Feature Article: How to create a compliant training and assessment strategy (TAS)

Feature Article: How to create a compliant training and assessment strategy (TAS)

It is critical for RTO’s to have effective processes in place that ensure your training and assessment strategies meet the requirements of Clauses 1.1 to 1.4 in the SRTOs 2015.These mandatory compliance documents are likely to be tested by ASQA either when your submit them with an application to add a training product to scope or during a regulatory audit. The following advice provides suggestions for RTOs for creating TAS’s that are compliant with the standards.

Training and assessment strategy template:

Your RTO’s training and assessment strategy template should be designed to capture all of the requirements of Clauses 1.1 to 1.4.  The information contained in your TAS’s feeds your academic planning for all delivery related to training products on your scope of registration. ASQA suggests that a TAS may comprise of multiple documents but there must be consistency between these documents so that the overall strategy is clearly described. You may decide to have separate documents as addendums to your main document for lists such as your staffing matrix, physical resource list or learning and assessment resource list and this is ok.  If you do this you need to ensure that the addendums and their locations are clearly referenced in your main document.

At a minimum your RTO should use a TAS template that captures information for the following aspects:

  1. The training product is identified including the code and full title as per the National Register;
  2. Core and elective components for delivery of full qualifications are identified as per the packaging rules and for partial delivery of qualifications or stand-alone units the specific units of competency being offered are listed;
  3. Entry requirements are explained including mandatory requirements of the training product and any additional requirements as per your RTO policies;
  4. Pre-requisite and co-requisite units are identified;
  5. Sequencing of the delivery and assessment is explained;
  6. The student cohort/s and their characteristics are identified including any existing knowledge, skills and work experience.
  7. Mode of delivery is identified e.g. face-to-face, online, workplace training or mixed mode
  8. Duration and scheduling of your program is provided detailing your amount of training hours that are appropriate for the student cohort/s
  9. Assessment resources, methods and timing are identified including mandatory work placement arrangements
  10. Learning resources are identified
  11. Appropriately qualified trainers and assessors are identified for each unit of competency being offered
  12. Essential physical resources are identified for each unit of competency being offered including facilities such as workshops and labs, equipment and training aids

EDministrate has a Training and Assessment Strategy Template that RTO’s can use that has been designed to meet all the compliance requirements should you need to replace what you are currently using.

Training and assessment strategy checklist:

You can ensure you don’t miss the most critical and important steps when creating your TAS’s by using a well-designed, practical checklist as a guide when developing your training and assessment strategies. Checklists ensure self-accountability for the staff responsible for creating the documents and overall consistency in the process for your RTO. EDministrate has a useful TAS validation checklist available for free download should your staff want to utilise this tool in your RTO.

Developing training and assessment strategies: 

Sources such as the National Register; training package implementation guides; accredited course syllabuses and other RTO planning documents provide critical information needed to develop your training and assessment strategies. The quality of the information you use to create your TAS will impact on the compliance of your document and will only be as good as the reliability of the source. Ensuring that your RTO has well defined processes for creating TAS’s preferably documented in a procedure will guarantee compliance obligations are met.

Validating training and assessment strategies:

RTOs must comply with Clause 2.2 in the SRTOs 2015 which requires systematic monitoring of its training and assessment strategies and practices. This includes having processes in place to evaluate RTO products and services and using feedback to improve its strategies and practices. Therefore, RTO’s must have effective systems in place to validate compliance documents as part of the organisation’s self-assurance framework.  This should include reviews of TAS’s at regular intervals that determines their effectiveness and implementation in the organisation.  Having a documented schedule of checks undertaken on TAS’s provides valuable evidence and ensures your RTO is sufficiently prepared in the event of an ASQA audit.

Approving training and assessment strategies:

It is important that your RTO has an approval process in place before each TAS is implemented in your organisation. Management is accountable for ensuring the quality of training and assessment of a RTO’s course offerings, therefore, should ensure the documents are consistent with your RTO’s actual training and assessment strategies and practices by approving them before finalisation.

Other feature articles:

Why you need to conduct regular quality checks of your training and assessment strategies and practices

Ultimate training and assessment strategy validation checklist 

Five critical things you need to know about your TAS’s staff matrix

Quick guide for determining the right amount of training in your TAS’s

Key benefits of conducting regular quality checks of your training and assessment strategies and practices

References:

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/fact-sheets/addressing-non-compliances-following-an-audit

https://www.asqa.gov.au/sites/default/files/fact_sheet_-_addressing_non-compliances_following_an_audit.pdf?v=1508383873

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.1-to-1.4-2.2

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/fact-sheets/amount-of-training

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/general-directions/resourcing-requirements-initial-registration-or-change-scope

https://www.asqa.gov.au/distance-learning/training-and-assessment

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/fact-sheets/delivering-elective-units

Feature Article: Why you need to conduct regular quality checks of your training and assessment strategies and practices

Feature Article Why you need to conduct regular quality checks of your training and assessment strategies and practices

Clauses 1.1 to 1.4 and 2.2 of the SRTOs 2015 require RTOs to implement, monitor and evaluate training and assessment strategies and practices. Quality checking processes form an important part of your RTOs overall self-assessment system and can provide an early indicator of compliance risks ensuring your RTO delivers products and services that meet customers’ needs and expectations.

Course Review: 

Your RTO should have a process in place to review your RTO’s courses at least annually and analyse data from enrolments; surveys; feedback; complaints and validation so you are effectively monitoring the quality of your training and assessment. RTOs should ensure they retain evidence of reviewing training and assessment strategies and practices and including trainers and assessors in the process is an effective way of doing so. You may determine in your checks that you are performing well and don’t need to make any significant changes to processes and this is fine so long as you can provide evidence of having undertaken such a review. However, in most cases RTOs will find something that needs improving and this is perfectly normal and expected.

Monitoring Systems:

Your RTO should have strategies in place to monitor and evaluate training and assessment strategies and practices. This could include internal audits, quality reviews and health checks. Ideally, you should have a plan and schedule that identifies when you are going to carry out these activities so you can resource it appropriately. The outcomes of your checks will inform you as to what improvements and changes you need to make to RTO processes. Ensure you include a focus on high risk areas such as third party arrangements so you regularly monitor the quality and compliance of these services being provided by your partners.

Continuous Improvement:

RTOs should implement processes that ensure reviews at regular intervals of strategies for training and assessment so as to reflect changes in industry technology and techniques, legislation, and the training package itself. Your RTO should also update strategies when resources change e.g. staff so as to ensure they reflect current practice. It is important to ensure you maintain comprehensive records of your reviews and updates so you can evidence systematic improvements made to processes within your organisation.

Other feature articles:

Tips, tricks and tools for ensuring your RTOs assessment practices are compliant

Why you need a staffing matrix in your TAS’s

The role of internal audit in RTO self-assurance

Common non-compliances found in TAS’s and how to rectify them

Ultimate training and assessment strategy validation checklist

References: 

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.1-to-1.4-2.2

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/compliance-governance/clauses-2.1-8.4-to-8.6

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/compliance-governance/clauses-2.3-2.4-8.3

Industry, schools and governments must work together to foster STEM career pathways

Industry, schools and governments must work together to foster STEM career pathways

Weld Australia is calling on industry, schools and governments to work together to develop and deliver STEM programs that engage, excite and attract students. Australia needs a vibrant national STEM skills program that illuminates the opportunities available in careers like welding and manufacturing for kids and parents alike.
Read more here: https://www.manmonthly.com.au/features/industry-schools-governments-work-together-foster-stem-career-pathways/