Message from the CEO (1 Nov 2021)

Message from the CEO

Welcome to the next edition of The VET Sector newsletter.

This edition is jam-packed with useful information, informative articles, practical to-do suggestions, our professional experiences, and much more

As always, we are inviting you to email us your thoughts, feedback, and suggestions for topics to be included in our next newsletters and e-magazines.

We are searching for contributors to the next edition of our newsletter, The VET Sector, which will be published in November. Specifically, we are looking for articles that need to be updated in light of impending events or new developments in the compliance and quality, government laws and legislative changes, as well as training and education industries.

Contact us via email if you have a topic you want to see included or questions you need answering.

Sukh Sandhu

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The publication has been developed with input from leading experts in the vocational education and training sector and has quickly established itself as an important source of information for trainers and assessors, managers, admin staff and others working in vocational education and training.

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The problem for users of Google’s dynamic keyword insertion ~ By Margaret Ryan (lawyer and trademarks attorney)

Is it a good idea to use someone else’s name as a Google keyword and Google headline? The Full Court of the Federal Court has recently said “no”.

Google keywords on a website are normally not visible but they are used to attract consumers to the site when that keyword is typed into the Google search engine. But the Google feature of “dynamic keyword insertion” has changed this.


In the case of Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Employsure Pty Ltd [2021] FCAFC 142 (13 August 2021), Employsure was a private consultancy that advised employers and business owners about workplace relations. It had no affiliation with any government agency.

Employsure paid for Google Ads and selected keywords such as “fair work commission”, “fair work Australia”, “fair work”, “fwc” and “fair work ombudsman”. Some of these terms also appeared in the headline of the Google search results, because of Google’s “dynamic keyword insertion” service, for example:

The ACCC sued Employsure because it considered that Employsure was falsely representing that it was a government agency, or was affiliated with and/or endorsed by, a government agency in breach of the Australian Consumer Law. The Court agreed.


The Judges considered that the target audience of Employsure’s advertisements was business owners searching for employment-related advice who were not large enough to have their own human resources expertise. They may have been in urgent need of help.

This audience covered a wide cross-section of the public, including quite small businesses for whom English may be a second language or who may have had limited exposure to employment issues. This audience included both the wary and the unwary; those who were well-educated and those who were not; and the experienced as well as inexperienced in business. Many readers would not study an advertisement closely but instead read it fleetingly, absorbing only its general impression.

The Full Court held that Employsure misrepresented that it was affiliated with a government agency because:

  1. Employsure used keywords with Google’s dynamic keyword insertion service, which included in the advertisement headlines words such as “Fair Work Ombudsman Help – Free 24/7 Employer Advice” in blue font, in the largest and most prominent typeface – and this apparently matched what the searcher was looking for;
  2. Employsure was not named in the advertisements, nor was there any statement that the advice was not provided by the Fair Work Ombudsman; and
  3. The impression that the free advice was provided by the named government agency was the result of Employsure’s marketing strategy.

Impact of Google Dynamic Keyword Insertion

Normally Google keywords do not appear in the advertisement itself and, because they are invisible, their use has traditionally not been considered to amount to either trademark infringement or misleading and deceptive conduct.

However, when dynamic keyword insertion is used, the appropriate keyword can be seen. If that creates a misleading impression of association with another organisation, the Australian Consumer Law can be breached. The business can be liable to anyone damaged by the conduct and the ACCC can take action.

The argument that a careful reading of Employsure’s advertisement may have dispelled the false impression was specifically rejected by the Court because the advertisement was targeted at a wide range of businesses, with differing levels of education and expertise, and who were likely to read the advertisement quickly, only gaining a general impression that, yes, this was what they were looking for. Giving the impression that your business is something that it is not to gain clicks can be fraught with danger.

I can review proposed advertisements to avoid breaches of the Australian Consumer Law. I can be contacted here.

This article provides general information only and is not intended as legal advice specific to your circumstances. Please seek the advice of a legal professional if you have any particular questions.

Margaret Ryan is a lawyer and trademarks attorney with over 30 years of experience in intellectual property, including copyright, and consumer protection law, working with organisations to find solutions, maximise the value of their IP and protect their business. IP by Margaret® –
© Margaret Ryan, Melbourne, Australia, 2021

Driving organisational change to adopt high-quality online training

Introducing online training into your business through the use of technology and tools can help you increase productivity, reach new potential customers, provide great flexibility, increase sales, and help create more effective and productive learning sessions. It is, however, time-consuming and laborious to get every employee on board in an organisation that has never offered online training before. What can you do to improve the likelihood of an early and swift transition?

We all know that online training has become a popular option for training and assessment organisations that are looking to train and assess their learners across the globe. This is especially true when you consider that many organisations are moving towards a virtual office, thanks to the global pandemic and lockdowns. However, online training is not without its challenges. For one thing, it’s not always easy to integrate with other organisational projects or initiatives.

Change is a difficult process for organisations to undertake, and when they do it usually takes a long time because of a number of reasons including but not limited to the following:

  • fear of the unknown and fear of failure
  • not considered a matter of urgency: Not all changes happen as a result of urgency. As such, it is not surprising that managers often experience difficulty in communicating change and strategy to their employees.
  • Poor communication about the strategies and why changes are required: It is hard to get everyone on board. Employees and stakeholders need collective buy-in and engagement from the entire organisation.
  • changes take time, so it’s important that people know what their organisation stands for and what they want to achieve before any changes are made.

The changes we experience may be too swift for the organisation’s ability to adapt. However, that does not mean that change is impossible. Sometimes organisations settle into a state that they are resistant to change for very different reasons – cultural, physical, financial etc.

Some of the best ways in which companies can drive organisational change for adopting high-quality online training are:

  1. Understanding online training can be one of the best ways to deliver quality training
  2. Creating specific online modules and methods,
  3. Assessing an organisation’s needs,
  4. Motivating employees to collaborate with each other on the learning process while still preserving the importance of face-to-face interaction between people in an organisation.

Let’s now get into the specifics of these best practices, and look at the issues that organisations are facing and why they need to change their ways.

High-quality training comes with key challenges

High-quality online training is crucial to an organisation’s ability to produce quality content. The more the company invests in online training, the more time they save on creating new content for their target audience.

One of the key challenges with implementing this type of change is ensuring that it is not just a change in technology but also a cultural shift. It requires an understanding of the organisation’s culture, values, and needs in order for them to make high-quality online training work.

The next big challenge is the shift in learning focus from training to learning. The shift comes with the need for organisations to rethink how they provide employees with opportunities to learn and develop.

Marketing and sales can be included in this learning process as well as other aspects of the business such as employee relations, leadership, customer satisfaction and even health and safety practices.

Another challenge is that organisations often make big changes without considering how those changes will impact their training strategy or whether these changes will support the shift in the culture they are trying to achieve.

The other challenges include lack of leadership, poor communications, lack of knowledge and expertise, spending too much time on administrative tasks rather than thinking creatively to develop high-quality content and insufficient resources.

Organisational change is a challenge for any organisation. It brings new opportunities, but also creates new risks. These organisational changes can be implemented successfully or they can be problematic as many employees find themselves in a skill deficit leading them to this uncertain future.

Understanding online training can be one of the best ways to deliver quality training.

Understanding and embracing that online training can be one of the most effective methods of delivering high-quality training are essential in order to begin the process of organisational transformation. Learning and development experts must concentrate on the fundamentals of learning theories in order to provide high-quality training.

A large number of organisations are now seeking to bring change within their workforce through the use of online training programs. This is due to the fact that it has the potential to be both extremely scalable and cost-effective in nature.

Before any organisation can reap the benefits of online training, it must first recognise and accept the fact that high-quality online training is not only possible but also one of the most effective methods of delivering training and education to its learners. Because training organisations are now searching for higher-quality information, the job of the trainer should be modified accordingly.

The use of high-quality online training can assist organisations in lowering their learning expenses, increasing employee retention, and improving overall productivity. It also enables the organisation to respond swiftly to changes in market conditions and to remain competitive.

Creating specific online modules and methods

It can be hard for organisations to deliver high-quality training without using appropriate online delivery modules and methods. Organisations should explore using online methods and modules to offer their training courses in order to maintain quality and ensure that participants are actively engaged in the learning process.

