3 May 2013
Principles and obligations for government contracted training providers in Victoria
The Victorian government has published a “statement of expectations” of private RTOS contracted to deliver government-subsidised training under the Victorian Training Guarantee.
The government says the statement explains what is expected of contracted providers in service provision and business practice in terms of responsibilities and ethical behaviours. It also provides a framework to promote ethical day-to-day conduct and decision making says that providers are expected to:
- demonstrate a commitment to serving the public interest;
- be responsive to the needs of Government and the community;
- demonstrate accountability and transparency; and,
- demonstrate integrity and fairness.
The statement was shaped through consultation with training providers in partnership with the Australian Council for Private Education and Training.
With funding reforms announced last year, the Victorian government has asserted that there is now no substantial distinction between public providers (TAFE institutes) and private RTOs. Certainly, that’s the case concerning funding, with TAFEs having had $300 million a year in funding for “comprehensive service provision” withdrawn.
This statement would seem to give force to that assertion, at least to the extent that it is a condition of funding that is actually monitored and enforced.
In its response to the Report of the Panel on TAFE Reform, which recommended the government “clearly define the community service obligations that it wishes to fund in the Victorian vocational training market and the process for identifying and costing them” (recommendation 18), the government agreed but said there are currently no such obligations.
This statement, taken with some provisions of the recently promulgated TAFE constitutions, sends a slightly confused message – but that’s the nature of Victorian skills reform.