Reform of Australia’s VET system given the green light by Federal and State/Territory governments

Reform of Australia’s VET system given the green light by Federal and State/Territory governments

The Federal Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, the Hon. Stuart Robert, has announced a major overhaul to our vocational education and training (VET) system, a strategy which has also been agreed to by the states and territories.

Essentially, the changes are intended to create a more flexible and responsive VET system, replacing one which has historically been seen as clunky and bureaucratic.

The new system is intended to give Australians access to more relevant and ‘fit for purpose’ training, which meets the current demands of the workforce. This also means that employers will have access to better-equipped workers, and that emerging jobs can more effectively be resourced.

The changes come at a time when Australia’s VET industry desperately needs reform, with many industries emerging from lockdowns short of skilled workers.

Summary of changes:

The approval process for training packages will be streamlined, with ASIC being replaced by a new ‘independent assurance’ function.

A new Industry Clusters model (made up of representatives from groups of aligned industries) will replace the current 67 IRCs and six SSOs. This changeover will be complete by 1 January 2023.

The Federal Government is investing $292.5 million over the next four years to make this happen (over and above the $6.4 billion already committed to skills and training this year).

The Industry Clusters will:

  • Forecast current and emerging skills needs and challenges in their own industries – and how to best respond to these.
  • Develop training products that improve the quality and responsiveness of training products. They will also test and pilot emerging products and new approaches to meeting industry needs.
  • Work with training providers to ensure that the delivery of training actually meets employers’ needs and that there is clarity around career pathways.
  • Provide strategic input on skills, workforce needs and the effectiveness of VET policies and standards, in the form of an annual ‘health check’.

It is expected that the changes could see the turnaround time for updating qualifications shortened from what was an average of 2+ years to just a matter of three months.

All in all, the reforms mean there will be better transparency, accountability and confidence in providers’ training products, and that industries will be able to play a greater role in shaping the VET system: a win for both learners and employers.

We’ll keep our followers and clients updated with more information around the changes as they come to hand.

More information on the changes is available here.

Senior Team Leader, Auditor & Quality Consultant Role

Senior Team Leader, Auditor & Quality Consultant Role

Audit Express is a leading internal audit, quality assurance and consulting firm specialising in the education, health and care sectors. We work directly with organisations of all types, shapes and sizes right across Australia and internationally. Our clients include some of Australia’s most well known, award-winning TAFE Institutes, Universities, Large Employers and Regulators. We also work with many incredible industry, enterprise and community-based organisations throughout Australia.

Due to organisational growth, we are expanding our team.

We are looking for someone with skills to lead, guide and mentor our audit and consulting team and provide support in various aspects of the business and client management.

The Role:

The Senior Team Leader, Auditor & Quality Consultant role is based in Melbourne, Victoria. You will work closely with the Managing Director, and form part of the internal management team.

The position of Senior Team Leader, Auditor & Quality Consultant with Audit Express is a high-level management position that requires advanced skills in project management, organisational skills, team management and high-level communication skills (both written and verbal). This position involves independent thinking and autonomy.

This role is a frontline position that provides audit and consulting services to clients, promotes the organisation through a range of mediums and contributes towards attracting and growing business opportunities. This position will be privy to confidential and sensitive information and a high level of confidentiality and discretion is required. This position requires excellent research skills, the ability to analyse and interpret information, write reports and provide both high-level advice and detailed technical advice to clients and stakeholders.

This position will require the person to work closely with clients, leads, industry representatives and other stakeholders to deliver excellent customer service, responsiveness to requests, timely and accurate advice and delivery of client services.

Audit Express is a dynamic organisation and it is expected that in addition to the tasks outlined below, the person in this position will be able to adapt, assist and undertake additional tasks as required within their skills and ability.

This role will require the successful applicant to travel interstate, and will also include travel to regional and remote areas (restrictions permitting). Travel is usually two days and one night away.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Team Leader and overseeing the planning, conducting and reporting on Internal Audits
  • Proving guidance and assistance in conducting Business Health Checks and Process Reviews
  • Writing, reviewing and QA checking Internal Audit Reports
  • Providing support, leadership and guidance to the team of auditors and quality consultants with:
    • supporting clients to develop and maintain Rectification Plans. 
    • supporting RTO clients with the Validation and Moderation of their assessment tools and practices.
    • supporting RTO clients with the development of Training & Assessment Strategies.
    • supporting RTO clients to extend their scope of registration.
    • support RTO clients to manage scope of registration ensuring currency of all training products.