An online module is a phrase used to describe the lessons and units that are delivered online. They help learners to follow a defined path through the learning process.

The modules should include the following features:

  • To assist students in understanding how learning should be provided, provide direction and assistance.
  • How the online learning should be implemented
  • What methods should be used to examine and evaluate online learning

The term online methods refers to the various ways in which training can be delivered to learners using online delivery mediums.

Online methods should include discussion and agreement on:

  • Visual, video and audio presentations should be used and experimented with.
  • Employ the services of a virtual whiteboard
  • Include flipped classroom strategies in your curriculum
  • Attending the live interactive classes on a regular basis
  • Participating in constructive group discussions and debates
  • Screens and videos can be recorded using a variety of different tools
  • Ensuring that all of the sessions are participatory, live, and engaging

The possibility to revolutionise the way training and assessment organisations improve their training and development through online learning is available to training and assessment organisations. The procedure is divided into three stages:

1. Gathering feedback from users
2. Establishing a training strategy, delivery plan, or session plan
3. Developing and delivering a high-quality online course

It is critical for organisations to have a clear concept of what they want to achieve from their training program in order to properly implement these methods and modules. This would assist them in developing an effective plan that would aid in the successful implementation of change, as well as laying the groundwork for future projects and initiatives.

Assessing an organisation’s needs

The world is rapidly moving in the digital age. As a result, there is a greater need for high-quality online training courses. It is critical for businesses to adopt new technology in order to remain competitive and up to speed with the times.

The key to achieving organisational change is to understand what the drivers of change are, how we can move towards them, and what the pain points are associated with adopting high-quality online training. Most importantly, you must understand what the needs of the organisation are and how you can assess and support them in order to achieve change.

The process of determining an organization’s requirements begins with a thorough understanding of its drivers for change, the difficulties associated with implementing high-quality online training, and how it contributes to organisational success, all of which will assist in driving organisational change.

A clear and compelling value proposition that corresponds with corporate objectives and is acceptable to employees is the most common and effective method of increasing the adoption of high-quality online training.

Generally speaking, change agents can be classified into two categories: those who will drive the change themselves and those who will need to be persuaded to do so. It is imperative that both duties are fulfilled in order to achieve this goal.

High-quality online training is quickly becoming a must for businesses, as it assists them in achieving their core business objectives, such as raising productivity or taking on new responsibilities. However, these benefits come at the cost of spending money on this form of training which can often be difficult for businesses with limited resources.

Motivating employees to collaborate with each other on the learning process while still preserving the importance of face-to-face interaction between people in an organisation

The human factor is the most important aspect of this equation. The human factor can either make or break a change management program. It has been proven that the best results happen when a business partner helps their employees understand how to learn and use a tool, rather than having an instructor teach them everything from scratch.

In order to achieve organisational change for adopting high-quality online training, companies should invest time in understanding their needs and goals as well as looking at why they want this change. In addition, they should also be prepared for employee resistance as this comes with any kind of change management program.

Some organisations still struggle to adopt online training as they want to keep their employees in-house for face-to-face interaction. That’s why these organisations need an alternative approach that would drive organisational change without creating too much disruption.

One such approach is to start by creating a mixed model that provides both types of learning opportunities – one offline and one online – for those who want to take advantage of both.

New TAE 22B E-learning and E-assessment – Open for public review and feedback

The following training products are now available for public review and feedback:

  • TAEDEL405 Plan, organise and deliver e-learning (unit of competency)
  • TAEASS404 Conduct e-assessment of competence (unit of competency)
  • TAESS00019 E-learning and E-assessment Skill Set

You can download and access the materials through Draft-E-learning-and-E-assessment-Training-Products

Click on the following link to provide your feedback to PWC you can also email your feedback through email to The feedback should be submitted before COB Friday 12 November 2021.

Direct observations in online learning environments

In order to get an accurate picture of how a learner is performing, trainers and assessors should try to conduct personal observations or direct observations. The problem with doing this is that it can be difficult for trainers and assessors to observe students if they are not performing or demonstrating their skills in a traditional assessment demonstration and performance setting.

We cannot ignore the fact that we can not make a learner competent without ensuring the learner has:

  • All knowledge and skills required to successfully perform certain tasks, duties and responsibilities
  • The attitude, behaviour, and manner in which specific tasks, duties, and responsibilities should be carried out
  • Addressed and met all compliance and regulatory standards required to demonstrate competence for specific activities, roles, and responsibilities

The importance of this becomes even more apparent and challenging to do when trainers and assessors are required to actually observe the learners executing a specific task or activity in an online learning environment.

Direct Observations in the Online Learning Environment

In order for all learners to demonstrate their performance effectively, understand where they are falling short, and provide suggestions to close those gaps in a professional and competent manner, trainers and assessors must be directly observed when they are performing any activity or task in the online environment. Trainers and assessors must be able to record any actions, attributes, behaviours, conversations or opinions regarding their learners’ performance on a task and/or activity; these observations can also be used to determine whether or not a learner has achieved competency in a training product.

How do you implement direct observation methods and techniques?

Direct observation techniques can be implemented anywhere through the use of digital cameras and recording equipment. This type of monitoring typically takes place in online courses where learners have access to computers with webcams and microphones. Mobile phones and other mobile devices can be used to demonstrate and capture direct observations as well.

Why can direct observations be difficult when observing student performance online?

Direct observation is often difficult in online learning environments because of the limits on what can be observed.

These difficulties are due to the fact that:

  • New assessment methods: The assessment methods are new and direct observations in an online learning environment have previously not been used
  • Confidence or lack of confidence: The trainers and assessors are not confident that the performance meets the expected standards, guidelines and requirements
  • Compliance guidelines: There are potential compliance requirements that must be met when conducting the observation such as permissions to the record.
  • Manipulation of the performance: The performance can be manipulated or edited

The purpose of direct observation is to provide feedback on how the student is progressing. It allows assessors to observe how students are performing, provide immediate feedback on student performance, identify student strengths and weaknesses, and make course adjustments based on what students are doing best.

So how should direct observations be planned and implemented?

  • Conducting observations online requires careful planning including:
    • The time of the observation: When should it occur?
    • The duration of the observation: How long should it be?
    • The purpose of the observation: Why should it occur?
    • All intended stakeholders and parties: Who will be involved?
    • The roles, responsibilities and task activities should be clear and understood to all parties involved: Why should they be involved? What will each party be doing or performing?
    • The location of the performance: Where should it occur?
    • The reasoning for selecting the location: Why should it occur there?
    • Assessment evaluation framework and guidelines: What are the assessment evaluation criteria?
    • All communication channels and frameworks: How have these criteria been communicated to the learners and other parties involved in the assessment process?
    • Change management processes: What changes are required in consultation with the learners?
  • Careful implementation involves
    • When and where it is appropriate to do so
    • How immediate assistance can be provided to the learners
    • How reliable evidence can be collected.
  • It should occur live in front of the trainer/assessor, not in a recorded session, wherever possible
  • According to all applicable regulatory and legislative guidelines, protocols and standards

If you are unsure about how to interpret an observation, trainers and assessors should always seek help from compliance and quality assurance experts or other industry professionals to help guide their decisions.

Effective feedback in both in-person and remote/virtual contexts

Feedback can be in-person, remote or virtual.

We have to be careful with what kind of feedback we provide, especially in a remote/virtual context. This is because the learner does not have the same context for learning that they would have when it’s in-person.

In-person/Traditional Instructional Setting

In-person feedback is a very common practice in the Traditional Instructional Setting.

It is used in an effort to provide all the information that a learner needs to improve their performance. The benefits of in-person feedback include:

  • Immediate feedback,
  • No time limit on feedback
  • Provides opportunities for informal discussions and interactions between peers and trainers.

Remote/Virtual Instructional Setting

Remote/Virtual Instructional Setting is a training and development technique that uses technology in an effective way to deliver training that can be consumed anytime.

The benefits of feedback received through remote or virtual settings include:

  • Learners may feel more comfortable talking about their work or learning in a non-threatening environment.
  • Learners can get the necessary feedback to move forward with their education without any difficulties.
  • Learners can be more efficient as they can complete assessments at their own pace.
  • The time spent on an assessment doesn’t take away from other activities such as classwork activities.

