Five essential tips for evidencing trainer’s vocational currency

Trainers and assessors are responsible for evidencing how they have maintained, upgraded or developed new skills relevant to current industry needs (1.13b). RTOs must ensure they have systems in place to manage these records so as to adhere to the requirements of the Standards for RTOs 2015. RTOs are also obligated to engage with industry to determine appropriate activities for its trainers to maintain current industry skills and the frequency of these activities. This feedback should be documented and used to inform training and assessment strategies and practices.

Professional development:

RTOs should have a co-ordinated approach to the training and development of staff including providing professional development opportunities for trainers to enable the maintenance of industry skills. Implement a system in your RTO that has clear benchmarks for indicating appropriate and sufficient forms of evidence that also provides guidance around recency (as informed by industry) so it will ensure trainer and assessor records are compliant. Suitable professional development activities can include: undertaking accredited
training relevant to the industry area; reading industry journals and subscriptions; staying informed about changes to technology and keeping up to date with changes to legislation.

Working in and with industry:

It is important to note that delivering training and assessment in a workplace does not constitute the development of current industry skills according to ASQA.  Their advice suggests trainers attending a workplace to experience the latest techniques, processes and resources could contribute to the demonstration of current industry skills. Ideally your RTO should have a systematic approach in ensuring that trainers and assessors are regularly
exposed to industry workplaces and participate in workplace tasks. This could be done by planning opportunities for staff to engage with industry e.g. discussions with employers or attendance at industry networking events. Evidence of belonging to industry associations and participating in associated activities is also suitable. Trainers and assessors who continue to work in industry concurrently can provide evidence of secondary employment in the form of statement of services or letters of confirmation from employers.

Participating in networks:

Evidence of attendance at supplier workshops to stay current with products or the latest techniques / processes used in industry is a good way to demonstrate maintenance of vocational currency. Trainers and assessors who are actively involved in industry networks can provide documentation showing their contribution to these activities for their files.

Recordkeeping:

The most effective way to evidence vocational currency is to provide a mapping 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. This documented analysis will provide a thorough overview of the trainer’s current industry knowledge, skills and experience. A good practice when recruiting new trainers and assessors is to conduct referee checks to confirm relevant industry experience and verify work history provided in resumes. This will ensure you are verifying that they have appropriate current industry skills relevant to the training and assessment you want them to provide. Your trainers and assessors files should be stored in a centralized filing system whether electronic or paper based so these records are easily located and
regularly maintained.

Monitoring and reporting:

RTOs should have a regular mechanism for confirming trainer and assessor records are up to date and compliant. Incorporating quality checks of these critical records in your internal audit program at least annually will ensure you are monitoring your staffs adherence to your policy / procedures and overall system. Your RTO’s systematic approach should also include reporting of compliance with vocational currency requirements so responsible managers
can monitor trainer file maintenance effectively.

Other Feature articles:

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/faqs/how-can-i-demonstrate-i-have-maintained-currency-my-industry-skills-and-my-trainer-assessor
https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/part-rules-evidence-under-currency-standards-refer-very-recent-past-what-does-mean-clause-18
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
http://hdl.voced.edu.au/10707/248339

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