Internal audits and why they are so important (Part 5 of 5)

July 4, 2019


In the first five parts of this series we discussed the following: 


  • What are internal audits?

  • What are the benefits of conducting internal audits?

  • What is an audit scope?

  • What is usually included in an RTO internal audit?

  • Who can be an internal auditor?

  • Compliance costs and risks in terms of “risk management”

  • The effective internal audit function

  • The requirement of conducting internal audits

  • The quality system of an RTO 

  • Planning for internal audit and considerations 

  • Conducting and recording an actual internal audit


This is our special edition on frequently asked questions and answers on internal audits. We have selected the top 10 questions from the list of questions sent to us by educational institutes. 


Q1: Why are RTO internal audits important?  


Answer: Internal audits are a significant element of an RTO quality management system to ensure RTO practices and procedures meet the regulatory and legislative standards and requirements. These audits can help to monitor the RTO system and to check that compliance and norms are complied with. The aim of an internal audit is to collect data on the quality system's performance and effectiveness. Internal audits also increase productivity, detect non-compliance and non-conformities, and evaluate the RTO’s internal control including its corporate governance and processes.


Q2: Why should I have an external audit to review my RTO’s quality management system? 


Answer: There are a number of benefits of organising an external audit by expert RTO consultants: 


External auditors are independent of the organisation and review the systems and processes based upon their extensive experience and auditing background. They are impartial and unbiased in their approach and follow documented processes and procedures to provide opinions and advice on RTO’s quality management system.


The benefits of organising an external audit includes: 


  • Advice on critical RTO non-compliance, efficient controls and compliance procedures, identification of best practices, reduction of operational costs, and the realisation of possibilities for profit enhancement.

  • Potential important savings on internal audit expenses, in particular for organisations with multiple offices and courses, high internal audit resource turnover or different levels of internal audit activities.

  • Access to the correct abilities, in the correct position, in the correct location, at the correct moment.

  • Shifting expenses to the consultancy company to develop and maintain the internal audit capacity and freeing capital and resources for key company reasons.

  • Overcoming difficulties for human resources-attracting and retaining talent, maintaining expertise on changing hazards and developing value-making abilities.

  • Alignment of strategic goals of the internal audit function with important business processes.

  • Overall risk management review, tracking of compliance and corporate performance.


Audits should be conducted by RTO experts that have extensive and current ASQA and other regulatory experience and who do not have any conflict of interest with the organisation. 


Q3: What should be the qualifications and work experience of an RTO consultant? 


Answer: We suggest that an RTO auditor should hold the Diploma of Quality Auditing, Diploma of Vocational Education and Training, Diploma of Training Design and Development or have at least 5 years of experience in RTO audits and administration. 


You must also ask and verify the success rate of the RTO consultant to ensure you receive the best advice and consultancy services.