Both types of feedback should be based on the following main principles:

Honest – Providing honest feedback to students is a crucial part of any training. Trainers need to provide honest and constructive feedback to students in order for them to develop their skills and improve their performance.

Specific – Providing specific feedback to each student allows the training organisation to understand how the training is progressing and if individuals are receiving a quality experience. Some organisations neglect to provide specific feedback to students because it takes time and effort. However, this is an ineffective approach that leads to students not improving their work and not learning from mistakes.

Growth-oriented – Feedback should not just be given as a negative but as a means of guiding the learner towards success and growth. Feedback should be able to answer “why” questions, identify specific areas of improvement rather than just focus on general topics and provide solutions so the student can avoid similar mistakes in future. When you provide growth-oriented feedback, it should be related to the student’s current level of knowledge or skill set. This way, it will help them identify areas where they need more skill development and where they’re at their peak. Your feedback should also be relevant to your student’s career path and life goals.

Actionable – The importance of providing actionable feedback enables students to take their learning and apply this in a real-world scenario. Actionable feedback is crucial for students to learn about how they can improve and not just focus on the reason why they are not good at something. Providing actionable feedback also shows that you care about the student’s progress.

Timely – Providing timely feedback to students helps the students progress faster, learn better, and stay motivated.

Objective – In order to get better results from students, trainers need to provide structured and valid feedback. A structured feedback session consists of a few steps that provide an opportunity for the student to get insight into what they did right or wrong during the course. In addition, it also helps the trainer understand what areas they need to develop further in order to help them improve their training skills.

Consistent – By providing consistent feedback, the trainers are able to provide their learners with a focused, targeted learning experience. Some organisations create a ‘feedback loop’ which consists of identifying barriers such as lack of clarity, understanding and skills, and then providing feedback to address these points. This gives learners an opportunity to reflect on their progress and make changes accordingly.

Open communication between all parties – The success of any training organisation depends on how well it engages with its learners. If the training organisation doesn’t provide any feedback or encouragement, the learners could feel disengaged and may not continue with their studies.

The importance of constructive feedback

Feedback is an essential part of the training and education industry. It helps to understand what you are doing right and what needs to be fixed. Without feedback, it would be hard to know how you are doing in your career or even if you are on the right track.

Feedback is not only important for trainers and educators but also for the trainees and students of course. Feedback helps them understand how they can improve their skillset for future growth in their careers.

Feedback can be something that can make or break your career. In order to create a positive learning environment, feedback should be given in a constructive manner. This means that the learner should understand what they need to do to improve and what they can do to achieve their goals.

Feedback is an important part of the training and education industry. It helps learners identify their weaknesses and strengths, which in turn helps them develop better skills as well as build confidence.

The importance of constructive feedback in the training and education industry has been highlighted by many studies over the years. In order to create a positive learning environment, feedback should be given in a constructive manner so that the learner understands what they need to do to improve, what they could do better and ways they can achieve their goals.

When it comes to feedback, it is important to note that not all feedback is bad. Some are constructive and some are just plain old destructive.

Some of the most common types of feedback in the training and education industry are praise, criticism, and constructive feedback.

Constructive feedback is when someone with experience in the field provides skills or knowledge on how to improve what you are doing. It can be something like “I noticed you were starting to make these mistakes in your work” or “I see that you’re struggling with this topic right now”.

Checking what positive and productive feedback looks like: “That was great! It was easy to understand.”

Checking what negative and destructive feedback looks like: “I think you need to work on your speaking skills.”

Educators need to be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses and also of their learners in order for them to learn how they can improve what they do best while still doing things that they love.

Educators should also focus on the different types of learners out there while providing feedback to them.

We are categorising learners into four different types:

A) Learners who need help with developing skills,
B) Learners who need help with knowledge retention,
C) Learners who need help with motivation,
D) Learners who are struggling with focus

The importance of feedback

To understand the importance of feedback, we should first understand the concept. Feedback is a way or process used to help an individual or a group reach their goal by providing information and suggestions on how to improve and advance. Feedback is also often provided after a task has been completed to provide relevant information for future practices.

The following are some ways that feedback can help improve performance:

– Provide continuous support
– Highlighting strengths
– Encouraging them to use the skills they already possess
– Providing accurate information about what they need to work on
– Shaping their behaviour for the future
– It provides the opportunity for improvement and development;
– Motivates individuals to get better at what they do;
– Builds trust among colleagues and helps the team be more productive.

The best possible ways to provide feedback to your learners with examples

There are five key principles of giving effective feedback:

  1. Respond quickly
  2. Give them context
  3. Provide examples where they are good at or need to improve
  4. Explain why you made the comment
  5. Give them an opportunity to respond

Before you go ahead, you need to set benchmarking criteria to evaluate your learners. All of them should be evaluated on the same criteria, not according to your mood on the day or personal preferences.

When giving feedback, you should clearly establish if a learner has demonstrated competency or a learner has not demonstrated competency according to the set assessment criteria. If a learner has not demonstrated competency then provide them comprehensive feedback where they can and they should make changes. If a learner has demonstrated competency then you need to be careful regarding what comments you include on assessment records and observation checklists.

Do not say “good work”!

This is the most common feedback that is given to the learners. It might sound like a nice thing, but it is actually more harmful than good. When you say good job, they think that you are praising them for their work whether it is right or wrong. They think that they are done with the task and this will make them complacent and less motivated to learn more.

Give examples where they are good at!

When you give examples of what the learner did well, they feel happy and confident about themselves. You can ask them how they solved a problem or provide an answer correctly – which will make them understand how to improve themselves in other areas as well. This kind of feedback also provides evidence of their success and helps them in self-development. Moreover, it’s a great way to encourage your learners to continue working hard.

Provide a list of keywords or phrases which the learner will use to self-assess their performance and improve their knowledge and skills. For example, The learner should have been able to identify the following xxx from this task and so on.

How feedback affects your learners

Quality feedback is one of the most important aspects that can help learners to improve their performance. It helps them to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses and gives them a direction as to what they should focus on.

There is no such thing as a black and white answer but you need to be creative in your approach. There are a number of factors that affect how you give feedback which include:

  • The learner’s past experience or knowledge about the topic
  • The learner’s current mood
  • The more time you spend with the learner
  • Your own personality

What should you consider when giving feedback:

Feedback is a crucial element of any form of learning. It is the only way to know what the learners are doing well and what they need to improve on.

The best way to provide feedback is to give constructive criticism. This type of feedback has the power to transform your learners, and help them improve their skills.

Studies have shown that when criticism is predominantly negative, it might discourage learners from putting in their best effort and achieving their goals (Hattie & Timperley, 2007, Dinham).

It is vital to give feedback in order to make your learners know what their performance levels are in different areas. It is important to mention where they are good at, where they need to improve, and the reasons behind it.

Feedback should be focused on the learner’s progress rather than his or her abilities or skills.

You must consider the following four key considerations when giving feedback:

  • What exactly is it that the learner is able to do?
  • What exactly is it that the learner is unable to do?
  • What is the learner’s work like in comparison to other learners’ work?
  • What can the learner do to improve his or her performance?

Modelling good behaviour by providing constructive feedback about your learners’ performance.

When giving feedback, you must recognise and understand the difference between where your learners can improve and what is considered as competent or not yet competent. You cannot and should not give a learner paragraphs of what they did wrong against the set criteria of evaluation/assessment and then make them competent in the same task.

Unfocused comments

Unfocused comments are generally found to be scattered, unfocused, and often cause confusion. These comments are also more personal in nature rather than learner-centred.

When giving feedback to learners, it is important to make sure the comments are relevant and not unfocused.

Some examples of unfocused comments:

  1. The sentence structure was too complicated and confusing.
  2. I don’t like this sentence because it seems like you’re trying to sound smart and it’s not working.
  3. This paragraph is irrelevant and makes no sense.
  4. This is adequate
  5. You should be careful regarding

Dismissive, sarcastic comments

The following are examples of dismissive, sarcastic comments to your learners as feedback:
– “This is so much better than the last one.”
– “Ok, you got this.”
– “This is copied from the lecture.”

Feedback can be perceived as passing the buck.

When you’re giving feedback to your learners, it’s important to be constructive and specific.

Feedback that passes the buck is just as bad as no feedback at all. It’s important to give your learners constructive, specific feedback so they know what they need to work on. For example: “I noticed you spoke really quickly.” or “I think you could work on your pronunciation.”

