Ahhhh, quality indicator reporting time... Perhaps you promised yourself this time last year that it would be different next year. And that you’d send out more surveys, you’d collect more results, that you’d analyse the data collected and you’d use the information with your team to bring about real change. And yet, here we are another year later, the ASQA deadline looming, and it all becomes a bit of a routine task to tick off your checklist.
This may not exactly describe your RTO’s experience with quality indicator reporting but these are some of the issues that we come across frequently in RTOs. And of course, nearly everyone complains about the number of questions on the learner and employer surveys!
The real problem
However these issues are really just symptoms of the real problem with quality indicators. The true issue occurs when the collection of quality indicator data is not perceived as valuable, helpful or useful to the RTO.
Of course Quality Indicators are one of the tools ASQA uses to assess the quality of your RTO. But beyond that they are the most useful when embraced as one part of an ongoing cycle of continuous quality improvement.
Continuous quality improvement
For RTOs, continuous improvement is both best practice in the pursuit of high quality education and regulated under the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015. As the context to Standard 2 states:
Evaluating information about performance and using such information to inform quality assurance of services and improve training and assessment is sound business and educational practice.
and further in Standard 2.2:
2.2. The RTO:
a) systematically monitors the RTO’s training and assessment strategies and practices to ensure ongoing compliance with Standard 1; and
b) systematically evaluates and uses the outcomes of the evaluations to continually improve the RTO’s training and assessment strategies and practices.
Quality Indicator Data Uses
To summarise, RTOs can use the data collected for Quality Indicator reporting as part of a quality system to:
- Self-assess and reflect upon the current quality of their training programs, student outcomes, student and employer satisfaction.
- Compare results and satisfaction with different qualifications, training programs, trainers and delivery modes.
- Identify areas for future improvement.
- Assess whether previous improvement initiatives have been successful.
- Identify and celebrate the strengths of the RTO.
- Inform RTO procedures and job roles.
- Identify emerging needs and trends.
- Collaborate together as a team, with students, employers and other stakeholders to improve the quality of training and assessment.
- Provide statistics that can be used in the promotion of training programs.
The Users Guide to the Standards for RTOs 2015 reinforces this when it says that:
Systematic monitoring of internal systems, strategies and practices allows your RTO to respond quickly to changes in the marketplace or to stakeholder expectations. Use the outcomes of your reviews to decide whether changes to your strategies or practice are needed.
Where to from here
For assistance in enhancing the use of Quality Indicator data at your RTO, we recommend reading reading the Users Guide to the Standards for RTOs 2015 (especially the Case Study: Effective internal compliance monitoring makes good business sense) and registering for our webinar: Quality Indicator Data: What can we do with it?