Free resources for RTO compliance practitioners

Free resources for RTO compliance practitioners

A good checklist provides practical reminders of the most critical and important steps of a process that even the most skilled RTO compliance practitioner using them could miss. Use these free checklists to help your RTO meet its regulatory obligations by implementing them as part of your quality checking processes. We have designed them to reduce errors and rework so they save you time and money. They also ensure consistency and completeness in carrying out tasks. Feel free to share the links to the free downloads with staff in your RTO that are responsible for creating compliance documentation.

Training and Assessment Strategy Validation Checklist:

Use the Training and Assessment Strategy Validation Checklist to quality check your draft TAS’s before being approved or for reviews of your implemented TAS’s at regular intervals that determines their effectiveness in the organisation. Quality checking these key documents can provide early indicators of problems and ensure your RTO delivers products and services that meet your clients’ needs. You should validate your TAS’s at least annually to ensure that you identify improvements and changes you need to make to RTO processes. Remember to look at high risk courses such as those being delivered by third parties or contractors so you frequently monitor the quality and compliance of these arrangements.

Student File Review Checklist:

By implementing routine student file audits you can determine if your assessors (including third parties/contractors) are being consistent in their assessment practices. These reviews can complement your scheduled validation activities and target courses of on-going concern or high risk. The Student File Review Checklist provides you with the ability to focus on common issues or known areas of concern such as:

  • Ensuring assessors use correct and approved versions of assessment tools 
  • Verifying that all assessment tasks have been completed by learners
  • Confirming that assessors are keeping accurate and complete student records
  • Checking that your assessors are marking in line with benchmark answers and marking guides and issuing correct results

Trainer Assessor Profile Review Checklist: 

Compliance is a point in time status and most evidence contained in trainer and assessor files has an expiration date. Maintaining appropriate record keeping systems to routinely manage trainer and assessor profiles is a critical compliance consideration for VET providers. CEO’s can be assured that RTOs risk management, internal controls and governance processes are sound by implementing regular monitoring of your operations. By regularly checking that trainer and assessor records are up to date and sufficient you can monitor your staffs adherence to your policy / procedures and the overall system. Use this Trainer Assessor Profile Review Checklist to identify if your trainers and assessors evidence is compliant and complete.

Other Feature Articles:

9 expert tips for preparing for validation of assessor judgements activities 

How to effectively deal with non-compliances in trainer and assessor files

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

Easy ways to determine if a trainer or assessor is vocationally competent

Five essential tips for evidencing trainers’ vocational currency

A quick way to deal with non-compliances in your assessments   

Four point checklist for compliant trainer and assessor profiles

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

Five questions you should ask before engaging contract trainers and assessors

Cheat sheet for validating assessments prior to use  

Common compliance mistakes every RTO makes 

Four ways to ensure your RTO assessment practices are compliant 

Five steps to creating a compliant training and assessment strategy (TAS) 

References:

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

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.8-to-1.12

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.13-to-1.16

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/faqs

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/fact-sheets/meeting-trainer-and-assessor-requirements

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

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/guides/guide-developing-assessment-tools

Why you need to get rid of paper based records in your RTO

Why you need to get rid of paper based records in your RTO

Legislative changes came into force on 1 September 2020 that now means the National Regulator can request student records from RTOs in a specified electronic format. For providers who are still managing paper-based student records now is the time to develop a strategy to digitise these documents. ASQA are yet to advise RTOs of the information technology requirements for electronic student records but in planning now to transition your record keeping systems you can anticipate future needs. The following information provides RTOs with food for thought in relation to managing student records electronically.

Learning Management Systems:

Learning Management System, also referred to as LMS, in simple terms is a software application for managing e-Learning which helps in administration, documentation, tracking, and recording. Typically, a LMS provides the user with a way in which to create and deliver learning content, monitor student participation, and assess student performance. Some systems may also provide students with the ability to use interactive features such as threaded discussion, video conferencing, and discussion forums. An LMS enables automation of grading and reporting thus providing valuable data statistics. One of the advantages of an LMS is the functionality for easily adapting and reusing materials over time. This is because the system is a central repository for all the content housed within. 

