Whether you’re an RTO Manager, Head of Department, a Training Manager, Administration Manager or Compliance Manager, one of your key responsibilities is to ensure that compliance requirements are met.
In most RTOs, you will be working with a team of people tasked with various roles. You are reliant on them to conduct their duties in compliance with the standards, funding contracts and other legislation - not to mention your organisation’s policies and procedures!
It’s not possible for you to be compliant on behalf of all your staff. So how can you best ensure that your team is being compliant?
Read on for our top 4 tips that we’ve seen work in successful RTOs:
Your role will determine how detailed your knowledge needs to be of the requirements for vocational education and your RTO. Perhaps you need:
- A broad overview of what legislation and funding contracts RTOs need to comply with
- A deep understanding of a particular training package, qualification or unit requirements
- Detailed knowledge of the Skills First User Guide and how to report training delivered under a Victorian Skills First funding contract
You can learn and keep up to date with this knowledge by:
- Subscribing to and reading updates from ASQA (or other regulator if relevant), your state training department and trusted RTO consultants.
- Attending relevant briefings from ASQA, state training departments, industry bodies, student management system vendors etc
- Attending professional development webinars and other training events relevant to your role
- Read the source documents relevant to your role (yes, we actually mean read them! And any updated versions or variations!). Examples are:
- Standards for RTOs and the User Guide to the Standards for RTOs (ASQA)
- Funding contracts and guides
- Training Packages and the related user guides
- Industry standards for relevant qualifications
- Student management system guides
- Reporting and statistical guidelines
Now that you know the requirements, set up systems that ensure that each staff member systematically does the same.
You can do this by making sure that each new team member is inducted (yes, we know it takes time that you don’t have, but consider it an investment for the future!).
Continue to ensure that knowledge and skills are maintained about compliance requirements through regular team meetings, internal and external email updates, external professional development relevant to their role.
If - well actually when - non-compliances are discovered, ensure that part of the rectification plan is further training for staff about the requirements. Compliance is more easily achieved when team members know both what they have to do and why (and not just because you said so!).
To ensure that compliance is systematic, ensure that you have assigned the necessary tasks and responsibilities to the relevant team member/s and that they know what to do.
The way to do this is by ensuring that each team member has a current position description. Likewise, document how compliance will be met at your RTO or in your department with policies. Break down the implementation of these policies into procedures.
Like induction and ongoing professional development, the process of documenting compliance requirements is not one to be skipped.
Importantly, when compliance requirements change, make sure that all of these documents are updated in a timely manner and that staff are made aware of the changes.
Avoid being an ostrich hiding it’s head in the proverbial sand, and assuming that all the compliance requirements are being met at your RTO. Compliance is an area where you should never assume...
Of course you trust your team to do the right thing, but we are all humans and mistakes and oversights can be made. And although most staff will do the right thing, there have been cases of staff in RTOs deliberately acting in a non-compliant or even fraudulent manner.
So ensure that you have a regular quality and compliance regimen that may include:
- Internal audits against the Standards for RTOs, funding contracts and other requirements
- Spot checks of documented evidence against reported training activity
- Cross referencing internal reports with external claiming or reporting systems
Be systematic and vigilant when conducting these checks. Encourage your team to come to you openly when there is a non-compliance suspected or discovered. If something is non-compliant, act quickly to get things back on track before the issue escalates.
We hope you have found these tips helpful and looking forward to bringing you more professional development in regards to RTO compliance and reporting soon through our webinars and blogs.