Understand what the auditor will look for
Principal employer organisations (PEOs) need to establish appropriate systems under the Queensland Quality Standards for principal employer organisations including written procedures to support PEO operations.
An organisation must comply with each of the four (4) state standards. The evidence required for each standard has been defined in a way that balances the need to be clear about what is expected, with sufficient flexibility in the way evidence can be presented to acknowledge the diversity of PEOs. For example, two organisations may provide different examples of evidence to demonstrate compliance with the same sub-clause of a standard.
The standards were developed from standards 1, 2, 7 and 8 of the National Standards for Group Training Organisations. The national standards are accompanied by the Evidence Guide to support the National Standards for Group Training Organisations that contains a number of suggested examples of where and how evidence might be provided.
The examples are designed to assist organisations and auditors to decide what might be appropriate evidence for an organisation to demonstrate compliance. The examples are not exhaustive, nor are they prescriptive, but they may prove useful as a guide.
The resource handbook is relevant to the four state standards as well.
Conduct a self-assessment audit
Under the Queensland Quality Standards, PEOs are required to conduct an annual self-assessment audit against the standards. These self-assessment audits enable PEOs to identify issues and implement improvements to ensure continuous compliance with the Queensland Quality Standards.
A PEO is required to undertake the self-assessment process by 31 December each year. The Chief Executive Officer of the organisation is then required to submit to the department a signed statement that the self-assessment was undertaken and the organisation continues to be compliant against the Queensland Quality Standards. A self-assessment report template is available.
Corporations conducting initial compliance audits must also conduct a self-assessment audit against the Queensland Quality Standards prior to engaging an independent auditor.
Prior to the site audit, the organisation must provide the auditor with all self-assessment audits reports, together with any other material that may be relevant.
The auditor will conduct a desk-based audit to evaluate whether or not systems conform to the Queensland Quality Standards, as documented in the self-assessment report.
Gather sufficient evidence
The auditor wants to know what the organisation does, and how it does it, in relation to each standard. Documentation needs to be produced to demonstrate application of systems and processes.
The evidence required for each standard has been defined in a way that balances the need to be clear about what is expected, with sufficient flexibility in the way evidence can be presented. If an auditor identifies an area in which evidence is lacking, this determination can be used as an opportunity to improve business practices.
The evidence guide can be of assistance when planning for an audit as the four state standards were developed from the National Standards for Group Training Organisations.
The department has prepared a number of pre-audit hints to assist with understanding and undertaking an audit.