I have been getting many questions about the approaching requirement for RTO Chief Executive Officers to submit an annual declaration to the National Regulator about their compliance. So, I have put my thoughts down in a Blog to address these questions. You can access that on our website at the following page: http://newberyconsulting.com.au/ceo-annual-declaration. The declaration is due by the 31st Mar 2016 (see here) for the details on the ASQA website.
There are some other significant news in this edition. Of note is the announcement of the new Skills Service Organisations. Only five announced some who have a massive span of responsibility across many training packages. It will be interesting to look back in 2-3 years and see how this model goes. We have effectively tendered out the maintenance and development of training packages. I don’t know how the tender will work, but if those businesses get paid on the basis of the amendments they make to the training packages (which is a reasonable assumption) then we could be in for a very turbulent time in regards to responding to changes published on TGA. I sincerely hope that a KPI in the contract is to provide RTOs some stability in the training products being delivered. Watch this space.
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Compliance & Regulatory News
Reminder—New Standards clauses came into effect on 1 January 2016. Additional clauses in the Standards for RTOs 2015 (the Standards) came into effect for all RTOs on 1 January 2016.
These clauses relate to the competency requirements for trainers and assessors and RTOs applying for—or delivering qualifications or the assessor skill set from—the Training and Education Training Package.
Annual declaration on compliance. ASQA has now released the form and instructions for an RTO’s annual declaration on compliance with the Standards. This declaration can be made using an online form.
The first submission of the annual declaration will be required by 31 March 2016.
Security industry strategic review. ASQA has published the findings of its national strategic review of training for the security industry.
ASQA Chief Commissioner Chris Robinson said inconsistent licensing arrangements across states and territories and poor quality training and assessment were posing fundamental challenges to ensuring licensed security personnel were equipped to safely carry out their duties.
A new ASQANET portal is coming soon. ASQAnet is a web portal that allows RTOs to lodge applications and other information with ASQA.
At present, ASQAnet is limited to VET application services; however, this will soon be changing. ASQA is currently developing a system that will replace ASQAnet and provide users with a much broader range of services and cater for the needs of more of our external stakeholders.
Email scam alert. ASQA has received a number of calls regarding a possible email scam using the details listed on training.gov.au (TGA).
It appears an email is sent from the listed RTO’s CEO email address to another contact person listed on TGA advising there is an urgent request. Once the email is responded to, a request is received from the ‘CEO’ for urgent transfer of funds. RTOs are advised to report the scam to Scamwatch and contact TGA.
Extension to ‘single-day course’ exemption from USI requirements. The USI initiative became mandatory from 1 January 2015 for all nationally recognised VET delivery, except where specific exemptions apply.
The temporary partial exemption for ‘single-day courses’ from the USI was scheduled to lapse on 31 December 2015.
Following an amendment to the Student Identifiers (Exemptions) Instrument 2014 this exemption has been extended until 31 December 2016.
Narrowing the range of VET FEE-HELP courses. The federal government is looking at narrowing the range of courses that are eligible for VET FEE-HELP.
In an interview on Sydney radio 2UE, the Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Luke Hartsuyker said the government was looking at curtailing public funding for courses of “dubious value”.
New Skills Service Organisations announced. The Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Luke Hartsuyker, has announced the five organisations selected as Skills Service Organisations to work with Industry Reference Committees to develop modern and relevant training packages.
Quality of VET assessment. At the 20 November 2015 meeting of the COAG Industry and Skills Council it was agreed the Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, the Hon Luke Hartsuyker MP, would consult with VET stakeholders and all jurisdictions on reform options to improve assessment in VET.
To support this consultation process, the Quality of assessment in vocational education and training – Discussion Paper has been released to seek stakeholder views on reforms to improve the conduct of assessment in VET.
Change control document for VET FEE-HELP reform. On 21 January 2016 the Department of Training and Education published a change control document that provides a comparison table to identify the changes from VET Guidelines 2015 to Higher Education Support VET Guidelines 2015.
Recovering student loans from overseas residents. From 1 January 2016, Australian graduates residing overseas are required to notify the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to arrange repayments.