Skills and Qualifications

  • Diploma of Vocational Education and Training and/or Diploma of Training Design and Development, or higher qualification.
  • Diploma of Quality Auditing and/or Graduate Certificate in Internal Auditing.
  • AQF Level 7 qualification (or higher) in business administration/management or similar.
  • A minimum of six years working in a professional services organisation at a senior level or as a consultant.
  • A minimum of three years working as a senior lead auditor and managing staff.
  • Auditors must provide evidence of recent Continuing Professional Education which is in line with the Institute of Internal Auditors PD requirements.

Key Selection Criteria

  1. Able to lead, guide and provide professional development to our team of auditors and quality consultants.
  2. Meets the desirable skills and qualifications.
  3. Ability to work independently, autonomously and lead a team.
  4. Ability to read and interpret standards and produce quality management systems to comply with these standards.
  5. Strong communication skills, including: verbal, written and report writing.
  6. High attention to detail.
  7. Advanced knowledge of the Australian VET Sector, including:
    • the Standards for RTOs 2015
    • ESOS
    • State Funding Contracts
    • VET Student Loans
  8. Ability to multi-task, prioritise and work in a fast-paced environment.
  9. Working knowledge of cloud-based technology including file sharing, project management and video conferencing.
  10. Ability to travel interstate and/or regional and remote areas for several consecutive days.

This is a fantastic opportunity to bring your leadership skills, VET sector knowledge and compliance background to our boutique and dynamic national audit, quality assurance and consulting firm and progress your career to the next level.

To apply for this role please send your resume and a cover letter addressing the key selection criteria to:

Kevin Ekendahl
CEO
Audit Express
info@auditexpress.com.au

• Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
• Audit Express is an equal opportunity employer and we encourage women, parents returning to work, our LGBTI friends, people with disabilities and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people to apply for this incredibly awesome role.

Internal Auditor & Quality Consultant Role

Internal Auditor & Quality Consultant Role

Internal Auditor & Quality Consultant

AuditExpress is a leading internal audit, quality assurance and consulting firm specialising in the education, health and care sectors. We work directly with organisations of all types, shapes and sizes right across Australia. Our clients include some of Australia’s most well known, award-winning TAFE Institutes, Universities and Large Employers. We also work with many incredible industry, enterprise and community-based organisations throughout Australia.

Due to organisational growth, we are expanding our team.
If you are an experienced and qualified internal auditor and consultant, we want to speak with you today!

The Role:

The Internal Auditor & Quality Consultant role is based in Melbourne, Victoria. You will work closely with the Managing Director, Practice Manager and panel of Internal Auditors to execute our audit programmes.

The position of Internal Auditor with Audit Express is a senior position that requires advanced skills in project management, organisational skills and high-level communication skills (both written and verbal). This position involves independent thinking and autonomy.

This role is a frontline position that provides audit and consulting services to clients, promotes the organisation through a range of mediums and contributes towards attracting and growing business opportunities. This position will be privy to confidential and sensitive information and a high level of confidentiality and discretion is required. This position requires excellent research skills, the ability to analyse and interpret information, write reports and provide both high-level advice and detailed technical advice to clients and stakeholders.

This position will require the person to work closely with clients, leads, industry representatives and other stakeholders to deliver excellent customer service, responsiveness to requests, timely and accurate advice and delivery of client services.

Audit Express is a small and dynamic organisation and it is expected that in addition to the tasks outlined below, the person in this position will be able to adapt, assist and undertake additional tasks as required within their skills and ability.

This role will require the successful applicant to travel interstate, and will also include travel to regional and remote areas. Travel is usually two days and one night away.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Planning, conducting and reporting on Internal Audits
  • Conducting Business Health Checks and Process Reviews
  • Writing Internal Audit Reports
  • Supporting clients to develop and maintain Rectification Plans
  • Supporting RTO clients with the Validation and Moderation of their assessment tools and practices.
  • Supporting RTO clients with the development of Training & Assessment Strategies
  • Supporting RTO clients to extend their scope of registration
  • Support RTO clients to manage scope of registration ensuring currency of all training products

