The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) will this week commence consultation with the vocational education and training (VET) sector on a proposed schedule of revised fees and charges to come into effect from 1 January 2018.
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Karen Andrews, said the proposed fees and charges would provide an additional incentive for registered training organisations (RTOs) to maintain their compliance with the VET Quality Framework.
“The simplified fees and charges that ASQA are proposing are structured in a way that provides cost reductions for RTOs that demonstrate a high degree of compliance,” Minister Andrews said.
“There is no place in Australia’s VET sector for training providers who are not absolutely committed to providing high quality programs and this proposed fee structure, combined with ASQA’s tough risk-based approach to regulation, will address that issue.”
Minister Andrews said reductions in fees and charges have been made possible because of efficiencies realised through ASQA’s upgraded business systems and improved processes.
“Over the last 12 months ASQA has implemented its enhanced online service portal – asqanet – as well as continued the evolution of its risk-based approach to regulation that places a greater emphasis on the learner experience instead of RTOs’ policies and processes,” she said.
Minister Andrews said that the proposed changes build on an earlier decision by the government to change cost recovery targets imposed on the regulator.
“When ASQA was first established it was envisaged that, over time, it would become a full cost recovery agency meaning that it would be completely funded from the fees and charges it collected,” Minister Andrews said.
“In October 2014 as part of a wider suite of regulatory reforms, the Coalition Government announced that ASQA would only be required to cost recover approximately 50 per cent of its costs. This has meant some fee relief for RTOs over the last two years.
ASQA Chief Commissioner Mark Paterson AO said VET sector stakeholders could download ASQA’s Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS) and provide feedback by visiting the ASQA website (www.asqa.gov.au).
“ASQA shares the Government’s commitment to reduce regulatory and financial burden on good quality training providers,” Mr Paterson said.
“ASQA will review all feedback received about the proposed fees and charges scheduled and incorporate any necessary changes and implement the revised schedule from 1 January 2018.”
ASQA’s public consultation runs from 14 August 2017–3 September 2017. More information is available at www.asqa.gov.au/cris