Minister Birmingham said recouping debts under the Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) or Trade Support Loan (TSL) scheme would ensure Australia’s world-class, income-contingent student loans scheme was fairer and more sustainable into the future.
Councils and committees
Video message from John Pollaers. In a short audio-visual message, Mr John Pollaers, Chair of the AISC, reflects on the Committee’s progress during its first six months of operation.
Mr Pollaers also emphasises the importance of gathering stakeholder views and the critical role of Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) in helping to identify the skills needed to maximise Australia’s productivity, innovation and competitiveness.
AISC 2016 meeting dates
- 18 February 2016: Melbourne
- 21 and 22 March 2016: Sydney
- 5 May 2016: Darwin
- 15 June 2016: Canberra
- 28 July 2016: Brisbane
- 8 and 9 September 2016: Sydney
- 20 October 2016: Adelaide
- 1 December 2016: Hobart
AVETMISS reporting. The collection window for reporting 2015 AVETMISS data opened on the 4 January 2016. All RTOs who delivered nationally accredited training in 2015 are required to report their training activity by 29 February 2016.
Training Package News
Training package changes. There are new releases of the following training packages:
- ICT Release 2.0: 14 January 2016
- ICT Release 3.0: 18 January 2016
- ICP Release 2.0: 15 January 2016
- CUA Release 2.0: 15 January 2016
- BSB Release 2.0: 14 January 2016
- FNS Release 2.0: 14 January 2016
Events, Resourcing & Funding News
Australian apprenticeship update
Click on the link below to view the Training Package qualifications recently implemented in States and Territories.
Sydney Build 2016 Expo
The CPSISC is taking part in the Sydney Build 2016 Exhibition on 10-11 March 2016 at Australian Technology Park, Sydney and has issued an invitation to attend the two-day event for free.
Recovering funding from providers
The Victorian government is in the process of recovering $30 million paid to training providers following a quality audit.
The Department of Education and Training says it has investigated 36 providers, resulting in the termination of eight government-funded training contracts. A further four providers have been issued with an intention to terminate notice while another four have been allowed to continue training but with restrictions imposed.
The Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert said the government is introducing stricter contracts for 2016 and will spend $30 million over the next three years to identify high risk training providers.
Recent VET Publications
Towards more effective continuing education and training for Australian workers
Stephen Billett, Sarojni Choy, Darryl Dymock, Ray Smith, Amanda Henderson, Mark Tyler, Ann Kelly
A more holistic continuing education and training system, one that acknowledges, supports and recognises the value of work-based learning, would better address the ongoing needs of Australian workers. But a widespread learning culture with support from policy-makers, employers, training providers and employees is required to make the most of such a system. These are some of the findings to emerge from a three-year program of research that aimed to investigate what might form the basis of an effective continuing education and training system. This report discusses the final stage of the project and proposes ways forward.
Government-funded students and courses – January to September 2015
This publication provides a summary of data relating to students, programs, training providers and funding in Australia’s government-funded vocational education and training (VET) system (broadly defined as all activity delivered by government providers and government-funded activity delivered by community education and other registered providers).
Balancing consistency and flexibility in student training entitlements: research overview
Kaye Bowman, Suzy McKenna, Tabatha Griffin
This research overview summarises the work undertaken by Kaye Bowman and Suzy McKenna that explored the jurisdictional approaches to student training entitlement funding and associated provider quality standards and the implications for the fundamental principles of the national training system.
Related reports are:
- Jurisdictional approaches to student training entitlements: commonalities and differences (Research report)
- Student entitlement models in Australia’s national training system: expert views (Occasional paper)
- The development of Australia’s national training system: a dynamic tension between consistency and flexibility (Occasional paper)
Other News of Interest
CS&HISC closure. The Community Services & Health Industry Skills Council (CS&HISC) has announced they have been defunded and their office closed its operations on 18 December 2015, as their contract ceased on 31 December 2015.
The news articles presented in this edition of VET News have been researched and prepared by Anne Maree Newbery.
Copyright © Newbery Consulting 2016, All rights reserved.
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