The Red Tape Saga: CRICOS registered providers affected too
By Hannah Cross
As promised by METIOR, updates about CRICOS registration and the training of international students on student visas are here.
Not only are international students and RTOs affected by this issue, Higher Education Providers (HEPs) are also having difficulties due to the substandard CRICOS registration process.
Dr George Brown is the Director Academic of the International College of Hotel Management in Adelaide. The College offers bachelor’s degrees in hotel management and business.
Brown says students usually complete practical industry work for six months and then study for six months. The first placement is typically in the food and beverage industry. To work in this industry, students need their RSA certificates.
Although the College has been CRICOS accredited since 1992, they can’t offer certifications such as the RSA as they are not a registered VET provider. As a Higher Education Provider, they can only offer degrees.
The College would have to go through a one to two-year process of registration to get one unit of competence on their registration.
To work around this, Brown says they always outsource the RSA to a provider of their choice. This is no problem for domestic students, they can complete the certificate and continue their studies.
For international students holding student visas, as we now know, they can’t legally obtain their RSAs in this way.
This is creating a flow on effect, causing frustration for international students, training providers and higher education providers nationally.
“We’re just one of many providers this is affecting,” says Brown.
So, what now? HEPs and RTOs can’t provide single-unit training to international students on student visas, and international students can’t work in entire industries without this training.
This sort of bureaucratic failure at a federal level does not look good for Australia.
According to both Brown and Newbery, this issue has been brought to the attention of ASQA but the details are murky as to whether there has been any real progress yet.
Brown says the College’s own CEO has sought advice from ASQA, however the answers have not been reassuring thus far.
“We’re yet to see any clarity or directive on it,” says Brown.
In an email response to METIOR, the Manager for ASQA's Communications, Education and Service Delivery, Scott Chandler, says that ASQA only regulates per the legislation and that "it does not set the requirements set out in the [ESOS] Act."
METIOR is continuing to reach out to the Department of Education and Training for comment. No response has been received as of yet.
Back at Murdoch, Stewart is hopeful that raising awareness of the issue will trigger change.
“I think the bigger goal for us now is pushing to see this larger legislative change to permit international students to be able to do the training just like everyone else,” he says.