The re gulator for the vocational education and training (VET) sector, the Australian Skills Quality Authority
(AS QA), has been criticised by Andrew Laming MP in a hard -hitting speech to parliament. According to the
Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (I TECA), the peak body representing independent providers
in the higher education, vocational education and training sector, the v iews of Mr Laming echo those of most
quality independent providers in the VET sector.
Mr Lam ing ‘s speech canvassed the experience of many providers in dealing with ASQA. It highlighted how
award -winning RTOs are being accu sed of failing to meet regulatory standards for min or technical bre aches of
the l egislation or on matters that have no bearing on student quality such as the colo ur of a logo on a website.
ITECA encour ages all with an interest in t he challenges facing quality RTO ‘s to list en to the speech. It was
made in parliament on 31 July 2019 and can be found online at.
“The experience of many ITECA members can be found in Mr Lami ng’s comments. He ‘s drawn attent ion
to how ASQA ‘s app roach keeps good people running quality RTO s up at night,” said Troy Williams, ITECA
Chief Ex ecutive.
Mr Lam ing ‘s speech h ighlighted how many quality RTO ‘s face the wrath of ASQA for compliance issues that
ha ve little to no outcome on the provision of quality providing of training to s tudents.
“ITECA isn ‘t calling for the regulatory system t o be wound -back, s imply that the approach of ASQA be
modified to focus less on what Mr Lam ing c orre ctly called a dmi nistrivia,” Mr Williams said.
In his comments Mr Laming said “Ever y provider I spo ke to said that if there were to be another provider
engaged in fraud, mismanagement or irrespo nsible training practice of course they should be driven from the
training system “. ITECA supports this view without qualification.
The work of ASQA was consider ed in the report Strengthening Skills: Expert Review of Australia’s Vocationa l
Education and Training System autho red by Mr Stephen Jo yce and commi ssioned by the Australian
Government. ITECA believes this report sets a roadmap for reform that will help quality RT Os.
“ITECA and our members are supportive of the board direction set out in the Joyce report and we ‘re
comfo rted by the en gagement that we ‘ve had at a Ministerial and department al l eve l to assist the
government develop an appropr iate response,” Mr Williams sa id.