Why keep in touch with what is happening in the VET sector

Information is power. The more you read, the more you understand the world around you. The VET world is evolving at a lightning speed and is changing the way we all used to do things.

Continuous learning in the VET sector is a must.

Why should you keep in touch with the VET updates

  • Because you are a stakeholder in the industry.
  • It can help you to understand the changes in the sector otherwise you may be out-of-date.
  • You can analyse how the changes are going to affect you and your training and education business.
  • You can rely on your future decisions by having more plausible and realistic information and be able to identify threats and opportunities starting at an early stage.
  • It helps to develop an excellent competitive edge that will help you shape the strategy of your Registered Training Organisation
  • Latest industry-related news, trends, and directions will help you be better prepared to keep up with everything new coming your way, improve your skills, and not be taken by surprise or miss out on any opportunities.  
  • It helps you build your knowledge, expertise and wisdom.
  • You explore new opportunities for growth and knowledge.
  • Sometimes you get free templates and forms to use for your registered training organisation etc.

How can you stay up-to-date?

You can stay up-to-date by attending webinars, professionals development sessions, subscribing to VET journals, newsletters and magazines.

Some really good sources to stay up-to-date are:

Websites of Australian VET regulators:

ASQA’s website https://www.asqa.gov.au

VRQA’s website https://www.vrqa.vic.gov.au/VET/Pages/default.aspx

Training Accreditation Council (TAC) websitehttp://www.tac.wa.gov.au/industry/Industryregulators/Pages/default.aspx

Other important websites:

Department of Education and Training https://www.education.gov.au

Department of Education and Training (International)https://internationaleducation.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx

Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS)  http://cricos.education.gov.au

National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) https://www.ncver.edu.au

English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) http://elicos.com

English Australia’s website https://www.englishaustralia.com.au

NEAS website https://www.neas.org.au

World Skills Australia’s website https://www.worldskills.org.au

Australian Industry and Skills Committee’s website https://www.aisc.net.au

Training.Gov.Au (National register) https://training.gov.au/Home/Tga

ACER’s website https://www.acer.org/assessment

Skills service organisations

Artibus Innovation http://www.artibus.com.au

PwC’s Skills for Australia https://www.skillsforaustralia.com

Australian Industry Standards https://www.australianindustrystandards.org.au

Skills IQ https://www.skillsiq.com.au

Skills impact https://www.skillsimpact.com.au

E-Oz Energy Skills Australia http://e-oz.com.au

Innovation and Business Skills Australia https://www.ibsa.org.au

Skills DMC https://sustainableskills.org/skillsdmc/

Professional networks:

ACPET’s website https://www.acpet.edu.au

Velg Training website https://www.velgtraining.com

Do you want to add more helpful resources in this list? Write to us at info@caqa.com.au.

Different phases of assessment and learner validation processes (Part 3 of 4)

This is Part 3 of the article, where we are discussing the different phases of the validation processes an RTO should be following to ensure they meet regulatory requirements and industry expectations.

In the previous articles, we discussed the following regarding the validation of assessment resources:

  • Explanation of assessment validation
  • Typical benchmarks used during the validation processes
  • Stages of validation (before, during and after the assessment judgements)
  • Regulatory requirements for conducting validation
  • Assessment system
  • Who conducts validation?
  • How is validation different from moderation?
  • How external consultants can help you with validation of assessment and learner resources?

In this month’s article, we will explore the regulatory requirements around validation of learner resources.

Learner resources

Learner resources are also known as “learning resources”, “training resources”, or “companion guides”. The purpose of these resources is to support learners with the underpinning knowledge required to participate in skill-based tasks. These resources include a range of activities to support the learning including, formative assessments and activities, links to further reading, workplace activities and procedures (where relevant to the qualification) etc.

Why you need to validate your learner resources

The VET regulator, ASQA does not currently prescribe the methodology Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) should use to meet the requirements of the relevant standards, training packages and accredited courses for learner resources.

But their expectations under the Standards for Registered Training Organisations, 2015, is to ensure your learner resources meet the following legislative guidelines:

Standard 1, Clause 1.3 (c): Learning resources to enable learners to meet the requirements for each unit of competency, and which are accessible to the learner regardless of location or mode of delivery.