Blended or hybrid learning is also made possible via an LMS. This delivery mode means having the opportunity to combine multiple forms of learning including eLearning, simulation-based learning, mobile learning and classroom-based learning. If you are moving from traditional, face-to-face classrooms or training, using an LMS can save you tremendous time and resources. RTOs can significantly reduce expenses such as facility hire, travel and printing costs while giving students the flexibility to learn at their own convenience from any location. It is important to note that the technology doesn’t replace the trainer/assessor, it is a powerful tool that can allow you to scale the delivery of your courses. Many RTO’s had to pivot to online training when COVID-19 happened and it has been realised by most that blended delivery models are here to stay to ensure continuity of business should a vaccine to end the pandemic not be available any time soon. 

In choosing an LMS platform RTOs should consider one that has the ability to integrate with its other IT systems preferably with features such as single sign on for accessibility.

Digital Skills:

Much has been said in recent times about us needing to rethink and digitise traditional learning pathways (PWC) and disrupt the modality of learning (DESE) due to the rapid and constant changes in technology in the workplace (NCVER). If COVID-19 has taught us anything by disrupting the VET sector it’s that our trainers and assessors need exceptional digital skills to use the technology we provide our learners with and to be able to train them in the digital skills they need for the future jobs emerging from the pandemic. RTO managers shouldn’t assume their staffs’ existing qualifications mean that they are also digitally literate and capable. For RTOs to be industry relevant and in order to compete with non-traditional training providers (EdTech) who are agile and quick to keep up with the pace of change, CEO’s should consider how you can ensure the digital skills of your RTO workforce is current and sufficient.

Digitisation of Records:

Digitising is defined as the process of converting any hardcopy, or paper-based records into digital format. Document scanning is essentially digitising paper documents. Through the use of a scanning device, hard copy documents are converted into electronic files for more efficient storage, security, and management. Digitisation benefits businesses as paper records are expensive to physically store, hard to track, easy to lose and time-consuming to create. Risks associated with managing your RTOs physical documents include theft, natural disasters, human error, lost records, and more. 

Using technology and processes to bring your records into the digital age is a benefit to your staff and customers. The advantages of getting rid of paper based records is increased productivity, reduced costs and stress, accessibility and data security. Both your administration and training staff’s productivity can be affected by the inability to access correct information because of outdated and manual systems. They are held back by information not being shared in a central place. CEOs of RTOs must consider what capability and capacity they have internally to implement a digitisation strategy and consider the external threats and opportunities of introducing such an initiative.

Other Feature Articles:

https://www.edministrate.com.au/5-signs-you-need-to-hire-an-rto-consultant-for-your-business/

https://www.edministrate.com.au/implementing-systems-for-self-assurance/

https://www.edministrate.com.au/critical-steps-in-choosing-the-right-rto-consultant-to-work-with/

https://www.edministrate.com.au/the-essential-guide-to-setting-up-a-qms-in-your-rto/

https://www.edministrate.com.au/feature-article-three-planning-resources-every-rto-manager-should-have-in-their-toolkit/

https://www.edministrate.com.au/feature-article-four-key-pieces-of-advice-for-rto-managers/

https://www.edministrate.com.au/feature-article-planning-essentials-for-rtos/

References: 

https://www.asqa.gov.au/distance-learning

https://www.asqa.gov.au/distance-learning/reporting-record-keeping

https://www.asqa.gov.au/distance-learning/sector-insights

https://www.asqa.gov.au/legislative-changes

https://www.northpass.com/learning-management-systems

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/coronavirus-education-global-covid19-online-digital-learning/

https://itbrief.com.au/story/lack-of-access-to-information-affecting-australian-productivity

https://www.pwc.com.au/important-problems/where-next-for-skills-business-led-upskilling-for-productivity-growth.html 

https://www.employment.gov.au/digital 

https://www.ncver.edu.au/news-and-events/podcasts/vocational-voices-podcast/transcripts/transcript-of-workforce-ready-challenges-and-opportunities-for-vet

9 expert tips for preparing for validation of assessor judgements activities

9 expert tips for preparing for validation of assessor judgements activities

According to ASQA, validation is a quality review process that confirms your RTO’s assessment system can consistently produce valid assessment judgements. A valid assessment judgement is one that confirms you have collected sufficient evidence of a learner holding all of the knowledge and skills described in the relevant unit of competency. Validation of assessor judgements are conducted post assessment so you can confirm the validity of both assessment practices and judgements. Follow these expert tips when preparing for your validation activities so you are well organised, less stressed and your reviews of completed student work are conducted in the most effective and efficient manner.

