ASQA’s Regulatory Strategy 2019–21

August 21, 2019




 The strategy identifies two target areas and five strategic initiatives


Target area 1: Trainer and assessor capability, identified as a critical concern for the VET Sector in three consecutive years (2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018 -2020)

Target area 2: VET in Schools

Strategic Initiative 1: Recognising and supporting quality in the VET sector

Strategic Initiative 2: Australia’s international education sector

Strategic Initiative 3: Strengthening registration requirements

Strategic Initiative 4: Training products of concern 

Strategic Initiative 5: Standards of concern


The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), as the national regulator of vocational education and training (VET) and certain English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) programs has released its regulatory strategy 2019-2021. The strategy is designed to address several critical issues in the Australian education and training sector. The target areas and strategic initiatives outlined in the Regulatory Strategy continues the work identified in previous years to address key systemic challenges in the VET and CRICOS sectors, including trainer and assessor capability, protecting Australia’s quality international education and training, and strengthening registration requirements.


Target area – 1: Trainers and assessors’ capability


Trainers and assessors must demonstrate compliance with Clauses 1.13, 1.14, 1.15, 1.18, 1.23 and 1.24 of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015.  Read more about demonstrating compliance with these requirements from the links below:


Your Trainer and Assessor Files Clause 1.13 & 1.16 (Series)


We will address the following requirements of clauses 1.14, 1.15, 1.18, 1.23 & 1.24 for providers to ensure that trainers and assessors delivering training and assessment, supervising those delivering training and assessment, or validating assessment practices, hold the appropriate credentials identified in Schedule 1 of the Standards for RTOs in our upcoming articles.


ASQA has acknowledged the concerns of stakeholders that the TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. It has been found that is does not produce quality trainers and assessors. The requirements of the qualification could be too onerous or a deterrent to potential trainers and assessors with relevant skills and industry experience. ASQA will, therefore, undertake a review in partnership with the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business.


Target area – 2: VET in Schools


This is a new target area in ASQA’s latest regulatory strategy.  In recent years, the closure of several providers with large numbers of VET in schools’ enrolments has highlighted key risks in relation to VET delivered in schools, including:


  • The provision of accurate information to support students in making an informed decision to enrol in a VET program.

  • Ensuring teachers/trainers and assessors delivering the program are appropriately qualified.

  • Alignment between training and assessment delivery and the requirements of the relevant training package.

  • Availability of sufficient learning and assessment resources to support students.

  • Timely certification of students on completion of their training.

  • Adequacy of partnering arrangements.


ASQA is writing to the relevant education and training authorities in each state and territory to provide advice about the risks identified through recent regulatory activity concerning VET in schools. This communication will inform their oversight of arrangements within their jurisdiction.


ASQA will, in consultation with other regulators and all state and territory governments, undertake a scoping study to:


  • Further clarify the key risks associated with VET delivered in secondary schools, and understand how these risks interact with the delivery models in each jurisdiction

  • Research the delivery and quality assurance of VET for secondary school students in other countries

  • Analyse the findings of existing research and reviews

  • Provide further advice to all state and territory Ministers with responsibilities for education and training concerning the risks identified through recent audits of RTOs delivering VET in secondary schools

  • Consider whether a regulatory response and/or further work is required, including a potential strategic review into VET delivered in secondary schools.


Strategic initiatives 2019–21


ASQA has identified the following five strategic initiatives:


  • Recognising and supporting quality in the VET Sector

  • Australia’s international education sector

  • Strengthening registration requirements

  • Training products of concern

  • Standards of concern


Strategic Initiative 1: Recognising and supporting quality in the VET sector


ASQA’s Recognising and supporting quality in the VET sector initiative was announced as part of the Regulatory Strategy 2017–18.


ASQA is currently undertaking the following initiatives to recognise and support quality within its existing budget:


  • revision of the Regulatory Risk Framework and Regulatory Principles

  •  continuation of ASQA’s education and information activities, implementing more positive messaging

  • clarification of regulatory policies and processes relating to delegations and registration periods

  •  review of the publication of regulatory decisions on the ASQA website.


ASQA will work with the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business and the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business to further develop ways to recognise and support quality in the VET sector. This work will be undertaken in light of the Australian Government’s response to the NVR Act review and more recent policy analysis work arising from the Joyce review.


Strategic Initiative 2: Australia’s international education sector


The following areas will be ASQA’s main focus:


  • Student non-attendance

  • Enrolment growth

  •  English-language capabilities

  • Education agents

  • Students transfers between providers

  • Providers with multiple operations

  •  Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS) data issues

  • Assessing the compliance of VET providers operating in key offshore markets, including in China

  • 100% online delivery to international students especially offshore

  • Assessment-only services in foreign countries


ASQA is currently expanding the existing information-sharing protocols with state and territory governments to include agencies with responsibility for international education and establish an agreement with Austrade to facilitate the exchange of information in relation to CRICOS providers, overseas student issues and the delivery of VET offshore.


Strategic Initiative 3: Strengthening registration requirements


ASQA will continue to use the following parameters to scrutiny for new applicants to become an RTO or CRICOS provider:


  • shorter initial registration periods,

  • greater scrutiny on applicant’s readiness to provide quality training and assessment

  • financial Viability Risk Assessment