RTOs are obligated under the SRTOs 2015 (1.5 & 1.6) to engage with industry stakeholders relating to training and assessment strategies and practices. The information you gather from your industry engagement activities should be documented and used to ensure that the training and assessment your RTO provides is industry relevant. This can seem challenging if your RTO does not have a systematic approach in planning how these interactions are to be carried out. The three main reasons RTOs need to seek input from industry are:
- To inform RTO training and assessment strategies and practices including validation processes
- To assist trainers and assessors to maintain currency within their vocational areas
- To enable RTOs to understand their clients and provide training that meets their needs
Your training and assessment strategy (TAS) should identify any workplace partnerships you have with employers to deliver training and assessment on-site. Documenting these types of arrangements is invaluable for delivering industry relevant courses with input from the employer relating to electives chosen; learning, assessment & physical resources being used and the current industry skills of trainers & assessors. If you are delivering mandatory work placement as part of a specific qualification your arrangements for ensuring that students are exposed to a workplace to achieve the required hours should be explained in your TAS. Gathering feedback from employers on these placement outcomes and your RTOs co-ordination of the arrangements will contribute to your industry engagement evidence.
RTOs can formalize communication channels by creating industry reference groups or other forums in which industry representatives can regularly provide advice and guidance in relation to your RTO resources including:
- RTO equipment and infrastructure for delivery of vocational specific training and assessment
- Trialling or testing of learning and assessment resources to confirm their appropriateness for specific industries or groups of learners
Ongoing networking with industry organisations, peak bodies, or employer groups can provide effective means for gathering input from industry on RTO operations. Suggested activities could include:
- Developing networks of relevant employers and industry representatives to participate in assessment validation and/or exchange knowledge, staff and resources with employers, networks and industry bodies.
- Participate in local engagement group e.g. Chambers of Commerce
- Conduct industry events e.g. supplier breakfasts
- Apprenticeship and traineeship engagement relating to workplace verification and student progression and monitoring
Keeping records of industry engagement activities:
RTOs should implement a managed and consistent approach to industry engagement that includes development of an Industry Engagement Plan outlining the activities that will be undertaken by staff to maintain an appropriate level of contact with industry representatives in specific vocational areas. Documenting feedback from industry in relation to training and assessment strategies and practices by using an Industry Consultation Record will ensure appropriate records are maintain that evidences meaningful industry engagement.
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Skills Ministers met yesterday to advance priorities to support Australia’s critical skills and training needs in response to COVID-19 and to continue progressing long-term reforms that will deliver a strong vocational education and training (VET) system for students, employers and industry.
Read more here: https://docs.employment.gov.au/documents/skills-ministers-communiqu-31-july-202
State governments will be forced into more transparency about how much they spend on training and apprenticeships including when they secretly reduce spending according to training sector experts.
The billion-dollar scheme will be partly funded by the Government, which will chip in $500 million, with the other half matched by split contributions between states and territories that sign up.
Read more here: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-07-15/government-jobtrainer-program-skills-investment-coronavirus/12459388
Trainers and assessors are dual professionals who must be both industry qualified and hold credentials in vocational education and training. RTOs must ensure records of trainers and assessor’s qualifications, vocational competencies and current industry skills are verified and sufficiently evidenced. Maintaining appropriate record keeping systems to routinely manage trainer and assessor profiles is a critical compliance consideration for VET providers.
If your trainers and assessors hold the exact units of competency that they are delivering training and assessing for then that is sufficient evidence to demonstrate vocational competency. If not you will need to provide a documented analysis e.g. mapping that demonstrates equivalence of superseded units held and/or other credentials held and/or work history (industry knowledge and skills). This mapping should be at a minimum to the element level of each unit of competency being delivered. Other evidence to be provided could include occupational licences and/or accreditations as required by specific training packages. Supporting documentation that evidences credentials held and verifies claims of work history such as statements of services or references should also be on file. Copies of vocational qualifications must be authenticated with the issuing organisation and records of verification retained on file.
