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

Your RTOs training and assessment strategies (TAS) must reflect your actual delivery arrangements. The TAS is not just a document created for audit. It is the roadmap for all your academic planning related to the specified training product. The information detailed should be based on the data you have gathered to address learner and industry needs and training package/accredited course requirements. Here is some advice on how to develop compliant TAS’s that effectively guide your trainers and assessors in delivering your training courses:

Staffing Matrix:

Your RTO’s training and assessment strategies need to document the staff involved in the delivery of specified training products on scope of registration to meet the requirements of Clause 1.3 in the SRTOs 2015. Many RTO’s make the mistake of not including a matrix in their TAS template that lists the appropriately qualified trainers and assessors for the relevant training product. Some TAS’s refer to other RTO sources of information where this evidence can be found but neglect to provide the exact location of where it is stored. These issues result in the TAS being non-compliant as the RTO is not confirming they have sufficient trainers and assessors to support the number of learners undertaking training and assessment in the strategy. RTOs can rectify this by including a matrix in their TAS’s or a link to where reliable information can be found that lists the staff involved in the delivery of the relevant training product that meet the qualification and experience requirements for the role and units of competency listed. 

Units of Competency Matrix:

Your TAS’s need to list the core and elective components for delivery of full qualifications as identified in the packaging rules and for partial delivery of qualifications or stand-alone units list the specific units of competency being offered. Any electives being offered as stand-alone units need to be on the RTO’s scope of registration either implicitly or explicitly. You must also identify pre-requisite units if applicable. Often RTO’s fail to provide information in their TAS’s that describe how delivery and assessment is sequenced or the order in which units of competency are delivered. Non-compliances can also occur when the relevant mode of delivery identified for each unit of competency is not consistent with the mode of the overall program. RTOs can rectify non-compliances by ensuring their units of competency matrix clearly identifies what is being delivered and it reflects the requirements of the specified training product.

Amount of Training: 

Non-compliances with Clauses 1.1 and 1.2 occur when your TAS’s do not evidence that the training and assessment practices meet the requirements of the training product, including the amount of training provided. Often the strategies fail to evidence that learners have sufficient time to complete the program and gain adequate skills when there is a short course duration. RTOs can rectify this by ensuring they provide justification for the AOT and duration that confirms existing knowledge and skills of the learners and that the delivery model is appropriate for the identified cohort. RPL and credits could also be applicable therefore strengthening your justification for shortening the timeframe of the training provided. You should also refer to ‘gap-training’ or accelerated learning if relevant to your cohort/s. If you have identified clustered learning and/or assessment in your TAS that can also provide a rationale for your short course.

Student Cohorts:

If you don’t adequately describe the target groups, you are delivering to in your strategies then you are not compliant with Clause 1.4. RTOs need to identify in their TAS’s the different types of students they are training/assessing and explain their characteristics e.g. inexperienced or experienced learners. You must show that your AOT reflects the minimum AQF volume of learning benchmark when the cohort/s identified are new to the industry area and/or do not have any workplace experience. When you have a learner cohort who already has defined skills and knowledge appropriate to the training product being delivered you must ensure you describe their existing workplace experience. 

Other feature articles:

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

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