currency:

Trainers or assessors should undertake professional development in VET training and assessment at least annually to ensure they maintain their VET currency on an on-going basis. RTOs should determine the relevant PD to be undertaken by implementing a training calendar. Staff who lack evidence of maintaining VET currency should commit to undertaking PD in the coming 12 months and document it in a professional development plan.

Compliance status:

RTOs can ensure compliance with trainer files by effectively monitoring professional development plans in place to address trainers or assessors needing additional evidence. RTO managers should ensure timeframes for completion are met and individual goals achieved to return trainers and assessors to compliant. This can be done by having regular performance conversations between management and staff.

Other feature articles:

Why you need a staffing matrix in your TAS’s

Pro tips for evidencing currency industry skills of trainers and assessors

Easy ways to determine if a trainer or assessor is vocationally competent 

Five essential tips for evidencing trainer’s vocational currency

Four point checklist for compliant trainer and assessor profiles

Five questions you should ask before engaging contract trainers and assessors

References:

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.13-to-1.16

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.17-to-1.20

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/fact-sheets/meeting-trainer-and-assessor-requirements

https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/be-considered-be-vocationally-competent-does-trainer-and-assessor-need-hold-qualification-and

https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/trainer-and-assessor-do-i-need-hold-unit-taelln411-address-adult-language-literacy-and-numeracy

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/faqs/individuals-working-under-supervision-trainer

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/faqs/trainers-and-assessors

Feature Article: Why you need a staffing matrix in your TAS’s

Why you need a staffing matrix in your TAS’s

Your RTO’s training and assessment strategies need to list the suitably qualified staff involved in the delivery of the training products on your scope of registration. You should identify your trainers and assessors including any third parties to demonstrate you have sufficient resources for the relevant training product as required in Clause 1.3a of the SRTOs 2015. Our advice explains why you need trainer matrixes and how to meet this compliance obligation.

Suitably qualified trainers and assessors:

You need to identify in your TAS’s the suitably qualified trainers and assessors delivering each unit of competency listed for the specific training product. By doing this you will evidence that your RTO has sufficient trainers and assessors for all training products on your scope of registration. You can document this by creating a staff matrix in the TAS or refer to where the information is located in an external document or system in the TAS. Your RTO should list each staff member involved in the training and/or assessment against each unit of competency. It is also advisable to confirm their currency status and reference any supervision arrangements in place. 

Trainers under supervision:

If you list trainers under a supervision agreement in your staff matrix you should refer to the arrangements in place so it is clear that they are only permitted to train in this instance. Referencing the location of the supervision agreements for the identified trainer/s in the TAS will ensure the arrangements are verifiable.

Recordkeeping:

You should ensure that your RTO’s trainer and assessor profile records reflect your TAS’s staff matrices.  The units that staff are listed against in the TAS should match the units they are mapped to in their competency and currency evidence on file. RTO’s can utilise staffing resources more effectively by recording this evidence at a unit of competency level.

Updating matrices: 

Your staff matrices should be updated routinely when changes are made to delivery staffing arrangements. Your TAS’s should accurately list the appropriately qualified staff each time trainers and assessors enter or exit your organisation. Implement a process that ensures you update your matrices in the relevant TAS’s as soon as practical.

Resourcing:

RTOs must be able to evidence for all training products on scope of registration that they have all resources required available all the time. This includes identifying sufficient trainers and assessors for the numbers of students in your programs. There are risks associated where you only have one suitably qualified trainer and assessor on staff for specific training products on scope of registration. Should the staff leave your organisation unexpectedly you would potentially be non-compliant with Clause 1.3a if you were unable to replace them easily. 

Other feature articles:

Pro tips for evidencing current industry skills of trainers and assessors 

FAQ’s about trainer and assessor competency and currency

How to document trainer and assessor equivalence of vocational competency requirements that will pass audit

Four-point checklist for compliant trainer and assessor profiles

Five questions you should ask before engaging contract trainers and assessors

References:

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.1-to-1.4-2.2

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/general-directions/resourcing-requirements-initial-registration-or-change-scope

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/faqs/training-and-assessment

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/fact-sheets/meeting-trainer-and-assessor-requirements

Feature Article: The role of internal audit in RTO self-assurance

Feature Article: The role of internal audit in RTO self-assurance

Self-assurance is the process of RTOs accepting responsibility and accountability for their on-going performance and quality student outcomes. It includes the management of risks in your organisation. ASQA have been clear in advising RTOs that self-assurance is not self-regulation.  ASQA continues to ensure that RTOs meet their regulatory obligations and adhere to legislative requirements. The role of internal audit is to provide that independent assurance of your organisation’s risk management framework. Your internal audit processes should ensure management has oversight of the effectiveness your RTOs self-assurance systems and processes.

