Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF)
The AQTF is the national set of standards which assures nationally consistent, high-quality training and assessment services for the clients of Australia's VET system.
Strengthening the AQTF
In December 2009, COAG agreed to amendments to the AQTF that strengthen the regulatory requirements underpinning the VET sector. The amendments introduce conditions and standards for initial registration of new training providers and strengthen the requirements for ongoing registration, including stronger financial viability and fee protection conditions.
The new AQTF Essential Conditions and Standards for Initial Registration and Continuing Registration were endorsed by MCTEE in June 2010 and came into effect from 1 July 2010.
The conditions of registration component focuses on setting clear, non-negotiable requirements. These requirements now put a strong emphasis on a RTO's governance structure, business practices and financial viability.
The essential standards for registration focuses on maintaining clear, high standards to ensure that providers are delivering what learners have signed up for at initial registration.
Details on the new AQTF Essential Conditions and Standards for Initial Registration and Continuing Registration are available on www.training.com.au
What are the quality indicators?
The AQTF includes quality indicators designed to provide information about RTO performance. Three quality indicators have been identified for use by RTOs for continuous improvement and by registering bodies to establish and monitor risk. The three indicators are:
- Learner Engagement-this indicator focuses on the extent to which learners are engaging in activities likely to promote high-quality skill outcomes and will include learner perceptions of the quality of their competency development and the support
- they receive or have received from RTOs.
Employer Satisfaction-this indicator focuses on employer evaluation of learner competency development and the relevance of learner competency to work and further training, as well as employer evaluation of the overall quality of the training and assessment.
- Competency Completion-this indicator shows the number of enrolments and qualifications completed and units of competency awarded in the previous calendar year by each RTO.
The quality indicators are currently under review as part of further work to support implementation of the strengthened AQTF. The review is evaluating their usefulness as a monitoring tool to assist registering bodies in informing their risk assessment of RTOs, and RTOs in informing their continuous improvement processes.
The AQTF also includes a set of quality indicators for registering bodies. Registering bodies are required to report annually to the NQC through these indicators to assess their performance against the AQTF 2007 Standards for State and Territory Registering Bodies.
What are the Excellence Criteria?
The AQTF Excellence Criteria are designed as a voluntary business framework that RTOs may use internally to continually improve the quality of their training and assessment. They are based on internationally recognised business excellence models and principles that have been customised to better reflect the unique characteristics and priorities of the VET sector in Australia, with a focus on quality training and assessment.
What are the AQTF 2007 Standards for State and Territory Registering Bodies?
These standards apply to registering bodies in quality assuring the training and assessment services that RTOs provide, in accordance with the AQTF and relevant legislation within each jurisdiction. The standards specify the three standards and associated elements; the quality indicators; and the operating protocols for undertaking registration and auditing functions.
How does a training organisation become registered?
To become registered, a training organisation must apply to the registering body in the state or territory where the organisation has its head office, and pay the relevant fees. Registration is for up to five years (unless suspended or cancelled).
What is the scope of registration?
An RTO's scope of registration specifies the AQF qualifications and/or units of competency for which the training organisation is registered to deliver, assess and issue qualifications. These details are recorded on NTIS.
How does auditing work under the AQTF?
Under the AQTF, registering bodies use a nationally consistent risk management approach to monitor the quality of training and assessment services provided by RTOs.
RTOs collect data on their performance, and registering bodies monitor this data to track the quality of outcomes. Based on this monitoring, registering bodies make decisions on frequency, scope and depth of audits of the RTO. There are three primary sources of information used in the risk management process:
- Risk assessment, based on, for example, delivery of qualifications in areas subject to licenses, multisite delivery including across jurisdictions, delivery to international students, and offshore delivery.
- Annual data and information collected, that is, performance against the learner engagement, employer satisfaction and competency completion quality indicators
- Information collected during audits of RTOs. Audits are conducted for initial registration, within 12 months of initial registration, on re-registration, on a variation to scope, following a complaint, and on a risk basis during the registration period informed by the risk profiles that are developed for RTOs based on both the internal and external operating environment of an RTO.
Next chapter: National Quality Council (NQC)
This page was generated on 13 April, 2011