The guidelines further state that:

Learning resources

  • To ensure students are able to obtain and absorb the required knowledge and skills prior to assessment, carefully choose and plan the learning resources you will use to guide them.
  • Identify these resources in your strategy to ensure you obtain full coverage of all required areas.

Therefore, we strongly recommend validating your learner resources to ensure your organisation complies with the relevant legislative requirements and guidelines.

The process of validation of learner resources

The validation of learner resources is not very different from the validation of assessment resources. All learner resources must also meet training package requirements and industry expectations.

Who can be involved in validating the learner resources

There are currently no regulatory requirements around who can participate in the validation of learner resources, however, it should be no different from the validation of assessment resources.

It should be a collective team effort and you must include the following people to validate your learner resources:

  • Subject matter experts
  • Trainers and assessors
  • Compliance or administration manager
  • Industry experts
  • You may also include compliance experts as well as they usually have current and up-to-date knowledge around audit and compliance expectations and requirements.

Stages of validation for learner resources

Stage 1: Validation before using the learner resources

Validation before using the learner resources is to ensure the resources meet training package requirements, how the information is presented and the quality of the formative assessments. This is to ensure the student gains the required skills and knowledge to participate in the summative assessments later. Your review of the learner resources templates in detail ensures they are compliant and meet regulatory standards and Industry requirements.

Stage 2: Validation during or after using the learner resources

Your validation of learner resources during or after use is to ensure:

  • Your resources meet client expectations
  • Your resources meet training package guidelines and provide all required underpinning knowledge to your students
  • Your resources are current and up-to-date in terms of the latest trends, technology and industry guidelines and practices.

In the next and final article, we will discuss:

  • Why you need to keep validators information
  • Why validation of assessment and learner resources should be systematic and ongoing
  • How can you schedule validation
  • What is statistically valid sampling
  • Validation outcomes

(To be continued in the upcoming newsletter and blogs)

Internal audits and why they are important (Part 1 of 5)

This is our first article in the series regarding “Internal audits”. Our main intention is to provide you with the required knowledge and skills, and equip you with the necessary resources to ensure you can audit your organisation against quality frameworks and standards effectively and efficiently.  

What are Internal audits?

Internal audits are an independent, collaborative, impartial, objective assurance and consulting activity formulated to add value and improve operations of an organisation. It assists the organisation to bring a systematic, disciplined approach to effectively evaluate, monitor and improve the effectiveness of risk management, internal control and governance processes. Internal audits act as a catalyst for a strong risk and compliance culture within an organisation.

What are the benefits of conducting internal audits?

Internal audits act as a catalyst for enhancing an organisation’s governance, risk management and controls by presenting insight and recommendations based on interpretation and examination of data and business practices and processes. There are a number of other benefits, such as:

  • Audits assess an organisation’s performance and practices against the regulatory framework, guidelines and legislative/statutory instruments.
  • Audits provide management of an organisation with information on the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes.
  • Audits evaluate achievement of organisation objectives
  • Audits ensure assets are safeguarded and secure.
  • Audits assess efficiency, effectiveness and the economy of business activities.
  • Audits review operations and processes to ensure they are protected from any fraud, malpractice or corruption
  • Audits increase financial reliability and integrity
  • Audits help to improve the “control environment” of the organisation
  • Audits are great learning lessons for all parties involved
  • Audits identify the business areas that require urgent attention
  • Audits identify opportunities, accountabilities and risks
  • Audits help management understand what it needs to know, when it needs to know it and how it needs to be done or implemented.
  • Audits identify better ways of doing things by recommending how to improve internal controls and governance processes

What is an audit scope?

The scope of audit refers to the focus, extent, boundaries and range of the activities covered by an internal audit. It includes:

  • The objectives for conducting an audit
  • Nature and extent of auditing procedures and activities performed
  • The organisational units that will be examined
  • Location of the audit
  • Time-period that will be covered
  • Related activities not audited in order to define the boundaries of the audit.

The audit scope, ultimately, establishes how deeply an audit is required to be performed.

What is usually included in an RTO internal audit?