Lets now focus on some examples of good feedback

Example 1: Where resubmission is required

Answering question number 2 of assessment 1 required you to identify three different items, and the items were A., B, and C. B and C, you’ve covered all three points, but B should include this XXXXXXXXXXXXX information as well. Can you please submit this question again?

Example 2: Where a student has demonstrated competence

Answering question number 2 of assessment 1 required you to identify three different items. The items were A, B, and C and you’ve covered all three points with the correct information, well done.

Another example could be

When answering question 3 in the project you have shown your depth of understanding and knowledge. Your research skills have provided you with the knowledge to provide the correct information.

How to become a profitable training business? (Part 1) – An article by CAQA Skills and Edu Learning

The training industry is growing rapidly due to the growth in businesses requiring a skilled workforce. Training businesses are however operating in a highly competitive market where they have to keep up with the changing needs of their customers and need to make profits in order to survive and be sustainable.

There are multiple ways to become a profitable training business, but not all of them are easy. For example, you can create your own niche market and offer one-of-a-kind solutions that people want to purchase from you instead of going with a larger competitor. In this article, we will look at some of these strategies and also discuss the process of how your business can become a successful training organisation.

There are many factors to consider for any training organisation that wants to remain profitable such as:

  • What are your ethics and values? Why are you operating as a training business?
  • How do you ensure you deliver high-quality learning?
  • What are the applicable compliance and regulatory requirements and how do you confirm with them?

Training is one an important service and it has been changing more rapidly than ever before with the emergence of new technologies and innovations.

Training organisations have to be profitable to remain registered. They must keep their costs down to balance their income (student fees or government funding) and at the same time maintain their competitive advantage in the market and not price themselves out. In this article we present twenty strategies that you can use in order to become a profitable training business:

1. Set the criteria: What do you consider to be a profitable business?

One of the best and most important things that a training business can do is to establish its profitability. This is one of the first steps before you take any other step for your training business.

You can consider a few factors for this: customer retention, customer satisfaction, and cost. The first factor deals with your ability to keep your customers happy and satisfied with what you offer them. The second deals with how much it costs for you to provide your service. The last factor deals with strategies to maximize the profits from what you do offer.

2. Have a comprehensive plan of action

In order to become a profitable training business, you need to have a plan. This plan should start with the right idea and what you want to be known for. You must set goals that will help you achieve those ideas.

Make sure that all your plans include delivering high-quality services and your clients will come back for more or promote your business to all people in their networks, communities and groups.

In the plan of action, you should include the following strategies:

  • Knowledge strategy – How you will add knowledge or expertise to your services
  • Value strategy – How you will provide clients with value
  • Experience strategy – How you will deliver the experience
  • Cost strategy – How much will this cost and how will you ensure the costs are kept at the planned level?
  • Marketing strategy – Where to market and why market there? How will you find a niche market? The right price point and so on
  • Thinking outside the box strategy – Will there be opportunities to generate revenue from additional sources?
  • Providing customer acquisition strategy
  • Retention strategy – How you will ensure that your clients stay with you
  • Revenue generation strategy – How you will generate the income that will cover your costs. Should include a best-case and worst-case scenario.

3. Understanding the concept of what, why, and how

A training company has to know what it is doing and why they do it in order to make sure they are profitable. This is why the concept of what, why, and how.

1) What: The organisations should know their audience and what they want to achieve with their training. They must identify the skills, experiences and information that make sense for that audience. They must understand what the target audience needs from them. Not having a well-defined target market is one of the main reasons why businesses fail.

2) Why: The organisation must have a solid reason for being a training business. It could be because they have a passion for helping people succeed, they want to help build impactful careers or they enjoy being part of a community that supports learners. If you do not have a mission, vision or objectives then the process to become a successful organisation can be an uphill battle. You also need to have a clear definition of what you want to achieve with the service so that you can find people who are likely to benefit from your service.

3) How: When it comes to how training organisations meet and exceed the needs and requirements of their clients they should focus on what they consider as a quality service, how this quality service can be promoted and how it can be delivered to the clients. For example, interactive classroom-based face-to-face interaction is one way of delivering content but not everyone can attend training through this medium.

4. Offering value-added services

Training companies can succeed in the market and become profitable by providing training services with value-based solutions.

Training businesses that are profitable can be achieved by:

  • understanding the training industry,
  • planning for the future,
  • learning from the past, and
  • having a good business model.

This includes understanding the state of the industry – what it looks like now and how it may change in the future – as well as planning for the changes.

Training businesses can profit by carefully studying their customers’ needs, keeping them updated with the latest training trends, and adapting their products according to what is in demand.

5. Providing clients with needed skills

Training businesses should aim to create a long-term relationship with their clients and offer them exactly what they need for their businesses or personal and professional growth.

The key is to stay flexible and always be able to adapt your approach as your clients’ needs change over time. This will help you grow and scale your business as your customer base grows larger.

Training businesses must ensure that they provide high-quality services that lead to tangible results in the long term. The goal of any training business is always centred around helping its clients succeed in their respective industries – whether that’s better customer service, use of effective technologies, tools or systems or improvements in the processes, procedures and practices.

6. Offering cost-effective solutions

When are you planning cost-effective solutions, you should focus on the following main points:

  1. What to do when the training business has an existing customer base that it wants to retain and grow
  2. What to do when the training business has no customers, and it wants to grow in a niche market

Your strategies will of course differ under both of these circumstances. When it comes to an existing customer base, you can influence them by loyalty discounts, offering better services, adding more value and so on. However, for the new customer base, you may focus on attractive marketing and advertising, good communication protocols, offering a lower-cost solution etc.

Some other strategies to be cost-effective:

  • Offer training services that are out of the box, unique and in demand by the market. This will make you stand out from your competitors and generate revenue opportunities.
  • Offer an upsell of a product or service after a course is completed. This will encourage more students to complete your course, which ultimately increases your revenue opportunities
  • Promote your courses at a discounted price through marketing channels like Facebook ads, Google Adwords etc., this strategy is very cost-effective but it requires you to be good with marketing

As a training organisation you should focus on:

  • Offer new products or services at a cost that is competitive
  • Investigate and keep an eye on your costs and use and use new technology or new practices that can be implemented without reducing the quality of services
  • Invest in R&D to come up with the next cutting-edge technology
  • Understand what your client wants and needs and deliver accordingly

It’s important to offer cost-effective solutions in order to attract more customers and maintain customer satisfaction levels.

7. Understand your market and focus on building a large network of clients

Understand your audience and why they need your services. If you’re trying to sell something that is different from what’s already out there, then your business has an advantage but if it is selling something that is already in the market sold by a number of your competitors, you need to plan why your services are comparable, competitive, and better.

Some strategies can include using proven methods of training that have proven results for a similar market sector or niche. Use authentic testimonials or client references on your website or page profile page to increase the trust factor with potential clients.

8. Value your staff members

It is important to have the right staff members who have the right skill set to be successful.

When it comes to training, you should never underestimate the value of your staff members. Always remember they are the first point of contact for your clients.

A happy staff member will ultimately support you in building great relationships with clients in the industry.

The strategies that training businesses use could include:

– Paying a competitive salary
– Offering flexibility in schedules
– Providing opportunities for personal growth
– Creating a positive culture

Businesses that consider their staff members as equals, well-paid and hardworking employees also tend to outperform others in the market.

According to a Gallup study, organisations with engaged employees have a 30% higher chance of being profitable than those with disengaged employees. Engagement means that the staff feels like they are valued and respected by their employer and that they can grow professionally.

9. Manage your team effectively

The training industry is becoming more competitive, and organisations are looking for ways to keep up with the changing landscape.

To be profitable, training businesses should focus on building an effective team by hiring good people and managing them well. The rest will follow suit as long as you’re willing to put in the work.

We all know that training organisations have a huge amount of work to do, and because of the sheer number of tasks at hand, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. If you can dedicate a little more time and energy to managing your team, you’ll be able to keep the focus on what really matters – your business. In order to be successful in the training business, you need to have a well-managed team that is continually learning.

10. Assess your systems, processes, and practices on a regular basis

There are many ways to assess the effectiveness of all processes, practices and systems. One of them is through ongoing, systematic audits and evaluations. It helps to identify what needs to be improved and accordingly improve processes and systems.


