ASQA currently has delegation arrangements in-place with 27 RTOs – mostly TAFEs in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
RTOs were required to meet the following criteria to be eligible for a delegation of regulatory responsibility:
- the RTO must have been registered for at least five years, and
- the RTO must have been renewed by ASQA without audit, or have been
- renewed with no non-compliances identified at audit, and
- there are no outstanding regulatory concerns or regulatory actions being taken against the RTO.
ASQA invited 555 high performing RTOs with a strong history of compliance with the national standards and who have already met the eligibility criteria to apply for a delegation of regulatory responsibility. It will be up to the RTO as to whether they wish to take up this delegation.
Take it or leave it?
RTOs that subscribe a Delegation Agreement with ASQA have the ability to manage their own scope of registration without the need to apply to ASQA and pay a fee each time they wish to add a new qualification or unit of competency to their scope of registration.
By signing the Delegation Agreement, RTOs will add the conditions included in the Agreement to their list of regulatory requirements (Vet Quality Framework). The Delegation Agreement requires RTOs to have a formal quality management system (QMS) to support their actions as an ASQA delegate.
A QMS includes the organisation’s policies and procedures, and any supporting documents, such as guidelines, outlines of roles and responsibilities, forms and templates. A QMS demonstrates how an organisation operates including how it implements, monitors and reviews the system specifically in relation to the delegated functions.
Will your RTO save money?
While RTOs will not be required to pay a fee each time they wish to add a new qualification or unit of competency to their scope of registration, RTOs will be required to undertake delegation audits. All costs pertaining to the delegation audit are to be borne by the Delegate (RTO). Current ASQA’s rates are $1,100 per day (based on an 8 hour day) for the delegation audit service.
Will your RTO save money? Depends on how dynamically you need to manage your scope of registration. Currently if you want to add a new qualification in your scope it will cost you $920 for the first qualification and $135 for each additional one. If you want to add units of competency it will cost you $260 for each unit. (ASQA schedule of fees V1.2)
You should also consider the costs associated to the management of the delegation, including updated processes in your current quality management system (QMS).
Can this delegation reduce red tape or compliance/admin costs?
Certainly for most small-medium RTOs the answer will be no. It is important to understand that the delegation will not reduce any compliance costs, simply because does not change any regulatory conditions included in the VET Quality Framework. While an RTO under a Delegation Agreement is not required to apply to ASQA for changing its own scope, the requirements to add a qualification/unit to its own scope are the same as any other RTO.
By taking ASQA out of the equation in the process of changing the RTO’s scope of registration, the Delegation Agreement will add extra requirements for the RTO’s quality management system to ensure compliance with the Standards.
Saving money will depend on how many qualifications/units you will be adding to your scope of registration. TAFE and other large RTOs that continuously change their scope of registration will certainly benefit from this initiative, small-medium RTOs, probably no.