Trainers and assessors are dual professionals in the industry sector they deliver specific training products for and VET. ASQA have found high levels of non-compliance with Clauses 1.13 – 1.16 in particular from the SRTOs 2015. Here are some commonly asked questions about meeting the requirements of the relevant clauses and how to address these issues.
What evidence do my trainers and assessors need to have to demonstrate current industry skills?:
Your trainers and assessors need to provide documentation that shows how they have maintained current industry skills and knowledge and how it relates to the training and assessment they are delivering. This could be in the form of a PD log or mapping document that shows activities undertaken for all units of competency they are delivering. Supporting documentation should also be provided that verifies the industry activities completed such as certificates of attendance, letters from employers or statements of service, payslips, job cards for example.
How can my trainers and assessors evidence vocational competencies?:
If your trainers and assessors hold the exact units of competency that they are training and/or assessing and have relevant industry experience then that is sufficient evidence to demonstrate vocational competencies. If not you will need to provide a documented analysis e.g. mapping that demonstrates equivalence of superseded units and/or other credentials held and/or work history (industry knowledge and skills).
Do my trainers and assessors need to hold the qualifications they are training and assessing?:
In some instances certain training products require trainers and assessors to hold specific credentials. RTOs should refer to training package implementation guides or companion volumes for this information. Some units of competencies refer to specific assessor requirements in the assessment conditions that must be adhered to as well. Trainers and assessors who do not hold the exact units of competency they are training and assessing can demonstrate equivalence by mapping their knowledge, skills and work history to each unit of competency.
What do I need to do to verify my trainers and assessors credentials?:
RTOs must have records in staff profiles that show how they authenticated trainer and assessor qualifications. This should be done at recruitment and each time staff gain a new qualification and provides your RTO with a copy for their files. This evidence can be a written confirmation by the issuing authority that verifies it is a genuine document. Some institutions provide an online service where you can verify authenticity using details provided by the trainer or assessor. A print out or screen shot showing the results of the verification should be retained for the staff file as evidence of the authentication.
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Providers with funding contracts in place for subsidised courses have additional compliance obligations to be aware of so as to ensure risks are effectively mitigated. Contract compliance cannot be overlooked as the consequences can be dire for your RTO and impact adversely on you business. Here is some advice to help you understand the important aspects of managing your funding arrangements.
RTOs need to ensure when promoting subsidised training courses that marketing materials (including websites and social media posts) comply with contract terms and conditions, funding body directives and policies related to marketing and advertising. Requirements around style guides to be used when promoting courses and the use of logos and government emblems must be adhered to so as to avoid a breach occuring. Other conditions can include restrictions on offering inducements or gifts to parties in return for enrolment in funded courses. RTOs should have a process in place that ensures all marketing is reviewed for compliance before approval and publication when associated with a contract to mitigate any risk of a breach
When undertaking student recruitment activities particularly when in partnership with
other parties such as job networks or recruitment agencies you must take care to ensure that you abide by the conditions of your funding agreement and you do not appear to be recruiting prospective students who are unsuitable for your courses. When you are dealing with disadvantaged candidates particularly you should ensure your recruitment processes are ethical and transparent to avoid breaching your contract terms and conditions. RTOs need to ensure that sales staff who are selling your courses are fully aware of the rules of the game!
Eligibility and enrolment:
RTOs should have rigorous processes in place to ensure they can determine eligibility of prospective students that meet the requirements of the funding agreement criteria prior to enrolment. This may include developing checklists and interview questions that ensure appropriate checks are conducted before enrolling students. Having thorough mechanisms in place pre-enrolment to confirm eligibility will ensure your RTO in not penalised financially down the track when your funder identifies from your data that students were not eligible to received subsidised training places in specific courses.
Course viability and delivery models:
RTOs should ensure course costings are reflective of the subsidy being provided and the actual expenses required to deliver the specific courses. The viability of the courses you deliver will be dependent on the most efficient delivery models you use and the level of subsidy your receive from the funding body. One of the most efficient delivery models that can be used is a hybrid one combining online learning with face to face practical delivery if required. You should consider your learner cohorts, their specific needs and training product/unit of competency requirements when determining how your courses need to be delivered.
Data quality and claiming payments:
Your AVETMISS submissions need to be error free to ensure you receive your funding payments without delay when your RTO is claiming. Implementing processes to validate your data and correct errors before submission will ensure no disruption to your income from funded training courses.
RTOs should consider developing a compliance plan for all funding contracts in place that confirms sufficient controls have been implemented so as to ensure no breach of terms and conditions occurs that could have significant financial and reputational impact on the business. Risks can be mitigated in numerous ways e.g. implementing organisational policies and procedures.
Funding agreements typically require RTOs to submit reports at regular intervals in addition to the data submissions required. These progress reports tend to be a requirement of contract terms and conditions and there can be penalties if they are not submitted in a timely fashion. RTOs should ensure they develop a reporting schedule and have appropriate management oversight of these requirements so as to ensure no breach occurs that affects your RTOs performance against the contract. Failure to report appropriately could affect your RTO securing future contracts in some cases.
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