Audit Express launches Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Support Program

Audit Express launches Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Support Program

Unlock the power of embracing diversity & inclusion in your organisation

As the world continues to evolve and embrace diversity in all its forms, organisations recognise the importance of fostering inclusive environments where everyone feels valued and included. At Audit Express, we are thrilled to announce the launch of our new Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Support Program, specifically designed to assist organisations with their policies, processes, and controls, and to help them become more inclusive organisations where everyone can thrive.

In 2022, Audit Express was awarded a Small Business Grant by Globe Melbourne, which is supporting us to launch our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Support Program, and to make this available to an initial pilot group of ten community and not-for-profit organisations at no cost. In our commitment to supporting organisations to achieve excellence in their approach to ensuring Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, we are extending the number of places in our initial pilot group to also include an additional ten sporting groups and/or small businesses that currently provide, or are aspiring to provide, services to the LGBTIQA+ community, or are seeking to improve their policies, processes, and controls that relate to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI).

Why Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Matter

Diversity, equity & inclusion are not just buzzwords, but essential values that organisations should be prioritising. Embracing diversity means recognising and valuing differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, and more. Equity ensures fairness and equal opportunities for all individuals, while inclusivity means creating an environment where everyone feels respected, heard, and included. Belonging goes beyond diversity and inclusivity and creates a sense of community and acceptance where everyone feels like they belong.

Organisations that prioritise diversity, equity, inclusivity, and belonging benefit in many ways. They are more likely to attract and retain diverse talent, foster innovation and creativity, and create a positive and inclusive workplace culture where employees feel motivated and engaged. In addition, organisations that are committed to diversity and inclusion are better positioned to serve diverse communities and customers, which can result in improved business performance and increased customer loyalty.

Introducing the Audit Express Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Support Program

At Audit Express, we understand that creating inclusive organisations requires intentional effort and meaningful actions. Our new Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Support Program is designed to provide comprehensive support to organisations seeking to develop and implement effective policies, processes, and controls to promote and support diversity, equity, inclusivity, and belonging within their organisations.

Why your organisation should apply to join the Audit Express DEI Support Program

Organisations play a crucial role in shaping the culture and society in which we live. By joining and participating in the Audit Express Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Support Program, organisations will not only receive access to a suite of DEI policies, tools and templates to customise and implement, but they will also get the opportunity to undergo a DEI review to identify any issues needing to be addressed and opportunities for improvement.

Our DEI support program participants will be able to participate in a range of professional development courses, workshops position and networking opportunities, positioning them as leaders in fostering inclusive environments that celebrate diversity, promote equity, and drive meaningful change.

What is involved & what is the commitment?

By signing up to join the Audit Express DEI Support Program, you are committing to participating in all parts of the structured 3-month program, which includes a schedule of activities, workshops and milestones, including:

  1. Virtual onboarding webinar
    (30-minute webinar/webinar recording)
  2. Initial discovery session that will help us to get to know your organisation, and our team will work with you to define and set agreed DEI objectives, goals and targets.
    (60-minute virtual meeting)
  3. Our team will then review your organisation’s website, marketing content, policies, documented processes and systems across your organisation that relate to DEI and impact or relate to your employees and clients.
  4. Post-review meeting to discuss key observations, findings and recommendations
    (30-minute virtual meeting)
  5. Regular catch-ups to make sure you are on track to achieve the agreed DEI objectives, goals and targets
    (20-minute virtual meeting every 2-3 weeks)
  6. End-of-program networking event, where you will get the chance to meet and connect with other participants of the program and the team from Audit Express
    (2-hour networking event)
  7. Program alumni will also be invited to join our DEI Virtual Community, which is made up of a network of like-minded professionals that are seeking to make a difference and both individuals and organisations that have completed the Audit Express DEI Support Program.

Do you and your organisation have what it takes to make a difference?

We want to work with individuals and organisations that want to make a difference and are both committed and ready to take action in making changes and improvements in their respective organisations.

Given the limited number of spaces in this program, individuals and organisations wanting to participate must go through the application process. Participating organisations are expected to nominate one person to represent their organisation as the key point of contact for the in-person meetings, workshops and forums that form part of the support program. The nominated person representing the organisation in participating in our DEI Support Program should have the level of seniority, authority, or approval to develop and implement policy within their organisation or the support of management to make recommendations for potential changes and improvements.

