Their support of the delivery of quality Vocational Education and Training, consistent with the Standards, underlines their strategic objective to achieve this through regulation and partnership with others. This ensures that students, employers, the community and government can have confidence in the integrity of the national qualifications offered by training providers.
One of the priorities identified in the Heads of Agreement for Skills Reform was to reinforce VET as a pathway for secondary school students while improving the quality of VETiS. A recent NCVER publication outlined the importance of secondary school students having access to VET, reporting that VET graduates:
- earn wages comparable to university graduates
- have a high employment rate in comparison to undergraduates, with more than 78% of VET graduates employed after training
- have access to more readily changing workforce needs
It is important to carefully consider and analyse the issues and risks associated with Vocational Education and Training delivered to secondary school students (VETDSSS), and for ASQA to identify the appropriate regulatory response. This scoping study has been prepared for this purpose in collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders.
Their findings did not suggest that there was a higher occurrence of non-compliance among VETDSSS providers compared to the VET sector in general. This is good news, but there’s still work to be done.
The review analysed and provided valuable insights into various risks relating to:
- Assessment certification
- Amount of training
- Vocational competency and industry currency
- Student information, protection and support
- Oversight of third parties
- National consistency of regulation
Further analysis of these issues will influence ASQA’s regulatory approach and support quality outcomes.
The study outlines ASQA’s commitment to the following five actions in order to support continuous improvement in the quality of VETDSSS:
- Provide clearer guidance to assist compliance: improve the information and direction given to providers delivering VETiS to help them better understand their compliance obligations, helping them continuously improve.
- Work with other VET regulators to identify risks: continue working with partners in VET regulation to identify shared risk, consistently regulate VETDSSS and support the quality of VETDSSS nationally.
- Engage more directly with education departments and schools: improve engagement with education departments and sectors to enhance awareness of their regulatory requirements and the significance of achieving high quality outcomes in VETDSSS.
- Engage with states and territories on shared risk, promotion of continuous improvement: continue to improve engagement with states and territories regarding areas of shared strategic risk, whilst continuously improving practices and supporting the public’s confidence in VETDSSS.
- Apply clause 1.6 of the Standards for RTOs: whilst monitoring VETDSSS providers, ensuring this clause is met in all performance assessments/audits of VETiS providers.
In support of VET reforms, the review also recommends that when developing the new National Skills Agreement, the state and territory governments examine how the findings in the scoping study can contribute to continuously improving the quality of VETDSSS.
ASQA’s 4-Year Strategic Deliverables
ASQA understands the importance of VETiS and has stated their intention to share information with stakeholders, to support an understanding of the key findings and raise awareness and understanding into risks.
As always, this will include actively engaging with stakeholders and the regulated community in a collaborative manner to enhance quality VETDSSS, design information and tools that will support continuous improvement, provide clear feedback and support to providers so they can self-assure, and clearly communicate regulatory expectations.