Easy ways to determine if a trainer or assessor is vocationally competent

Easy ways to determine if a trainer or assessor is vocationally competent

The SRTOs 2015 require trainers and assessors to have vocational competencies at least to the level being delivered and assessed as referred to in Clause 1.13 b. Vocational competency means trainers have the particular skills and knowledge relevant to the industry area in which they are delivering. Training Packages may also stipulate specific vocational competency requirements for trainers and assessors. This can include relevant industry qualifications and/or industry experience. RTOs need to ensure these requirements are evidenced and appropriate records are maintained that demonstrate staff are vocationally competent both at the qualification and unit of competency level.

They hold the exact units of competency being delivered:

If your trainers and assessors hold the exact units of competency that they are delivering then that is sufficient evidence to demonstrate vocational competency (so long as they also have relevant industry experience). Additionally, some training packages or qualifications have specific requirements for assessors to hold vocational credentials so RTOs need to ensure that these requirements are identified and evidenced appropriately. For example, to deliver commercial cookery units from the SIT training package assessors must hold a Certificate III or Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery. Another example is trainers and assessors who deliver TAE qualifications must hold either the Diploma of Vocational Education and Training or the Diploma of Training Design and Development or a higher level qualification in adult education.

Demonstrating equivalence of competency:

RTOs need to provide a documented analysis e.g. mapping  that demonstrates equivalence of superseded units held and/or other credentials held and/or work history (industry knowledge and skills) for trainers and assessors. This mapping should be at a minimum to the element level of each unit of competency being delivered. You need to ensure that supporting documentation that evidences credentials held and verifies claims of work history such as statements of services or references is also provided. Copies of vocational qualifications must be authenticated with the issuing organisation and records of verification retained on file.

Work history: 

Some training packages and / or units of competency have specific requirements regarding years of industry experience that assessors must have to deliver. These requirements must be evidenced in the trainers file for the training products they train and assess. If your trainer and assessor holds a vocational qualification without having relevant industry experience they will not be viewed as being credible and this can impact on student and industry outcomes for your RTO.  It is important that in addition to adhering to the training package requirements that you also seek industry feedback regarding what they view as the appropriate vocational qualifications and experience for your trainers and assessors as required in Clauses 1.5 & 1.6.  

Occupational licences and accreditation: 

For qualifications or units of competency with specific licensing or industry accreditation outcomes it may be a requirement that trainers and assessors hold a licence, ticket, professional body credential or registration relevant to the vocational area they are training and assessing. In this case it is important that RTOs ensure records of these credentials are regularly maintained and up to date in each file as they typically have expiry dates.

Other feature articles:

Five essential tips for evidencing trainer’s vocational currency

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/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.13-to-1.16

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/fact-sheets/meeting-trainer-and-assessor-requirements

https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/how-can-i-demonstrate-vocational-competency

Implementing systems for self-assurance

Implementing systems for self-assurance

The definition of self-assurance according to the Oxford Dictionary is confidence in one’s own abilities or character. RTOs need systems in place to be able to confirm that they are compliant with the SRTOs 2015 and their students are meeting industry expectations. Implementing systems to ensure self-assurance will depend on the size of your RTO, the number of training products on scope and the risks associated with the training and assessment services you provide. Self-assurance is the process of RTOs accepting responsibility and accountability for their on-going performance and student outcomes. It is important to note that self-assurance is not self-regulation.  ASQA as the National Regulator will continue to ensure that RTOs meet their regulatory obligations and adhere to legislative requirements.

Annual declaration of compliance:

Part of the process of completing the annual declaration of compliance requires confirmation that your RTO is systematically monitoring compliance with the SRTOs 2015. To be able to do so you should include an analysis of data you have obtained from your RTOs internal audits, reviews or quality checks. One way to identify if you currently meet compliance obligations and have also done so in the past year is to utilize ASQA’s Self-Assessment Tool to assist in preparation of the annual declaration.  

Course reviews:

Using AVETMISS data such as completion rates and student outcomes when reviewing courses delivered can provide insight into how your RTO is performing. It is an effective way to determine what improvements your practices, systems and processes may require. Additionally, using feedback obtained from students and employers from sources such as your Quality Indicator Data enables RTOs to continuously improve services for clients. You can also refer to outcomes of validation activity and internal audits to determine if specific courses have areas of concern that need addressing.

Scope of registration: 

By reviewing the training products you have on scope at least annually you can determine if you continue to be sufficiently resourced and are managing your scope of registration appropriately in accordance with Clause 1.3. Your enrollment data should provide information on whether there is an on-going demand for the training products you are registered for and inform your decisions to change your RTOs scope of registration if necessary.

