Monday, August 9, 2010

Changes to the AQTF

I recently listened to an excellent presentation by Margaret Willis, Director of VETAB.
She provided a very useful background to the history behind VETAB and reform in the VET system.
VETAB was established in 1991 because of the urgent reform needed in the vocational system through a co-operative federal set-up. ANTA was then established in 1992 and had as its role to establish a national training system. It did not however have a strong blueprint although it did know that there had to be a national register of competency standards, now NTIS and a meaningful way of collecting data through AVETMISS.
They also knew that providers had to be registered and in 1998 a framework began to appear that ensured mutual recognition of qualifications and it began a mindset for thinking about compliance.
These standards were however not strong enough and by 2002 the AQTF appeared. Providers did not all like the standards and in 2007 a new set of standards emerged that were more widely accepted.
The standards however worked from the assumption that all providers in the industry were about quality training. This assumption was however tested by providers who were not showing high levels of integrity and VETAB found itself drawn into ICAC investigations about the fraudulent issuing of qualifications.
VETAB was seen by ICAC as being too naive and trusting and so more changes are now introduced into the AQTF 2010 to ensure that the head of an RTO is a 'fit and proper person'.
There is more risk management and also far stronger tests on financial viability.
From April 2011 there will also be a national regulator and VETAB will disappear and hand over all responsibility to the national regulator.

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