ASQA releases Standards for RTOs Factsheet to assist RTOs to understand 'third party arrangements'

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The Australian Government Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has released a Fact Sheet focused on how registered training organisations (RTOs) should engage and manage relationships with ‘third parties’. The document suggests measures that RTOs can take to ensure their third party arrangements meet certain standards and requirements.

The document is part of an ongoing effort by the Australian government to provide high-quality vocational education and training to ensure Australians have the necessary skills and knowledge to make a productive contribution to the national workforce.

The fact sheet is titled Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015 and according to the ASQA website, sets out a number of clauses related to third party arrangements to help ensure students receive high-quality and appropriate training and support. The third party fact sheet is also designed to make sure learners receive accurate information about the training they are going to embark on.

What is a ‘third party’?

ASQA defines a ‘third party’ as a party which provides services acting on the behalf of an RTO. According to the Fact Sheet information provided by the ASQA, the definition does not include a contract of employee between and RTO and an employee. 

What are the services provided by a third party?

The services the third parties may provide for an RTO could be one of several, including educational support, training, assessment, services or support related to the recruitment of prospective learners. The services mapped out in the Third Party Fact Sheet do not include aspects such as student counselling and information and communication technology support.

The support and educational services third parties may provide for RTOs may include features such as study support and skills programs, pre-enrolment materials, referrals for language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) programs, learning resource centres, resources and equipment that will help support students with disabilities, flexible delivery and scheduling of training and assessment, materials for learning that are available in different formats, large print for example, assessment and learning programs which are undertaken in the workplace, and other services required by RTOs to help deliver quality and effective support for learners.

The Fact Sheet document also describes the types of third party arrangements RTOs could have as being with other RTOs, with recruitment brokers or agents, with non-registered training providers or with employment services agencies.

You can download the Guide to the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015 here