The audit provides a comprehensive overview of current operations, identifies areas that need improvement, and lays out the strategies for success.


The audit usually takes place at regular intervals such as yearly or quarterly which helps organisations streamline their operations by identifying changes to be made before they become constantly or non-compliant.

What are the strategies?

Organisations can implement new strategies such as outsourcing some processes or implementing stronger process management in order to increase the profitability of their training business.

Having external RTO consultants such as CAQA (Compliance and Quality Assurance) can help training organisations identify areas where they can make more money by following best practices, providing new ideas for growth, and ensuring that all investment is being put to efficient use.

Audits may be done on financial impact (cost), profitability (income), customer satisfaction (revenue), resource allocation efficiency and so on.

11. Continuous improvement

For a training organisation to be profitable, it needs to constantly improve its service.

This means that they need to make sure that their business stays relevant in terms of technology, knowledge, staffing and compliance, to the learners.

Training organisations need to figure out which strategy they should implement first in order to follow an effective continuous improvement process. There are two strategies for this:

– A strategy of major change – by implementing this type of strategy, organisations will need to identify a major area that needs large scale improvements and improve this before moving on with the rest of the organisation.
– A strategy of incremental change – by implementing this type of strategy, organisations aim at making small improvements to current business processes across all areas..

Training businesses are expected to continue to grow, but to do so sustainably. This will require them to continuously improve their services.

12. How strong is your compliance model?

It has come up rather frequently in conversations with clients who claim that they were so preoccupied with advertising their organisation that they lost sight of their compliance approach and processes. Nevertheless, they fail to recognise that if they have flaws with their compliance and regulatory processes, they run the risk of losing all or a significant portion of their business.

Compliance models must be appropriately created and designed in order to avoid issues that could have a negative impact on the future of the training organisation.

When it comes to how they handle their compliance approach, the training organisation must exercise due diligence.

It is critical to have high standards in all elements of your training and education business if you want to build a successful compliance model for your organisation. It is possible to do this by establishing clear policies and adhering to them on a consistent basis.

There are numerous approaches that can be used to address the problem. One of them is to hire people who are experienced and highly qualified and to provide them with excellent training. In order to achieve compliance and trust among your staff and students, it is necessary to establish a culture of compliance and trust.

A solid training course is only part of the equation; building the correct culture within your organisation can help you build trust with not only learners but also the regulatory body, which in turn will lead to better training outcomes.

13. Industry consultation – speak to industry representatives

Industry consultation is a process in the VET context where a registered training organisation reaches out to the industry to learn about current industry practices and processes. This ensures that the information and learning that students receive is what is currently used in the industry. It is important for RTO’s because it helps them gain valuable insights into what needs to be done in order to provide excellence in training and build valuable industry connections.

14. Diversify your scope

Researching the job market and industry trends is an important part of making sure that the training offerings match the requirements of industries that require a workforce with the skills necessary to keep up with the rapidly changing work environments. Training and education organisations need to find ways to serve existing clients and to reach new emerging audiences.

Finding new training opportunities is one of the most important aspects of building a successful training organisation. This includes not only adding new training products such as courses, skill sets and units of competency on the scope of registration, creating new content or delivering the training through different delivery modes but also ensuring that you are doing things differently than other training organisations in your area.

15. Do not put all your eggs in one basket

The training business is a competitive market. It is important to have strategies in place to ensure that you are not putting all your eggs in one basket. This strategy will help you succeed through the ups and downs of the business cycle.

It is important to have multiple streams of income when operating a training business because you could potentially lose one. If that happens, your other streams will help you to sustain your business. For example, during the pandemic the training organisations offering courses to only the international students really struggled, many of them stopped running their businesses and some of them went into hibernation.

Therefore, as a training and education business, focus on:

  • Markets (domestic and international)
  • Variation in training delivery that will suit different student cohorts
  • Non-accredited training courses offered to industry
  • Differentiating yourself from your competitors
  • Ensuring flexibility with changing customer demands
  • Managing risk by diversifying offerings
  • Researching state and federal funding opportunities to support skill needs

16. Training and assessment through different delivery modes

Training and assessment through different delivery modes are important for a number of reasons.

One of them is that it can allow the RTO to provide quality training to more people, which the organisation can then market as a key part of their service.

Another reason why companies need to have this option is that it allows them to deliver training to meet the needs and requirements of different learner cohorts.

17. Use effective marketing methods and techniques

What makes a training organisation profitable?

The answer is simple. Effective marketing methods and techniques. In order to be successful in marketing, you need to have a clear understanding of what drives people’s decision-making process, which is more often than not based on emotions.

The marketing methods and techniques include the use of social media, email marketing, SEO, and other digital marketing tactics.

Training organisations should not only focus on selling courses but instead on selling themselves to potential customers.

You must conduct comprehensive market research and include the following parameters:

  • Who are your competitors?
  • What are your organisation’s strengths/weaknesses?
  • What is your target audience?
  • How do they feel about what you offer?
  • Is there any competitor that’s more suitable for what your target audience wants than what you are offering?
  • How will you differentiate yourself from your competitors?
  • What strategies will you use to keep up with new trends in the industry and stay ahead of the curve?

Market research will assist you in a number of ways, including:

  1. Investing in effective marketing tools that will increase the number of potential students.
  2. Investing in building brand awareness for your training service or product.
  3. Developing a clear strategy for your business such as using social media to get the word out about your training service or product.

18. Business development representatives

Business development representatives are responsible for the success of the business through three key areas:

– Prospecting/ generating leads
– Attracting new customers / converting the leads into clients
– Retaining existing customers

The reasons why organisations should engage business development representatives are as follows:

– Business development representatives can engage with prospective clients and bring them into the organisation’s ecosystem. They also help connect an organisation with potential partners who can provide win-win solutions for both parties.
– Business development representatives help to generate revenue, grow the customer base, and retain the existing customer base. They can provide a variety of services such as content marketing, product marketing, and business development activities.

19. Use third-party websites for marketing

Many organisations are finally realising the value of marketing training courses through third-party websites. However, you as a training organisation must ensure that the third party meets all regulatory and legislative requirements and guidelines.

20. Partnering with other organisations

A training organisation must have relationships with key players in the industry to be successful. In order to create strong relationships with key players in the industry, start by getting involved in conversations early.

Some strategies to create strong partnerships with key players in the industry are:

  • partnering with companies that are already leading in their industry
  • partnering with companies that are potential new entrants into the industry
  • developing relationships with current stakeholders of the training business
  • Staying connected with on social media, and approaching through other means (such as referrals and cold calls)
  • Building relationships at events like conferences, training events or even social gatherings.
  • Developing specialised training programs for specific industries, which can lead to increased demand and revenue generation and offering special pricing or discounts that only members of the target industry will be able to access.
  • Working on establishing long-term relationships that will remain strong.
  • Focusing on achieving measurable performance objectives as well as engagement metrics for your clients as well as yourself. – Create clear project plans and milestones that align with company objectives and provide opportunities for both parties to measure progress towards those goals.

You may be asking as to how we might assist you with business development, business analysis, risk management, auditing and regulatory compliance consulting. Contact us by email at



The Top 10 VET Sector websites and resources – you must know!

There are numerous resources available on the internet that you can use to make your life easier. Google, Wikipedia, YouTube, and Amazon are just a few of the websites that receive a lot of traffic. These websites make it simple to browse the internet and offer all of the information you require right at your fingertips.

Here are some valuable websites that you can use to better understand and learn more about the Vocational Education and Training Sector.


The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) is a government agency and a national VET regulator tasked with ensuring the quality of vocational education and training in Australia. It was established to ensure that VET is delivered to a high standard, in accordance with its regulatory framework and governance procedures.

The ASQA website serves as an ‘Educator Toolkit,’ providing educators with resources, advice, forms, fact sheets, frequently asked questions and other materials relating to vocational education and training (VET). ASQA is always upgrading its website, and in the last few days, it has included a plethora of new instructive and educational material.

It is a valuable source of information for learners, parents, career counsellors, educators, policymakers, and the industry.


Victoria’s Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) has the responsibility of enforcing regulations that assure the quality of education and training in the Victorian state, as well as promoting informed decision-making when it comes to vocational education and training.


