Audit processes

What you need to know

The VRQA conducts rigorous, risk-based audits:

  • upon initial registration and re-registration
  • during the final six months of registration
  • for some extension to scope applications
  • on a risk management basis.

The audit processes aim to ensure that registered training organisations (RTOs) meet the necessary standards, conditions and guidelines for initial and continuing registration. Audits differ depending on their purpose.

We also consider a number of risks when determining the level of oversight appropriate for each provider.

To read an outline of the risks, see:

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Site audit

We conduct a site audit at initial registration, re-registation and for some extention to scope applications.

A VRQA-appointed quality-auditor will conduct a site audit. They will assess your organisation's compliance with the non-financial requirements of the AQTF Essential Conditions and Standards for Continuing Registration and the VRQA Guidelines for VET Providers.

This audit takes place at your RTO's premises. If your RTO's principal place of business is a residential address, a commercial premises will need to be arranged for the day(s) of the site audit.

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Initial registration audit

The initial registration audit is part of the application process. It happens once we are satisfied that your organisation meets the basic requirements for registration, and your registration fees have been paid.

We will send you a letter confirming our decision to audit your organisation. The initial registration audit has two phases.

For the guidelines, conditions and standards relevant to this audit, see:

Phase one: financial viability assessment

We will assess the financial health of your organisation by reviewing its compliance with Guideline 1 of the VRQA Guidelines for VET Providers.

The information you must submit 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.

Our checklist will help you pull together the necessary information. The checklist forms Appendix 1 which you submit with your application for registration.

For a copy of the checklist, see:

We will also assess your organisation's ability to meet the principal purpose requirement set out in the Education and Training Reform Act 2006.

For more information, see:

If your organisation satisfactorily completes phase one of the audit, your application proceeds to phase two.

Phase two: assessment of compliance

We will assess your organisation's compliance with the remaining aspects of Guideline 1, as well as Guidelines 2–5 of the VRQA Guidelines for VET Providers, and the Australian Quality Training Framework's (AQTF's) Essential Conditions and Standards for Initial Registration.

This phase involves a site audit. You will need to have everything in place for the visit, including suitable premises, training and assessment materials, and qualified staff.

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Re-registration audit

The re-registration audit starts when we receive your application for re-registration (Form D) and you have paid the application fee. 

For more information see:

For the guidelines, conditions and standards relevant to this audit, see:

We also conduct a site audit, as detailed above, as part of the re-registration process and a financial viability assessment.

Financial viability assessment

We assess your organisation's compliance with the financial requirements of the  AQTF Essential Conditions and Standards for Continuing Registration and the VRQA Guidelines for VET Providers.

In the assessment, you will need to demonstrate that your organisation is financially viable by submitting relevant information as outlined in the below financial schedules.

Financial schedules are broken down according to registration status. For a copy of the financial schedules, see:

You will have the opportunity to comment on the draft assessment report, and we may invite you to address significant issues affecting ongoing financial viability.

There will also be an assessment of your organisation's ability to meet the principal purpose requirement. For more information, see:

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Extension to scope audit

If you apply to extend the scope of your registration, we will make a risk-based assessment of your application to determine whether a site audit is necessary or whether a desk review will be sufficient.

For more information on how to extend your scope of registration, see: 

  • Amending scope of registration

Compliance audit

We may conduct an audit at anytime if concerns are raised about an RTOs operations. This could include a financial viability assessment and/or a site audit or risk-based audit.