The department is responsible for the administration of the Queensland Quality Standards for principal employer organisations. The department ensures that each principal employer organisation (PEO) complies with the Queensland Quality Standards.
Step 1: select and engage an auditor
The PEO will select an approved auditor.
Section 84(4) of the Further Education and Training Act 2014 (the Act) states an 'approved auditor' means an auditor, or a person who is a type of auditor. The department has determined that an approved auditor means an auditor that has been accredited as a 'Lead Auditor' or higher by an appropriate accreditation body, either Exemplar Global (formerly RABQSA) or the International Register of Certificated Auditors (IRCA).
The Queensland Quality Standards were developed from Standards 1, 2, 7, and 8 of the National Standards for Group Training Organisations.
Once the auditor is selected, the PEO will advise the department of:
- the name of the auditor undertaking the audit
- the date of the audit
- evidence of the auditors current registration as a Lead Auditor or higher with Exemplar Global or the International Register of Certificated Auditors (IRCA).
Step 2: the desk evaluation
Prior to the site audit, the PEO will provide the auditor with copies of all self-assessment audit reports together with any material that may be relevant to the audit.
The auditor will conduct a desk-based audit to evaluate conformity of the systems and processes, as documented in the self-assessment report, with the Queensland Quality Standards for principal employer organisations.
Step 3: site visit
On completion of the desk-based audit, a site audit is conducted.
At the commencement of the site audit, there is an opening meeting with the Chief Executive Officer and/or delegated officer(s) to agree on the agenda for the site audit and answer any questions from either party.
During the site audit, auditors will seek examples of evidence from delegates that illustrate sound everyday business operations and continuous improvement.
The evidence the organisation presents will lead to a judgement about the extent of a PEO's compliance with the standards, and its ability to maintain compliance in the future.
Delegated officers will be asked questions relating to the evidence, and may need to produce documents and other forms of evidence for the auditor.
The auditor may conduct interviews with management, staff, host employers, apprentices and trainees to ensure confidence in the PEO's systems and processes being audited. These interviews may be conducted by telephone, survey or in person. Any interview must be conducted in the presence of a PEO representative.
An exit meeting is held at the conclusion of the site audit with the Chief Executive Officer and/or delegated officer(s) to discuss findings and observations. An audit outcome may not be determined at the conclusion of the site audit.
To provide an opportunity for continuous improvement of the audit process, the auditor is required to provide the PEO with an Audit evaluation form at the exit meeting.
Step 4: audit findings
At the completion of the site visit, the auditor gives the PEO verbal feedback on the audit findings and observations at the existing meeting.
If the organisation complies with all the Queensland Quality Standards for principal employer organisations the auditor will explain the finalisation process.
If there are any areas of non-compliance uncovered during the audit, preventative action is negotiated. A systems improvement plan must be prepared at the closing meeting.
The auditor is to prepare the PEO Quality audit report detailing the findings of the audit. The report will be based on the information obtained during the audit and recorded in the principal employer organisation Quality audit workbook. The Quality audit workbook will be made available to the department upon request.
Prior to forwarding the Quality audit report to the department, the Chief Executive Officer will need to sight and sign the report.
Step 5: after the audit
The department will notify PEOs of their compliance within ten (10) working days of receiving the audit report and outcome from the auditor.
Where an organisation is compliant against the Queensland Quality Standards for principal employer organisations, and the department has recognised it as a PEO, its details will be entered on the principal employer organisations register.
The register will include details of the PEO and the period of its current compliance against the Queensland Quality Standards.
The department will evaluate the quality audit report to establish if professional development is needed to assist with maintaining systems and processes.
The audit and evaluation program will be subject to continuous improvement.
Corporations seeking recognition as a principal employer organisation
Following a compliance audit of a corporation seeking recognition as a PEO, the Quality audit report, outcome, and other relevant information along with a completed Application for recognition as a principal employer organisation form will be submitted to the department.
The department will make the final decision on recognising the PEO as per Section 93 of the Act and as outlined in the Principal employer organisations operational manual.
The department will advise the organisation of the result, in writing, within 14 days of it's decision.