Audit Programme:

By implementing an internal audit programme in your RTO you will obtain valuable data that identifies risks in your products and services. Scheduling regular monitoring of your operations provides RTO management with assurance of the RTOs risk management, internal controls and governance processes in place. This process is also a driver of continuous improvement within an organisation and creates accountability for meeting regulatory obligations and legislative requirements. Internal audits also identify whether the right processes are in place and where efficiencies or innovations need to be made.

Audit Process:

Your audit plan should identify risks and priority areas that need regular reviewing within your RTO. Your audit calendar will determine the frequency of your internal audit activity based on the risks identified and levels of severity. The value in your internal audit processes comes from the audit activity data you obtain and how effectively you document the audit outcomes. Communicate internal audit outcomes effectively with staff to promote the relationship between risk management and self-assurance. Effective resolution of rectifications and systemic issues identified is dependent on how well the audit report is written. The internal audit report should provide a clear summary of identified issues, risks, and recommendations to your staff.

Audit Staff: 

Having the capability to carry out your internal audits is important. Whether you have dedicated internal auditors on staff or you outsource RTO consultants such as EDministrate when required it is critical that you have the necessary expertise to self-assure your operations. There are severe consequences for your RTO if you do not manage risks associated with breaches of regulatory obligations and legislative or contractual requirements that can lead to financial, legal and reputational impacts on your business. The role of the internal auditor is essential in ensuring your RTO is protected from compliance risks and potential regulatory action. 

Other feature articles:

Benefits of having your internal audits conducted by an RTO consultant

Beginners guide to internal auditing in your RTO

Quick guide to managing your RTOs scope of registration

Critical things for RTOs to do before an external audit

Implementing systems for self-assurance

How to risk assess your RTO’s scope of registration

References:

Shttps://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2019C00503 

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

https://www.asqa.gov.au/working-together/self-assurance 

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.1-to-1.4-2.2

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/videos/video-understanding-audits

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/faqs/performance-assessment-audit

https://www.asqa.gov.au/rto/renew-registration/how-we-assess

Feature Article: How to risk assess your RTO’s scope of registration

How to risk assess your RTO's scope of registration

RTO’s should undertake a risk assessment of scope of registration to inform internal audit and validation planning processes.  Risk assessments are very important as they contribute to your overall risk management plan. Conducting risk assessments on your scope identifies risks associated with your training and assessment products and services. RTO’s who are dedicated to establishing a culture that contributes to good corporate governance through applying a consistent approach to risk management can reduce the impact of any adverse events happening to their business.

Identify risks:

RTO’s should identify known and potential risks related to your products and services and consult with staff to:

  • Identify audit or validation priorities based on risk level, utilising information such as regulatory strategies, identified RTO systemic issues and other forms of internal data;
  • Select training products to be audited or validated based on a number of factors including:
    • Volume of enrolments
    • Completion data
    • Feedback gathered from stakeholders
    • High risk training products such as those with licensed or regulated outcomes
    • Number of campuses / locations you have delivery at
    • Quality of learning and assessment resources used (developed in-house or purchased)
    • Prior academic performance – audit history, validation history, student and employer satisfaction data
    • Risks associated with funding agreements, contracts e.g. third parties delivery locations (offshore, remote or interstate)
    • Complaints and appeals trends

Analyse risks:

RTOs should determine high-risk training products based on the analysis of your scope. A risk analysis matrix can assist you to determine the level of risk. Find the level of the risks and prioritise which ones are most urgent using a scale that rates each risk on:

  • the likelihood of it occurring
  • the consequences of it occurring.

Typically you would not address risks that rate as low but this decision should be based on your RTOs risk management framework and the risk appetite of your senior leadership.

Evaluate risks: 

Once you have determined the likelihood and consequences of identified risks on your scope of registration, you should create a risk rating table for evaluating the risks. Evaluating a risk means deciding the level of its severity and ways to manage it. Following the completion of that process you can then develop a risk-based audit schedule for a specified period or inform your validation plan on the sequence of your validation activities by order of priority. RTOs should always consult with stakeholders regarding the schedules to be implemented prior to commencing any activity so staff are fully informed as to the risks and priorities identified. Maintain, review and update your RTO’s audit schedule or validation plan regularly as you continue to monitor emerging risks (e.g. complaint trends, new third party arrangements).

Other feature articles:

Beginners guide to internal auditing in your RTO

Quick guide to managing your RTOs scope of registration

Critical things for RTOs to do before an external audit

Implementing systems for self-assurance

References:

https://www.asqa.gov.au/rto/focus-compliance/series-2-assessment-validation

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

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.8-to-1.12

https://www.asqa.gov.au/rto/change-scope-registration