The Victorian Government Department of Education & Training has released the EOI for the Skills First Funding Contract. Expressions of interest for RTOs that already hold a Skills First VET Funding Contract are due on 15 October, 2021. There have been a couple notable changes to the 2022 Contract from last year’s, so we thought we would unpack these here:

In a nutshell, the contracts have been simplified down to a single contract both for Victorian and Non-Victorian Training Providers. Importantly, there is an additional requirement for any Training Provider to supply to the Department their latest financial audit and corporate structure if they wish to apply for a 2022 Skills First Contract.

Here are the important changes in the 2022 contract:

  • Clause 1.1 – There is now an additional instance of what is considered Control. This is when a shareholder may not hold 50% or more of the share capital, but can still control the casting of a majority of votes at a meeting of members;
  • Clause 4.11 – There is a new accountability requirement – The CEO must respond to department communications and there must be a delegate in place to carry out the CEO responsibilities when the CEO is absent;
  • Clause 13 of Schedule 1 – All RTOs can now use Commonwealth Visa Entitlement Verification Online to check a student’s visa type;
  • Clause 14 of Schedule 1 – Temporary expansion of the Eligibility Exemptions initiative ends in 2021. In 2022 only TAFEs and Learn Local Organisations can offer exemptions under the initiative.

Read more: The Department’s guide to the Content Changes in the 2022 Contract, and Guidelines.

2022 Financial Assessments

Training providers need to provide financial documentation and corporate structure to the Department to be considered for a 2022 contract. This applies to training providers that hold a 2021 Skills First contract and for those applying for the 2022 limited expression of interest. The only training providers exempt from this requirement are:

  • TAFE institutes;
  • Dual sector universities;
  • Victorian government schools; and
  • Training providers whose legal entity is a Victorian Government Department or other Victorian Government-owned entity, including those owned by local councils.

The documentation required to be supplied is:

  1. A Completed and signed Due Diligence Request Form;
  2. A copy of the training provider’s latest audited financial statements. These statements:
  • Must relate to the legal entity, which encompasses the training provider;
  • If the training provider wants to use statements from a parent entity, a copy of the Deed of Cross Guarantee between the training provider and the parent entity, as well and proof of registration of the deed with ASIC, must be provided;
  • If the training provider’s reporting year ends 30th June, then the statement needs to be to the end of June 2021. If the reporting year ends 31st December, then the statement needs to be to the end of December 2020;
  • The audited statement must be for a distinct 12 month period;
  • The independent report must be delivered by a registered auditor with ASIC;
  • The report must be an unqualified audit

This documentation needs to be provided by the 15th October 2021.

What does this mean for currently contracted training providers?

2022 Contracts will be offered without the need to participate in a full expression of interest process, as the Department is confident in the quality and performance of currently contracted training providers and their proven ability to deliver Skills First training.

In late August 2021, the Department will announce further details on SVTS about the 2022 contracting process and the timetable for training providers to take up the offer of a 2022 Contract.

What does this mean for non-contracted training providers?

The Department will also be running a limited expression of interest process for new training providers to deliver Skills First training for specific programs. These will be programs that are needed to meet Government priorities and Victoria’s skills and jobs needs. They will only take expressions of interest from training providers who can deliver these specific programs.

The Department has published the list of programs, together with instructions about the EOI.

After the Department closes the EOI, they will re-evaluate Victoria’s projected training needs against the VET market supply to determine the final amount and type of additional supply that may be required. As such, they say they cannot guarantee that any non-contracted training providers will receive a 2022 Contract.

View the Draft 2022 standard VET funding contract here.

More information on the Skills First Funding Contract can be found on the Department’s website here.

If you require assistance with any aspects of the Victorian Skills First VET Funding Contract, please get in touch with the team at Audit Express today.