Feature Article: Tips and tricks for developing a professional development calendar for your RTO

Tips and tricks for developing a professional development calendar for your RTO

RTOs need to be able to evidence that trainers and assessors have met the requirements of Clause 1.16 in the Standards and have undertaken professional development in the knowledge and practice of vocational training learning and assessment and competency-based training and assessment. One of ASQA’s strategic initiatives in their Regulatory Strategy 2020 – 2022 is a focus on trainer and assessor capability. This regulatory concern highlights the importance for RTOs to invest in the professional development of staff to ensure consistency in the quality of training and assessment and student & industry outcomes.

“The only thing worse than training employees and losing them is not to train them and keep them!” Zig Ziglar

What is a training calendar?:

Implementing a training calendar for your RTO is a powerful way to increase trainers and assessors ownership of maintaining their industry and VET currency and creates a culture of personal development. RTOs can use a training calendar to manage the upskilling of staff; plan onboarding activities for new staff; stay on top of compliance training requirements and establish a culture of lifelong learning in your organisation. There are many options available to RTOs in sourcing appropriate professional development opportunities for trainers and assessors. Most external providers such as VELG or VDC for example schedule their offerings months in advance so RTOs can incorporate these activities in their training calendars and just update it as required throughout the year. It can be as simple as creating a shared online calendar and providing staff with the links to the external offerings via that method.

Continuous professional development:

Staff who undertake regular learning activities are more able to adapt to the changing requirements of your business. Trainers who can put their learnings into practice can positively impact on student outcomes. Gathering feedback from trainers on their learning experiences will assist you in adjusting your plan along the way. The PD process enables your trainers and assessors to hone their strengths and needs and build their capability and understanding.

Training needs analysis: 

It is important for RTOs to analyse the learning needs of trainers and assessors. Start with information you have and identify areas of growth and success according to your data. What are your student and employer surveys telling you?  What are your validation outcomes telling you? What are your complaints and appeals outcomes telling you? What trends are you seeing in your course reviews? What can you see in this data that tells you about the performance of your trainers and assessors and the quality of their delivery? Do you collect feedback from your trainers and assessors? Identify their training needs by translating this information into goals and objectives that improves outcomes for your learners. 

Professional development days: 

RTOs can schedule professional development days to undertake those critical learning activities for trainers and assessors that ensures that they have access to important and relevant information essential for their jobs. Creating targeted themes for specific activities that improve professional practice and/or student learning enables them to reflect on their performance and make changes. Ongoing professional development keeps trainer and assessors up to date on training techniques, emerging technology tools for their classrooms, new resources and more. Trainer and assessor professional development is an essential element in an ongoing comprehensive RTO improvement plan and self-assurance. Trainer and assessor capability is one of the most important factors of success for an RTO. Things are continuing to change rapidly in the VET sector and RTOs need to help trainers and assessors stay abreast of these changes by providing on-going PD opportunities.

Other feature articles:

How to effectively deal with non-compliances in trainer and assessor files

Five essential tips for evidencing trainers’ vocational currency

Four point checklist for compliant trainer and assessor profiles

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

Five questions you should ask before engaging contract trainers and assessors

Common compliance mistakes every RTO makes 

Why you need to get rid of paper based records in your RTO

Implementing systems for self-assurance

 Free resources for RTO compliance practitioners

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/what-are-current-requirements-trainers-and-assessors-relation-qualifications-vocational-competencies-and-professional-development

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/about/how-we-regulate/regulatory-strategy/regulatory-strategy-2020-22/strategic-initiatives

https://melbourne-cshe.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/2854287/VET-teaching-paper_Guthrie_Jones.pdf

Advanced apprenticeships will boost skills for future jobs, but not in time to counter COVID impacts

Advanced apprenticeships will boost skills for future jobs, but not in time to counter COVID impacts

The Australian government has released a series of manufacturing industry policies in the lead-up to the October 6 budget. Yesterday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke about a A$1.5 billion strategy to strengthen Australian manufacturing and supply chains. Last week, Education Minister Dan Tehan announced a A$7.2 million extension of advanced apprenticeship pilot programs across the country to teach students the high-level, specialist knowledge and skills they’ll need for industry jobs of the future.