Tuesday, April 20, 2010

That old question "Why?"

Attending a policy discussion last night, I was interested to hear one attendee raise the question of Why?
"Why are we discussing a new national VET regulator when we already had one (NARA)?"
In the communique issued on their website, (7/12/09) the Council of Australian Governments COAG says "COAG today agreed to establish a national regulator for the VET sector. The regulator will be responsible for the registration and audit of registered training providers, and accreditation of courses, and will be established under Commonwealth legislation."
I have to admit that after 19 years in the VET sector, sometimes I have forgotten to ask "Why?"
Is the establishment of yet another `new' body to do with Statutory Authority or a lack of performance or of acceptance of NARA?
We are still no closer to the answers and even with Jennifer Taylor representing DEEWR at the Policy presentation, we could only get a po faced answer of "It's a decision taken by COAG."
From the National Audit and Regulations Authority, (NARA) website, we glean the following statement "The new regulator will be a Commonwealth statutory authority."
Why is a Statutory Authority necessary? Because a Statutory Authority has the right to enact legislation for specific areas of the law.
In Victoria, the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority is a Statutory Authority. I would think that a National Regulator must have at least equivalent powers to those of the States it must deal with.
The COAG communique states, "The framework for the new national regulator will be negotiated through an agreement between governments by the end of May 2010 and the regulator will be operational from 2011."
With the intention of the new statutory authority being up and running by 2011, we are all holding our breath!