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Audit Processes

The VRQA adopts a rigorous, risk based audit regime.

Audits will be conducted:

  • upon initial registration
  • during the final year of registration
  • for some extension to scope applications
  • on a risk management basis.

The audit process aims to ensure the compliance of a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) with the necessary standards, conditions and guidelines for initial registration and/or continuing registration.

The nature of the audit conducted will depend upon the purpose of the audit (i.e. initial registration audit, re-registration audit, extension to scope audit or compliance audit). The different types of audits are discussed in more detail below.

The VRQA provider risk framework outlines important risks considered by the VRQA when determining the level of oversight appropriate for each provider.

Initial registration audit

If the VRQA is satisfied that your institution meets the basic requirements for registration, it will conduct an audit of your institution. If the VRQA decides to audit your institution, it will send you a letter notifying you of its decision and request further details from you.

Phase One: assessment of financial health

Phase One of the audit will involve an assessment of the financial health of your institution by reviewing its compliance with Guideline 1 of the 2016 VRQA Guidelines for VET Providers (docx - 206.95kb). The information required to be submitted for assessment includes, but is not limited to:

  • a strategic plan
  • a business plan
  • a three year financial plan, including financial indicators
  • details of financial management systems and student fees
  • confirmation that your institution's principal purpose is education.

For more details about the information the VRQA will require your institution to provide to commence phase one of the audit, see: Phase One Information Requirements - Delivery of VET Courses (doc - 173.5kb).

Your institution’s ability to meet the principal purpose requirement as per the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (the Act), will also be assessed during the Phase One.

Providing your institution completes Phase One of the audit to the satisfaction of the VRQA, your application will proceed to Phase Two. Phase Two will involve a site audit by a qualified VRQA quality auditor. 

Please note: if your institution's principal place of business is a residential address, a commercial premises will need to be arranged for the day/s the site audit is to be conducted.

Phase Two: assessment of compliance

Phase Two of the audit involves assessing your institution's compliance with the remaining aspects of Guideline 1, as well as Guidelines 2 to 5 of the 2016 VRQA's Guidelines for VET Providers (see above). Your institution's compliance with AQTF Essential Conditions and Standards for Initial Registration​ (pdf - 380.14kb)  will also be assessed during phase two of the audit.

Institutions should note that once registered as an RTO, their institution is subject to the AQTF Essential Conditions and Standards for Continuing Registration (pdf - 390.33kb)

Re-registration audit

Re-registration may also be a two phased audit process. 

Phase One is a financial viability assessment and will be conducted to assess your organisation’s compliance with the financial requirements of the AQTF Essential Conditions and Standards for Continuing Registration and the 2016 VRQA Guidelines for VET Providers. This also includes an assessment of your organisation’s ability to meet the Principal Purpose Requirement.

Please complete Schedule 1 according to your current registration status:

Schedule 2 – General Information (doc - 338.5kb)

The financial viabilitiy assessment will commence once your application for re-registration has been received by the VRQA and the fee in relation to the application has been paid.

Phase Two is a site audit which will be conducted to assess your organisation’s compliance with the non-financial requirements of the AQTF Essential Conditions and Standards for Continuing Registration and the 2016 VRQA Guidelines for VET Providers. This audit will be scheduled once the Financial Viability Assessment has been successfully completed and will be conducted by a qualified, independent auditor at your RTO premises.

Please note: if a site audit is required and your RTO's principal place of business is a residential address, a commercial premises will need to be arranged for the day/s the site audit is to be conducted.

Extension to scope audit

When an RTO applies to the VRQA to extend the scope of its registration, the VRQA will make a risk based assessment of your application to determine whether a site audit is necessary or whether a limited desk review will be sufficient.

For further information on the extension to scope process see: Amending scope of registration

Non-compliance

The VRQA may, at its discretion, reject an application for registration as a training provider if it considers that an applicant is unable to demonstrate compliance.

RTOs must comply with relevant conditions, standards and guidelines at all times during the period of registration. If, subsequent to initial registration as training provider, an RTO is found to be in breach of the relevant standards, conditions or guidelines for continued registration, it will be advised of its non-compliance and must rectify all issues. Failure to do so within an appropriate timeframe may result in the cancellation or suspension of its registration. The RTO will be consulted about any action taken to suspend or cancel its registration.

Compliance is assessed against the applicable standards and guidelines:

  • relevant provisions under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006
  • the nationally agreed standards set out in the AQTF Essential Conditions and Standards for Initial Registration or Continuing Registration
  • the 2016 VRQA Guidelines for VET Providers.

Enforceable undertakings

An enforceable undertaking is a written agreement between an RTO and the VRQA regulated by the Act.

The VRQA typically uses enforceable undertakings in circumstances where:

  • an RTO has committed significant contraventions of the Act but is prepared to admit and rectify those contraventions
  • the VRQA seeks outcomes that may not necessarily be available through other sanctions open to the VRQA including through cancellation of registration
  • the RTO is willing to remedy the contravention to the VRQA’s satisfaction.

For more information see: Enforceable undertaking policy (docx - 67.37kb).