WorkSafe Western Australia has warned employees undertaking workplace training with companies that aren’t registered training organisations (RTOs) they may not receive their work licence.

The warning this month (September, 2015) follows its investigation into a non-registered training provider, A & J Training and Assessing.

WorkSafe director of business services Robyn Parker explained that A & J could not issue a Statement of Attainment a worker would require for a High Risk Work Licence to be issued.

“WorkSafe has recently received a number of queries about this particular trainer, and we need to warn the public that they may not receive the service they pay for if they deal with A & J,” Ms Parker said.

“A & J can deliver the training, but they are not a RTO and so cannot themselves issue valid Statements of Attainment.

“Statements of Attainment issued by A & J will not be accepted by WorkSafe, and as a consequence, a High Risk Work Licence will not be issued.”

Ms Parker said A & J would also contravene consumer laws if a licence applicant paid them for a service but did not receive the goods he or she had paid for.

ASQA defends its track record
Federal regulatory body Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), meantime, has rejected any suggestion it failed to investigate and take appropriate action in relation to concerns regarding the quality of vocational training and assessment.

In a June 2015 statement, ASQA said it had conducted almost 4,700 audits of the training and assessment activities of RTOs since its establishment in July 2011.

It has issued 470 notices of intention to cancel or suspend RTO registration; and made 218 decisions to cancel or suspend registration and 141 decisions to refuse reregistration of existing RTOs, affecting in total 261 different RTOs.

At the Senate Estimates hearing of 3 June 2015, questions were asked comparing ASQA’s actions in relation to the Vocation-Ltd owned RTOs taken by the Victorian regulator. In particular, the situation regarding the recall or cancellation of qualifications was raised.

ASQA said the policy framework for Australia’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) system was based on the regulation of RTOs, rather than the regulation of each individual learner. The wholesale cancellation of qualifications has not been a feature of the VET system.

“The National Vocational Education and Training Regulator (NVR) Act provisions assume cancellation is a specific response to particular circumstances and, if based on a concern that an individual’s actual competencies do not meet the certified competencies awarded to the individual, this would be preceded by an individual reassessment of the person’s actual competencies,” ASQA said.

Vocation-owned RTOs has “been on ASQA’s radar” since last year and all of its operating RTOs regulated by ASQA have been subject to extensive audit and regulatory scrutiny, it said.

Employers and workers concerned about the bona fides of their training provider should contact the ASQA. ASQA publishes information about regulatory decisions it makes to suspend, cancel or impose conditions on RTOs that don’t meet its standards (see http://www.asqa.gov.au/about/regulatory-decisions/asqa-decisions.html).

About 200 providers were on the list when AlertForce compiled this story.

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AlertForce is a registered training organisation (RTO) providing WHS compliance and diploma training for employers. For more details, go to http://alertforce.com.au/ohs-training-courses/

For details on the WorkSafe WA alert, go to: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/announcements/worksafe-advises-caution-when-dealing-trainer-j-training-and-assessing

For details on the ASQA list, go to
http://www.asqa.gov.au/about/regulatory-decisions/asqa-decisions.html

For ASQA’s response to the Senate estimate’s hearing, go to www.asqa.gov.au/verve/_resources/MR_Statement_regarding_regulation_of_the_training_sector.pdf