Confirm the Unit of Competencies being validated:

Refer to your RTOs validation plan to identify the units of competency scheduled for validation. In planning your activities consult with the staff involved and confirm the units selected for the validation.

Identify your Validation Leads:

Confirm appropriately qualified validation leads for your validation panels and advise them of their responsibilities. Preferably your leads should hold the unit of competency TAEASS503 Lead assessment validation processes. Be sure to identify well in advance if any of the leads require validation training or a refresher of your RTOs validation processes.

Identify your Validation Panels:

Confirm appropriately qualified validation panel members and advise them of their responsibilities. You need to ensure you have people on the panel who are vocationally competent and current for the units being validated and have appropriate training and assessment credentials and VET currency. Ideally having someone from industry on your panel is also recommended. Be sure to identify well in advance if any of the panel require validation training or a refresher of your validation processes.

Set up your filing system:

Keeping good records is critical in ensuring an effective validation process is conducted. Ensure you accurately calculate your statistically valid student sample size and gather the associated records. Establish a filing system (preferably electronic) and create folder structures to organise the records according to your process. Communicate to your validation panel the availability of the records and their location. If you are accessing student records from within your Learning Management System ensure all of your validation panel has the appropriate system access beforehand.

Review the Unit of Competency requirements:

Read the unit of competency as found on www.training.gov.au to familarise yourself with its requirements before you conduct the validation exercise.

Review the Assessment Tool:

Look at each assessment task and check the instructions provided. Check the version of the assessment tool for the unit of competency to be validated so you can compare it with the version administered by the assessor in the sample of completed student work being reviewed. Check the templates used and other supporting documentation to ensure they are the correct versions as required by your RTO’s assessment system.

Check the Assessment Mapping: 

Review your assessment mapping document to confirm that the assessment tasks meet all the unit of competency requirements so you know the evidence collected by the assessor is sufficient.

Collate the student samples: 

Gather the assessment evidence collected, student outcomes/records of results issued and feedback given post-delivery. All completed student assessments for the specific units of competency need to be collated for the validation.

Prepare your validation report template:

Pre-populate your report with the details of the units of competency being validated. Ensure you have made provision in your template for actions to be delegated once the outcomes/findings have been determined. Prepare an appropriate filing system to store completed reports and other supporting documentation/evidence.

Other feature articles:

Cheat sheet for validating assessments prior to use 

Four ways to ensure your RTOs assessment practices are compliant

A quick way to deal with non-compliances in your assessments

Implementing systems for self-assurance

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

Common compliance mistakes every RTO makes 

References:

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/fact-sheets/conducting-validation

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.8-to-1.12

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clause-1.25

https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/i-am-only-trainerassessor-our-small-rto-how-do-i-meet-requirement-clause-111-which-states

https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/what-difference-between-validation-and-moderation-clauses-19-111

https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/i-work-small-rto-and-am-also-only-trainer-and-assessor-my-specific-industry-area-how-can-our

https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/are-rtos-applying-add-tae-training-package-products-scope-required-provide-independent

 

Feature Article: How to effectively deal with non-compliances in trainer and assessor files

Employers adopting new models of learning to develop employees for the future of work

ASQA expects RTOs to be accountable for identifying and correcting non-compliant practices and behaviours, particularly those that have had a negative impact on learners. In an audit situation they require a provider to address non-compliance so that future learners will not be negatively affected and identify the impact non-compliance has had on past learners remediating any impacts had on students. The following advice will assist RTOs in identifying and addressing non-compliances found in records located in trainer or assessor files.

