ASQA has developed and released details of its “draft model for self-assurance” using a co-design process with the sector and other stakeholders.
The link above also includes a summary of what they have been told about what the self-assurance process needs to involve. This is a really good read and we recommend you have a look at it!
What are the principles of the self-assurance model?
Using co-design has helped ASQA to progressively refine the key features guiding a self-assurance process. This includes being flexible enough, so the self-assurance model is “appropriate for all providers regardless of size, type, operating context and self-assurance maturity.” Another key principle is that the model needs to focus on “continuous improvement rather than merely compliance” and also be a valuable process for providers to undertake because it will “reduce regulatory burden.” It should encourage and support providers to fully integrate self-assurance into their business and operational approaches and be simple and easy for providers to understand. These principles, incidentally, very much support the view of quality delivery that Guthrie and Waters proposed in a recent NCVER report.
The final self-assurance principles are that any approaches need to be aligned with RTO standards and support other requirements, including those required by State/Territory agencies (where possible) and “reinforced and validated by other regulatory activities including ASQA’s performance assessments and risk analysis.” All this needs to be “backed by effective support, guidance and education by ASQA.”
The model is trying to avoid “being overly prescriptive” or “encouraging providers to just ‘tick the box’ [in order to] achieve the minimum requirements.” The last thing anybody wants is for “self-assurance to become an additional business process for providers” that duplicates existing requirements or leads to rorting.
What does the model look like?
The model has four major elements focused around continuous improvement. It aims to promote high quality student engagement and support as well as strong and ongoing engagement by RTOs with industry and their communities. This requires effective governance of each RTO and high-quality leadership. Importantly, it also requires highly capable staff that have access to ongoing professional development.
What will happen now?
In the next phase of the project ASQA will be developing and refining the detail for the model and its individual elements. ASQA will also “explore guidance and information requirements by model element / sub-element” and “identify providers’ expectations about and capacity to provide evidence of self-assurance by model element.” It will also seek to “identify additional tools or resources required.” Readers can still contribute in a number of ways; through a feedback mechanism on the ASQA website which will be active till June 8th or by emailing the project team at [email protected].