The internal audit is usually a documented process that includes the evaluation of the following:

  • Quality framework and standards and legislative guidelines
  • Training packages and the companion volume (including the implementation guides)
  • Assessment and learner resources
  • Training and assessment strategies
  • Trainers and assessors
  • Industry consultation and engagement and how improvements are made from them
  • Recognition of prior learning and credit-transfers
  • Transitioning planning, processes and procedures  
  • Student certification and completion processes and procedures
  • Third-party agreements and monitoring processes and procedures
  • Student support, progression and welfare processes and procedures
  • Student and staff Interviews and questionnaires
  • Student records, student files and student data analysis
  • Enrolment and pre-enrolment processes and procedures
  • Marketing and advertising practices and procedures
  • Regulatory compliance and governance practice
  • Policies and procedures an organisation uses
  • Other organisational practices and systems

Who can be an internal auditor?

An Internal auditor can be anyone who has the required knowledge, skills and experience to objectively, professionally and unbiasedly evaluate your organisation’s processes and procedures to identify opportunities for improvements.

It can be an internal staff member or an external person such as a compliance consultant.

The required knowledge, skills and experience of internal auditors will be discussed in our next edition.

(To be continued in the upcoming newsletter and blogs)  

Your trainer and assessor files (Part 1 of 5)

Compliance of your trainer records is a must for any Registered Training Organisation. If you do not know what you are looking for, you will always have difficulty finding it. The purpose of this article is to provide you with the required information and resources to ensure you can audit and review your trainer and assessor files to be compliant with the current regulatory requirements and standards.

Legislative and regulatory requirements:

Trainers and assessors must comply with the following SRTOs 2015 requirements:

  • Clauses 1.13 – 1.16
  • Trainers and assessors who deliver any Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualification or skill set from the Training and Education Training Package (TAE10, TAE or its successor) are also required to meet additional requirements, outlined in Clauses 1.21 – 1.24.

Requirements for all trainers and assessors:

Trainers and assessors must meet the following criteria and guidelines:

  • the vocational competencies at least to the level being delivered and assessed
  • current industry skills directly relevant to the training and assessment being provided, and
  • current knowledge and skills in vocational training and learning that informs their training and assessment.

In addition, training and assessment may only be delivered by persons who have:

  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE40110 or TAE40116), or its successor*, or
  • A diploma or higher level qualification in adult education.

Your RTO must also ensure that all trainers and assessors undertake professional development in the fields of:

  • knowledge and practice of vocational training, and
  • learning and assessment, including competency-based training and assessment.

Trainer’s CV

An RTO must hold valid files for all Trainers and Assessors (this includes files for contractors and employees). A valid file includes the following information:

  • A current copy of the trainer/assessor’s CV (usually updated on an annual basis)
  • The RTO’s name, the position title and a description of the job-role
  • Details about the vocational competencies that the trainer/assessor holds
  • Details about the vocational competencies that the trainer/assessor is delivering/assessing.
  • Information about industry currency and skills
  • List of VET professional development activities
  • Confirmation that it is a true and up-to-date copy of the CV (usually means the trainer/assessor initialling each page of the CV to confirm the accuracy of the information provided)
  • Signature and date of last update of the CV

It is also recommended that all resumes/CVs are verified for currency and authenticity through the undertaking of reference checks.


Fact sheet—Meeting trainer and assessor requirements, published by ASQA https://www.asqa.gov.au/sites/g/files/net3521/f/FACT_SHEET_Meeting_trainer_and_assessor_requirements.pdf

(To be continued in the upcoming newsletter and blogs)

Private training colleges face too much scrutiny, says ACPET

Excessive scrutiny of detailed regulatory issues by the national skills regulator is forcing private colleges into legalistic compliance, according to the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET).

ACPET has called for a review of the quality standards for VET following the latest annual report of the Australian Skills Quality Authority.

Independent RTOs were unfairly depicted in the 2017-18 Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) Annual Report released last week.

Peter McDonald, Acting Chief Executive Officer has discussed the following issues in ACPET’s Edition 782, 5 November 2018.

Mainstream media has once again sensationalised statistics produced by ASQA and re-published them without context, further diminishing the reputation of the independent training sector.

ACPET firmly believes that excessive scrutiny on minor details that have little to do with actual training is poor use of the regulator’s resources. It is the outcomes of these nominal requirements that are impacting independent providers overall audit results, and in turn bringing down the reputation of the entire sector.

Small administrative errors and gross deliberate acts of misconduct technically both result in the same outcome reporting: non-compliance. The facts that serious compliance breaches lead to de-registration and that the number of courses of action in this regard is in actuality small are being overlooked.