Desirable Skills and Qualifications

  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment or higher (TAE40116 or currently enrolled in this qualification).
  • Diploma of Quality Auditing.
  • Diploma level qualification (AQF Level 5) in business administration/management or similar.
  • A minimum of five years working in a registered training organisation at a senior level or as a consultant.
  • A minimum of three years working in a management position with direct oversight of more than five people.
  • Contract and Casual Auditors/Consultants must provide evidence of ongoing VET Practitioner Currency.
  • Auditors must provide evidence of recent Continuing Professional Education which is in line with the Institute of Internal Auditors PD requirements.
  • In depth knowledge of AVETMISS Data and a working knowledge of common VET sector student management systems, including:
    • Vettrak
    • Axcelerate
    • JobReady
    • WiseNet; or
    • Other leading Student Management System(s)

Key Selection Criteria

  1. Meets the desirable skills and qualifications
  2. Ability to work independently, autonomously and without supervision
  3. Advanced knowledge of the VET Sector, including:
    • the Standards for RTOs 2015
    • ESOS
    • State Funding Contracts
    • VET Student Loans
  4. Ability to multi-task, prioritise and work in a fast-paced environment
  5. Working knowledge of cloud-based technology including file sharing, project management and video conferencing
  6. Ability to travel interstate and/or regional and remote areas for several consecutive days
  7. Ability to read and interpret standards and produce quality management systems to comply with these standards
  8. Strong communication skills, including: verbal, written and report writing
  9. High attention to detail

This is a fantastic opportunity to bring your Internal Auditing expertise, VET sector knowledge and compliance background to a growing and dynamic national audit, quality assurance and consulting firm.

To apply for this role please send your resume and a cover letter addressing the key selection criteria to:

Kevin Ekendahl
CEO
Audit Express
info@auditexpress.com.au

• Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
• Audit Express is an equal opportunity employer and we encourage women, parents returning to work, our LGBTI friends, people with disabilities and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people to apply for this incredibly awesome role.

Changes to the 2022 Skills First Funding Contract: What you need to know

Changes to the 2022 Skills First Funding Contract: What you need to know

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. 

Audit Express Launches its Digital Badging Framework

Audit Express Launches its Digital Badging Framework

We’re proud to announce that we launched our Digital Badging Framework at the educonomy Micro-Credential & Digital Badging Virtual Summit, which coincided with National Skills Week.

Our Digital Badging Framework aims to:

  1. Award individuals digital badges to recognise their participation in professional development and quality assurance activities, such as internal audits and assessment validation; 
  2. Award organisations with digital badges to recognise their approach to quality assurance.

Until now there hasn’t been any material way for tertiary institutions to evidence in a quickly verifiable fashion that they had undergone an internal audit and to demonstrate their commitment to quality and best practice. It was also hard for employees of tertiary institutions to easily represent the time they had spent on their own professional development.

We recognise that not all professional learning takes place in an educational institution, so we set out to develop a way for informal learning in our industry to be celebrated and recognised. 

We worked with education industry consultants educonomy over six months to help us develop the Framework, identifying what qualities and attributes would be recognised under the badges, and how the industry and future employers might use this information. 

The Framework is split into two parts:

  • Individual badges: awarded to individuals for their participation in professional development, assessment validation and the audit process
  • Organisational badges: awarded to education providers to recognise that they demonstrate best practice in quality assurance.

The badges we have issued hold enormous value for earners. Organisations which have earned badges can now provide third-party verification of their commitment to quality and best practise.

Individuals who have earned badges can now easily present their own commitment to quality and the hours they have completed in their own professional development.

Digital badges are a powerful tool of recognition, which can be verified at the click of a button, and provide a fantastic branding opportunity, as they can be proudly displayed on organisational marketing materials and shared on personal LinkedIn profiles.

Through the work we do with Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) across the Vocational Education & Training (VET) and Higher Education (HE) sectors, we’ve been impacting the learning experiences and lives of more than one million students in the Asia Pacific region each year.

We believe that our Digital Badging Framework is a powerful part of our mission to improve the overall quality of the Australian education sector. 

The Guide to Good Governance

The Guide to Good Governance

As you prepare your RTO for re-registration, it’s crucial to understand the fundamentals of governance and the importance of maintaining quality management systems. The onus is on your organisation to demonstrate how it intends to meet the relevant standards & criteria and, to evidence how it has ensured it has met the standards & criteria in practice.

We’ve produced an in-depth Guide to Good Governance for RTOs, which covers:

▶️ Knowing your standards & criteria
▶️ Establishing a governance & risk framework
▶️ Designing & implementing a quality management system
▶️ Creating a culture that drives compliance & accountability

Download our Guide to Good Governance here.

For more information on how to prepare your RTO for re-registration, take a look at our webinar series.