22 March 2022
The Australian Government today announced the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as the independent body to be responsible for training package assurance from 1 January 2023.
This independent assurance function, which forms part of a broader suite of Australian Government reforms to the vocational education and training (VET) system, will see ASQA assessing training packages for compliance against standards and policies set by Skills Ministers, delivering enhanced transparency, accountability and confidence, and ensuring training packages are high quality and meet the needs of employers and students.
The function will replace the Australian Industry and Skills Committee, which will remain in place until 31 December 2022 to ensure continuity and stability of the VET system during transition to the new arrangements.
ASQA’s Chief Executive Officer, Saxon Rice, said: “As the national regulator of VET and an independent statutory authority, ASQA is well placed to take on this function. We will leverage our deep understanding of Australia’s national training system and draw on our extensive regulatory skill set and capability to inform the training package assurance function.
“ASQA’s purpose is to ensure quality VET so that students, employers, governments, and the community have confidence in the integrity of national qualifications issued by training providers. In taking on this new function, ASQA’s role extends to the assurance of both the development and delivery of training products, providing broader stewardship over quality training outcomes and strengthening our ability to deliver on our purpose,” Ms Rice said.
Under the new function, ASQA will also work to build the capacity of Industry Clusters by providing guidance and support on common and emerging issues and risks that arise during the training package development process. This educative function will support the continuous improvement of training package development, particularly during the formative stages of the new arrangements.
Skills Ministers have agreed to undertake a post-implementation review of the new industry engagement arrangements to assess whether the system is working as intended, and to make further improvements where required. ASQA will initially take on the training package assurance function until 31 December 2024, subject to the outcomes of this review.