In the first five parts of this series we discussed the following:
This is our special edition on frequently asked questions and answers on internal audits. We have selected the top 10 questions from the list of questions sent to us by educational institutes.
Q1: Why are RTO internal audits important?
Answer: Internal audits are a significant element of an RTO quality management system to ensure RTO practices and procedures meet the regulatory and legislative standards and requirements. These audits can help to monitor the RTO system and to check that compliance and norms are complied with. The aim of an internal audit is to collect data on the quality system’s performance and effectiveness. Internal audits also increase productivity, detect non-compliance and non-conformities, and evaluate the RTO’s internal control including its corporate governance and processes.
Q2: Why should I have an external audit to review my RTO’s quality management system?
Answer: There are a number of benefits of organising an external audit by expert RTO consultants:
External auditors are independent of the organisation and review the systems and processes based upon their extensive experience and auditing background. They are impartial and unbiased in their approach and follow documented processes and procedures to provide opinions and advice on RTO’s quality management system.
The benefits of organising an external audit includes:
Audits should be conducted by RTO experts that have extensive and current ASQA and other regulatory experience and who do not have any conflict of interest with the organisation.
Q3: What should be the qualifications and work experience of an RTO consultant?
Answer: We suggest that an RTO auditor should hold the Diploma of Quality Auditing, Diploma of Vocational Education and Training, Diploma of Training Design and Development or have at least 5 years of experience in RTO audits and administration.
You must also ask and verify the success rate of the RTO consultant to ensure you receive the best advice and consultancy services.
Q4: How long does an external audit takes?
Answer: It depends upon your RTO’s scope and requirements to conduct an audit. Usually, two days are recommended for an RTO with two to ten qualifications on their scope.
Q5: How should an RTO audit be conducted?
Answer: The RTO audit should be conducted using a proper checklist and documented procedures and processes.
Preparation of a plan that shows how your audit activities are systematic, independent and that you have a documented process for obtaining audit evidence is critical for a successful and valid internal audit.
Q6: What is included in an RTO’s quality management system?
Answer: The RTO’s quality management system must include, but is not limited to the following:
Q7: What is the usual cost of conducting an internal audit by external auditors and/or consultants?
Answer: Different consultants have different prices depending upon their expertise and experience. CAQA auditors and consultants charge $5200 plus GST for a two day audit. This price is valid at the time of printing – 1 July 2019.
Q8: Why you need a CAQA auditor to conduct a health check of your RTO or educational institute?
Answer: We are experts in RTO audits. We have highly trained and experienced compliance consultants who have worked in the VET sector for more than 20 years.
A VET health check is crucial in ensuring quality RTO systems and procedures are in place and are ready for an audit for registration, re-registration, continuous improvement or internal annual audit purposes. Every RTO must comply with the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015:
Q9: What legislation or standards do CAQA auditors and consultants have experience in?
Q10: How do CAQA auditors and consultants conduct an internal audit?
Answer: The process involves the following: