Training providers are not just left to work as they deem fit, will this is in terms of quality of training they provide to the service. There are minimum standards that need to be met by all RTO providers. To ascertain that standards are maintained, quality audits are done once in a while by the ASQA which is the legal body authorized for this. They may not need to seek an RTO’s consent before they require an audit. They choose to do audits as they deem fit. That said, certain providers may be exempted from stringent checks if they have managed to prove over the years that they are compliant.
The amount of details that will be required during the audit process will depend on the risk level of the RTO and the amount of information that is required. Also the type of audit will determine the level of detail. Audits may require site visits that may be national, or international. Sometimes they may be happy to use desk based approach where all they do is to study documents. The method of audit is at the discretion of the ASQA authorities.
For the SQA to successfully carry out the audit, they will request information from the RTO under investigation. They may even ask students questions and other relevant third parties. They will look at things like risk registers as well as complaints registers.
At least ten days but at most twenty days before the scheduled date of the audit the head of the audit team will contact the RTO institution and inform them of the audit procedure and the names of members of the audit team. They can also offer RTO advice at this time. They also have to confirm the date of the audit so there are no misunderstandings. They will also request some pre audit information that they may need.
The audit proper starts by a visit of the team of auditors to the main office of the RTO. They will have a series of meeting during which they will explain the reason for the audit and probably highlight their expectations. They will then ask to visit the different sites. RTOs will be required to show prove of how they carry out quality training, how they ensure that their trainings meet established standards and their governance structure. At the end of the audit process the will be a meeting with the RTO management where key findings will be discussed and gaps highlighted. They will be given a last chance to meet compliance.
After the audit proper which includes site visits, the auditors will prepare an audit report that will contain recommendations. Based on the report, the ASQA will make a decision on any application that the RTO placed and they will be informed about this decision in writing.