Does not have evidence of holding appropriate training and assessment credentials:

If you find you have trainers or assessors that do not have evidence on file of holding a relevant TAE qualification, skillset or recognised higher level qualification they should not be permitted to train and assess until you rectify the situation. This includes those trainers and/or assessors that may hold a TAE10 credential and need to provide evidence that they also have completed both upgrade units as required by Clause 1.14 in the SRTOs 2015. RTOs should not assume that trainers or assessors hold these credentials and must verify the documentation and maintain appropriate records. Should you determine some staff do not have sufficient evidence of holding appropriate training and assessment credentials a plan that identifies actions to rectify the issue must be implemented immediately for the individual. This plan could include details of required supervision and support to obtain the necessary credentials. 

Insufficient evidence to demonstrate vocational competencies:

Trainers or assessors that do not hold the relevant industry qualification and/or unit(s) of competency (or their equivalent) and cannot demonstrate equivalence through mapping relevant industry work experience, skills & knowledge should not be permitted to deliver training or conduct assessment until you can sufficiently evidence their vocational competence. Rectification includes removing them from your staffing matrixes in your training and assessment strategies (TAS’s). Where a trainer or assessor lacks sufficient evidence it may be a simple case of providing missing or incomplete records. However, if your trainer or assessor does not hold an industry qualification or cannot show equivalence of their work history to the units of competency being delivered then you need to develop a professional development plan that enables them to obtain relevant and sufficient industry experience.  The plan could identify return to industry for a specified period of time depending on how many units of competency they are delivering. ASQA advise that if a trainer/assessor have no vocational competence (experience) in the area they are teaching in or no formal training or assessment qualifications, training and assessment delivered by them may be inadequate and learners impacted therefore it is critical for RTOs to ensure vocational competence of staff is confirmed and sufficiently evidenced.

Does not hold mandatory vocational qualifications:

Specific training products require that trainers and/or assessors hold mandatory vocational qualifications, licences or accreditations which are typically identified in the assessment conditions of units of competency or can otherwise be located in training package companion volumes or implementation guides e.g. nursing, commercial cookery, fitness. If you determine your trainer does not have evidence of holding the specified vocational qualification it may be the case that they cannot assess the units of competency they are delivering until they can provide the required evidence. In other instances a training product will make reference to required industry experience in the assessment conditions of units of competency e.g. hospitality, hairdressing, fitness, civil construction therefore, you must have documented evidence that your assessors have a work history that meets these requirements. Assessors that do not have sufficient evidence of industry experience should not be permitted to assess and be placed on a professional development plan that includes return to industry so as to obtain the required experience. 

Insufficient evidence of maintaining industry currency: 

If you have trainers and/or assessors that are vocationally competent but they do not have evidence of maintaining their industry currency in the last 2 years for all or some of the units of competency they are delivering you need to ensure they have a professional development plan that details how they are going to obtain this evidence. The plan needs to identify appropriate currency activities for each unit of competency they are identified against on the staffing matrixes in your TAS’s. Ideally these activities should be completed prior to the next delivery of the specific units of competency needing additional evidence. Remember that industry currency activities should be endorsed by the relevant industry sector of the training products you deliver as appropriate.

Insufficient evidence of maintaining VET currency:

Trainers or assessors that have not undertaken any professional development in VET training and assessment in the last 12 months should complete relevant PD as soon as possible as determined by your RTO. They can be permitted to continue delivering training and conducting assessment, but should commit to further PD over the next 12 months as identified in a professional development plan

Monitoring Professional Development Plans:

Any professional development plans implemented to return trainers or assessors to a compliant status should be monitored regularly by RTO managers to ensure timeframes for completion are met and individual goals achieved. We recommend ensuring that this is addressed in regular performance conversations between management and staff.