Located in Perth, Western Australia, the Training Accreditation Council (TAC or the Council) is an independent, statutory agency responsible for the quality assurance and recognition of vocational education and training (VET) services in the state. The Vocational Education and Training Council was founded under the Vocational Education and Training Act 1996.

They have some really helpful materials including comprehensive user guides, fact sheets and frequently asked questions on their website (TGA) is a national register where industry stakeholders can find information related to the current, superseded and deleted training products.

Additionally, it allows users to subscribe to updates on training packages, qualifications, units, skill sets, and accredited courses (Nationally Recognised Training) and receive email notifications when that information is updated., the national register, also maintains a complete list of RTOs and their contact detail, scope of registration etc

My Skills Website

My Skills is an Australian Government initiative that aims to provide training consumers with up-to-date, transparent, unbiased, and trustworthy information to assist them in making informed decisions about their training options.

My Skills, as the national directory of vocational education and training (VET) organisations and courses, aims to improve the quality and accessibility of information available to VET consumers by enabling them to search for and compare VET courses and training providers.

National Careers Institute

The National Careers Institute (NCI) is responsible for providing Australians with credible and accurate career information, resources, and support.

NCI’s aim is to be Australia’s primary independent source of career information for Australians of all ages and all stages of their professional career.


Australia’s National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) is a non-profit organisation that promotes research into the vocational education and training sector in Australia and serves as a funding source for research into that area.


VOCEDplus is a free international research database for tertiary education, with a focus on workforce needs and requirements, skills development, and social inclusion. It is available to anyone anywhere in the world.

It comprises higher education, adult and community education, informal learning, and VET in schools. The database is global in scope, and it has approximately 80,000 English-language records, many of which have links to full-text documents.

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment

It is the mission of the Department of Education, Skills, and Employment to ensure that all Australians have access to the well-being and economic benefits that quality education, skills, and employment can offer.


The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is the policy framework for regulated qualifications in the Australian education and training system. This framework was first introduced in 1995 to serve as the foundation for Australia’s national system of qualifications, which includes higher education, vocational education and training (VET), as well as schools. It is the policy that has been agreed upon by Commonwealth, State, and Territory ministers.

What websites do you know that have been really beneficial to you and would like us to consider including them in our future edition of helpful websites? Please contact us via email at



Why a collaborative regulatory body is important for the training and education industry

Training and education have always been an industry that is surrounded by regulations, rules, and policies. The regulatory body provides a foundation for the training and education industry.

Collaboration is vital for success and it is important that the regulatory body has a collaborative and transparent approach in order to improve governance and accountability.

A collaborative regulatory body ensures that all involved parties have a say in training and education-related matters. It provides a platform for students, employees, employers, and government to voice their opinions on how they would like the institution run, regulations to operate and all stakeholders to be mutually accountable and benefitted.

Most importantly, it provides an opportunity for both sides to come together to find solutions for issues arising from either party’s point of view. It also ensures that there are no gaps in regulation that will allow bad players in the market to exploit students. A collaborative regulator ensures that there is no unnecessary wastage of time, resources, or money. It also makes sure that training programs offered by registered training organisations are delivered according to the standards.


By having an open discussion about the practices and guidelines proposed and implemented by the regulatory body, the stakeholders who are not involved in the work can learn about what needs to be done and how they can help.


A collaborative regulatory body helps promote innovation among different educational institutions so that they can offer quality training to their students.

The benefit of collaborative nature to this industry, in general, is that it improves educational quality and saves time by producing relevant content with shorter turnaround times.

We are interested in listening to your suggestions, feedback and stories, please email us at

ASQA’s Regulatory Risk Priorities for 2021-22

The Regulatory Risk Priorities for 2021-22, has been published by ASQA. It outlines the regulatory risk priorities for the coming year. These priorities are revised on a regular basis to ensure that they remain current with concerns facing the industry.

ASQA expressed their gratitude to all of the providers and partners who took part in their research to determine which regions of Australia’s VET and ELICOS sectors were most at risk.

When determining the most significant risks to accomplishing ASQA’s purpose, which is to assure high-quality vocational education and training (VET) and the integrity of national credentials granted by training providers, the agency adopted a risk-based methodology.

The regulatory risks include:


Providers that effectively self-assured their practices have systems and processes in place to critically examine their performance and student outcomes on an ongoing basis.

This year we are focusing on co-designing and implementing regulatory approaches that focus on self-assurance, excellence in training outcomes, and continuous improvement.

International student delivery (including offshore delivery)

Competition between international education providers for onshore international enrolments has grown during a time of international border closures.

This year we are focusing on ensuring that students continue to receive quality outcomes despite the increased pressures on VET and ELICOS providers.

Online learning

Our ongoing strategic review of online learning seeks to better understand the opportunities and risks associated with online learning across the VET and English language sectors.

This year we are focusing on ensuring that the quality of VET remains at a high standard and continue to support confidence in the integrity of qualifications.

Aged care/disability support sector

The Australian Government has provided funding for aged care providers to develop training and skills plans as well as additional training places for new and existing personal care workers, including through the JobTrainer stimulus package.

This year we are focusing on assessing and addressing poor practices and while reinforcing good practice in relation to CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support work placements and assessment delivery in order to safeguard quality for the aged care/disability support sector.

Trainer and assessor capability

We are continuing to provide resources and tools to support trainers and assessors in our educational Spotlight On series.

This year we are focusing on ensuring high levels of trainer and assessor capability because we recognise that it is central to delivering quality outcomes for students.

Specified training products with risk exposure

Changing economic circumstances and employer expectations, as well as changes within the VET sector, mean that the risks relating to individual training products are not static.

Through our research we have identified that the following training products warrant closer scrutiny in the year ahead:

  • CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support;
  • Certificate III and Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery;
  • CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care; and
  • BSB50420 Diploma of Leadership and Management.

This year we are focusing regulatory effort on these training products in order to reduce the incidence of non-compliance over time.

COVID-19 response

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic uncertainty have accelerated many pre-existing economic, social and technological trends. This influences the demand for skills and training delivery, as well as the risks to the quality of Australian VET.

This year we are continuing to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic through our interactions with providers, applying a proportionate and risk-based regulatory approach.

VET in schools

We are committed to ensuring the quality of VET delivered to students in secondary schools.

This year we are focusing on implementing actions from our strategic review of VET in schools; including engaging with stakeholders on shared risk; and enhancing information and guidance for providers about their obligations. We will be supporting providers to continuously improve through our ongoing monitoring.

Monitor areas of increased funding

Our research shows that government funding injections and employment growth sectors can present a risk to the delivery of quality training, typically as a result of an increase in demand for training, and providers’ response to this increased demand.

This year we are continuing to focus on identifying and reinforcing good provider behaviours and preventing poor behaviours from emerging in relation to areas of increased funding.

We will also be contributing to wider government policies on training package reform as they are central to ensuring a fit-for-purpose system that delivers in-demand skills for a prosperous future.

Targeting risk of non-compliance with specified clauses of Standards

This year we are concentrating regulatory effort on clauses of recurrent interest or those which are reportedly problematic for providers from the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015.

These clauses include: 1.1, 1.8, 1.3, 1.2, 3.1, 1.7.

You can read more information at

ASQA Annual Report 2020-21 now available

The Australian Skills and Quality Authority’s Annual Report for the 2020–21 financial year has been tabled in the Australian Parliament. A record of ASQA’s activities and performance for the preceding financial year is contained inside this report, which is available online.

The Australian Government continues to provide nationally consistent, risk-based regulation of vocational education and training (VET) in 2020–21, with the goal of contributing to an informed, high-quality VET sector that serves the needs of the country.

