TAFE and WorkReady in South Australia – how did we get here?

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Since the news broke about the terrible outcomes of the random TAFE SA audit by ASQA, the plight of the whole VET system with WorkReady in South Australia has come up for discussion in many circles.


The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has suspended 10 qualifications from the scope of registration of TAFE SA (RTO number 41026).

TAFE SA was subject to routine regulatory scrutiny in May 2017 which identified some non-compliance with the requirements of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Quality Framework.

As a result, in September the training provider was issued with a notice of intention to remove or suspend a total of 16 qualifications from its scope of registration.

ASQA considered the response provided by TAFE SA to the notice of intention, however it did not address all of the non-compliances identified. On Monday, 4 December ASQA formally advised TAFE SA of its decision to suspend 10 qualifications from its scope of registration as a provider of vocational education and training.

ASQA’s decisions will come into effect on 23 January 2018 unless TAFE SA utilises the review avenues available to it.

At first the question asked was, what is going on with TAFE SA and you can watch the first video addressing this question here.

Then as more detail was revealed the question become, where to from here?

For the TAFE SA review and what we know can be done now on recommendations and priorities, you can watch videos 2 and 3 here.

Skills for All – WorkReady

This experience must be a catalyst for major change across the South Australia VET system.  And it is not like this has been coming for a while now.

Since Skills for All was muted back in 2011, as it rolled out and then changed name to WorkReady, issues and problems have been raised with solutions too.  From back then til now, this is all captured in the WorkReady in South Australia – how did we get here? ebook which you can download and share with colleagues.

Overwhelmingly, whilst the sector and those with local, national and international, industry and VET experience have been willing to co-design the approach with priorities that match South Australia’s strengths this has not been taken up.  Instead we have seen people within the department copy irrelevant components from other states such as Victoria, send out painful surveys and persist with a Subsidised Training List that should have been ditched a few years back.

Subsidised Training List

Whoever made the decision to send out a WorkReady update on 12 December 2017 highlighting the Subsidised Training List 3.1 is making an absolute joke of the situation.  Whilst they would have thought that there was good news to be shared about increased training subsidy rates for WorkReady providers and a new online tool, the list includes the 10 problem TAFE SA qualifications with two of them as TAFE SA only enrolments.  Four of the qualifications have unlimited TAFE SA enrolments and another three have between 30-970 places allocated to TAFE SA.  The list comes into effect on 2 January 2018 and ASQA’s decision is pending until 23 January 2018.

How does that work for students and employers?!

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