Cost & who should apply


As mentioned above, as a recipient of a GLOBE Small Business Grant, Audit Express are offering a place in our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Support Program to an initial group of ten community and not-for-profit organisations at no cost.
In its commitment to supporting organisations to improve their approach to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Audit Express is extending this generous offer to an additional ten sporting groups and/or small businesses at no cost.

Who should apply

This offer is only available to a limited number of individuals and organisations. Audit Express is seeking to make an impact with this support program. Preference will be given to applicants that are seeking to improve their approach to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) and organisations that are currently providing or are aspiring to provide services to diverse groups and cohorts or customers/students/clients, including:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • Refuge and migrant communities
  • LGBTIQA+ community
  • Individuals experiencing homelessness
  • Long-term unemployed
  • Individuals needing care and support (aged care/disability support/substance abuse/mental health)

The application process

How to convince your boss

To help you convince your boss we have prepared a template letter that you can download to help you to convince your boss/supervisor/manager/CEO that applying to participate in the Audit Express DEI Support Program is a good idea and to also help you to explain how your organisation will benefit.

Click here to download our template letter to help you convince your boss!


How to apply

Click on the link below to apply for a place in the first intake of our Diversity Equity & Inclusion Support Program.
If you are seeking more information or have any questions about our DEI support program, contact us by phone: 1300735541 or email:

Click here to apply to join and participate in the Audit Express Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Support Program.

Application deadline

The closing date and time for submitting applications is Friday 16th June 2023 at 5:30pm (AEDT).


Application stage:
The application process closes at 5:30pm on Friday, 16th June 2023.

Confirmation of acceptance into the program:
Audit Express will start reviewing applications on Monday, 19th June 2023, and will notify applicants of the outcome of their application and if they have secured a place in the program. This communication will be sent to applicants by email on the week commencing Friday, 23rd June 2023.

DEI Support Program start date:
Audit Express anticipates that the DEI Support Program will officially commence on the week commencing Monday, 3rd July 2023.


Know your RTO obligations for 2021

Know your RTO obligations for 2021

ASQA has published an update and helpful checklist to help you stay on top of your RTO obligations and reporting requirements for 2021.

You can download ASQA’s 2021 RTO obligations checklist here.

If you need help with meeting your RTO’s obligations or reporting requirements, contact Audit Express on 1300735541.


VET Sector calls for an end to politicians putting ideology before good policy at the Federal VET Policy Forum.

VET Sector calls for an end to politicians putting ideology before good policy at the Federal VET Policy Forum.


Federal VET Policy Forum

Assistant Minister Karen Andrews MP at the at the Federal VET Policy Forum.

Key stakeholders from the vocational education and training (VET) sector, including decisions makers and thought leaders from TAFE Organisations, Private Registered Training Organisations and Community Education Providers met in Melbourne on 16/07/2018 at the Federal VET Policy Forum to discuss the future of the Australian VET Sector, which has been plagued by scandal and poor government policy.

Shadow Minister Senator Doug Cameron at the Federal VET Policy Forum

The forum was held at the VET Development Centre, and was organised and hosted by Audit Express, an assurance and advisory firm that specialises in education policy.

Kevin Ekendahl, CEO of Audit Express said that his team had organised the forum to promote cohesion and harmony within the vocational education and training sector, and to encourage all providers to work together to build a stronger sector.  “For too long our sector has been used as a political football, we organised this forum to promote good policy in VET as we’ve seen the detrimental effects bad policy has on our sector, students and the economy” said Mr Ekendahl.

The forum was attended by more than 100 guests, representing some of Australia’s largest and highly regarded TAFE’s, RTO’s and Community Education Providers. The forum kicked off with presentations from Mary Faraone, Chair of TAFE Directors Australia (TDA), Rod Camm, CEO of the Australian Council of Private Education & Training (ACPET) and Don Perlgut, CEO of Community Colleges Australia (CCA), who each presented the challenges, concerns and needs of their parts of the VET sector.


Mary Faraone, Chair of Tafe Directors Australia, called for the removal of the 20% tax of students who take on a VET Student Loan. Ms Faraone said that VET is currently a “hard sell”, as evidenced by the decline in government-funded training, and the impact of issues such as demand driven university admissions and the VET student loan scandal. Ms Faraone also shared her concerns about the prospect of a looming skills mismatch – “people without jobs and jobs without people”, and that this is worsened by funding being uneven across states and territories, and student choices distorted by differing taxation and support arrangements between university and VET.