ASQA mentioned that they would like to maintain their regulatory focus despite working through a comprehensive agency reform program, undergoing an audit by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key highlights and comparison to the previous year

  1. ASQA established a new regulatory operating model:
    • Implemented 8 Rapid Review recommendations and commenced work on a further 13
    • Implemented key changes to performance assessment (audit) methodology
    • Established separate teams responsible for performance assessment, and managing findings of non-compliance
    • Introduced agreements to rectify
    • Established internal review team
    • Introduced new internal quality assurance activities
    • Improved data and intelligence reports
  2. Completed 937 audits (54% of completed audits identified non-compliance) and accredited 112 courses
  3. ASQA issued 45 sanctions to suspend a provider’s registration. 5 Sanctions to amend scope of registration and 16 sanctions to cancel the registration in full.
  4. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal affirmed almost 80% of the matters that proceeded to a hearing and a decision.
  5. The Commonwealth Director of Public Proceducations (CDPP) on behalf of ASQA undertook three (3) criminal prosecutions.
  6. Managed a 52% increase in provider registration applications, 238 new provider registrations, 213 registration renewals (with a 13% rejection rate) and 6136 applications for change in scope of registration.
  7. ASQA conducted 23 targeted audits of training providers delivering and assessing the Training and Education Training Package or AVI50419. Of these, 19 have been closed and completed and 8 were found compliant at audit, 11 have been identified as non-compliant, of these, 3 were found compliant after rectification and 6 were found non-compliant at the time of assessment and were not offered rectification and 2 were found non-compliant after rectification.
  8. ASQA received 881 complaints, 610 reports related to non-compliance with the majority 54% in the category ‘training, assessment or study support’ and the main source was students with 42%.
  9. Initial applications for registrations increased to 57% from 54% (2019-2020 period) and 36% (2018-2019 period).

You can

The benefits of effective communication systems, practices and processes

Communication is the key to building successful relationships and human connections. It’s also the key to success in any professional field. Effective communication is essential to the success of any training or education program. Effective communication is not easy, it requires effort and time.

Effective communication systems in any training and education business will ensure that all stakeholders such as trainers, educators, trainees and learners are on the same page. It will also help them communicate with each other efficiently. Training organisations should take some time to analyse their communication systems to identify any problems.

  • Communication systems: The tools that connect people with the organisation’s strategy and direction. It includes communication protocols, signage, maps, floor plans, venues and schedules
  • Practices: These establish what needs to be communicated and how to communicate it effectively. A process-based approach helps improve communication effectiveness. Provides clarity on what needs to be communicated by creating a schedule for communications as well as shared understanding between teams and team members. It includes how to talk to each other and create a culture conducive to achieving team goals
  • Procedures: These establish how communication is expected across all levels of an organisation such as who has authority over the different types of communication.

The other benefits of effective communication in the training and education industry include:

– Increased retention rates
– Increased student engagement
– Improved assessment results
– Improved course completion rates
– Improves training and education experiences for instructors and participants
– Promotes a positive culture of learning
– Improves productivity
– Improved morale
– Decrease racial tension
– Increase productivity rates

Effective communication between trainers and students

Trainers need to be able to effectively convey their message to students in order for them to get immersed into the learning. Similarly, trainers must be able to communicate across different disciplines in order for students of various backgrounds to understand the material.

The benefits are clear for both trainers and assessors and students who are able to learn skills that are applicable in their careers or education.

Effective communication between different team members

The training and education industry is fast-growing. With the increasing demand, the need for effective communication between team members has also increased.

There are several ways to provide effective communication between different team members. This includes verbal, nonverbal, and written communication. A combination of all these forms of communication is recommended to be most effective.

– One way of achieving effective communication between different team members in the training and education industry can be by developing a non-threatening atmosphere that will allow people to speak their minds openly.
– Another way of achieving effective communication between different team members in the training and education industry can be by establishing common grounds on which everyone agrees on what needs to happen.

Effective communication with external stakeholders

Effective communication is the cornerstone of training and education. The way you communicate with your external stakeholders is something that can make or break the success of your organisation.

To be effective, communication should be timely and tailored to their needs and interests. You should understand their needs and interests so that you can tailor your message in a way that they will listen to and understand. The best way to communicate with them is through different methods such as email, phone calls, social media, etc.

In order to learn how to effectively communicate with external stakeholders, we can approach it from different angles:

– Observing and analysing the culture and current trends of your target audience: This helps you understand their needs and gives you creative ideas on what they want.
– Teaching them that they are valued: This helps build their confidence in your program. It also demonstrates that they should not feel ashamed for having such needs and instead can take pride in what they have achieved so far.
– Building a personal connection: This builds trust between your target audience and yourself so that they can easily feel comfortable

How to be an effective communicator

To be an effective communicator, one must pay attention to social cues, information, and emotion. Effective communicators are also flexible in adjusting behaviour depending on the needs of the situation.

The best way to create an effective communication system is to start with a list of priorities which include:

– Be specific about what you’re trying to communicate: What? ‘What did you learn today?’ When? ‘What did we learn at 4 p.m.?’ Who? ‘Who did we learn from today?’
– Make sure that you’re careful about how your message is delivered: What tone should your voice be in – upbeat or energetic, excited or nervous

How to create effective communication systems, practices and procedures

Effective communication can be achieved by following some key principles. These include creating a caring atmosphere where students feel comfortable coming forward with their opinions and questions, developing rapport with your students so you can connect on a personal level, providing feedback rather than criticism, and promoting trust among peers by being transparent with your intentions. The best way to create an effective communication system is with a clear structure that covers all activities in your organization, including events, meetings, information sharing, feedback sharing and more.

There are many ways for you to keep track of your progress throughout the process: make sure you have a progress chart or charting tools like Microsoft Teams or Excel or Google Slide (or even use paper) which keeps track of all major milestones.

A well-designed system creates an environment where people feel supported, listened to and valued for their contributions. When creating effective communication systems, practices and procedures in the training industry, management must be involved to ensure that these systems will meet their needs.

CAQA FAQ Series – Industry consultation

What is industry consultation in the RTO context?

It is a process in which the training representatives of a training organisation consult with representatives from the industry to determine whether they are using the most appropriate facilities, equipment, and resources for delivering the training, whether their trainers and assessors have the most up to date qualifications and skills, whether their training and assessment strategies, methods, technology, and training and assessment resources meet the needs of industry. The goal is to get an understanding of the best practices and resources available in the sector, as well as to modify those resources to better match the needs of that industry.

What do Clause 1.5 and Clause 1.6 say? Why does it state that the RTO’s training and assessment practices should be relevant to the needs of the industry and informed by industry engagement/ participation?

The training organisation in the vocational education and training sector delivers and assesses any training product to ensure that the learners are prepared to work in the industry or are better able to operate effectively in the industry after completing the training course. The training organisation must ensure all of their training and assessment practises, including identifying compliant RTO learner and assessment resources, all assessments meeting the principles of assessments and rules of evidence, and other applicable requirements; delivering training and assessments in a compliant manner to learners, including the skills and competencies of the trainers and assessors delivering and assessing the training; and participating in validation, contextualisation, customisation and all other activities related to the training and assessment, are in line with current methods, technology, products and performance expectations for the workplace tasks specified in the training package or VET accredited course and standards of registered training organisations.

Clause 1.6 states ‘a range of strategies’, what are those?

A range of strategies refers to various approaches and methods that a training organisation must employ in order to conduct industry consultations. The RTO must collaborate with industry stakeholders to develop appropriate contexts, methods, resources, and engage trainers and assessors in the delivery and administration of training and assessment practises. Consultation strategies can include a variety of methods such as face-to-face meetings, surveys, interviews, advisory committees, workplace visits, email exchanges, workshops, and other forms of engagement.

What you should discuss when you engage with the industry.

The requirements of Clause 1.6 clearly states what you must discuss. We have added a few examples of what the content of these discussions may include based on our audit experiences and industry best practice.

Training and Assessment Strategy:

i. Training and assessment strategy (TAS) for each training product for each learner cohort
ii. Choice of electives
iii. Pre-requisites
iv. Corequisites
v. Appropriate contexts and methods
vi. Delivery modes such as face to face, online, on the job, distance learning, blended mode of delivery
vii. Delivery schedule/order in which units should be delivered and assessed
viii. The needs of groups or individual learners such as reasonable adjustment in training delivery or assessment
ix. Meeting the needs of the training package or accredited training product
x. Specific admission requirements especially where the entry requirements are not included within the training package or accredited training product
xi. Required trainer and assessor competencies
xii. Assessment guidelines and qualification packaging rules
xiii. Assessment evidence requirements specified in the training products such as units of competency

Training and Assessment Practices

xiv. Regulations or laws governing the industry and/or standard operating procedures, equipment and machinery used at the enterprise level
xv. Aspects of the work environment (for example, shifts or seasonal changes to schedules) that will affect delivery and assessment
xvi. Employer preferences about the way in which a program is delivered
xvii. Facilities, equipment and supervision that will be available for work placements
xviii. How simulated work environments should be set up to reflect workplaces
xix. Advice on contextualising or adapting purchased assessment materials to suit workplace contexts.
xx. Validation practices
xxi. The length of a unit of competency

Training and Assessment Resources

xxii. Assessment resources
xiii. Learner resources
xxiv. Support staff or resources
xxv. Facilities
xxvi. Equipment
xxvii. Technology
xxviii. Simulated work environments
xxix. Agreements for the use of resources and facilities

Currency of industry skills of trainers and assessors

What changes should be implemented as a result of engagement with industry and employers?

