ACPET

Representing quality private education
providers in Australia

In Focus

Monday, July 14 2014

I have been acting CEO for a little over a week. It has been challenging for us all but I have been very fortunate that the Board Members, senior staff and a number of state committee members have been willing and able to assist with meetings and providing policy input. Claire Field has also provided an excellent and very professional handover. Thank you for all the support.

The following is a snap shot of some of the activities and key priorities for the week as well as dealing with all the usual end of year activities, including our annual financial audit.

1. Higher ED Legislation and Financing Working Group meeting

One of the Board Directors, Dr George Brown, represented ACPET at the Higher Education Legislation and Financing Working Group meeting in Canberra. This important meeting was discussing the arrangements that the Commonwealth are proposing to put in place to facilitate the funding of student places at private higher education providers. As you would have seen in the media, the universities are arguing for a greater amount of money for each higher education place at a University than the private sector. The non-university higher education providers are adamant that the proposed differential is entirely inappropriate and cannot be justified. The University argument is based around the extra costs they face to fund research and community engagement. This debate has some way to run and we will continue to work very hard to present the private provider position.

2. Study NSW Advisory Board

The NSW government has announced the membership of this important Board and I am very happy to report that Mr Matthew Traynor will represent the private sector. English Australia also has a representative on the Board. Members wishing to express an opinion about the NSW policy and direction should contact Matthew. We will also be using this model of involvement to promote increased engagement in those States that have yet to embrace the importance of engaging with the private sector.

3. Draft Standards Feedback

As you would all be aware the Minister for Industry, the Hon. Ian Macfarlane, released the Proposed Standards for Training Providers and VET Regulators at the ACPET/ACCI Skills Summit in Canberra two weeks ago. The consultation period for feedback on the draft standards ends on the twenty third of July. ACPET staff and State Committees are working on a response.  All those wishing to contribute their opinions to this should contact Allan Keith at alan.keith@acpet.edu.au . It is critical that ACPET provides a comprehensive response to the Proposed Standards particularly as we were so forceful in response to some of the previous proposals put forward by the now defunct NSSC.

4. WA Vet Review

The WA government conducted a review of VET in Western Australia and ACPET has submitted a response to the review. It is quite amazing that in this day and age a review of VET could be produced with no reference to the private sector and its ongoing role.  We have offered on numerous occasions to work with the WA Department of Training and Workforce Development and the Minister to better their understanding of the private sector and in particular the fee for service component and how it interacts with the publicly funded sector. This offer remains on the table.

5. National Conference

Planning for the National Conference continues and the program is shaping up to be an exciting one. Registrations have been relatively strong but please take the opportunity to join with other members at this exciting and challenging time for the industry. There are a number of international delegates registered for APIEF and there will be opportunities to explore possible partnerships in China and Indonesia in particular.

6. ASTAS

There has been a delay in the ASTAS renewals over the last two months as we have been negotiating new insurance arrangements. Thank you for your patience and I hope to have some exciting announcements within the next two weeks.

7. CEO recruitment

The Board has worked very quickly to commence the recruitment process for a new CEO of ACPET. Some of you will have no doubt seen the advertisements and it will be on our website early this week for your perusal. It is a priority for us to find the very best possible replacement for Claire.

8. Membership Renewals

It has become evident that a number of members are waiting for paper based renewal documentation. This will not happen this year as we have moved to online renewal as a way of streamlining our business practises. The email that was sent to you all failed to convey the message as clearly as hoped. We also noted from the member survey that there are concerns about the volume of emails that you receive from ACPET and although we cannot change that immediately we are looking for a system that better targets members and conveys our messages in a clear and timely manner. Please contact our membership team if you haven’t yet renewed. We need everyone on side when trying to negotiate the policy settings you need to help grow your business and the industry as a whole. The greater the number of quality members the stronger our voice.

It is business as usual at ACPET and I look forward to keeping you up to date with a range of developments and policy debates over the coming weeks.

Larry Davies
A/Chief Executive Officer.


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