Independent Internal Audits for your RTO
Top Five Benefits of Having Your RTO Independently Audited
What is a quality audit?
A quality audit is the process of having your RTO systematically and objectively reviewed and evaluated to make sure you are meeting certain standards – in the case of an RTO – it is the Standards for RTOs and may also include the ESOS Standards.
Why do we audit?
The primary reason for auditing your RTO is to maintain compliance. We all know how highly regulated our industry is and keeping on top of our business processes and record-keeping is important to maintain registration, keep the regulator happy, and our doors open. The primary goal of conducting an audit is to look for gaps in the RTO’s systems and processes or any areas where the system is lacking in terms of compliance so arrangements can be made for improvement or rectification.
So now that that’s been covered, let’s look at the top five benefits of having your RTO Independently Audited:
1. Gain a new perspective
Many RTOs have systems in place to internally audit themselves against the standards each year to make sure they are on track with their compliance. However, one of the traps of having this done year after year by internal staff is the removal of objectivity.
When a staff member who is dealing with the RTO’s systems, documents, policies and procedures every day, then also audits the RTO, it’s easy for any small non-compliances to be overlooked because they have been looking at the same document year after year.
This is one of the advantages of using an independent auditor to conduct your RTO internal audits.
When an external consultant comes in to conduct an internal audit, they can offer you a new perspective on your compliance. As they are coming into your RTO with fresh eyes, they can look at everything objectively and give you a realistic view of your compliance.
2. Benefit from auditor knowledge
Many auditors and consultants work with many different RTOs and conduct lots of audits throughout the year. In addition to this, we work with ASQA and see many audit reports and audit findings through the work we do with our clients. This means we can benefit our clients by ensuring current audit trends are carried through to the RTO audits we conduct for our clients. We know what is currently being looked for in RTO audits conducted by the regulator. We know what is causing the biggest issues for clients that are found non-compliant by the regulator and can make sure your RTO doesn’t have the same gaps.
3. You’ll be confidently prepared for your CEO Declaration
When you’ve had your RTO audited well ahead of your CEO Declaration (30th March each year), you can be confident when you answer the questions in the CEO Declaration about the status of compliance of each clause in the Standards for RTOs. This is the Declaration that Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) requires all CEOs of RTOs to fill in each year to declare the status of compliance for their RTO.
4. A clearly written audit report
When you work with an external consultant and RTO auditors like RTO Advice Group, we’ll provide you with a clearly written audit report against each standard being audited against. This means you’ll know where the gaps are, and you’ll know where your strengths are as well.
5. An action plan you can follow through on
With any audit reports we prepare for our clients; we always write a clearly outlined action plan that lays out the recommendations for rectification or improvement the RTO should take following the audit. This will help your RTO put appropriate plans and steps in place following the audit to make the required changes.
With the recent focus on self-assurance from ASQA, it is not enough to wait for an audit to find out if your RTO is fully compliant with the required standards.
As stated in the recent consultation paper put out by ASQA
“Self-assurance requires providers have systems in place to critically examine their performance (compliance with the Standards) and outcomes (student outcomes), on an ongoing basis, to identify ways to continuously improve.”
To find out more about how RTO Advice Group can assist you with an audit, click here for more information, or get in touch with our team.
It’s business as usual (from home) for us here at RTO Advice Group. We’re here to support you and you can contact us as normal on 1300 676 870.
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Welcome to Jennine Cochrane. Jennine’s experience includes working in private RTOs, auditing for NARA, the VRQA, ASQA, and as a team leader at ASQA.
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