Current VET sector activity
ASQA strategic reviews program
ASQA actively seeks to prevent damage to the vocational education and training (VET) sector. We do this by reviewing training areas or issues where system risks have been identified.
In 2014-15, ASQA undertook three reviews, of training in the following areas:
- early childhood education and care in Australia
- security programs in Australia, and
- equine programs in Australia
ASQA is conducting two strategic reviews in 2016.
These reviews will focus on:
- examining the duration of vocational education and training (VET) courses, and
- assessing VET FEE-HELP program providers of concern (in line with ASQA’s regulatory strategy).
VET Reform Taskforce
A VET Reform Taskforce was established by the Department of Industry in late 2013 to listen to stakeholder views on the strengths and weaknesses of the VET system, and consider ideas for reform.
The Taskforce is working with state and territory governments, registered training organisations, industry groups, employers and other stakeholders throughout 2014 to reach a consensus on the way forward.
According to the VET Reform Taskforce, reforms would aim to:
- enhance the capacity of the system to deliver high quality outcomes for students
- strengthen industry investment
- increase the responsiveness of regulation
- increase flexibility for training providers to meet employer needs.
Recent changes to the VET sector
On 13 December 2013, The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) established the COAG Industry and Skills Council, which replaces the Standing Council for Tertiary Education Skills and Employment (SCOTESE).
The newly established COAG Industry and Skills Council agreed to streamline governance arrangements and committees and involve industry in policy development and oversight of the performance of the VET sector. As a result an Industry and Skills Council Advisory Committee will be established to provide industry with a formal role in relation to policy directions and decision making in the national training system.
In addition, the National Skills Standard Council (NSSC) has been dissolved and its ongoing functions will be delegated to industry representatives and selected senior officials through the Industry and Skills Council Advisory Committee.
It is expected that the VET Reform Taskforce will make a range of recommendations to the government in the coming months.
Australian Government’s deregulation agenda
The Australian Government is currently pursuing a deregulation agenda which includes:
- a commitment to cut $1 billion of red tape every year
- calculating the cost on the regulated community vs. the benefit gained to the community
- having clear policy objectives for each regulator
- transparency around process and costs
- overall reduction in the amount and cost of regulation with any new regulation to be offset against
- a reduction in regulation of equal financial impact.
As part of the agenda the Department of Industry Portfolio Regulation Reform Taskforce has requested ASQA to participate in a Portfolio Regulation Audit to assess the compliance burden on providers.
In the first stage of this audit, ASQA is undertaking a comprehensive stocktake of existing regulation and developing detailed cost estimates of the compliance burden of regulations.