At the conclusion of every audit, the Auditor will write a formal report that forms a detailed record of the scope, evidence and findings of the audit, personnel interviewed, including students, employers (where relevant) and staff in attendance for the entry and exit meeting, and the actual audit findings. This report will be submitted to TAC.
TAC requires audit reports to contain information that is:
- factual and only based on the evidence provided by the RTO or applicant or its representatives, or observed by the Auditor;
- written in a way that enables the reader to understand what the audit outcome is for each Standard and clause and where rectifications are required in cases of non-compliance; and
- written in plain English using appropriate language and technical references.
An audit report can at times be overwhelming because it may be lengthy and contain a lot of information. It is important that both Auditors and RTOs are familiar with the format and structure of an audit report to be able to read and interpret it accurately. This will enable RTOs to more accurately target rectification areas within the report and identify how they intend to address areas of reported non-compliance.
It should be noted that rectification evidence is only required for the Standards and clauses for which non-compliances have been reported. Opportunities for improvements identified in the audit report are suggestions only, and RTOs are not required to submit any evidence to the Auditor in response to these.
On completion of a site audit, the Auditor will provide the organisation with a verbal summary of the audit findings during the exit meeting. The Auditor informs the RTO or applicant that the information provided at the exit meeting is a preliminary assessment only, and that the official audit report will include more comprehensive information on the audit findings. Auditors are not required to provide a verbal summary of audit outcomes for desk audits.
For both site and desk audits, on audit completion the audit report will be provided to the RTO or applicant directly from TAC.
All audit reports and supporting audit evidence are subject to
Freedom of Information applications. Audit reports may also be provided to relevant government agencies for secondary purposes that are directly related to, or provide benefit to the Council’s primary function of quality assuring vocational education and training.
Audit Reporting Timelines
TAC's processes include a range of post-audit reporting timelines for both Auditors and RTOs.
In general, the Auditor has 10 working days from undertaking a site audit or receipt of information for a desk audit, to provide the completed report to TAC. For both site and desk audits the audit report will be provided to the RTO or applicant directly from TAC . More information is available in the
TAC Audit Process Flowcharts.
In addition, completed evidence review reports are to be provided to TAC within 10 working days of receipt of evidence.
If an RTO is non-compliant at an audit with significant or critical levels of non-compliance, TAC will find that the RTO is non-compliant, and:
- propose to reject (for applications) or, propose to sanction the RTO; and
- provide the applicant/RTO with 20 working days to respond to the Council's proposal and provide any supporting evidence for review.
TAC will then consider an appropriate regulatory response. In making a decision, TAC will take into account:
- the RTO's history of compliance and deployment of quality systems;
- the outcomes of the evidence review; and
- any information provided by the RTO in its response to the proposed action to reject or sanction.
If an RTO is non-compliant at an audit with minor non-compliance, TAC will provide the RTO with an opportunity to address non-compliances without the proposal to reject or sanction.
TAC will not progress or approve applications for initial registration, renewal of registration or amendment to registration while non-compliances remain.
RTOs who have demonstrated compliance at audit will receive their audit report from TAC.
An audit report can at times be a large document. The format is detailed and, with the inclusion of lists of evidence sighted and details of the audit findings, reports can easily accumulate into many pages. The report template is made up of the following three sections:
Section 1 - Audit Details
- Organisation details and overview
- Audit date & Site Audited
- Standards audited
- Interviews Conducted
- Scope of Delivery applied for
Section 2 - Summary of Overall Audit Outcomes
- Overall Level of Compliance
- Auditors Justification
- Non-compliant Standards
Section 3 – Audit Report
- Compliance with Standard 1 is reported against each training product (qualification/unit of competency/accredited course) included in the scope of audit.
The reader of the audit report needs to consider the audit findings for each training product in isolation and in context. Any reported non-compliant Standards and clauses will be noted and details of the evidence and audit findings will be documented. RTOs or applicants will need to consider the findings and develop their own plans for the corrective actions to be taken in response.
The remaining Standards (Standards 2 – 8) apply to the organisation as a whole, rather than specific training products.
Opportunity for Improvement (OFI)
An opportunity for improvement or OFI is best described as a compliant element of an RTO's management and/or training system that, in the Auditor's opinion could be strengthened, streamlined or otherwise improved.
OFIs do not require any action on the part of the RTO. However, RTOs are encouraged to give OFIs serious consideration in view of the Auditor's knowledge and experience. A provider may consider an OFI a continuous improvement opportunity or possibly an intervention to prevent future issues from arising.
In the interest of transparency and as a formal record, OFIs are recorded by the Auditor and included in the audit report.
Audits provide the opportunity for RTOs or applicants to showcase what they are doing to achieve quality results.
In cases where, in the Auditor's opinion, evidence shows exceptional outcomes, strengths are recorded and included in the audit report.
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