Community Colleges Australia (CCA) has provided a submission to the Review of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator (NVETR) Act 2011. CCA based the submission on a survey of a number of members that deliver vocational education and training (VET).
The submission highlights the views of the low risk, learner-centred, not-for-profit community-based organisations that characterise the sector. Most community education providers are quality RTOs considered “low risk” both by ASQA and state government departments responsible for VET funding.
CCA believes that the efficient operation of the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) is an essential part of ensuring the quality of Australia’s VET sector.
The CCA submission points out how valuable it would be for RTOs to submit one lot of data that services multiple departments and programs. “The constant re-work of reporting of the same information to different bodies at different times can be both onerous and can cause confusion,” the submission says.
All respondents to the CCA survey supported the new ASQA approach to compliance, and recognised the rationale behind compliance.
The CCA submission was accompanied by a separate document that details the problems and issues arising from improper marketing and public information provided by Australia’s private for-profit Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). CCA has detailed the confusions that have arisen by misleading naming and marketing activities by private for-profit RTOs, and has requested that ASQA’s powers be broadened to include the ability to review, regulate and act on marketing and naming abuses.
About the NVETR Act Review
The NVETR Act review is being conducted by Professor Valerie Braithwaite for the Australian Government Department of Education and Training to ensure the ongoing quality and reputation of VET. The Review focuses on the legislative framework of sector regulation that is sustainable, efficient and effective and responds to the needs of students, training organisations and employers.
The terms of reference note that the reviewer will make recommendations regarding the NVETR Act and its subordinate legislation to ensure its capacity to:
- provide the regulator with functions and powers that are relevant and suitable to the current and future VET environment;
- enable the regulator to use its existing powers in a timely, effective and transparent manner;
- enable the regulator to apply a responsive, risk-based regulatory approach and effectively detect non-compliance;
- enable the regulator to consider student outcomes in making regulatory decisions;
- provide appropriate student protection mechanisms;
- ensure only an appropriate level of regulatory burden is imposed on RTOs;
- ensure VET consumers have access to appropriate information;
- ensure regulators can effectively manage qualification types which may be delivered in both the higher education and VET sectors; and
- facilitate an outcomes-based approach.