Other feature articles:

Easy ways to determine if a trainer or assessor is vocationally competent 

Five essential tips for evidencing trainer’s vocational currency

Four point checklist for compliant trainer and assessor profiles

Five questions you should ask before engaging contract trainers and assessors

Common compliance mistakes every RTO makes

References:

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.13-to-1.16

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.17-to-1.20

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/fact-sheets/meeting-trainer-and-assessor-requirements

https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/be-considered-be-vocationally-competent-does-trainer-and-assessor-need-hold-qualification-and

https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/trainer-and-assessor-do-i-need-hold-unit-taelln411-address-adult-language-literacy-and-numeracy

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/faqs/individuals-working-under-supervision-trainer

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/faqs/trainers-and-assessors

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

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

RTOs must establish an ‘amount of training’ (AOT) for each qualification they deliver as required by Clause 1.2 in the SRTOs 2015.  These hours must be documented in your training and assessment strategies (TAS’s). ASQA is concerned with providers delivering sufficient training to support learners to gain the required competencies. Their regulatory approach in relation to course durations has been to advise RTOs to use the AQF ‘volume of learning’ (VOL) range as a basis to determine an appropriate AOT for the qualifications being delivered.

Identify your learner cohort characteristics:

You need to distinguish in your TAS’s the different types cohorts you are delivering to and identify their characteristics e.g. inexperienced or experienced learners. If your RTO intends to deliver to learners who are new to the industry area and/or who do not have any workplace experience, the AOT required that is described in the training and assessment strategy would closely match the timeframe listed with the AQF volume of learning. However, if you plan to deliver to a learner cohort that already has defined skills, knowledge and workplace experience appropriate to the industry, a shorter AOT may be sufficient to ensure that each learner has fully absorbed the required knowledge and has developed the skills required in a range of different contexts.

Identify your mode of delivery:

Your mode of delivery may influence the AOT you are providing, and the training and assessment being provided. The hours you allocate between supervised and unsupervised learning activities will depend on the delivery mode used. For delivery modes that incorporate asynchronous online or self-paced distance delivery you need to ensure you have documented in your TAS the support and assistance available to the learners while unsupervised by the trainer. This will ensure the justification you provide for a short AOT is valid. If you are a CRICOs provider delivering to an international student cohort you need to be mindful off using appropriate delivery modes that meet the requirements of the National Code 2018.

Provide a breakdown of amount of training hours:

The AOT essentially comprises the formal learning activities you provide to a learner. These formal activities can include classes, lectures, tutorials, online or self-paced study, as well as workplace learning. It’s important to note that it includes any learning activity directed by the trainer whether supervised or unsupervised. The VOL includes all teaching, learning and assessment activities that are required to be completed by the student to achieve the learning outcomes. The AOT is incorporated in the VOL. If your RTO is not delivering a full qualification, the AOT to be provided may be a proportion of the AQF volume of learning. This can be calculated by taking the minimum VOL hours for the qualification that the units of competency identified sit in and dividing it by the number of units in the qualification.  This will give you the VOL hours per unit. Make sure the AOT hours identified in your TAS correlate with the actual training hours documented in your schedules and timetables.

Provide justification for your short course duration: 

Where you have identified a course duration shorter than the minimum AQF benchmark range for the qualification you need to provide a rationale in your TAS for the reduction in time given. Your explanation needs to define why the hours identified are suitable for the specific learner cohort.  Your experienced learner cohort may have existing skills and knowledge and RPL and credits could be applicable therefore shortening the timeframe for training provided. You may also refer to ‘gap-training’ or accelerated learning reflective of the learner’s existing competencies. Where you have identified clustered learning and/or assessment in your TAS that can also provide a justification for a reduction in course duration/hours.

Other feature articles:

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

How to plan industry engagement activities effectively

Five steps to creating a compliant training and assessment strategy (TAS)

References:

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

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

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/faqs/training-and-assessment

 

5 signs you need to hire an RTO consultant for your business

5 signs you need to hire an RTO consultant for your business

At any given time your RTO may require the services of an consultant. This could be for reasons such as to obtain market information or for advice, skills, strategies and techniques that don’t exist in your business. An RTO consultant can provide solutions for a huge range of business issues and work with you on strategy, planning and problem-solving. According to ASQA an RTO consultant can be a good place to start if you are seeking assistance or expertise with issues related to initial registration or the registration renewal process. 

