ASQA Chief Commissioner and CEO to step down as strategic focus shifts

by Jason Roberts

October 02

The Australian Government has confirmed that Mark Patterson AO, the current Chief Commissioner of the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) will be stepping down from his position effective 6 October 2019 as part of broader reforms to the organisation.  

 

Federal Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business the Hon Michaelia Cash said the reforms respond to key recommendations of the Braithwaite and Joyce Reviews, including supporting ASQA to expand its scope to adopt a more educative approach to lift quality in the delivery of vocational education and training (VET). 

 

Mr Paterson first joined ASQA as a Commissioner in May 2016, before leading the regulator as Chief Commissioner and CEO since 1 January 2017.

 

He joined the organisation at a time when the sector was seeking to rehabilitate itself after the high-profile challenges posed by low-quality and unscrupulous providers and the VET FEE-HELP program debacle. 

 

Mr Patterson oversaw ASQA’s shift to a risk-based approach to regulating the sector that has seen audits targeting high-risk providers and has facilitated a lifting of standards, particularly of new providers, through the Raising the Bar initiative. 

 

Commenting on Mr Patterson’s departure, Ms Cash said “I would like to thank Mark for the leadership he has provided to ASQA since January 2017, including managing the removal of a large number of poor quality training providers that arose as a result of past practices and the VET FEE-HELP debacle.”

 

ASQA Deputy Chief Commissioner Ms Saxon Rice has been named as the regulator’s interim Chief Commissioner from 7 October 2019. Ms Rice has been Deputy Chief Commissioner at the regulator since April 2018.

 

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