My Recent ELICOS Compliance Monitoring Audit Experience
As an ELICOS consultant, I participated in an ASQA ELICOS Compliance Monitoring audit in June this year.
This time, it was a true combination of good, bad and ugly… At the end of it all, it was all good though! To begin with, I conducted an internal audit, updated and created required documents and trained the various staff members on how they can start implementing the updated materials.
Then the ASQA Compliance Monitoring audit was done and I learnt a few new things from this audit process. So, I thought I would share a few tips with you so you can better prepare for an upcoming ASQA audit.
What to Expect from an ELICOS Compliance Monitoring Audit: When the auditors arrive, and the introduction with the auditors is completed, you will be handed a document that lists the evidence you need to present during the audit. The evidence which the auditors want to see varies, as it depends on the reason why they are auditing you. If a complaint about your college had been submitted to ASQA, then the auditor may want to see documents relating to the complaint in question. If the auditors are there to do general compliance monitoring, the evidence they may want to see will be based on the documents you have pre-submitted.
New Items Requested: In the audit, the auditors wanted to see a copy of the policy and procedure for the placement of new students. They were not satisfied with when and how the placement test will be conducted, which was mentioned in the other policies and procedures. They wanted to know what specific policy and procedure the college had in place for placing new students into classes.
In regards to your teachers’ files, auditors wanted to see the evidence of work experience and copies of validated qualifications. This means a Statement of Service or something similar must accompany the experience outlined in the CV. Also, the copy of qualifications must have verified letters from the institutions. Yes, it is a lot of work, but this is what they wanted to see. Having copies of qualifications signed by a JP or signing and writing “original sighted” was not enough.
Time limit, what time limit?: For the first time, I met an auditor who gave a time limit on when we could present evidence on the audit day. This is a very subjective approach by an individual auditor. Usually, when more time is required to present evidence (as the audit usually goes for a day or two), auditors allow the college to email them the remaining evidence. However, in this instance, this particular auditor wanted all the evidence by a certain time, which was well before the finishing time. He also said that if the evidence is not presented by the given time, it will be deemed as non-compliant. My client and I made a complaint and insisted on being able to provide evidence until the end of the day of the audit. In the end, the supporting auditor allowed us to submit more documents until the end of the audit, and they also took some documents back with them.
Let’s talk about your rights: Auditors have no right to interfere with your business. This means if they want to enter a classroom during class time, they need permission from you. Unfortunately, the auditor I encountered this time seemed to be less cautious about this. As a result, the college later faced complaints from teachers. The college then decided to file a formal complaint about the auditor to ASQA, which they did.
There is so much more I could share with you, but I don’t want to bore you with a long blog so, I better stop here.
Look, for me, audits provide a beneficial opportunity to improve business practice and improve the student experience. If you have a positive attitude towards audits, you will have far better audit experience and gain the opportunity to develop your business further.
Remember to prepare for an audit with an experienced person and learn from the audit to improve your business practice.
Please comment or share your own experiences.