Compliance expertise:

RTOs may need to seek a consultant from outside the business when there is a lack of expertise internally. There are times when the skills needed for growth are not available inside an organisation. External consultants provide the skills and experience needed to complete a project or solve specific problems. Bringing in fresh eyes to review your systems and processes can be refreshing for your business. Sometimes when you have been working hard and looking at the same thing, it can be difficult to see the forest from the trees, however if you have a way of seeing the same process with different eyes or a different perspective you can  notice things that may not have been obvious before.

 

An RTO consultant like EDministrate specialising in compliance or quality issues can help a business avoid breaches and non-compliances. Adhering to legislative requirements and regulatory obligations can be complex and difficult to implement so hiring a compliance expert can save time, resources, and expenses in the long run.

New markets:

If your business is taking steps to break into a new market that you are unfamiliar with, whether it be a new delivery area or revenue stream, hiring an RTO consultant that has experience and expertise within that market can help you avoid certain risks and make your transition a more successful one. RTO consultants often have experience with similar projects and the cross-pollination of these ideas helps businesses grow and innovate.

Unfinished projects: 

The best RTO consultants will salvage all those delayed projects that you’ve been holding off for a while. Businesses can hire consultants for short-term projects without the expense of salary and on-costs providing maximum flexibility and minimal financial risk. A consultant’s contract ends once the project is completed. The biggest advantage in using a consultant for projects is that you don’t have to take staff off business as usual to finish them which would just get you caught up in an endless cycle of bottlenecks and frustration.

Decision Making:

Indecisiveness can take a toll on you and your team. If it doesn’t feel like your RTO is achieving growth as you expected, then your business may be stagnant. An experienced RTO consultant can help reinvigorate your organisation and identify barriers to your growth. They’ll help you identify ways to develop your business sustainably. When conflicts or problems arise, it’s wise to get an independent view on things. RTO consultants, being experts on strategies, can add perspective that might be absent when leaders get too close to a problem. These experts can help analyse problems, navigate internal politics, and offer unbiased solutions.

Risk Management: 

Are you making risky decisions that might impact on your ability to adhere to legislative or regulatory obligations and contractual requirements? The risk of not getting things right from the beginning far outweighs the cost of hiring a consultant. RTO consultants have extensive knowledge of trends and strategies. When RTOs encounter a problem which impacts productivity or growth, a consultant can help uncover data, define the problem, and recommend new approaches through an objective standpoint while mitigating risks to protect your business from potential regulatory action.

Other feature articles:

Implementing systems for self-assurance

Critical steps in choosing the right RTO consultant to work with  

Get ready for JobTrainer

The do’s and don’ts’ of creating an internal audit programme for your RTO  

References:

https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/audit/can-consultants-provider-participate-audit

https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/can-we-use-consultants-develop-course

https://www.asqa.gov.au/rto/more-support

 

Easy ways to determine if a trainer or assessor is vocationally competent

Easy ways to determine if a trainer or assessor is vocationally competent

The SRTOs 2015 require trainers and assessors to have vocational competencies at least to the level being delivered and assessed as referred to in Clause 1.13 b. Vocational competency means trainers have the particular skills and knowledge relevant to the industry area in which they are delivering. Training Packages may also stipulate specific vocational competency requirements for trainers and assessors. This can include relevant industry qualifications and/or industry experience. RTOs need to ensure these requirements are evidenced and appropriate records are maintained that demonstrate staff are vocationally competent both at the qualification and unit of competency level.

They hold the exact units of competency being delivered:

If your trainers and assessors hold the exact units of competency that they are delivering then that is sufficient evidence to demonstrate vocational competency (so long as they also have relevant industry experience). Additionally, some training packages or qualifications have specific requirements for assessors to hold vocational credentials so RTOs need to ensure that these requirements are identified and evidenced appropriately. For example, to deliver commercial cookery units from the SIT training package assessors must hold a Certificate III or Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery. Another example is trainers and assessors who deliver TAE qualifications must hold either the Diploma of Vocational Education and Training or the Diploma of Training Design and Development or a higher level qualification in adult education.

