The essential guide to setting up a QMS in your RTO

The essential guide to setting up a QMS in your RTO

A good Quality Management System provides a centralised mechanism for managing an organisations policies and procedures. These quality documents are a collection of processes that outline how you do business and meet your customers’ expectations. A core function of a QMS is to manage its document control functions.

Quality Management System Framework:

The most commonly known framework used is ISO 9001 but unless your RTO is ISO accredited there is no need to create a QMS that reflects the requirements of these standards.  At a minimum your QMS should meet what is required of the VET Quality Framework and any other legislative requirements or regulatory obligations you must adhere to. The main components of your system should incorporate your quality manual or policies and procedures; your organisational structure; your document control processes and your internal audit / continuous improvement processes.

Quality Documents:

In addition to policies and procedures your quality documents can consist of but are not limited to work instructions; guidelines; templates; plans and forms. Quality documents such as policies and procedures are usually approved by document owners who are typically in RTO management positions.  Other staff can contribute to the development of the documents and provide feedback on the content as it is important to ensure buy in by staff who are going to have to adhere to processes or use the tools.

Document Control Procedure: 

Your RTO should have a procedure that sets out the processes for managing your quality documents or your policy and procedure library. This includes how you categorize the documents; the naming conventions used and numbering systems assigned to documents. It should also provide instruction on version control and also detail how often the documents are reviewed and updated to ensure they are fit for purpose. Controlled documents are needed for regulatory compliance purposes and are critical in ensuring your RTOs meets all legislative requirements or regulatory obligations.

Setting up your QMS:

EDministrate can help your organisation design, create and implement a QMS and create an efficient and effective documentation system or help you update your existing QMS to ensure it is fit for purpose therefore ensuring your RTO delivers quality products /services to your customers. Our Compliance Plan and Compliance Plan Matrix Template provides a reference to critical quality documents in your business that you can use to map how your policies and procedures ensure you meet all RTO compliance obligations.

Other feature articles:

Three planning resources every RTO manager should have in their toolkit

Planning essentials for RTOs

A business continuity plan should from part of your overall business plan

References: 

https://quality.eqms.co.uk/blog/types-of-quality-management-systems

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality_management_system

https://www.cognidox.com/blog/why-not-just-use-google-drive-as-a-document-management-system

https://asq.org/quality-resources/quality-management-system

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

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

Feature Article: Three planning resources every RTO manager should have in their toolkit

Planning: The act of formulating a course of action to achieve a desired goal.

“Proper planning and preparation prevents poor performance.”

Planning Software:

RTOs, whether large or small unquestionably manage multiple projects, plans, tasks and people at any given time. Having a solution that keeps everything organised while managing competing priorities in a way that is consistent and profitable is critical for RTO managers. Holding yourself and your team accountable and ensuring nothing slips through the cracks by utilising an online planning system that provides visibility and oversight will ensure you can plan effectively. One tool that is highly effective for RTO planning is Trello. The application is a web-based Kanban style list making collaboration tool that organizes your activities into boards. RTOs can use it to organise committees; staff meetings; action plans; schedules; student tracking and many more. The free account provides basic functionality that can get your planning started. RTOs can sign up here

Planning Templates:

The success of your RTO, no matter what size depends on the effectiveness of your planning and strategy. Planning templates are important tools that ensure you can better plan, manage, and report on strategic initiatives. To effectively plan and implement strategy RTO managers need various planning templates suited to your operational requirements. Using fit for purpose templates to define and communicate your goals and objectives will ensure it is easily understood by all of your stakeholders.  EDministrate has developed templates that can be used by RTOs to undertake key planning activities related to training and assessment; industry engagement and validation. They can be purchased here if you want customisable, off-the-shelf document templates.  

Planning Processes: 

Your planning processes should be concerned with defining the RTO’s goals and determining the resources necessary to achieve those objectives. Planning always has a purpose. The purpose may involve the achievement of certain KPI’s or targets. This is enabled through consistent strategies that are supported by staff at all levels. A standing plan is a business plan that is intended to be used many times. The most common examples of standing use plans are policies and procedures. These plans should be published and accessible to all staff in a central repository for easy reference. RTO managers must be careful to create and implement the appropriate policies and procedures for the situations they face. We have customisable policies and procedures for RTOs that can be purchased  here if you should you need to update your organisations plans.

References: 

https://blog.trello.com/kanban-101

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_04.htm