How do you know if you are compliant?
A RTO internal audit is essential for any quality management system, and RTOs especially need to see they are every bit as important as external audits. One of the many reasons that internal audits are important is that they can assist in identifying potential problem areas in preparation for the external audit process.
What are the differences between an internal and external audit
An Internal audit means someone is conducting a critical review of the RTO systems, financial and operating matters of the business. Internal audits are conducted by internal staff appointed particularly for the audit purposes or an external RTO consultant. These are called internal auditors. They conduct the audit the same way as an external auditor would, however the reports remain within the RTO.
External audits are conducted on the behalf of the regulatory body and the reports go towards your registration compliance. The auditor is called the external auditor.
Internal audits are conducted by a consultant who uses a systematic approach to reviewing your RTO against the RTO Standards. Here at RTO Mentor we offer a continuous improvement approach to the management of operations, providing solutions and ideas towards meeting compliance. Best practice is to conduct an audit of an RTO on a continuous basis, like once a year.
Do I need an RTO consultant?
From my personal experience, doing an internal audit in-house is not going to give the answers you are actually looking for. When you are working for an organisation, you know the systems, what happens, and make assumptions. You don’t go looking for information and you don’t question a process. So it is highly recommended you use someone external to your organisation to make a judgement on the status of the compliance. There are consultants who specialise in RTO auditing, and hold appropriate qualifications. If in doubt, ask your consultant.
When you contract a consultant, tell what you want to focus on; for instance you might have a pending external audit, or you might have recently had a third party do something you need to put right.
Sometimes you might not have an agenda, you just need to have an annual review. The internal audit then should focus on the review of your RTO management system, your trainers, assessors, your courses and tools used, the student journey and any third parties.
Although they are a necessity, some people can find them a challenge in terms of the time, resources and capacity of those conducting the audit. Often, this task falls to several employees or managers in the case of larger companies, who have additional tasks to do along with the auditing tasks. To ensure that you get the most from this process, contact your RTO consultant to ask what will happen during their time in your office. Ask them if they will record everything, or if you need to take notes.
How can we help you?
Here at RTO mentor we provide a report and action items for you to refer to. This makes the task of rectifications much easier and logical. Always have a copy of the RTO Standards available so you can refer to it. We recommend the Users Guide.