Your trainers and assessors have an obligation to provide your RTO with records of how they have maintained, upgraded or developed new skills relevant to current industry needs to comply with Clause 1.13b from the Standards for RTOs 2015. Your systems and processes should ensure your RTO manages and stores this evidence appropriately. RTOs must consult with industry to determine ways for trainers and assessors to maintain current industry skills and the required frequency of these activities (1.6) for different industry sectors. Use the following advice to ensure your RTO can sufficiently evidence industry currency for your trainers and assessors.
Undertaking professional development:
RTOs should identify relevant professional development opportunities for trainers and assessors to complete that will maintain industry skills by having a co-ordinated approach to the training and development of staff. By implementing a system in your RTO that has clear benchmarks for evidencing industry currency you will ensure trainer and assessor records are relevant and compliant. Types of professional development activities that can contribute to maintaining industry currency include:
- Undertaking accredited training relevant to the industry area;
- Reading industry journals and subscriptions;
- Staying informed about changes to technology;
- Keeping up to date with changes to legislation.
Workplace and industry exposure:
Trainers and assessors who have concurrent employment in industry while also working for an RTO can provide evidence such as a statement of service, employment contract or letters of confirmation from employers to demonstrate current industry skills. RTOs should have a systematic approach in ensuring that trainers and assessors are regularly exposed to industry workplaces and released to industry to maintain their currency as required. One way to do this is by planning opportunities for staff to engage with industry e.g. discussions with employers or attendance at industry networking events. Other suitable evidence can include membership of industry associations and records of participating in their events or activities. Evidence of delivering training and assessment in a workplace does not constitute the development of current industry skills according to ASQA. They suggest trainers attending a workplace to experience the latest techniques, processes and resources could contribute to the demonstration of current industry skills.
Networking with employers and suppliers:
Trainers and assessors can provide records of attending supplier workshops to stay current with products or the latest techniques / processes used in industry to demonstrate maintenance of industry currency. Being able to evidence that they are actively involved in industry networks is valuable evidence for their files.
Providing a mapping or matrix for each trainer and assessor that demonstrates current industry skills for each unit of competency being delivered and links supporting documentation provided to the elements within those units of competency is the most effective way to demonstrate compliance. RTOs that provide a documented analysis for each trainer and assessor will be able to evidence current industry knowledge, skills and experience accurately and completely. When recruiting new trainers and assessors you should conduct referee checks to confirm relevant industry experience and verify work history provided in resumes so you can ensure they are industry current before employing them. This way you can verify that they have appropriate current industry skills relevant to the units of competency you want them to deliver. Whether your RTO has electronic or paper based records you should ensure they are stored centrally, easily located and regularly maintained.
RTOs management should ensure trainer and assessor records are regularly monitored and confirmed as being up to date and compliant. Undertaking quality checks of these vital records as part of your self-assurance system will confirm staff are adhering to your policies and procedures. RTOs should also report regularly on compliance with industry currency requirements so managers can address issues as required.