It is critical for RTO’s to have effective processes in place that ensure your training and assessment strategies meet the requirements of Clauses 1.1 to 1.4 in the SRTOs 2015.These mandatory compliance documents are likely to be tested by ASQA either when your submit them with an application to add a training product to scope or during a regulatory audit. The following advice provides suggestions for RTOs for creating TAS’s that are compliant with the standards.
Training and assessment strategy template:
Your RTO’s training and assessment strategy template should be designed to capture all of the requirements of Clauses 1.1 to 1.4. The information contained in your TAS’s feeds your academic planning for all delivery related to training products on your scope of registration. ASQA suggests that a TAS may comprise of multiple documents but there must be consistency between these documents so that the overall strategy is clearly described. You may decide to have separate documents as addendums to your main document for lists such as your staffing matrix, physical resource list or learning and assessment resource list and this is ok. If you do this you need to ensure that the addendums and their locations are clearly referenced in your main document.
At a minimum your RTO should use a TAS template that captures information for the following aspects:
- The training product is identified including the code and full title as per the National Register;
- Core and elective components for delivery of full qualifications are identified as per the packaging rules and for partial delivery of qualifications or stand-alone units the specific units of competency being offered are listed;
- Entry requirements are explained including mandatory requirements of the training product and any additional requirements as per your RTO policies;
- Pre-requisite and co-requisite units are identified;
- Sequencing of the delivery and assessment is explained;
- The student cohort/s and their characteristics are identified including any existing knowledge, skills and work experience.
- Mode of delivery is identified e.g. face-to-face, online, workplace training or mixed mode
- Duration and scheduling of your program is provided detailing your amount of training hours that are appropriate for the student cohort/s
- Assessment resources, methods and timing are identified including mandatory work placement arrangements
- Learning resources are identified
- Appropriately qualified trainers and assessors are identified for each unit of competency being offered
- Essential physical resources are identified for each unit of competency being offered including facilities such as workshops and labs, equipment and training aids
Training and assessment strategy checklist:
You can ensure you don’t miss the most critical and important steps when creating your TAS’s by using a well-designed, practical checklist as a guide when developing your training and assessment strategies. Checklists ensure self-accountability for the staff responsible for creating the documents and overall consistency in the process for your RTO. EDministrate has a useful TAS validation checklist available for free download should your staff want to utilise this tool in your RTO.
Developing training and assessment strategies:
Sources such as the National Register; training package implementation guides; accredited course syllabuses and other RTO planning documents provide critical information needed to develop your training and assessment strategies. The quality of the information you use to create your TAS will impact on the compliance of your document and will only be as good as the reliability of the source. Ensuring that your RTO has well defined processes for creating TAS’s preferably documented in a procedure will guarantee compliance obligations are met.
Validating training and assessment strategies:
RTOs must comply with Clause 2.2 in the SRTOs 2015 which requires systematic monitoring of its training and assessment strategies and practices. This includes having processes in place to evaluate RTO products and services and using feedback to improve its strategies and practices. Therefore, RTO’s must have effective systems in place to validate compliance documents as part of the organisation’s self-assurance framework. This should include reviews of TAS’s at regular intervals that determines their effectiveness and implementation in the organisation. Having a documented schedule of checks undertaken on TAS’s provides valuable evidence and ensures your RTO is sufficiently prepared in the event of an ASQA audit.
Approving training and assessment strategies:
It is important that your RTO has an approval process in place before each TAS is implemented in your organisation. Management is accountable for ensuring the quality of training and assessment of a RTO’s course offerings, therefore, should ensure the documents are consistent with your RTO’s actual training and assessment strategies and practices by approving them before finalisation.