Prior to Audit

Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) should understand the range of activities that occur before the actual audit.
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Guidance on what is involved prior to the actual audit is available below.

TAC Audit Procedures

Allocation of audits to Auditors

TAC will issue category specific audits to Auditors in no particular order of preference, however, issues such as location, availability, scope, skills and experience in the category of service will be factors relevant to audit allocation.

Once the Auditor accepts the audit assignment, TAC will advise the RTO and the Auditor will coordinate the next phase in the audit process.


Scheduling a Site Audit

TAC will authorise the Auditor to contact the RTO to schedule a site audit.

Site audits are to occur within 10 working days of the Auditor receiving authorisation to contact the provider. Should circumstances prevent a site audit occurring within this timeframe, the Auditor will seek direction from TAC.

Once an audit is scheduled, it is expected to occur at that time unless there is an emergency.  RTOs must contact the Auditor immediately if an emergency occurs. The Auditor may not be able to accommodate a new audit date and may need to seek further direction from TAC.

Please note that if the audit is cancelled, there is no refund of fees for audits related to an application.


Auditing at a Private Residence

It is now common practice for businesses, including RTOs, to be based at a home office, especially where ‘site-based’ training programs are being offered. TAC considers these audits may potentially present a higher risk for the personal safety of an Auditor and other members of an audit team. To minimise this risk, an Auditor may be accompanied by an observer from TAC if the audit is to be conducted in a private residence.

Changing Audit Scope once an Audit is Scheduled

Audits are scheduled to assess specific training products or industry areas and once scheduled there is limited opportunity to change the scope of the audit. A change of audit scope is likely to require submission of new or additional evidence, which in turn may involve a change to the time an Auditor has been allocated to the audit, the evidence to be observed or people to be interviewed.  If it becomes necessary to change the scope of an audit, the provider must contact the Auditor and TAC  immediately so that required changes may be discussed.

What to Expect Prior to Audit

The following information is to guide RTOs/applicants in preparing for a site or desk audit.

Helpful Information

Undergoing an audit can be a stressful experience, but it doesn't have to be if you are well informed and prepared for the audit. TAC offers a number of resources to assist you with preparing for your audit:

 The brochure How to prepare to for an Audit against the Standards for RTOs provides more information on what to expect prior to an audit.

 The User's Guide to the Standards for RTOs provides explanation and guidance for RTOs to assist them in understanding their regulatory obligations, and to establish and maintain systems and processes that both comply with the Standards and suit the RTO and its clients and learners.

 The webinar Preparing for Audit is an interactive webinar that provides information that will help you to understand why and how TAC implements the audit process and what you can do to help make the experience a positive one for your organisation.

Site Audits

No two people, business practices or providers are the same. The Auditor will generally not be familiar with a particular RTO's operations and is therefore reliant on organisational representatives to provide clear and logical information about how the business operates.

Once it has been determined that an audit is required, there are a number of things that an RTO should consider in preparing for the audit.

  • Be informed - review the intent and requirements of the audit as advised by TAC.
  • Consider evidence requirements - the Auditor's role is to verify evidence that the provider is achieving quality training and assessment outcomes and is using a continuous improvement approach to ensure the ongoing achievement of these outcomes.
  • Conduct a self-assessment prior to audit. Use an approach that suits your business context however, the Users' Guide to the Standards for RTOs could be used to inform a self-assessment. You may also choose to use the below TAC self-assessment template.  Whatever form the self-assessment takes, at the very least it will be important to determine if and how your business is:

       - achieving compliance with the Standards for RTOs;

       - meeting training package requirements;

       - delivering training to industry standards;

       - meeting the learning needs of clients; and

        - continuously improving outcomes.

  • It is a good idea to provide the Auditor with a snapshot of your business, such as the scope of delivery, number of students, modes of delivery, staffing, facilities, client groups, special features, etc. 
  • Decide which staff members, learners and clients will be best placed to provide supporting evidence, and ensure they will be available.
  • Participation in an audit can be stressful. Work with staff to help them feel more at ease with the audit process and let them know what to expect.
  • It is most likely that the Auditor will track the progress of learners and will identify learners and, where relevant, clients such as employers, to be interviewed to determine the extent to which the provider is achieving its outcomes.
  • Allocate a staff member to be the Auditor's guide during the visit. The guide supports the process by ensuring staff are available at planned times, assisting with auditor requirements and acting as the liaison between the auditor and the provider's staff.
  • Allocate a workspace for the Auditor to analyse evidence and conduct interviews.
  • Advise the Auditor of any special access arrangements, such as safety clothing, white card, security or parking arrangements.

Desk Audits

If a desk audit is required, you will receive a notification from TAC. The notification will advise you of the scope and scale of the audit and in some instances allow you an opportunity to submit further evidence directly to the Auditor by a specified date. The Auditor will be advised of the timeframe for the submission of additional evidence.

It is up to you to determine what evidence you will submit to demonstrate compliance with the Standards for RTOs. However, the evidence provided should be clearly referenced/indexed to assist the Auditor to understand which Standards/clauses the evidence submitted is addressing.

If the evidence is not provided to the Auditor by the nominated date, the Auditor will conduct the audit against the Standards for RTOs, based on the evidence previously submitted with the application.

A guide to evidence that you could provide to the Auditor for an amendment to scope of registration application is available in the Amendment to Registration Application Guide. Please note that the list in the guide is not exhaustive or prescriptive