Assessment of your application

Assessment overview

ASQA will assess your application to make sure all requirements for registration are met. Your application must meet the requirements at each stage before it can be progressed.

When you submit a registration application, you are declaring that your organisation is ready to start delivering courses immediately. If you are not completely prepared, and you do not have adequate resources, ASQA is likely to reject your application.

Initial registration applications undergo rigorous assessment to ensure the applicant organisation is able to comply with—and remain compliant with—a complex set of national standards. 

For application processing times, please see the ASQA performance standards.

Stage one: Completeness check

ASQA conducts an initial completeness check of each application. If your application is incomplete, ASQA will contact you. You will have ten working days in which to return all required information or supporting evidence. If you do not provide appropriate evidence within this ten-day timeframe, ASQA will reject application your application and your application lodgement fee (and, if relevant, data entry fee) may be forfeited.

Similarly, if you have not paid all the required application fees, ASQA will consider your application incomplete. ASQA will contact you to request full payment of the required fees. If these are not paid within 30 days, your application will be rejected. Your application lodgement fee (and, if relevant, data entry fee) may be forfeited.

Stage two: Risk assessment

ASQA takes a risk assessment approach to assessing all registration applications.If you successfully submit a complete application, your application will progress to a risk assessment.

At this stage, ASQA reviews the suitability of your nominated senior and/or influential personnel to confirm that they meet all fit and proper person requirements.  ASQA may also investigate your organisation’s business status through the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

ASQA will also consider your financial viability risk assessment pack at this stage. This assessment estimates an applicant’s capacity to maintain registration as an RTO and continue to comply with all registration requirements. 

An application may be rejected at this stage if it does not satisfy all:

  • fit and proper person requirements, and
  • financial viability risk assessment requirements.

Stage three: Registration audit

If your application progresses past the risk assessment stage, ASQA will schedule a registration audit. The audit confirms that your organisation is prepared to commence delivering and assessing nationally recognised training. 

Once your application has been assigned to an auditor, the auditor will contact you to set an audit date (which will usually be between one and four months from when you are contacted).

The audit

The audit aims to confirm that your organisation is compliant with the required standards, including the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015, and has the relevant systems in place.

You must provide a range of evidence to enable the auditor—or audit team, which may include industry specialists—to assess your organisation’s ability to deliver each qualification or unit of competency in your application (in terms of its strategies, resources and materials).

The audit also reviews the:

  • appropriateness of your organisation's management systems, delivery strategies and other resources 
  • suitability of facilities and equipment 
  • credentials of nominated delivery and assessment personnel. 

ASQA will conduct the audit at one or more of your organisation’s venues. 

For more information, refer to the fact sheet—ASQA audits or the training video: what to expect, and how to prepare for an ASQA audit. (Please note, this video refers to the Standards for NVR RTOs 2012; however, the relevant Standards for applicants for initial registration are the Standards for RTOs 2015).

The audit report

The auditor will document the findings of the audit in an audit report. 

If non-compliance has been identified, the report will include a description of the gap in compliance. The report will also describe the nature of further evidence ASQA requires from your organisation to demonstrate compliance. 

You will receive a copy of the audit report, which will identify any non-compliance identified at the audit. 

Rectification evidence

You will receive a copy of the audit report with a letter describing when and how to submit further evidence (if required). Usually, this evidence must be provided within 20 working days of the date the audit report is issued. You have one opportunity to provide evidence that you have rectified this non-compliance.

Stage four: ASQA’s decision

ASQA considers any rectification evidence and decides if your organisation complies with the VET Quality Framework. 

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