Eye on ASQA: Regulatory Strategy 2020-22

Syndicated from Capstone Education, and written by Daniel Wolff.
(Capstone Education is an Education/RTO Consultant, and is a TUTIS LMS solution reseller)

COVID-19 has closed classrooms, evacuated offices, and blocked the borders.
In the whirlwind of change it has been difficult for many of us to keep our mind on what ASQA has been up to, but ASQA has been busy.

Possibly the most important piece of ASQA news for the last few months is the release of their updated regulatory strategy. The ASQA Regulatory Strategy 2020-22 outlines what the regulator’s priorities will be for the coming two years.

I’m going to summarise what are, in my opinion, the most important changes and notes in the strategy.

ASQA’s regulatory approach

The big change here is that ASQA has added “Engagement and Support” to their old regulatory strategy. This seems to have been added as a nod to the changes which ASQA is making to become more consultative.

Other than this, the approach is more-or-less unchanged. ASQA divides its risks into “provider risk” (that’s the risk posed by an individual RTO) and “systemic risk” (that’s the risk posed by structural factors in the whole sector). They undertake regulatory action, for example audits, to address provider risk and they define “focus areas” and “strategic initiatives” to address systemic risk.

Working with providers

ASQA talks about working hand-in-hand with the sector to develop self-assurance models. For example, “our overarching goal is to move from input and compliance controls to a focus on self-assurance and excellence in training outcomes.”

If this move really happens, it could be transformative.

ASQA hasn’t said anything about exactly how they intend to approach this change. I would hazard a guess that the idea is for ASQA to routinely review internal audit documentation and verify it with other data. If things look good, excellent. If not, they then move into full-on audit mode.

ASQA’s “focus areas”

ASQA has identified two focus areas:

  • Online learning in the VET sector
  • VET in schools

ASQA intends to undertake a “strategic review” of online learning in the VET sector, and to consider the need for a strategic review into VET in schools. RTOs who have moved to online delivery should keep an eye out, because the strategic review could be anything from a non-event to an indictment of the entire sector.

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The “strategic initiatives” which ASQA will undertake

There is only one strategic initiative described: Trainer and assessor capability.

This was a focus area in the 2019-21 regulatory strategy. This year, ASQA states that it will continue to apply scrutiny to the providers of the Cert IV TAE and that it will provide “education and guidance” on the topic of trainer and assessor capability to the sector as a whole.

If you don’t deliver the Cert IV TAE this is unlikely to have any bearing on you.

The training products of concern list

ASQA has made a few changes to this list. The full list is:

  • TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
  • CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support
  • SIT30816 Certificate III in Commercial Cookery
  • SIT40516 Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery
  • CPCCWHS1001 Prepare to work safely in the construction industry

ASQA states that, “we will actively monitor providers that intend to deliver or currently deliver these training products. Where we identify common areas of concern, we will develop advice and guidance to support providers to review and improve their delivery, and to assure ongoing confidence and quality outcomes for students, employers and the community.”

The Standards of concern list

This list hasn’t changed at all since the last regulatory strategy was published. The full list is:

  • 8 (assessment)
  • 1 (TAS)
  • 3 (resources)
  • 1 (certification
  • 2 (amount of training)

Anybody who has been audited in the past two years will be familiar with this collection, because it’s been the hit-list for ASQA auditors all across the country.


Hopefully, this article has given you the knowledge you need without having to read the report itself. The key things to take away from the strategy are that ASQA is intending to:

  • Change how it regulates to focus on provider self-assurance
  • Conduct a strategic review of online learning in the VET sector, and maybe one on VET in schools
  • Keep its eyes on the providers of the:
    • Cert IV TAE
    • Cert III Individual Support
    • Cert III and IV in Commercial Cookery
    • Construction industry white card
  • Continue focusing on the same set of key clauses at audit

If you deliver any of the training products which ASQA is intending to focus on, or if you deliver online (even because of COVID-19), or if you deliver VET in schools, now would be the time to start looking carefully at your compliance programs.

Read the full article here https://www.capstoneeducation.com.au/industry-insights/what-is-asqa-up-to