CISWA Conference Highlights

At RTO Doctor, we are constantly working to ensure that providers are aware of the latest changes. Here are some of the main topics which were covered today (Thursday 4 July 2013)! 

Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)

Peta Dunn- WA State Director & Global Manager Temporary Visas

  • Streamlined Visa Processing (SVP)

    • Lodgements and arrivals are up

    • “A better quality of applications seem to be coming through” – Peta

    • Reduced processing times

    • Grant rates up to 96%

  • Assessment level review

    • Information is still under review by government

  • New Visa Pricing

    • New prices have come into effect from 1 July 2013

  • Cessation of automatic and mandatory student visa cancellations to be replaced by ‘discretionary cancellations’

    • For more information

Edith Cowan University

Simon Davies-Burrows- Manager International Admissions

•         Continued consultation with DIAC over SVP

•         Issues with SVP

  • Rationalisation of agents continues to occur however sub-agents continue to be problematic

  • Balancing students requests to break packages with requirements to keep them in courses vs. the need for SVP providers to ensure compliance with their agreements under SVP

•         Early signs of success, but only time will tell

WA Department of Education Services

Richard Strickland- CEO

•         Continued focus on educating government and Australian public about the importance of International Education

•         DESWA Continues to offer International Education Conciliation Services

•         Consulting on addition of three key services-

  • Airport welcome services

  • Drop in and referral centre

    • focus on assisting with job development skills

    • Online information service

Australian Education International

Stephen Trengove-Jones- Director Strategic Policy Unit

•         Updates in changes to AIE/DIISRTE responsibilities

•         Most sectors are beginning to bounce back (VET is the exception)

•         Tuition Protection Service is progressing well

•         2012 Student Survey data has shown increases across student satisfaction

•         AsiaBound Grants Program

•         Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships


Robyn Adams- Special Advisor

•         Overview of TEQSA Regulatory Approach

•         Current HE Standards are under review by the HE Standards Panel

•         Public reporting of TEQSA decisions from 1 July 2013

•         New “For Students” tab is now available

Julie Northridge- WA Regional Manager Compliance

  • Reinforced ASQA’s regulatory responsibilities (clearly noting any online delivery falls under ASQA’s jurisdiction)

  • Currently responsible for over 4000 providers

  • ASQA approach to audits

    • Initial CRICOS

    • Application to change scope, capacity, etc. for higher risk providers

    • ASQA can audit at any time

    • Reinforced that the standards are very clear, particularly in the National Code.  ‘Grab a highlighter, go through the National Code and highlight all the ‘musts’’

    • Reinforced if you’re a good quality provider, you have nothing to fear.  There are about 10% of providers doing the wrong and they’re the one’s who should be afraid.


Raelene Bartlett-Director

  • Discussed perceptions about compliance from a range of perspectives:

    • Providers

    • Clients

    • Regulators

  • Similarities between what clients want and what regulators want

  • Provided the RTO Doctor ‘on the ground’ experience that there are a lot less than 10% of providers who are dodgy and need to be afraid.  Our reality is that those providers are probably only about 1 or 2%.  The issue seems to be more about people don’t know what they don’t know and they don’t have anywhere to go for help anymore when they don’t know without it impacting their next audit.

  • The most critical non-compliances that we’re seeing currently are regarding:

    • Trainer and assessor competence

    • Delivery & assessment resources & facilities are inadequate and don’t meet the principles of evidence and rules of assessment

  • Noted that there is a significant difference in:

    • approaches amongst regulators

    • requirements & expectations from regulators

    • Between auditors and even auditors’ own work from one client to the next

  • Importantly however it was noted that, as ASQA mentioned in the previous presentation, the Standards are legislated and because of that, the standards are open to interpretation which is partly why lawyers are having a field day.

  • Some of the biggest issues facing providers in our experience are:

    • Ongoing financial viability of maintaining RTO registration

    • Streamlined Visa Processing delays

    • Increased fees and charges

    • Bureaucratic delays, change and instability (the VET sector alone has had 5 new Ministers in the past 5 months, all trying to put their own individual stamp on the portfolio but creating even more instability in the process).

    • Regulatory delay and restriction of trade (yes, we dared to go there)

    • Regulatory changes, including training packages

    • Regulatory bodies being too reactive and not giving sufficient forethought to issues prior to release (examples used to highlight this were the TAE new LLN requirement and the current releases of CHC & HLT Training Packages).

  • We introduced an overview of the significant flaws in the CHC & HLT Training Packages that will impact not just Health & Community Service Providers but anyone who offers a unit in either of those packages such as first aid.

  • A brief discussion about how the ASQA Transition and Teach Out Policy does not currently allow for the scenario forced upon us by the CHC & HLT Training Package Release.

 Due to timing constraints, the presentation was unfinished however the RTO Doctor documentation is available here… CISWA Winter Conference Compliance 4 July 2013 [Distribution] and CISWA Conference Handout.

Edith Cowan University

Mark Thompson-Quality Manager, Planning Quality and Equity Services

Mark discussed the positives and negatives of ECU’s regulation under TEQSA and provided some feedback on the regulatory process under TEQSA.

Book Launch – Facilitating cultural transitions and change: A practical approach

Christine Hogan-Consultant & Author

Many thanks to Christine for donating a copy of her latest release to all presenters, including RTO Doctor.  Christine described how international students perceive the many varied aspects of cultural life in Australia, how they integrate their own cultural ideas while here and our duty of care to support them to integrate their new cultural understandings when they return home.  For a copy or more information, email


Daniel Sprague, Business Development Manager

Discussed the statistical data on the international education industry across Australia and in WA.  In WA, it appears as though the VET sector is picking up again (WA has grown in VET sector enrolments by 8.7% since 2012.    For more information, visit the {StudyPerth} website

WiO Consulting

Walter Ong, Director

“Techniques for expanding your business and improving relationships with institutions”

Walter discussed the importance of agents and insitutions to work together collaboratively to ensure that the needs of students, agents and providers are met.  Walter emphasised the importance of agent training in compliance, the importance of 360 degree feedback between agents and providers and the key between all stakeholders, including students and their families, is communication.  More information on WiO Consulting can be found at

Skill Ease Training & Indigenous Support Services

Early in 2012, Skill Ease Training & Indigenous Support Services was successful in receiving course accreditation for 52479WA – Certificate III in Indigenous Personal and Workforce Development.

The achievement would not have been accomplished if it was not for the hard work and expertise of consultant Raelene Bartlett from RTO Doctor.

As a result, Aboriginal people now have the opportunity to engage in meaningful training and pathways to employment sustainability.

The long journey travelled will cultivate a better and brighter future, for that I am most grateful, thank you.

Amanda Nissen

Managing Director

Centre for Professional and Personal Excellence Pty Ltd

T/A Skill Ease Training and Indigenous Support Services 

National Provider Number: 52460

Instilling Confidence Enhancing Performance

Assisting Others to Achieve Superior Results

 Mentoring  Consulting  Training  Workforce Development

AWARDS: Finalist 2003 South Coastal Business Awards; Nominated Premier Cabinet Awards 2003; Telstra Business Awards 2003 & 2006


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