ASQA news: Federal Court penalties for former RTO and focus for Regulatory Strategy 2018-20

A former training provider in Queensland has been ordered by the Federal Court to pay $180,000 in penalties after they continued to issue qualifications and pose as a registered training organisation following and in violation of The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)’s failure to renew their registration in April 2014. Their director was ordered to pay an additional $69,750 for being complicit in the scheme. Additionally, the company will be required to pay ASQA’s court costs for the proceedings, an additional agreed sum of $75,000.

ASQA made the decision in response to critical non-compliance by Wright Solution QLD Pty Ltd, however the company continued to offer VET training courses after the non-renewal, as well as issue 11 statements of attainment. 

“False claims to hold RTO registration, and issuance of fraudulent qualifications, are significant and serious breaches of the laws governing training provision in Australia. In order to protect students, and maintain the integrity of Australia’s VET sector, ASQA strongly pursues those who misrepresent their status as registered providers and provide qualifications without holding the necessary registration.”, ASQA Chief Commissioner Mark Paterson said.

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ASQA’s 2018-20 regulatory strategy has also been released this week. ASQA Chief Commissioner Mark Paterson has stated that ASQA will continue its focus on the capability of trainers and assessors as well as international education, based on a range of intelligence and indicators used to identify areas of most concern to the vocational education and training sector. 

Mr Paterson also noted that the latest review undertaken for the government of the legislative framework indicated that a reduction of VET workforce aptitude was directly correlated with a diminished quality of assessment and delivery, as well as student and employment outcomes.  

 

“ASQA’s regulatory strategy 2017-18 included a commitment to commence a strategic review of international VET and English language education services delivered by ASQA-regulated providers. The review will be finalised as part of the new regulatory strategy and a report published in 2019. International education, delivered on and offshore, is one of Australia’s top service exports.. the system will be supported by a robust quality assurance and regulatory environment with a focus on continual improvement”, he said. 

“ASQA will maintain the focus on the capability of VET trainers and assessors by continuing to scrutinise registered training organisations (RTOs) who apply to deliver TAE training products and monitoring those already approved to deliver. 

 

Mr Paterson also reiterated that in accordance with the latest review ASQA would also focus on supporting quality in the vocational sector, increasing scrutiny on Fit and Proper Person requirements, early childhood education and care, individual support and aged care, and heavy vehicle qualifications.

“[ASQA] will also continue to provide communication and education for providers to promote quality assessment practice and will start a conversation with a range of key stakeholders, including RTOs, about strategies that might be considered to support an increased focus on trainer and assessor capability, improved practice and more transparent information about the skills and qualifications of trainers and assessors.” 

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