Preparing for an ASQA Audit in 2018

As all RTO compliance people will be aware, the audit model for ASQA changed significantly this year. The focus has shifted from assessment process to a balance between assessment and the “student journey”. This is about recording the entire dialog with each student so you can show the auditor evidence that the required process was actually followed in each case.

In Enquiry Mate, this generally means creating enquiries prior to the final enrolment commitment and recording all contact with the student as actions. If you are using our online enrolment product Web Enrol the students acceptance of terms and conditions, a declaration of having downloaded, read and understood the Learners Guide are recording in EM and are all helpful in documenting and mapping the student journey towards enrolment, commencement and completion. We can help you review your processes in this area however today we are focused on the changes to the audit procedures.

Prior to the audit you will be asked to complete a spreadsheet which contains two worksheets:

  • A summary of current students and completions of qualifications and units
  • A list of student contacts with emails and phone numbers

The unit summary lists can be problematic since they assume each statement has one competency on it. It is not clear how to present data for courses with multiple competencies, or how to report partial completions of qualification based courses and it goes without saying there are differences in how the model is applied by specific auditors. We have been working through the various issues on a case-by-case basis for now. As long as this data presents a fair representation of your activity, the actual numbers are not critical.

The student contact data can be obtained using the Mail-Out Manager export option and chopping down the data in Excel. If you have more than 1000 students, you need to pick 1000 randomly to provide students from a range of courses. Sorting students by surname is their recommended way to get students from a representative range of courses since their names should be independent of the course or start date.

The auditor will actually contact and interview selected students in the list. The new enrolment form includes a declaration where the student accept this contact and agree to provide feedback. We suggest that you use a “Do Not Contact” flagged Customer Type to marks students who have not agreed to this during the enrolment process as they will automatically be excluded from the mailing list.

Providers who have been through this to date say that it’s a whole new world of student-focused auditing and have provided very positive feedback to ASQA. I have heard some similar feedback. Good providers have been saying for years that the auditors should focus less on the procedures and more on practices. Finally, having happy students and employers actually matters in an audit.

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