Don Perlgut, CEO of Community Colleges described the VET Sector as being the “Middle Child” of the greater education sector, and gave a plea for our government to demonstrate National Leadership, “calling for our national politicians to provide real vision and leadership in Australia’s VET space, developing bi-partisan approaches to national challenges”. Mr Perlgut noted that “it’s time for proper funding: don’t tell me that we don’t have the money, because we surely do, when we are considering tax cuts across the board”.

Rod Camm, CEO of the Australian Council of Private Education and Training (ACPET) said that “we need a vision, we need a national policy framework and we need to take ideology out of VET”. He also said that “the current construct of our system has to have a fundamental rethink”.

The forum attendees also heard from Assistant Minister Karen Andrews, who delivered her vision for VET, which was focussed on building on the past, securing our future. The Assistant Minister spoke about her support of innovation in the VET Sector, in particular of her support for micro-credentials, skill sets and innovative training programs that lead to employment for students. Assistant Minster Andrews also outlined the review of the AQF that is currently taking place. You can read more about the Assistant Minister’s announcements here.

Finally, the forum heard from the Shadow Minister Senator Doug Cameron, who spoke of his commitment to ensuring that a full inquiry of the VET Sector will take place should Labor win the upcoming Federal election. Senator Cameron also spoke of his unwavering support for TAFE’s, re-iterating that 2/3 of funding of VET will go directly to TAFE under a Labor led government. You can read Senator Cameron’s speech here.

Both Minister Andrews and Shadow Minister Cameron agreed on a number of key points, including the reality that training packages are currently outdated, in many cases not responsive to the needs of industry or current job roles, and that structure of both training packages the overall Australian qualifications framework is in desperate need of a rethink. Senator Cameron said that qualifications were narrow and not fit for purpose. He then raised the question “are Training Packages operating for public good?”.

One thing was clear from all presenters and the agreeable audience, that is the current Training Packages and the framework in which they operate are not working and are in desperate need of a re-think and new direction.

Sector representatives from TDA, ACPET and CCA all described a perceived “lack of a VET Policy vision at a federal level, on all sides of government”. There was also an overwhelming support from both the guests attending the forum and also from the panel of industry representatives for both sides of government to put good policy before ideology moving forward.

Attendees at the forum took to twitter throughout and after the forum with mixed views of support and frustration.

Call to action

1. In the lead up to this Federal Election the team from Audit Express encourage you to participate in the policy discussion, especially when it comes to Vocational Education and Training. You can do this by following the three key industry representatives and member organisations, which can be followed here:

2. Keep in close contact with your relevant member organisation or industry representative organisation. If you see or hear something happening in the VET Sector that you disagree with or are unhappy with, or if you are passionate about a particular topic or issue, always remember that “the pen is mightier than the sword”. Never underestimate the power of writing to the minister, or your local senator or member of parliament. For more information on contacting your local senator or MP, click here.

3. Be active and vocal on social media about the issues that you care about!


2018 Federal VET Policy Forum

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UPDATE – This event is fully booked. All ticket allocations were exhausted in less than 10 hours. We are however hoping to live-stream this event, so please watch this space.

The Australian VET Sector has experienced significant change and transformation over recent years.
If you have solutions and want to make a difference, we want your input!

This event will put the issues and needs of the VET Sector in the spotlight, and back onto the federal policy agenda.

The Federal VET Forum & Panel Discussion will set the scene and put the issue of VET front and centre in the lead up to the Federal Election. This event brings together thought-leaders and key stakeholders from the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Sector, and will provide a platform for discussion, debate and also for concerns about landscape and policy of the VET sector to be voiced.

  • Hear from the Federal Assistant Minister Karen Andrews, as she delivers her position and vision for the Australian VET Sector beyond 2018.
  • Hear from the Shadow Minister, Senator Doug Cameron about his plans to review the National Vocational Education and Training sector if his party wins the next the Federal election.
  • Learn about the various issues and challenges faced by the three key types of training providers in the sector (Private/TAFE/Community) with the VET Sector Stakeholder Panel discussion, which includes:
    • Rod Camm, CEO of ACPET
    • Craig Robertson, CEO of Tafe Directors Australia
    • Don Perlgut, CEO of Community Colleges Australia

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FREE Professional Development Session

FREE Professional Development Session


Registrations for this event are currently closed as we have reached full capacity. Thank you for your interest. The VET Development 2018 PD Calendar will be launched soon, check out their website in the coming weeks

FREE Professional Development Session!

Audit Express has teamed up with the VET Development Centre to deliver a one off FREE Professional Development Session titled ‘VET Professional Development – How much is enough?’