Internal audits: 

An effective internal audit programme will provide valuable data that identifies the risks in your training and assessment. Regular monitoring of your operations provides a CEO with assurance of the RTOs risk management, internal controls and governance processes. It also drives a regular cycle of continuous improvement within an organisation and accountability for meeting regulatory obligations and legislative requirements. Internal audits also identify areas where efficiencies or innovations need to be made.

Compliance Staff:

Whether you have dedicated compliance staff in-house or you outsource compliance experts like EDministrate when required it is critical that RTOs have the necessary expertise to quality assure it operations. The risk of non-compliance with regulatory obligations and legislative or contractual requirements is real and has severe consequences for your RTO that can lead to financial, legal and reputational impacts on your business. The role of compliance staff is vital in protecting your RTO from compliance risk and regulatory action. 

Other feature articles:

Key benefits of conducting regular quality checks of your training and assessment strategies and practices

Cheat sheet for validating assessments prior to use

The do’s and don’ts of creating an internal audit programme for your RTO

Preparing your ASQA CEO annual declaration response 

References:

https://www.asqa.gov.au/working-together/consultation-self-assurance

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/presentations/webinar-working-together-towards-effective-self-assurance

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/other/consultation-paper-working-together-towards-effective-self-assurance

 

ICT Release 5.0 training products extended by ASQA until 31 December 2021

ASQA has recently approved an extended transition period for ICT Release 5.0 superseded and deleted training products (or view as PDF). The extended training, assessment and certification issuance period for this qualification ends on 31 December 2021.

ASQA has recently approved an extended transition period for ICT Release 5.0 superseded and deleted training products (or view as PDF). The extended training, assessment and certification issuance period for this qualification ends on 31 December 2021.  

Read more here:
https://www.asqa.gov.au/news-events/news/asqa-approves-extended-transition-period-ict-release-50-training-products-until-31-december-2021  

National VET Regulator Act changes to be enacted

The legislative changes will affect how ASQA publishes current and historic information regarding RTOs, and improve ASQA's ability to quickly respond to regulatory breaches

The legislative changes will affect how ASQA publishes current and historic information regarding RTOs, and improve ASQA’s ability to quickly respond to regulatory breaches. Over the next 12 months, changes to legislation will come into effect to support recent amendments to the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act (NVR Act).
Read more here: https://www.asqa.gov.au/news-events/news/changes-national-vocational-education-and-training-regulator-regulations

RTO’s want international students to pay fees upfront while still offshore

RTO's want international students to pay fees upfront while still offshore

Some of Australia’s vocational training institutions, especially private colleges and Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) have emailed their students currently stranded overseas to deposit their fees or else their Certificate of Enrollment (CoE) may be cancelled

Get ready for JobTrainer

Get ready for JobTrainer

The Australian Government recently announced it’s $1 billion JobTrainer initiative. The funding is provided through a $500 million contribution by the Australian Government and a contribution of $500 million by the state and territory governments. It is expected to include a mixture of free and/or low cost courses targeted at reskilling and upskilling Australians which is anticipated to be announced before September. There will be up to 340,700 training places available with the breakdown by state as follows: Australian Capital Territory – 5,700; New South Wales – 108,600; Northern Territory – 3,200; Queensland – 68,500; South Australia -23,500; Tasmania – 7,100; Victoria – 88,900; and Western Australia – 35,200. The newly formed National Skills Commission has identified health care, transport, retail trade, wholesale trade, manufacturing, postal and warehousing as growing sectors with jobs in demand.  The states may also identify additional industry sectors as priorities in their footprints.

Review scope of registration:

RTOs can get ready to respond to the funding opportunities provided by the JobTrainer Scheme in reviewing your current scope of registration and product offerings now so as to anticipate courses that will be subsidised by the government. There may be specific stand-alone units or skill sets that you need to apply to ASQA for so as to be ready to offer them under your state’s funding arrangements. Part of that process should be determining what resources (learning and assessment) you will need to deliver those in demand programs.

Identify government funding opportunities:

It is expected in the first instance that RTOs with current funding agreements in place with state training authorities will be given the opportunity to apply to deliver additional courses under JobTrainer. Those providers already offering apprenticeships and high demand courses in priority areas will be at an advantage out the gate. Microcredentials which could include stand-alone units of competency or skill sets to be delivered as short courses have been proposed by the government as included in the subsidised programs. It remains to be seen if non-accredited courses will be funded in this scheme. Providers who do not currently offer government funded programs should not despair as there may be opportunity to apply in the states you operate in but you will need to monitor developments very closely over the coming months.  Another strategy could be for you to partner with RTOs who have existing funding contracts in place with the view to deliver on their behalf under a third party arrangement so you can support them with any increased demand or overflow.

