Addressing integrity and accountability concerns in educations providers have resulted in important changes to the ‘Fit and Proper’ Person Requirements.
We welcome these changes which could mark a significant step towards a more transparent and accountable education sector, but as always, their implementation will determine their effectiveness.
1. Expanding the Scope of Assessment
One of the pivotal changes is the expansion of the criteria used to assess the ‘fit and proper’ status of individuals and entities involved in RTOs. While previously focused on CEOs and high managerial agents, the new regulations encompass anyone exerting significant control or influence over an RTO’s management. This broadened scope ensures that all key decision-makers are held to high ethical and professional standards.
2. Scrutinizing Legal Compliance
The updated regulations empower the VET Regulator to consider a more comprehensive range of factors related to legal compliance. Importantly, this includes instances where offenses have been committed, irrespective of formal convictions. This change underscores the commitment to enforcing ethical and legal conduct within the education sector. This could expose some unintended curiosities, particularly where convictions are deliberately not recorded by the courts.
3. Past Performance Matters
The new provisions also allow the VET Regulator to consider the outcomes of previous registration and approval applications. This scrutiny ensures that entities with a history of non-compliance or questionable practices face more rigorous assessment. The provisions are strengthened, but will it be used?
4. Broader Considerations of False Information
The expanded scope of what constitutes false and misleading information is another noteworthy change. It now extends beyond interactions with the VET Regulator to include other relevant entities. This extension ensures that deceptive practices are thoroughly examined across the education sector.
5. Government funding contracts
A significant addition to the regulations is the introduction of performance relating to ‘government funded training contracts’. A poor track record in any jurisdiction will be an important consideration.