Hi there,

Welcome to our March VET News. A very interesting ASQA update this month with ASQA publicising its decision to cancel the registration of a number of RTOs following the investigation into some VET Fee Help providers. It will be interesting to watch if these RTOs challenge the regulators decision in the Federal Court and if they succeed in reversing the decision. The regulatory framework the ASQA operate under mean that it must comply with procedural fairness and its decisions are always subject to review. It was a bold and brave decision by the Commissioner to cancel these registrations. Time will tell if that decision is durable.

Enjoy the news and thanks to those who sent  positive feedback on my “CEO Annual Declaration” article. It is good to give these things some perspective.

Good training,

Joe Newbery
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If you have some news, send it to us at news@newberyconsulting.com.au

Compliance & Regulatory News

ASQA update

ASQA cancels registration of Cornerstone Investment Aust Pty Ltd
Cornerstone Investment Aust Pty Ltd (RTO 5500), trading as Australian Institute of Commerce and Language and EMPOWER INSTITUTE, was audited as part of ASQA’s review of 21 VET FEE-HELP providers. ASQA has made the decision to cancel the RTO’s registration with effect from 11 March 2016.


Information for Vocation Limited students
ASQA has published a fact sheet to assist students enrolled with the liquidated RTOs owned by Vocation Limited. The RTOs were:

  • Training & Development Australia Pty Ltd (91246)
  • Avana Learning Pty Ltd (90976)
  • Learning Verve (21766)
  • Real Corporate Partners Pty Ltd (91669)


ASQA training providers briefing sessions
ASQA will be hosting 28 briefing sessions for training providers around Australia from March through June 2016. The sessions will cover a range of topics including trends in compliance since the introduction of theStandards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 and other important subjects. READ MORE>>
….and due to strong demand, an additional live webcast provider briefing has been announced. READ MORE>>

ASQA course accreditation briefing sessions
In addition to the training provider briefings, ASQA will be hosting six sessions focused on providing owners and developers of VET accredited courses with the information and guidance needed to ensure their courses fully comply with the Standards for VET Accredited Courses 2012.


VET Reform

New Minister for Vocational Education and Skills
On 13 February 2016, the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull, announced several changes to his Ministry. In relation to the Education and Training portfolio, Senator the Hon Scott Ryan, has been appointed as Minister for Vocational Education and Skills. Senator Ryan replaces the Hon Luke Hartsuyker MP.

SkillsIQ Limited – New Skills Service Organisation (SSO)
As reported last month, the Community Services & Health Industry Skills Council (CS&HISC) was defunded and ceased to trade on 31 December 2015. Its joint Expression of Interest with Service Skills Australia, however, to operate as a Skills Service Organisation (SSO) has been successful. The result is SkillsIQ Limited.
This is not a merger of these organisations, but a new not-for-profit company which will work to support training package development with a range of IRCs allocated by the AISC.


Councils and committees

Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) meeting
The AISC held its sixth meeting on 18 February in Melbourne, the first meeting under the new arrangements for training product development that commenced on 1 January 2016. No communiqué is currently available for this meeting.
At the meeting the AISC endorsed the following eight training packages for implementation:

  • SIT Tourism, Travel and Hospitality
  • MSF Furnishing
  • PSP Public Sector
  • FWP Forest and Wood Products (R2)
  • AV1 Aviation (R3)
  • MAR Maritime (R4)
  • TL1 Transport and Logistics (R2)
  • MSL Laboratory Operations.

NCVER update

AVETMISS reporting reminder
The NCVER has issued a reminder to RTOs about meeting their VET data reporting obligations: the collection of total VET activity data is now underway and the deadline (29 February 2016) for reporting 2015 nationally accredited fee-for-service training activity is rapidly approaching.
If you haven’t already provided your AVETMISS data to either NCVER or your state training authority, now is the time to start validating and submitting your data.

Events, Resourcing & Funding News

Australian apprenticeship update

Click on the links below to view the Training Package qualifications recently implemented in States and Territories.
UPDATE 3/02/2016>>
UPDATE 17/02/2016>>
UPDATE 02/03/2016>>

VET funding declines

In the Report on Government Services (RoGS) published by the Productivity Commission in January, recurrent funding for the VET sector by Commonwealth, state and territory governments totalled $5.2 billion in 2014, which was a 12 percent cut from 2013.

Five-Point plan for North Queensland

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the Queensland Government’s five-point plan to stimulate jobs in North Queensland. The expansion of retraining and skills initiatives, including Skilling Queenslanders for Work, forms part of the plan.

Webinar: Supporting students with disabilities

Register now for NCVER’s and ADCET’s webinar showcasing the findings from the recently released NCVER report Supporting tertiary students with disabilities: exploring the use of individualised and institution-level approaches in practice. The webinar, on Thursday 10 March from 1-2pm AEDT, will be presented by Dr Annie Venville and Professor Ellie Fossey.


Recent VET Publications

What the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) Didn’t Say About Skills and Jobs
Craig Fowler
The recent launch of the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) sets out four interrelated clusters of initiatives with a collective purpose to increase productivity, support high wage jobs and the next wave of economic prosperity. But, writes Dr Craig Fowler NCVER’s Managing Director, other initiatives essential to an effective national innovative system are largely overlooked.

Building learner foundation skills is your responsibility
Allison Miller
All VET practitioners using units with foundation skills explicitly included in them need to assess their learners’ required foundation skills. This blog has useful tips and resource suggestions for doing this.

Graduate programs for VET students: is there a need?
Bridget Wibrow & Laura Jackson
This ‘at a glance’ looks at whether graduate programs – a type of employment program targeted at recent graduates – are feasible for vocational education and training (VET) students. These programs are more common in higher education but could have the potential to improve the number of VET students employed in their intended occupation after training. However, to improve their uptake, the benefits of employing recent graduates need to be promoted to employers. It also touches on work-integrated learning to improve the work experience of VET students.

Other News of Interest

New VET law in Queensland
In a media release on 25 February, QLD Minister for Training and Skills, the Hon Yvette D’Ath, welcomed the passage of the Further Education and Training (Training Ombudsman) and Another Act Amendment Bill 2015, saying it would support a robust quality VET system for students, apprentices, trainees and employers. The Act establishes an independent Training Ombudsman for the VET sector, to act as a watchdog.

Australia attracts international students
In a media release on 29 February, Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, Minister for Tourism and International Education, noted that international education delivered almost $20 billion into the economy last year, confirming its importance to the economic and social future of Australia. Almost half a million international students from nearly two hundred countries studied in Australia in 2015, demonstrating Australia’s strong global-competitiveness in education.

Federal government asked to cancel student debts after college collapse
The federal government is being asked to cancel the VET FEE-HELP debts of thousands of students impacted by the collapse of Aspire College of Education and three related entities.

Victorian Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert said he will be writing to the federal minister asking that students have their loans cancelled and offering assistance from Victorian TAFEs to help place students into alternative courses.

Pam Christie joins ASQA
Pam Christie has joined ASQA as the agency’s acting Executive Director, Regulatory Operations. Ms Christie has held a number of senior government positions in the education and training sector over the past 20 years, including Managing Director of TAFE New South Wales and Deputy Director-General of the New South Wales Department of Education. In that time, she has led policy, regulatory and funding reforms across public, community and private training organisations.

In her role at ASQA, Ms Christie will assist Chief Commissioner Chris Robinson and Commissioner, Risk, Intelligence and Regulatory Support, Michael Lavarch, with a range of strategic and operational priorities and responsibilities while the Australian Government undertakes a recruitment process for the position of Commissioner, Regulatory Operations.

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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