The Australian Government has announced the appointment of Mr Adam Boyton as the National Skills Commissioner.
RTOs must establish an ‘amount of training’ (AOT) for each qualification they deliver as required by Clause 1.2 in the SRTOs 2015. These hours must be documented in your training and assessment strategies (TAS’s). ASQA is concerned with providers delivering sufficient training to support learners to gain the required competencies. Their regulatory approach in relation to course durations has been to advise RTOs to use the AQF ‘volume of learning’ (VOL) range as a basis to determine an appropriate AOT for the qualifications being delivered.
Identify your learner cohort characteristics:
You need to distinguish in your TAS’s the different types cohorts you are delivering to and identify their characteristics e.g. inexperienced or experienced learners. If your RTO intends to deliver to learners who are new to the industry area and/or who do not have any workplace experience, the AOT required that is described in the training and assessment strategy would closely match the timeframe listed with the AQF volume of learning. However, if you plan to deliver to a learner cohort that already has defined skills, knowledge and workplace experience appropriate to the industry, a shorter AOT may be sufficient to ensure that each learner has fully absorbed the required knowledge and has developed the skills required in a range of different contexts.
Identify your mode of delivery:
Your mode of delivery may influence the AOT you are providing, and the training and assessment being provided. The hours you allocate between supervised and unsupervised learning activities will depend on the delivery mode used. For delivery modes that incorporate asynchronous online or self-paced distance delivery you need to ensure you have documented in your TAS the support and assistance available to the learners while unsupervised by the trainer. This will ensure the justification you provide for a short AOT is valid. If you are a CRICOs provider delivering to an international student cohort you need to be mindful off using appropriate delivery modes that meet the requirements of the National Code 2018.
Provide a breakdown of amount of training hours:
The AOT essentially comprises the formal learning activities you provide to a learner. These formal activities can include classes, lectures, tutorials, online or self-paced study, as well as workplace learning. It’s important to note that it includes any learning activity directed by the trainer whether supervised or unsupervised. The VOL includes all teaching, learning and assessment activities that are required to be completed by the student to achieve the learning outcomes. The AOT is incorporated in the VOL. If your RTO is not delivering a full qualification, the AOT to be provided may be a proportion of the AQF volume of learning. This can be calculated by taking the minimum VOL hours for the qualification that the units of competency identified sit in and dividing it by the number of units in the qualification. This will give you the VOL hours per unit. Make sure the AOT hours identified in your TAS correlate with the actual training hours documented in your schedules and timetables.
Provide justification for your short course duration:
Where you have identified a course duration shorter than the minimum AQF benchmark range for the qualification you need to provide a rationale in your TAS for the reduction in time given. Your explanation needs to define why the hours identified are suitable for the specific learner cohort. Your experienced learner cohort may have existing skills and knowledge and RPL and credits could be applicable therefore shortening the timeframe for training provided. You may also refer to ‘gap-training’ or accelerated learning reflective of the learner’s existing competencies. Where you have identified clustered learning and/or assessment in your TAS that can also provide a justification for a reduction in course duration/hours.
Other feature articles:
For disadvantaged people with disrupted educational trajectories, such as refugees, vocational qualifications can widen access to paid jobs and enhance economic independence. But many still consider vocational education and training (VET) qualifications not as prestigious as university degrees. This is a widespread issue, especially in African communities.
NSW has committed nearly $160 million to the federal JobTrainer program in a bid to help people to reskill for future employment in the health, manufacturing and construction sectors.
The government has opened a new round of funding for registered training organisations to reduce education costs. Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff said the Apprentice and Trainee Training Fund (User Choice) was designed to create a pipeline of skilled workers at a time when it was needed most and while Tasmanians were looking for new jobs.
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.
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: