Representing quality private education
providers in Australia

Opportunity is a double edged sword

Monday, November 12 2018

It can bring reward, but pursuing it can take one's eyes off the original objective.

Regularly each week I'm contacted requesting ACPET's views, response, submission across a latitude of matters - each coming with the expectation that it will be forthcoming, and what's more within that person or organisation's timeframe.

Now it's fantatstic that ACPET is viewed as a respected representative and collective voice of the sector; a voice that only members get to inform. Where possible, we want to embrace the chance to comment, such that the generally reflective perspective of the sector's providers who willingly choose to be held accountable to a code of ethics above and beyond regulatory compliance required of all registered providers is presented as the case.

But, what I'm finding I must stay mindful of is that pursuing each opportunity is a distraction from an abundant workload and the priority of serving members.

This last point resonates more broadly for the sector too I think. Things are becoming unnecessarily complex, and potentially overthought. When we have a behemoth like government with its large workforce and different areas able to focus on granular elements applicable to its individual divisions, with these all funnelling into a small organisation like independent providers and ACPET, we're forced to juggle more balls than necessary - but without any more eyes to watch them.

As a membership, I believe we need to remember that just because something is someone's priority, that doesn't mean it needs to become ours. We need keep focus first and foremost on the needs of our customers - for you that's students and clients, and for us that's you.

Unfortunately the minutiae is important sometimes, but there's nothing to say that the ball that gets dropped always needs to be our favourite one. Sure that might mean some disappointed other stakeholders of our businesses, but sometimes life's a bit 'so sad, too bad'.

I'm not advocating anarchy for a moment. But when you're faced with a choice of opportunity in the difficult times that currently define our sector, my advice is to make sure it’s the one that's right for your organisation - not someone else's. But also make sure it’s the quality and ethical choice!

That's what I'm planning to do from now on.

Peter McDonald
Acting Chief Executive Officer


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