What is covered in this webinar:[emaillocker id=6291]

This session will cover off on the most common questions that we receive about VET Professional Development, including:

• Understanding of what VET PD is
• What sources are acceptable for PD
• How to quantify
• Establishing an acceptable framework and plan for PD

As 2017 winds up, it is really important that Trainers and Assessors start planning their continuing professional development (PD) for the year ahead (2018) as VET practitioners.

As part of the Registration Standards, an RTO must ensure that all trainers and assessors undertake PD in the fields of the knowledge and practice of vocational training, learning and assessment, including competency-based training and assessment.

In this webinar we will explore what VET PD is, what forms of VET PD could be acceptable, how to quantify VET PD and explore some examples of best practice. Participants will also receive a complimentary 2018 VDC PD Planner.

At the end of this webinar, participants will gain:

​• An understanding of what is required of Trainers/Assessors in maintaining their VET Professional Development
• Insight into what they should do in the lead up to 2018 in planning their Professional Development.
• Participants will also receive a complimentary 2018 VDC PD Planner

You can find out more information, and you can register for the live webinar by clicking here >>>


How to apply for a Victorian Skills First Funding Contract

How to apply for a Victorian Skills First Funding Contract

What we know so far

The Victorian Department of Education and Training (The Department) has announced that it’s call for expressions of Interest for Skills First 2018-19 VET Funding Contracts will open at 2pm on Friday the 1st of September 2017, and will close on Thursday the 28th of September 2017.

It is understood that applying organisations will be able to apply for either a “Standard” or “Restricted” funding contract, which is consistent with the current 2017 Skills First VET Funding Contracts.

Successful applicants will be offered a 2 year contract, that will be valid throughout the 2018 and 2019 calendar years.

[emaillocker id=6291]The Department has advised that it is hoping to provide applying organisations of their outcome in November 2017.

A suite of information will be published on the The Department’s Skills Victoria Training System (SVTS) when the Call for EOI opens on 1/9/2017, including draft VET Funding Contracts and supporting information to assist providers with completing the application process.

Information sessions will be held in Melbourne, Geelong, Traralgon and Bendigo in the first week of September. Providers can register now via SVTS. Places will be limited to three attendees per training provider.

For more information on how to apply for a Skills First 2018 – 2019 Funding Contract please complete your details on the registration form at the end of this post to attend our FREE WEBINAR on “How to apply for a Skills First 2018 – 2019 Funding Contract“.

The Good News

There is some really good news in this years’ Skills First contract application process, in that the Victorian state government has listened to our feedback and calls for longer contract durations. As already mentioned, successful applicants will be offered a 2 year contract, that will be valid throughout the 2018 and 2019 calendar years. This is a great outcome and will offer quality training providers greater certainty and stability. This will also allow providers to invest in their business to deliver quality training.

It is also really pleasing to hear that the Department will allow training providers up until 16/10/2017 to provide the required financial information, including financials that have been audited by an ASIC Registered Auditor.

Get Your Financials Ready NOW!

The Department has advised that training provider applicants will need to submit their audited financial statements for the two most recently completed full financial years. These financial statements must be accompanied by independent audit reports completed by an ASIC registered auditor. Applicants are encouraged to prepare this documentation as soon as possible. If your organisation has not already started work on this, do not delay – now is the time to start work on this important task.

Learn Local Training Providers that are applying for a restricted contract must have audited financial statements, but will be pleased to hear that they are exempted from the requirement for the auditor to be an ASIC Registered Auditor. That is unless they are applying for a standard contract, in which case Learn Local Training Providers must utilise an ASIC Registered Auditor.

The requirement to submit audited financials is arguably the most challenging part of the application process, and the one sticking point that has seen countless applications rejected over previous years. Having financials audited by an ASIC Registered Auditor is no small task. If your organisation is looking for an ASIC Registered Auditor that is experienced in supporting training providers to apply for VET Funding Contracts, please get in touch and we will happily introduce you to one of our reputable contacts.

The To Do List

  • Register online at to attend the Department’s 2018 Provider Selection Process Information Sessions. These sessions are targeted towards training providers that are considering lodging an expression of interest for a Skills First 2018-19 VET Funding Contract
  • Continue to monitor SVTS daily for further updates and announcements throughout the application process
  • Register your details on the form below to attend our FREE LIVE WEBINAR on Monday 4th September where we will unpack the Skills First contract for you and discuss what is involved in the application process, or click on the following link if the form below isn’t working on your device:
  • Contact the team at Audit Express if you have any questions, or require support completing your application