Representing quality private education
providers in Australia

An update from the Board

Monday, April 7 2014

Dear ACPET members

The Board met in Canberra at the end of March and had a very productive meeting. We have endorsed a new strategic plan for ACPET for the period 2014 – 2016 which will shortly be available on the ACPET website. I am pleased to advise that it puts a much stronger focus on our advocacy work and on service delivery to members. I welcome your feedback on the new plan and am confident it will assist Claire and her team to drive even stronger performance in the years ahead.

At the same meeting the Board endorsed an annual plan for the next financial year with a range of success measures built into it – to allow the Board to more effectively monitor and provide feedback on ACPET’s activities and performance in meeting member expectations.

This emphasis on planning was supported by the work Claire and her team have done on a major new initiative ACPET will roll out from 1 July – the ACPET Quality Support Team. If you aren’t familiar with what’s proposed then I would urge you to read Claire’s column in today’s newsletter and look out for the video which will shortly be on the website. Supporting members with the burden of compliance is an invaluable service that a membership organisation like ACPET can provide. It builds on the current suite of ACPET Quality initiatives – including the ACPET healthchecks which are delivering real benefits to members. And on that note, I was pleased to receive the following feedback from a member about their recent healthcheck experience:

Just a few words to let you know I was really happy with how the ACPET Health Check was conducted.  I found that Catherine was extremely helpful, enthusiastic, friendly and thorough.  I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, dealing with Catherine was like having a highly experienced, knowledgeable colleague and mentor on staff.  It was quite different to an audit experience, we were able to debate the meaning of legislation and how to apply it at an operational level. We have uncovered a few ‘not quite there’ issues as expected, but that is the reason for the check itself.  There are some simple suggestions we can implement before receiving the official report.   I do look forward to this report and recommendations made.

The Board also signed off on the 2014-15 budget for ACPET, noting that the level of member-interest in the ACPET Quality Support Team needed to be quantified through the membership renewal period and detailed scenarios needed to be developed. On another financial matter, the Board was pleased to be advised by the CEO that the work ACPET has done to ensure the integrity of its ASTAS scheme is paying dividends with the likelihood of a reduced annual insurance premium in the next twelve months. As a result the Board signed off on a modest increase to annual fees for 2014-15 but no increase to ASTAS fees (for either the scheme approved by ASQA for SNR compliance purposes, or the ASTAS which supports members with FEE-HELP and VET FEE-HELP approval).

Glenys Beauchamp (Secretary of the Department of Industry) and Peta Funnel (VET Reform Taskforce) met with the Board for a thorough discussion and examination of areas for VET reform. We were pleased with the nature and focus of the conversation and I am pleased to see that tone (including the urgent need for de-regulation for high performing providers and a reduction in the rate of Training Package churn) were the focus of meetings with Ministers last week. ACPET Board member, Jenny Field, and our CEO were pleased to be able to meet with Ministers and other ACPET members beforehand to discuss the issues affecting the sector and what needs to be done to tackle them.

Finally the Board signed off on the proposed International Education Risk Framework developed by the education peak bodies as a better alternative to the current SVP/non-SVP arrangements. Thanks to members who took the time to give feedback – all peak bodies have now endorsed the proposal and a meeting with the Minister is being scheduled.

Reports from our State Committees underline the amount of work being done at a state-level. If you’re unsure what ACPET is doing in your State I would urge you to take the time to read through the relevant state section of National Monday Update and to let the state teams know what other activities and services would be of use to you.

Martin Cass


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