How ASQA chooses to do stuff has a lot to do with risk management. Until recently, this was based on a Risk Rating that they gave each RTO. That score used to essentially inform how closely they would be watching any particular RTO.
This is changing to a new system, called the Provider Risk Profile, which includes something called a Compliance History Indicator. This article will introduce the new system, and then pose some questions about how it will be administered and used to guide future regulatory decisions.
What does the new system involve?
In their own words,
This indicator is solely a reflection of a provider’s recent record of compliance in meeting its core regulatory obligations. A provider’s Compliance History is drawn from the following information:
- audit history
- complaint history
- compliance with data provision requirements
- payments to ASQA of fees and charges, and
- submission of the annual declaration on compliance.”
By the end of October 2016, all RTOs ought to have received an email from ASQA that shows them their profile which will outline their Compliance History Indicator. From ASQA’s Fact Sheet, we see that this could be one of six categories:
Some Questions About the New System
1. What is the weighting that is given to each ingredient of the Compliance History?
Do the regulators see some things as more important than others, for example, is a late submission of an annual declaration on compliance treated the same as an overdue payment or a major non-compliance at audit such incorrectly assessing students in the new TAE40116 Cert IV or TAE50116 Dip VET?
2. How does an RTO improve their category?
Does a “regulatory failure” in one area require across the board regulatory compliance, and for a certain period of time before a Profile improvement is recorded? Or, if we mess up in one thing, do we just need to fix that one thing to get things back on track. How long do we need to go unnoticed with something before a past failure is forgiven?
3. Can a strong audit history adversely affect our Profile?
As RTOs are awarded 5-7 year Registration periods, will they slowly but surely slip down simply because of the length of time since their audit?
4. Does complaint history include all complaints?
RTOs are required to have a Complaints Policy and ASQA encourages people to follow those. Will only those complaints that have first gone through the RTO process be included in determining category? Will the nature of specific complaints influence the determination, and are some matters of complaints considered more important than others? Is the number of complaints considered in terms of total enrolment numbers for the organization?
5. Are all Standards treated equally?
When considering “Audit History”, is compliance across all Standards/Clauses considered equally, or are there some Standards/Clauses where failure is considered more important than others? Is audit history based on findings during the day or following the period in which rectifications are allowed? If the audit findings are appealed, are the data factored in from before or after the outcome of the appeal is determined?
6. Will we be told? Will others be told?
Will the Provider Profile include details of how the determination was made, and in such a way that RTOs will be able to identify how to improve? Who else will have access to the Profile information and under what circumstances will that access be granted?