Published 30 January 2023

Addressing international students-related risks to Vocational Education and Training (VET)

Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has provided a "Regulatory Risk Priority for 2022-23" and treatment for risks regarding the VET (Vocational Education Training) which is being delivered to both onshore and offshore international students. This ensures that the quality and confidence of international VET will be maintained continuously. Australian government takes initiative in order to identify the skills gaps through stimulation growth in the market of international VET. This is an inevitable area that ASQA always focuses on, as the nature of the delivery of international VET as well as the risk profile is changing. As the government and relevant sector initiate to expand the delivery of international VET, therefore, the area of focus mentioned earlier will continue to be changed to support skilled migration, the economic recovery of Australia, and to improve the international education sector’s resilience.

ASQA has started a number of ongoing regulatory initiatives, such as taking part in ”a nationally coordinated", multi-agency response to criminal organizations located in Australia using Australia's visa processes.

In order to protect the integrity of international VET, ASQA also collaborates closely to maintain proactive relationships with the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Education, Austrade, law enforcement organizations, state training authorities, the Overseas Student Ombudsman, and through the Education Regulators and Immigration Committee (ERIC). To identify, stop, and avoid risks to the international VET.

In recognition of this risk, ASQA currently imposes a higher entry-level standard for providers to apply for registration on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) than it does for Registered Training Providers under the National VET Regulator Act.

ASQA continues performing the assessment when the providers apply to deliver English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students and qualifications with the highest levels of exposure to international students.

The intensive courses are listed as follows:

CHC33015Certificate III in Individual Support
CHC50121Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
CHC30121Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care
CHC43015Certificate IV in Ageing Support
CHC52015Diploma of Community Services
RII60520Advanced Diploma of Civil Construction Design


Regulatory Risk Priority for 2022-23

The risk-based regulatory program in 2022 and 2023 focuses on the areas of high risk in terms of the quality of VET and the integrity provided by the providers. ASQA utilises educational examination to promote providers’ risks in their own business and to support their self-assurance and continuous improvement. The risk priorities are listed as follows:

Regarding Aged care and disability support training

Potential regulatory risks:

  • Assessment practices and workplace training and assessment
  • Duration – Short duration training

Area of focus from ASQA

1. Self-assurance

2. Training product requirements

3. Online delivery

Regarding delivery to international students

Potential regulatory risks:

  • Delivery for international students
  • Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) 2022
  • International education sector: High-risk training products – Top high-risk qualifications are (1) CHC33015, (2) CHC50121, (3) CHC30121, (4) CHC43015, (5) CHC5205, and (6) RII60520

Area of focus from ASQA

1. non-genuine providers

2. Misleading behaviours by providers and their agents

Regarding market performance

Potential regulatory risks:

  • Training package transitions
  • Trainers and assessors’ capability: Including Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
  • Domestic sector: High-risk training products – Top high-risk qualifications are (1) CHC50121, (2) TAE40116, (3) SIT40516, (4) CHC30121, (5) BSB60420, (6) CHC33015
  • VET in schools
  • Online delivery
  • Provider governance
  • Academic cheating

Area of focus from ASQA

1. Risk-based monitoring activities

2. Regulatory action to ensure ongoing compliance

3. Collaboration with TEQSA to target the misbehaviour from the third party

Regarding Economic factors

Potential regulatory risks:

  • Funding growth
  • Third-party arrangement
  • Resumption of service

Area of focus from ASQA

1. Maintaining up-to-date data on the characteristics of the market

2. Third-party arrangement

3. Risk-based guidance with a range of monitoring activities

About the author

Chelson Gordon

More news
Share this post