Scale your operations:

RTOs who expect to deliver JobTrainer courses should commence planning now to build capacity so as to be able to handle an increase in enrolments once the funding is available. This should include reviewing your current training and assessment strategies and delivery models. In particular, if your RTO has been delivering emergency remote training and assessment the transition to a new hybrid delivery model incorporating online delivery should be an urgent priority. Delivering some of your training and assessment online is an effective way to scale your operations. Recruiting sufficient trainers and assessors for the expected increase in enrolments is also an important consideration to start planning for.  The earlier you commence your recruitment processes the better placed you will be in ensuring you have secured appropriately qualified staff. A competitive training market will likely result in quality trainers and assessors being high in demand too.

References:

https://www.edministrate.com.au/feature-article-key-benefits-of-conducting-regular-quality-checks-of-your-training-and-assessment-strategies-and-practices/

https://www.dese.gov.au/news/jobtrainer-skills-package-announced

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6838781/how-will-the-jobtrainer-scheme-work/

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/government-s-2-billion-jobtrainer-plan-to-help-school-leavers-and-unemployed-20200715-p55cev.html

https://www.iteca.edu.au/ITECA/Content/Advocacy/jobtrainer.delivery.aspx

https://www.education.vic.gov.au/training/providers/funding/Pages/serviceagree.aspx

https://desbt.qld.gov.au/training/providers/sas

https://skillingterritorians.nt.gov.au/programs

https://smartandskilled.nsw.gov.au/for-training-providers

https://providers.skills.sa.gov.au/Apply/Apply-for-funding

https://www.dtwd.wa.gov.au/vet-jswa

https://www.skills.tas.gov.au/providers/rto/funding_programs_for_endorsed_rtos

 

 

A quick way to deal with non-compliances in your assessments

A quick way to deal with non-compliances in your assessments

Undertaking quality checks of your assessment tools pre-use or prior to implementation will ensure they are compliant and fit for purpose. Validating your resources as part of the development process ensures your RTOs assessment system provides quality outcomes for students and industry.

Do your assessments meet the unit of competency requirements:

The easiest way to confirm that your assessments reflect the requirements of the unit of competency is to refer to your mapping documents. This analysis should identify if there are any gaps in the evidence being gathered as you will be able to determine at a glance if the performance criteria; knowledge evidence; performance evidence and assessment conditions have all been covered in the assessment tasks provided. Your assessment should also be mapped to the dimensions of competence and foundation skills if required. Look for common issues such as are you assessing performance with written tasks or have all assessment conditions been addressed in your task instructions. If you have not mapped your assessments start with this process and use an assessment mapping matrix template to determine if you have addressed all requirements of the unit of competency in your tools.

Do your assessments address the principles of assessment:

Check the following aspects in your assessment tools to fix non-compliances:

  • Fairness – Do the tasks provide clear instructions on the assessment process and advise of the appeal process and incorporate reasonable adjustment?
  • Flexibility – An appropriate range of assessment methods have been used and evidence being gathered comes from a variety of sources reflecting the needs of learners. This includes RPL or alternative assessment only pathways being options provided.
  • Validity – The evidence being gathered by the tool addresses the requirements of the specific unit of competency including assessment conditions and reflects workplace practice
  • Reliability – The tool provides the assessor with benchmark answers / marking criteria, so judgements are consistently made regardless of who is conducting the assessment.

Do your assessments gather evidence that meet the rules of evidence: 

Check the following aspects in your assessment tools to fix non-compliances:

  • Validity – The evidence collected from the learner confirms they have the skills, knowledge and attributes as reflected in the specific unit of competency
  • Sufficiency – The evidence collected from the learner is enough to confirm that the assessor’s judgement of competence is sound
  • Authenticity – The evidence collected from the learner has been authenticated as their own work e.g. declaration and signaturec
  • Currency – The evidence collected from the learner is considered recent or from the present time

References: 

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.8-to-1.12

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/videos/video-understanding-assessment

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/fact-sheets/conducting-validation

https://www.asqa.gov.au/distance-learning/training-and-assessment

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/fact-sheets/using-other-parties-to-collect-assessment-evidence

https://www.asqa.gov.au/resources/guides/guide-developing-assessment-tools

Feature Article: Four point checklist for compliant trainer and assessor profiles

Feature Article: Four point checklist for compliant trainer and assessor profiles

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. 

Vocational Competence:

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.

Vocational Currency:

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.

References: 

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

https://www.asqa.gov.au/faqs/be-considered-be-vocationally-competent-does-trainer-and-assessor-need-hold-qualification-and