Compliance, rules and regulations are an important part of working life for colleges like h&h Accredited Training, which can sometimes mean students and trainers have to take extra time to get things done in what Sean calls a “religiously compliant” way.
The bonus is that compliance delivers quality and peace of mind for students to achieve better quality training results.
“Compliance means students’ training outcomes are quality assured and their training is well looked after by highly qualified trainers and assessors,” says h&h’s Compliance Manager Sean Le, who has worked at the college for two-and-a-half years.
“But it does make me the most loved-but-hated man in the RTO,” he admits. “I’m always asking people to show me the evidence. And we might argue about lots of different things.”
Governance and regulation rule at Registered Training Organisation's (RTOs)
Registered Training Organisations like h&h are audited by ASQA, the federal government authority that ensures nationally recognised training meets industry and government standards.
There are plenty of other regulations that h&h strictly adheres to as part of its commitment to be a quality training organisation, including things like:
- Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015 which makes sure there are nationally consistent training and assessment across Australia
- Data Provision Requirements 2012 which mean training organisations need to supply ASQA with data upon request and submit quality indicator data annually
- Australian Qualifications Framework which is the national policy for regulated qualifications in Australian education and training
- NSW Smart and Skilled Contracts which govern the way some fee arrangements work
- VET Student Loan rules and how they are regulated
Compliance requirements mean training - and especially assessments of competency - are closely examined to prove the assessment tools and methods used actually allow learners to gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the workplace.
It also means h&h has documented policies and procedures to make sure everyone knows all the rules and how to follow them, and Sean is consistently looking at ways to improve things for the college.
Sean started working at Granville TAFE
Sean has worked in vocational education and training since 1985, with one of his first jobs around the corner from h&h’s campus at Granville TAFE, where he worked as a career advisor.
“At my first interview, I was lost and trying to work out how to find the room I needed to go to, when a man showed me the way - it turned out that gentleman was the managing director of TAFE NSW,” Sean says.
Sean worked his way up and became a NSW state training authority representative, where he contributed to the current national vocational education and training system and liaised with various industries to make sure skills and training were job-relevant.
He has contributed to plenty of audits of RTOs across NSW, and seen many go out of business when they don’t gather quality evidence that they are training and assessing competency accurately and completely against the unit or qualification rules.
“It’s very important that RTOs must demonstrate that, after training and assessment, their learners have acquired the industry-required skills and knowledge of the qualification and unit of competency, otherwise they are just handing out pieces of paper that don’t mean anything,” Sean says.
It’s interesting that Sean refers to h&h being “religiously compliant”, as he was once studying at a Bachelor of Philosophy and Bachelor of Theology at the Catholic seminary in his home country of Vietnam.
His plans for a religious life were disrupted by political instability, when the government closed down the seminary, prompting him to flee to a refugee camp in Indonesia before arriving in Australia without any family to support him.
“I know how important it is to seize every opportunity. I really encourage students to look at every opportunity and find the career that will suit them,” he says.