The Australian Government recently announced reforms to the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). As the national regulator for Australia’s VET sector, ASQA regulates training providers to ensure they meet nationally approved quality standards.
On 27 September Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the reforms respond to key recommendations of the Braithwaite and Joyce Reviews, including supporting ASQA to expand its scope to adopt a more educative approach to lift quality in the delivery of vocational education and training (VET).
The tone of the Joyce Review recommended that ASQA educate rather than just regulate and that guidance and advice is a crucial part of a regulators role, “a measure of a good regulator is not so much who it catches out as ensuring that the whole regulated community is operating confidently and effectively within the regulations set by the governing jurisdiction.”
“As part of these changes Mark Paterson AO, the Chief Commissioner of ASQA, has decided the proposed shift in direction for ASQA provides an appropriate time for him to step down and pass responsibility for managing the next phase of ASQA’s evolution to others,” Minister Cash said. The Minister thanked Mr Paterson for his leadership of ASQA since January 2017.
ASQA Commissioner Saxon Rice will act in the role of Chief Commissioner as of 7 October 2019.
“I am keen to ensure that training organisations are well placed to understand their requirements and that the regulator has the right tools and information to regulate them effectively,” Minister Cash said.
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships, Steve Irons MP, said the Government has set a strong direction for the future of VET.
“With appropriate regulatory reforms, we can deliver a vocational education sector that provides workforce skills and relevant up-to-date qualifications that are well-matched to the evolving opportunities of Australia’s modern economy.”