Evidencing concurrent employment in industry for a job role relevant to what trainers and assessors are delivering is an effective way to demonstrate current industry skills. Supporting documentation such as an employment contract or statement of service should be supplied to verify claims of work history. Other evidence that can demonstrate vocational currency include:
- Records of undertaking professional development such as workshops; conferences, forums etc. relevant to the specific industry and units of competency.
- Records of active participation in professional associations or memberships / subscriptions relevant to the specific industry and units of competency
- Evidence of professional readings directly related to the units of competency currently training and/or assessing
Training and assessing in the workplace does not provide sufficient evidence of vocational currency.
Training and Assessment Competence:
Trainer and assessor credential requirements in the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (SRTOs) 2015 specify they must hold the minimum training and assessment credential TAE40116 or TAE40110 with TAELLN411/TAELLN401A and TAEASS502/TAEASS502A/TAEASS503B or; hold a diploma or higher qualification in adult education. This evidence must be authenticated with the issuing organisation and records of verification retained on file.
Training and Assessment Currency:
To evidence current knowledge and skills in VET, trainers and assessors should undertake professional development such as training courses; events; conferences; webinars; or workshops relevant to vocational training, learning and assessment specifically competency based training and assessment (CBT).
While the SRTOs 2015 do not state how frequent this must occur it is generally accepted that to be considered current it should have been undertaken in the last 1 – 2 years. RTOs should also ensure they have consulted with industry to confirm their expectations in relation to maintenance of trainer and assessor industry and VET currency.
The final draft training products for the Business Enterprise Skills and Technical Skills projects in the Business Services (BSB) Training Package are now available to be downloaded.
The BSB Industry Reference Committee (IRC) has directed PwC’s Skills for Australia to apply for an extended transition period to assist with the implementation of training product changes. At the direction of the IRC, the application will be for an 18-month transition period for all training products in scope.
Read more here: https://www.skillsforaustralia.com/industries/business-services/
The Tasmanian government has held a roundtable focused on the skills needed to deliver the Government’s infrastructure pipeline. Peak industry, business and union representatives discussed the need for a collaborative approach to skills development in Tasmania.
The South Australian State Government will introduce a Bill in Parliament this week outlining significant reforms to deliver a more flexible and responsive training system for the state.
Validating your RTO’s assessment materials pre-use ensures the tools are fit for purpose and meet the requirements of the specific units of competencies and the evidence collected from students meets the principles of assessment and rules of evidence.
Validation before assessment:
The process of validating your assessment tools before implementation should involve assessors and other parties such as members of your quality team or staff such as literacy and numeracy specialists working collaboratively to focus on the following aspects:
- Interpreting the unit/s of competency
- Determining what a competent person would ‘look like’ and the standard to be achieved
- Designing the assessment process including identifying what evidence needs to be collected, how it needs to be collected and how many times
- Developing the assessment tools using your RTO’s approved templates which includes all student assessment tasks and assessors’ documents including evidence guides
- Consulting with industry and seeking feedback on the assessment process required
A mapping document should be developed with your assessment materials for each unit of competency that shows where unit of competency requirements have been addressed in the assessment tasks. A mapping evidences that you have checked the validity of the assessment tool when created and confirms its compliance. It is a useful document to refer to when validating assessment tools before implementation.
Common non-compliances to look for when validating assessments:
- Assessment tools do not meet all the requirements of the relevant unit of competency resulting in the evidence to be collected not being adequate or sufficient.
- Practical assessment tasks do not contain sufficient benchmarks for each skill / behaviour to be demonstrated as required by the unit of competency’s performance evidence
- Practical assessment tasks have insufficient instructions for assessors and students in conducting role plays / scenarios to ensure consistency in assessment conditions
- Assessment tool instructions do not sufficiently detail performance benchmarks to be demonstrated or reflect required observable behaviours
- Assessors have not been provided with clear instructions to ensure evidence collected of each student’s performance is sufficient
- Assessment tools do not make provision for the assessors recording of judgement of competency