A Complete Guide to Your Annual Declaration of RTO Compliance
Anyone experienced in the VET industry will tell you that RTO compliance is not as easy as it seems. Although checking the “yes” boxes in the Annual Declaration on Compliance form is tempting, you need to ensure you are answering correctly. But how exactly do you ensure that you’re completing the annual declaration on compliance accurately? How do you confirm that you’re following regulations and policies? What if you find non-compliance issues? If you’re wondering, then continue reading.
What is RTO Compliance?
The RTO annual declaration of compliance is a vital requirement that RTOs must submit annually. Aside from assuring ASQA that your organisation is following regulations, it is also an effective way to review the overall quality of your RTO’s training programs.
This compliance declaration certifies that:
- Your RTO followed the requirements for all Australian Qualifications Framework certification documentation issued in the last 12 months
- Your RTO meets the requirements of the registration stated in the Australian Quality Training Framework Standards and other guidelines for VET providers
- Your RTO has training and assessment strategies and procedures to ensure students are trained and evaluated in a manner that follows the standards and guidelines
- Your RTO consistently observed compliance and rectified discovered issues
Plus, this crucial requirement helps ASQA spot arising issues in the VET industry.
How to Conduct an Internal Audit
Undertaking an internal audit will help you determine whether your RTO meets compliance requirements. This “health check” is essential in remaining proactive and identifying early if there are non-compliance issues.
Don’t just conduct an internal audit once a year when the annual declaration of RTO compliance rolls around. A regular, scheduled self-assessment helps RTOs verify that standards and procedures are maintained throughout the year. Without this, you might be risking your registration.
For an effective internal audit, follow these 5 steps:
Identify who should be part of the self-assessment.
Who will conduct the internal audit? Who will be included in the process? And which students and trainers will be participating? It’s best to determine who will be involved in the audit so they can make time, arrange auditing tools, or prepare evidence.
Talk to admin, trainers, and students and review their feedback.
Listen and document their observations, complaints, and appeals. Compare what you have heard against your policies, standards, and procedures. This might help you identify issues and opportunities for improvement early on.
Review your training and assessment strategies.
Find what aspects you can improve on. Do your trainers need further assistance? Or are the identified issues linked to your training resources? One of the most common non-compliance issues is clause 1.8 in the Standards for RTOs 2015.
Read more about Why so Many RTOs Fail Clause 1 of the Standards for RTOs.
Revisit your RTO materials and check if they meet the competency standards of training packages, the volume of learning, and the like. After all, high-quality RTO resources typically lead to better training, hence why compliance with the standards is important to your RTO’s success.
Check if there are new requirements.
Visit ASQA’s website and ensure you’re meeting all the requirements. Sign up for their newsletter to stay informed. Also, see state regulations related to your sector. Is your program in line with the laws? Are there issues related to it?
Complete the ASQA self-assessment tool.
The ASQA self-assessment tool is developed to aid training providers with RTO compliance. It helps RTOs identify problems and issues to take necessary actions to resolve them.
What Happens If Non-Compliance Issues Arise?
Don’t worry. It’s better that you discover the issues during your internal audit than the regulatory audit, so you can make appropriate adjustments.
Start by outlining opportunities for improvements and plan your next steps. Create a strategy on how you will address these issues and rectify non-compliance problems. Remember to include whether there will be revisions in your policies and standards, and indicate whether additional or new measures are needed.
How Do You Submit the RTO Annual Declaration of Compliance Form?
Every February, ASQA sends an email to RTO CEOs containing an exclusive and unique URL to your RTO compliance declaration survey. The form submission is until 31 March, and there is no deadline extension.
When completing the form, here are some things you should remember:
- Check, edit, and save the information when completing your form. Once submitted, you can no longer access it to change incorrect information.
- Print or save a copy of the completed form so you can compare or use it as guidelines for the next declaration.
- You can only submit your declaration once.
- Late submissions are not accepted.
- Once successfully submitted, a message will appear to confirm your declaration.
However, if you did not receive the link to your annual declaration on compliance, here’s what you need to do:
- Check your junk or spam folder.
- Verify the details listed on training.gov.au. Confirm if they are correct or updated. If the details indicated are incorrect, edit them in ASQAnet and email email@example.com. Ask them to resend the link to the annual declaration on compliance.
- If you unsubscribed from ASQA emails, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to reactivate your subscription.
- If none of the above works, contact the info line and tell them that your RTO has not received the link.
How About New RTOs?
Whether or not you are required to fill out an annual declaration on compliance depends on the registration date. If your RTO was registered by 31 December in the year prior to the March deadline, you must submit your annual RTO compliance form. But if your registration is in the same year as the March deadline, you must submit one the following year.
Filling out the annual compliance form may look simple, but it calls for a lot of preparation. Aside from changes in standards, strategies, and policies, high-quality training resources also contribute to your compliance. Don’t forget to contextualise or customise your training resources to meet the needs of your learners and compliance standards.
This is also where an audit rectification assistance guarantee on resources comes in handy. No matter how good your training resources are, compliance is still subject to the opinion of the individual auditor. Having training resources with an audit rectification guarantee helps you immeasurably.
You can learn more about our training resources and how they can help you meet compliance standards by sending an enquiry. Fill out the form, and we’ll get back to you with free samples, customised quotes or info packs. Let’s talk about you can stay compliant with our training resources!