Representing quality private education
providers in Australia

Introducing the ACPET Quality Support Team

Monday, April 7 2014

At their March meeting the ACPET Board agreed to the introduction of a new initiative designed explicitly to support members deal with the complexity of the compliance burden.

Commencing 1 July 2014, the way in which ACPET supports its members will change radically through the introduction of the ACPET Quality Support Team.


Simple… because members have asked us to.

The burden of compliance has become increasingly difficult to manage and even those RTOs with specialist compliance staff are finding it hard to keep on top of things.

So what will the new Quality Support Team deliver?

The Quality Support Team will comprise three levels of support exclusively for ACPET members – with members selecting the level of support they need.

1. Foundation

Two types of foundation support will be available to ACPET members:

  • access to a specialist ACPET Help Desk, and
  • cheaper access to ACPET’s national PD webinars.

The ACPET Help Desk – all members will receive 2 hours of free Help Desk support each year as part of their annual membership fee.

In addition they will be able to pre-purchase an additional 5 or 10 hours of extra support each year.

This service will be provided by ACPET staff – it will not be outsourced.

ACPET will stand behind the advice our Help Desk team provides and we will moderate across the different Quality Support Team members to ensure that, irrespective of their role, they are all providing you with consistent, up-to-date advice.

Professional Development – ACPET’s national PD framework goes from strength to strength with 280 sessions, 70+ topics, and more than 2000 participants in 2013. Our Professional Development doesn’t just meet the needs of members - it’s been praised by the Chief Commissioner of ASQA for the role it plays in provider capacity building, particularly in key areas like the quality of assessment.

This year as part of their membership renewal all members will be offered the opportunity to pre-purchase all 2014-15 national PD webinars for a one-off price of just $800. 

2. Diagnostic

Introduced for the first time in 2013, ACPET’s Healthchecks offer a specialist service to reliably ensure a provider has sufficient evidence of their ongoing compliance with different regulatory arrangements.

Where a provider has gaps in their evidence, the Healthcheck identifies these and provides guidance on how to rectify them (offering expert assistance with rectification if needed). The Healthcheck includes a follow-up visit to confirm successful rectification.

At present ACPET offers the following Healthchecks:

  • Standard
  • Healthcheck Plus (CRICOS)
  • Becoming an RTO
  • Government funding
  • IT/data requirements (for reporting total VET activity)
  • Higher education (in development)

With member requests for more Healthchecks performed by ACPET staff, to enable us to more effectively manage our Healthcheck resources, we will be offering all members a 10% discount on healthchecks booked during the membership renewal process.

3. On-site

The on-site component of the ACPET Quality Support Team is the biggest change for us and signals a major change in our capacity to provide support to members. For those members running smaller RTOs, having trouble accessing specialist staff, or wanting regular support for their current compliance team – from 1 July 2014 ACPET staff will be available to work on-site in members’ businesses to ensure their ongoing compliance with regulatory requirements.

Obviously such a service cannot operate on a one-size fits all basis – members differ in terms of factors such as:

  • size
  • scope
  • geographic locations of campuses
  • CRICOS approval
  • current level of compliance,
  • staffing to manage compliance.

Therefore any member interested in our on-site support service will be asked to indicate your interest, as part of the membership renewal process, so that we can schedule a time to meet and assess your needs.

To ensure the consistency of the advice provided by our on-site staff, ACPET will schedule the workloads of the Quality Support Team staff, so that they have regular time in the office for professional development and moderation activities.

And for our higher education members, while we will be commencing this service with our RTO members, we are conscious of our obligations to you and will be extending this service to those in the higher education sector, as soon as the RTO support are rolled out and on track.

Further details will be provided in the weeks ahead, including in relation to your membership renewal this year.


Members can be assured that while our attention is devoted to ensuring the success of the ACPET Quality Support Team, we won’t be losing sight of our advocacy efforts to reduce the regulatory and compliance burden all members are faced with.

On that note I was pleased to meet with Commonwealth and State VET Ministers in Brisbane last week prior to their first meeting as the COAG Industry and Skills Council (replacing the former SCOTESE).

During the meeting, I was heartened to see the Commonwealth’s leadership, as well as support from all jurisdictions and employers, for deregulation in the VET sector. A range of measures to support VET providers and reduce the regulatory burden on high performers, are now being actively pursued by Ministers.

ACPET’s input is helping to shape the changes being pursued and official announcements will be made shortly.

For updates on what’s happening in the sector and what to anticipate – please take the time to attend our In Conversation with the CEO sessions – they’re free and provide a chance for me to brief you directly on what’s happening ‘behind the scenes’, including helping you think through how the upcoming changes are likely to impact your business. To register click here.

With a review of the ESOS Act about to commence and the changes to the TEQSA Act currently before parliament – there are positive changes ahead for all ACPET members.

And of course, even against this positive backdrop, there is still more to do to address the additional red-tape requirements on providers for FEE-HELP and VET FEE-HELP approval, as well as for State government funding.

Thanks to those members who have contacted me with further suggestions on where and how to tackle red-tape – your suggestions are always welcomed.

Claire Field
Chief Executive Officer


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