Feature Article: Effective industry engagement strategies for your RTO

Using a systematic approach to engage with industry stakeholders about your RTO’s training and assessment strategies and practices will ensure you obtain appropriate input from employers and businesses about your courses and trainer/assessor currency requirements. Here are some of the key components that your organisation should consider when implementing industry engagement strategies that will meet the requirements of the SRTOs 2015 (1.5 & 1.6).

Steps for consulting with industry:

By developing a written procedure that outlines your RTOs approach to industry consultation you will ensure staff have clear processes for how to conduct industry engagement activities.  The steps you outline in your processes should guide staff in gathering evidence that demonstrates your training and assessment is industry current and relevant. The documented steps should also include the periodic review of training and assessment strategies and practices as part of your industry engagement and consultation so you can confirm your delivery meets expectations of employers and other industry stakeholders. 

Planning your industry engagement and consultation:

By developing an Industry Engagement Plan for your RTO or each individual academic team that identifies the activities your RTO undertakes to gather feedback from industry stakeholders you will ensure your approach is co-ordinated and systematic. A detailed and well thought out plan will ensure consistency in your strategy and identify appropriate activities that will result in meaningful feed being gathered from industry stakeholders. 

The practice of consulting with industry is an on-going process and contributes to continuous improvement including the utilisation of data gathered from your RTO’s formal and informal interactions with industry. Your interactions with employers and other industry stakeholders provide you with the opportunity to obtain feedback and input into your RTOs course offerings ensuring that your delivery meets the needs of your local employers.

Obtaining feedback: 

RTOs can utilise different methods to obtain feedback and input from industry stakeholders. Sources such as Employer Questionnaire data that RTOs are required to report annually to ASQA can be used to analyse feedback from industry on the relevance of the training your RTO provides. You can use this information to contribute to the continuous improvement of your programs. By standardising your industry engagement surveys you can ensure your RTO has a consistent mechanism to capture feedback from industry at scale that informs training and assessment strategies, course planning, funding and business decisions.  

Maintaining records:

Keeping good records of the discussions you have with industry is critical to be able to use it effectively. The feedback and advice received from employers and other stakeholders should be documented and used to ensure that the training and assessment your RTO provides is industry relevant. One way to document feedback from industry for your training and assessment strategies and practices is by using an Industry Consultation Record that details the input received from individuals contributing to meaningful industry engagement for your RTO.

Other feature articles:

Practical guide to developing your RTO’s industry engagement plan

How to evidence industry engagement and consultation for your RTO

Five key ways to evidence industry currency for trainers and assessors