ACPET calls for perspective and responsible reporting and commentary – in all forms.

It is commonly thought among providers and sector experts that there is far too much focus on very small and often trivial levels of non-compliance.

ACPET champions quality in the education and training sector. Our Industry Certification Program and VET Practitioner Register products evidence that by no means do we think that this should be compromised. But, the regulator needs to be focusing on indicators that reflect quality outcomes. One could be forgiven for thinking that the ASQA auditors’ working brief is to find evidence of any shortcoming as opposed to systemic fault.

We acknowledge that the regulator is tasked with a difficult job and has made reasonable improvements to the risk-based assessment audit model. ACPET fully supports a market contested by only reputable providers. However, ACPET calls for ASQA to be flexible by using an approach that ensures teaching and student learning is providers’ focus. When providers are needing to employ administrators ahead of trainers and teachers, the sector has gotten it wrong.

ACPET members enjoy high completion rates and positive student outcomes, in general exemplifying high quality training. The regulator needs to catch up and evaluate what really matters, not minutiae.

Reference: https://www.acpet.edu.au/article/12418/when-does-a-statistic-become-a-lie/

CAQA News (5 Nov 2018)

We are introducing a new section in CAQA News. This section will cover news and information regarding what is happening at CAQA/Career Calling headquarters.

Information Technology resources

The following resources are now available for purchase. The assessment and learner resources have been developed by subject matter experts from the industry. All resources have been checked by external validators to ensure they comply with training package requirements and industry expectations.

  • ICT10115 Certificate I in Information, Digital Media and Technology
  • ICT40415 Certificate IV in Information Technology Networking
  • ICT40115 Certificate IV in Information Technology
  • ICT50115 Diploma of Information Technology
  • ICT50415 Diploma of Information Technology Networking
  • ICT60215 Advanced Diploma of Network Security

Accounting resources

We have developed these assessment resources for a number of TAFE’s and these resources are now available for your RTO as well. The list of qualifications include the following:

  • FNS30317 Certificate III in Accounts Administration
  • FNS40217 Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • FNS50217 Diploma of Accounting
  • FNS60217 Advanced Diploma of Accounting

Community service resources

Our community service assessment and learner resources have been developed by instructional designers and subject matter experts with extensive experience and background in the community service sector. All training and assessment resources are also internally and externally validated by compliance experts. The list of qualifications includes the following:

  • CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support
  • CHC43015 – Certificate IV in Ageing Support
  • CHC43115 Certificate IV in Disability
  • CHC52015 Diploma of Community Services
  • CHC62015 – Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management

Resources currently in development

Available from March 2019:

  • CHC40113 – Certificate IV in School Age Education and Care
  • CHC50213 – Diploma of School Age Education and Care
  • CHC30213 – Certificate III in Education Support
  • CHC40213 – Certificate IV in Education Support
  • ICT20115 – Certificate II in Information, Digital Media and Technology
  • ICT30115 – Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology
  • CHC43415 – Certificate IV in Leisure and Health
  • CHC53415 – Diploma of Leisure and Health
  • RII20715 – Certificate II in Civil Construction
  • RII30915 – Certificate III in Civil Construction

Other resources:

  • HLT54115 – Diploma of Nursing (Available from mid-2019) – A number of units of competency are available to purchase from January 2019.

Compliance products from Compliance and Quality Assurance (CAQA) 

The following compliance products are available to purchase:

  • Policies and Procedures for an RTO
  • Policies and Procedures for a CRICOS RTO
  • Policies and Procedures for an ERTO
  • RTO forms and flow charts
  • RTO student handbook (pre-enrolment and post-enrolment)
  • RTO staff handbook
  • RTO compliance registers
  • Training and assessment strategies
  • Internal audit guidelines and template pack
  • CRICOS student orientation kit
  • CRICOS audit guidelines and template pack
  • Pre-training enrolment pack
  • Marketing materials (Customised to your RTO)
  • Marketing audit pack (Checklists and policies)
  • Recognition of prior learning (RPL) kits
  • Continuous improvement documentation
  • Assessment validation documentation for review of assessor judgements and assessment tools
  • Internal auditing templates
  • Staff recruitment, induction and professional development documentation
  • Strategic and business plan templates
  • RTO registration financial viability pro forma documentation
  • Workplace delivery documentation

We celebrated our Compliance Coordinator Michelle’s birthday