1 July 2012

This is one of the most important periods in VET in Australia.

Please read this article if you want to be part of the future of VET in Australia.

With Queensland the last State to refer powers to ASQA, we can safely say that ASQA now carries the national responsibility for regulating a large part of the VET sector. If we go back to the early days of the establishment of ASQA and the consultation undertaken, there’s no doubt that one of the major issues ASQA was charged with was ensuring that there was national consistency in audit outcomes. Whilst these variations may not affect many of the smaller RTOs who only deliver in their home State, it has certainly been an issue in the past with those RTOs who have been subject to audits in different States. To take a quote from the ASQA website when explaining why changes were necessary:

The primary aim of the changes is to provide greater national consistency and more attention to the way providers are registered, courses are accredited and the system’s quality is monitored.

As we all know, the grapevine of VET through various blogs and online discussions tells us a lot more than what we may read in any official report about national consistency. Bottom line is, to this point, there have been many questions over national consistency of audit outcomes. As a person who has conducted a lot of AQTF audits in various jurisdictions and having been a consultant to RTOs in a number of jurisdictions, my experience suggests that there’s often little consistency between states and I would go as far as saying that in some jurisdictions there’s some serious inconsistency even within the audit teams.

So in the 10 years I have been auditing and consulting I have tried many times, to understand why we have these inconsistencies and like many, I have come up with three possible causes for these inconsistencies:

1. The auditor
2. The RTO
3. The standards