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A Significant Step Towards Modern Regulation

A Significant Step Towards Modern Regulation image

A significant step has been taken to improve Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) sector with the passing of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Amendment (Governance and Other Matters) Bill 2020.

This Bill will position the agency responsible for regulating the VET sector – the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as an effective, modern regulator.

The Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator, the Hon. Michaelia Cash, said that these changes will help ensure regulation of the sector is more transparent and effective.

"Quality regulation is integral to ensuring that the training system is equipped to deliver high-quality student outcomes and to efficiently adapt to changing skill needs, labour market fluctuations and developing technologies.", Minister Cash said.  "The passing of this Bill is another critical step in the Government's reform process to support ASQA's continued evolution as a transparent and balanced regulator that engages effectively with stakeholders and builds quality in the VET sector. These reforms will benefit the providers regulated by ASQA, as well as VET students, graduates, employers and the Australian economy more broadly.".

ASQA Chief Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Saxon Rice, said that the new governance arrangements are a key part of the reform work underway to improve ASQA's alignment with best practice regulation for the benefit of all students.   

"ASQA's new internal structure also gives effect to the recommendations made in the recent Rapid Review, including a stronger focus on engagement and education and the appointment of new senior staff to guide the change." Ms Rice said. "In addition to our internal changes, ASQA is working together with VET providers on developing a shared understanding of self-assurance and will be engaging with the sector over coming months on further improvements to our audit practice.".

Since the Rapid Review was published on 30 April 2020, ASQA has:

Ms Rice also stated in ASQA's recent update that this is a key part of the reform work underway to improve ASQA's alignment with best practice regulation for the benefit of students, providers and employers. 

The Bill amends the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 and over the next 12 months, changes to legislation will come into effect to support those amendments. The first of these changes came in to effect from 1 September 2020.

Further information regarding the Bill and ASQA's legislative changes can be accessed via the links below:

Date posted Sep 3, 2020

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