What Triggers a CRICOS Compliance Audit?
ASQA generally conducts a compliance audit within two-years of an initial registration to ensure that your RTO is operating as it should, and when they are concerned an RTO is not able to or is not meeting its compliance obligations.
Each CRICOS provider has a risk rating determined by ASQA. This risk rating is awarded based on the information ASQA holds on an RTO gathered from the monitoring of the internal and external environment for potential risks to the RTO, feedback supplied by current and former students, as well as government and industry reviews and findings.
What happens during an ASQA CRICOS audit?
ASQA not only takes a student-centered approach in their compliance audits, but they also customise each audit depending on the risk intelligence they have gathered about your RTO. Typically, during a CRICOS audit, an ASQA auditor will require for you to provide evidence that you are meeting your obligations. You will generally be informed of the scope of the audit prior to the audit activity, and this gives you the opportunity to review and ensure that you will have the evidences ready for the auditor.
Evidences that you will generally need to have ready include your policies and procedures manual, your training and assessment strategies, your training and assessment tools, the completed and marked assessment tools, your trainers’ matrixes and their certificates evidencing their qualifications and professional development activities, as well as your student attendance and management records. There may be occasions where ASQA may speak to your trainers, students and relevant third-parties to confirm the information provided to them.
The auditor will systematically go over each item in the scope of the audit and request for you to show evidence that you are complying with the particular clause or standard. If you are unable to, this can result in a non-compliance against your RTO.
How to prepare for an ASQA CRICOS audit?
Being well-prepared is essential for a smooth audit. Knowing where your records are held, easily accessing the information required by the auditor and understanding your RTO’s operations inside and out is the key to a successful audit. Auditors want to see that you are knowledgeable and know what is happening within your RTO.
Our team at RTO Advantage can help you prepare by reviewing your records to ensure they are compliant and accurate, by coaching you and giving you tips and tools as to how to carry yourself in an audit, and by advising what areas may be in need of rectification so that you are able to show ASQA that even though there has been an error, you have identified it and you have taken steps to remedy the non-compliance. This last part is the most important of them all as if you are caught with a non-compliance during the actual audit, it could result in a sanction against your RTO.
In most cases, you will be provided with 20 working days from the report being issued to rectify and show compliance. If you do not supply the rectification evidence to ASQA or take steps to remedy the non-compliances, your RTO may face regulatory actions concerning your CRICOS registration.
What happens after the audit?
Your auditor will generally advise you of what they have found during the audit. If there are any non-compliances found, typically you will be advised of this at the close of the audit.
A formal audit report will be issued to you several days after the completion of the audit and if there are any non-compliances, you usually are provided with 20 working days from the date of the audit report to communicate the remedial actions you are taking or have taken to address the non-compliance detected.
You only have one opportunity to provide evidence demonstrating your compliance, this makes it paramount that you do not make any mistakes in the filing of your proof of rectification or risk facing regulatory action against your CRICOS and/or RTO registration.
What happen if non-compliances are found during the audit?
If any non-compliances are found during the audit, you will be advised of this at the close of the audit and in the formal audit report. In most instances, you will be provided with 20 working days from the date the report is issued to prove to ASQA that you are taking or have taken steps to rectify any non-compliances identified.
Keep in mind that you are only provided with one opportunity to provide proof to ASQA that you are or will be compliant. If you are still found to be non-compliant, your registration may be sanctioned or cancelled, depending on the gravity of the non-compliance.