Demonstrating equivalence of competency:

RTOs need to provide a documented analysis e.g. mapping  that demonstrates equivalence of superseded units held and/or other credentials held and/or work history (industry knowledge and skills) for trainers and assessors. This mapping should be at a minimum to the element level of each unit of competency being delivered. You need to ensure that supporting documentation that evidences credentials held and verifies claims of work history such as statements of services or references is also provided. Copies of vocational qualifications must be authenticated with the issuing organisation and records of verification retained on file.

Work history: 

Some training packages and / or units of competency have specific requirements regarding years of industry experience that assessors must have to deliver. These requirements must be evidenced in the trainers file for the training products they train and assess. If your trainer and assessor holds a vocational qualification without having relevant industry experience they will not be viewed as being credible and this can impact on student and industry outcomes for your RTO.  It is important that in addition to adhering to the training package requirements that you also seek industry feedback regarding what they view as the appropriate vocational qualifications and experience for your trainers and assessors as required in Clauses 1.5 & 1.6.  

Occupational licences and accreditation: 

For qualifications or units of competency with specific licensing or industry accreditation outcomes it may be a requirement that trainers and assessors hold a licence, ticket, professional body credential or registration relevant to the vocational area they are training and assessing. In this case it is important that RTOs ensure records of these credentials are regularly maintained and up to date in each file as they typically have expiry dates.

Other feature articles:

Five essential tips for evidencing trainer’s vocational currency

Four point checklist for compliant trainer and assessor profiles

Five questions you should ask before engaging contract trainers and assessors

Common compliance mistakes every RTO makes

References:

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.13-to-1.16

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/fact-sheets/meeting-trainer-and-assessor-requirements

https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/how-can-i-demonstrate-vocational-competency

Implementing systems for self-assurance

Implementing systems for self-assurance

The definition of self-assurance according to the Oxford Dictionary is confidence in one’s own abilities or character. RTOs need systems in place to be able to confirm that they are compliant with the SRTOs 2015 and their students are meeting industry expectations. Implementing systems to ensure self-assurance will depend on the size of your RTO, the number of training products on scope and the risks associated with the training and assessment services you provide. Self-assurance is the process of RTOs accepting responsibility and accountability for their on-going performance and student outcomes. It is important to note that self-assurance is not self-regulation.  ASQA as the National Regulator will continue to ensure that RTOs meet their regulatory obligations and adhere to legislative requirements.

Annual declaration of compliance:

Part of the process of completing the annual declaration of compliance requires confirmation that your RTO is systematically monitoring compliance with the SRTOs 2015. To be able to do so you should include an analysis of data you have obtained from your RTOs internal audits, reviews or quality checks. One way to identify if you currently meet compliance obligations and have also done so in the past year is to utilize ASQA’s Self-Assessment Tool to assist in preparation of the annual declaration.  

Course reviews:

Using AVETMISS data such as completion rates and student outcomes when reviewing courses delivered can provide insight into how your RTO is performing. It is an effective way to determine what improvements your practices, systems and processes may require. Additionally, using feedback obtained from students and employers from sources such as your Quality Indicator Data enables RTOs to continuously improve services for clients. You can also refer to outcomes of validation activity and internal audits to determine if specific courses have areas of concern that need addressing.

Scope of registration: 

By reviewing the training products you have on scope at least annually you can determine if you continue to be sufficiently resourced and are managing your scope of registration appropriately in accordance with Clause 1.3. Your enrollment data should provide information on whether there is an on-going demand for the training products you are registered for and inform your decisions to change your RTOs scope of registration if necessary.

Internal audits: 

An effective internal audit programme will provide valuable data that identifies the risks in your training and assessment. Regular monitoring of your operations provides a CEO with assurance of the RTOs risk management, internal controls and governance processes. It also drives a regular cycle of continuous improvement within an organisation and accountability for meeting regulatory obligations and legislative requirements. Internal audits also identify areas where efficiencies or innovations need to be made.

