Continuous improvement (CI) is a requirement for all RTOs and integral to maintaining quality.
It is also critical in the sustainability field where things are changing and developing quickly. It provides a mechanism to stay aware of and be able to respond to changes. It also allows you to monitor and improve your operations and this is a fundamental aspect of sustainability for any business.
The Standards for NVR registered training organisations defines continuous improvement as:
‘a planned and ongoing process that enables an RTO to systematically review and improve its policies, procedures, products and services in order to generate better outcomes for clients and to meet changing needs. It allows an RTO to constantly review its performance against the VET Quality Framework and to plan ongoing improvements to its performance. Continuous improvement involves collecting, analysing and acting on relevant information collected from clients and other interested parties, including the RTO’s staff.’
A robust and comprehensive CI system that has been established under the AQTF may be adequate to meet the requirements of the NVR standards. However, some amendment might be needed to ensure that you:
- Review your performance against the VET Quality Framework
- Focus on better outcomes for clients and meeting changing needs.
Issues to consider in designing and documenting your CI system might include:
- What data you will collect to inform your improvements – you must collect the Quality Indicators data but you might want to collect additional feedback, evaluations and suggestions from learners and business clients, staff and stakeholders
- How you will review your policies, procedures, products and services in order to generate better outcomes for clients and to meet changing needs
- Whether you will include regular structured review against all aspects of the VET Quality Framework
- How you will integrate validation and moderation into your CI system
- How and when you will schedule your feedback, review and monitoring cycles
- How you will analyse and act on the data to put improvements into practice
- What you will document and how you will store it – this might include the sources of data and how you have analysed them, what improvements have been made, CI procedures for staff
- How you will implement improvements – for example how you will plan them, communicate the changes, embed new practices and how you will monitor whether the improvements are working.