We all get countless emails across our desks on how to meet RTO compliance. Yet how do you know and trust the person that sends you the email? As a consultant, I speak to many people who have been burnt by others. They come to me to fix their problems, fix the issues that took them to audit, and didn’t pass.

Or I hear from clients in panic; because they have been speaking to a “learned friend” who has been putting the fear of god into them about their RTO compliance.

Or I even heard of an RTO consultant saying during a face to face workshop that my client attended that the consultant has ASQA auditors working for them. AND if they spend $$$$ with them, they will be fast tracked in the audit process!

Yes I’m frustrated, and we acknowledge that some of these examples are stories, and not from my own eyes, others I have proof from the materials sent to me to fix. All of them say people need to trust the consultant they put their money with.

So who do we trust?

You need to trust the person and know that they have a wealth of experience to implement the changes needed within your RTO.  Now being a consultant is not easy. It means we need to be aware of the changes happening within the Regulators, where they are focusing, and what they are explicitly looking for. To be honest, the criteria has been changing every month for the past 2 years, so it is an evolving door. What got through audit 6 months ago, is not likely to pass today.

As in all communities we live in tribes, we connect via social media, industry groups, and skills groups. We talk to others and hear their stories. We make changes to processes based on their stories. What tribal community do you believe in, which makes you change processes with your RTO? Yet how do we know we are doing the right thing?

I’ve heard some whopping stories that have come from well-meaning people, telling me how compliance must be – the fact is it doesn’t have to be that way. Well, usually not. It is just the way that specific RTO does business, so THEY need to show it that way. But it isn’t always true for others. So what am I telling you here? That your RTO is unique, you need to read the standards, and apply what works for you and your circumstance.

Keep on your toes

There are scare mongers out there who only spread the bad news, so don’t take what they say out of context and apply it to your situation. Remember you are unique. Yes we need to be on our toes with compliance, and read the current standards. Yes we need to review our practices. Yes we probably should have an internal audit just to cross check were we are. Yes we need to keep ourselves breast of the latest and therefore attend conferences, read articles and generally find out what we can about compliance practises. These can be online or in person. So it isn’t just the trainers / Assessors who need professional development – we all need it.

No we shouldn’t listen to the scar mongers. No

Having said all of that, there are always areas I see that need to be improved:

  • Trainers and assessors showing their skills (covering clauses 1.13-1.16)
  • Conducting effective assessments (clauses 1.8 – 1.12)
  • Amount of Training (clauses 1.1, 1.2)
  • And of course if any areas are non-compliant you are looking at multiple other clauses

The industry is changing rapidly, some would complain and argue about it, others are grateful of the changes. The fact is we need to be on a continuous learning journey. All of us, VET consultants as well.

Merinda