Compliance Staff:

Whether you have dedicated compliance staff in-house or you outsource compliance experts like EDministrate when required it is critical that RTOs have the necessary expertise to quality assure it operations. The risk of non-compliance with regulatory obligations and legislative or contractual requirements is real and has severe consequences for your RTO that can lead to financial, legal and reputational impacts on your business. The role of compliance staff is vital in protecting your RTO from compliance risk and regulatory action. 

Other feature articles:

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

Cheat sheet for validating assessments prior to use

The do’s and don’ts of creating an internal audit programme for your RTO

Preparing your ASQA CEO annual declaration response 

References:

https://www.asqa.gov.au/working-together/consultation-self-assurance

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/presentations/webinar-working-together-towards-effective-self-assurance

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/other/consultation-paper-working-together-towards-effective-self-assurance

 

Step by step guide to managing transition from superseded training products

Step by step guide to managing transition from superseded training products

On 12 August 2020 the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) approved updates to 16 training packages including the AUR; BSB; FNS; CPC; AMP; MAR; TLI; HLT; and UEE packages. It is expected that they will be released on TGA in October with a 12 month transition period. RTOs with training products on scope within these training packages should commence projects as soon as possible in anticipation of transitioning from the superseded training products to the replacement training products as these changes will require a significant amount of work for providers to implement.

 

Planning:

RTOs should subscribe to the National Register of VET (TGA) to receive notifications when changes to training products are published including:

  • When a new version of a training package becomes available; or
  • When a training product is superseded

 

When a notification of change to a training product is received, RTO managers should schedule an initial planning meeting to commence a project to transition. Identification of the intended time frame to deliver the replacement training product should be discussed and agreed as early as possible as preparation will impact on your ability to market the replacement training product and recruit your student cohorts. Additional processes such as additions or changes to CRICOs registration or VSL approvals need to be considered to be ready to deliver as planned.

Resource development:

RTOs need to ensure that prior to commencement of delivery of a replacement training product they are resourced to deliver what is on scope and can demonstrate compliance with the SRTOs 2015 and the ASQA General Direction. Create a plan for development or updating of learning and assessment resources for all units identified in the training and assessment strategy for the replacement training product/s.

  • For existing learning and assessment resources the plan should identify required upgrades and improvements
  • Where no learning and assessment resources exist the plan should identify how they are to be developed (including purchasing of off-the-shelf resources)

The plan should clearly outline time frames for completion of development well before delivery of specific units of competency need to commence.

Transitioning students: 

RTOs must transition learners from superseded training products within specified time frames to ensure only currently endorsed training packages and accredited courses are delivered. Training products that lead to licensed or regulated outcomes may need to meet additional requirements. RTO management will need to identify the numbers of students currently enrolled in the superseded training product and if they will complete prior to the transition end date or if they will need to be transitioned to the replacement training product. The most effective way to identify what students need to be transitioned is to undertake a student transition mapping. If international students are undertaking a superseded training product and need to be transitioned into the replacement training product you need to consider CRICOs requirements and the impact on Confirmation of Enrollment (COEs). RTOs can continue to enroll students in superseded training products during the transition period so long as it is permissible under funding / contractual arrangements and the student is able to complete the training within the transition period. 

Adding training products to scope: 

When a new version of a training product is deemed equivalent to its predecessor it will be identified on TGA as “superseded and equivalent to” the previous version and will automatically be added to an RTOs scope of registration. If a training product is deemed not equivalent to its predecessor it will be identified on TGA as superseded and RTOs will need to make an application to ASQA to add the new version to their scope of registration.

 

In preparation for adding a replacement training product to scope RTOs should:

  • Develop strategies for the delivery of training and assessment that have been developed through effective consultation with industry
  • Ensure that trainers and assessors possess all of the relevant and required vocational and training/assessment competencies and can demonstrate industry currency in relation to the units of competency they will train/assess;
  • Ensure that sufficient, industry-relevant resources, facilities and materials to train and assess all units of competency in the training product are available

Other feature articles:

Planning essentials for RTOs

How to plan industry engagement activities effectively

Three planning resources every RTO manager should have in their toolkit

References:

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.26-1.27

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/general-directions/learner-transition

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/faqs/transition-training-products

https://www.asqa.gov.au/rto/change-scope/transition-items