Does your RTO website meet ASQA’s requirements?
ASQA reported that roughly half of RTOs were potentially misleading customers with unclear, obsolete and inaccurate information about the training they provided. A large proportion of marketing materials consumed by customers were seen to have general, vague and incorrect information, leaving students with insufficient information to make informed training choices.
The recent media and government focus on student acquisition has meant digital marketing has become integral to many RTO’s for sourcing quality students. The rapid rise of the digital marketing space, in acquiring new students has left many RTOs flat-footed as it is a change of mindset and many are too busy running a business to focus their attention on creating engaging digital marketing strategies that are compliant. But your RTO is responsible for ensuring the requirements of ASQA’s standards are met. Since 2013, ASQA has laid down stringent compliance requirements on how to present information to your desired audience.
Have you refreshed your digital marketing in a while? First step is to make sure you’re playing by the rules, we’ve provided a checklist for you to follow.
Tell them who you are: make your RTO’s credentials as clear as possible.
This may seem simple, but there are plenty of easily missed requirements set down by ASQA that you will need to include on your website. Your RTO code needs to be visible on your home page, either on the header or footer. When you’re referencing your training courses, ensure you also list the training codes. This way, potential students can look up the courses on the training.gov website to research their choices further.
Having out-of-date courses listed is not ASQA-compliant. It’s vital you update your website as often as you update your training information to ensure your students know what they’re signing up for.
Only include terminology that is within your scope of registration
“Scope of registration” refers to the list of training package qualifications, units of competency or state-accredited courses in which a training organisation is registered to provide the services offered. It’s actually an offence under the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 to advertise a qualification or unit of competency that is not on an RTO’s scope of registration.
It can be difficult to know how clear you have to be when providing this information. Be your own guide on this, or show your ideas to a trusted colleague. Ask them if they think there is anything misleading on the website; having a fresh pair of eyes always helps the editing process. If you or your colleagues believe there is something misleading, no doubt your students will too.
Mirror your website credentials onto your social media pages
It’s easy to set up a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page, post some content and then divert your attention away from social media. But these platforms should be treated with the same attention as a website. In fact, customers are increasingly more likely to visit a Facebook page with engaging content before even making it to your website.
Ensure you always include your RTO code, contact details and valid information that relates to your scope of registration across all social media. This needs to be the same across your digital advertising, including Google AdWords.
ASQA is working to ensure students are given the power to make informed choices about the training they are undertaking. In making better choices at the beginning, this will always lead to better results for RTOs in the long run when it comes to completing courses and the wellbeing of students.
Looking for ASQA-compliant digital marketing strategies or compliance site audit? Contact Predikkta to find out more.
*Predikkta has sourced several external independent global tools to analyze websites.These tools do not reflect on occasion the internal website analytics, but are recognised global tools and provide accurate comparative results for measurement against competitors.
**The views in this article are those of the author