A number of changes can be implemented as a result of engagement with industry and employers, such as:

  1. changes to training and assessment practices and resources based on advice from industry regulators about new regulatory requirements
  2. implementation of workplace visits for trainers and assessors to ensure currency of understanding about workplace practices, based on advice from employers.

Who are suitable industry representatives for industry engagement and consultation purposes?

People who work in team leadership, supervisory, or management positions and who have the ability to recruit others are the most appropriate industry representatives for industry engagement and consultation because they can provide the best advice in terms of:

a. the skills and competencies they seek in the learners
b. the quality of resources they are considering for
c. the quality of training and assessments they would use at their workplace.

Can you give some specific examples of suitable industry representatives for industry engagement and consultation purposes?

Suitable industry representatives can include:

  • Team leaders
  • Managers
  • Directors
  • Members of industry advisory committees
  • Work-based training providers
  • Training advisory bodies
  • Other relevant industry bodies
  • Ongoing networking with industry organisations, peak bodies, or employers
  • Enterprise RTOs
  • Unions
  • Licensing and regulatory bodies
  • Networks of relevant employers and industry representatives to participate in assessment validation
  • Exchange of knowledge, staff and resources with employers, networks and industry bodies.

How often do I need to do industry consultations and industry engagements?

Although there are no set timeframes or frequency requirements specified in the regulatory standards and guidelines, we recommend that you perform this process at least once or twice a year.

Industry consultation and engagement should be planned, scheduled, and conducted on a regular basis. Industry participation should be a regular part of the validation process and should be scheduled as part of the validation schedule. Evidence of current industry engagement, on the other hand, is necessary for the purpose of renewing a registration. Ideally, “currency” should be available within 12 months of the registration period.

When is industry consultation compulsory?

Industry consultation and engagement is compulsory if:

  • Your training organisation is adding a new training product to its scope of registration
  • The legislative or regulatory standards, guidelines or requirements change
  • The training product is superseded
  • A new training and assessment strategy is developed for a new learner cohort
  • On a regular basis using a range of strategies to meet the requirements of standards for registered training organisations

Can I do my industry consultation and engagement with another RTO? For example, I do their consultation, and they do mine.

The short answer according to our experience is “no”. The regulatory body expects training organisations to genuinely involve industry representatives (outside the training organisations, wherever possible) to participate in the industry engagement and consultation processes.

What is the rationale behind conducting industry engagement and consultation?

In order to benefit from industry engagement, it is necessary to understand what the information collected from this engagement will be used for and how it can assist the RTO. It will;

  • Assist in the development of training and assessment strategies
  • Help choose the most appropriate training and assessment materials, equipment, facilities and resources
  • Provide feedback on the RTO’s delivery of training and assessment,
  • Ensure that the RTO’s trainers and assessors have current industry knowledge and expertise.

Industry engagement helps to ensure that graduates have industry-relevant skills and knowledge and are able to apply them in the workplace which means that the training and assessment programs are industry-relevant.

Is there any template prepared and published by the regulatory bodies for industry engagement and consultation?

A template has been prepared and published by the regulatory body for accredited course application you may find it useful to include some of the particulars in this template.

What are the documents that I need to demonstrate compliance to Clause 1.5 and Clause 1.6?

There is no prescribed forms or evidence mentioned in the standards. We recommend that you have regular ongoing communication with the industry and implement a system that can demonstrate how you engage (using a variety of methods) in order to systematically monitor your training and assessment strategies, resources, facilities, equipment, and practises to ensure ongoing compliance, as well as how you systematically evaluate and use the feedback received from the industry.

For more information, please call CAQA or email us at

How to check the quality of assessment resources

Critical skills for checking the quality of your assessment resources.

The purpose of the assessment tool

The main purpose of an assessment tool, student assessment, or assessment pack is to ensure that trainers and assessors can effectively establish whether a learner is competent or not yet competent in a training product. There are three ways a trainer/assessor can establish competence:

  • Tell me what you can do (Demonstration of knowledge)
  • Show me what you can do (Demonstration of skills)
  • Make me something (Application of knowledge and skills)

In order to accomplish this, we will need to establish the following:

Step 1: Understand how the assessment materials meet the training package requirements

This step necessitates you concentrating on how the assessment materials fit the requirements of the training package. This is the step when you understand what competence in this particular unit of competency will look like.

Focus points include understanding of:

  • What is the AQF level where the unit of competency will be used?
  • What is the unit descriptor/application of the unit saying about work activities included in the unit of competency?
  • What are the prerequisite or corequisite requirements related to the unit of competency?
  • What level of skill is required for this unit according to where (which qualification) the unit of competency will be used
  • What are the elements, performance criteria, range of conditions, foundation skills, knowledge evidence, performance evidence, assessment conditions
  • Read the assessment conditions and foundation skills: What are the conditions under which this work activity should be conducted
  • Are there any other specific requirements applicable to this unit of competency?

Before moving on to practical task activities, the learner must first demonstrate that he or she understands the subject through demonstration of knowledge.

KNOWLEDGE – you need to have knowledge before you can perform

Look over the requirements for the training package and have a close look at the knowledge evidence to see if it says “once is sufficient.” If it does not state that, it implies that you must address each of the knowledge evidence criteria at least twice. We can address the knowledge evidence requirements using a variety of activities such as questions and answers, case studies, report writing, and other knowledge-based assessment methods.

PERFORMANCE – means that you have to do something

Then it’s time to look at performance criteria and performance evidence, and once again, pay attention to whether or not there are instructions on how many times this should be addressed. If this is not the case, each performance criteria and the performance evidence must be addressed in the assessment tasks and activities at least twice, if not more, utilising a variety of assessment methods and activities such as projects, portfolios, practical task activities, workplace tasks and observations and so on.

Focus on the action verbs and action keywords

Focus on all action verbs and action keywords included in the training package when developing your assessment resources. Each and every action verb and keywords must be addressed through the assessment resources.

Bloom’s taxonomy of measurable verbs is a good starting point to understand more about the action verbs.

Ensure if something is plural you have addressed them more than once

If there is anything mentioned as plural such as strategies, you must ensure the assessment resources have at least two (2) or more strategies mentioned in them.

You must establish if each component of the training package requires evidence in the form of knowledge, skill or product.

Step 2: Check the content for validity and reliability

Ensure all content is complete, error-free, plagiarism and copyright issues free, you also need to ensure that:

  • Assessment resources have sufficient and clear information regarding what, when, how, where, why for your assessment template and all assessment tasks and activities.
  • Assessment resources have robust benchmarking and/or trainers’ guidance.
  • Assessment resources are allowing the trainer/assessor to assess the skills and knowledge of students through different assessment tasks over a period of time to ensure consistency and sufficiency.
  • Each and every question and assessment task has very clear guidelines around what is expected from the students in terms of both quantity and quality.
  • You have customised the off-the-shelf resources according to your RTO needs and requirements and not using them as-is.
  • Your assessment resources are written by industry experts with subject matter experts and are industry-relevant and current.
  • Your assessment resources address all requirements of the training packaging rules
  • Your assessment resources have detailed and valid performance checklists/observation checklists for assessing and observing the students before, during and after any skill assessment activity or workplace task
  • Your trainers and assessors gather sufficient, valid evidence for competency assessment
  • Your organisation offers appropriate simulated environments for conducting assessments
  • The authenticity of assessment, particularly in distance and online delivery is established and maintained
  • The context and conditions of assessment. For example, an assessment tool is developed to cater for a particular language, literacy and numeracy requirements, the learner’s workplace experience or other learner needs that require reasonable adjustment.
  • The context of the assessment may also take into account assessments already completed, and the competencies demonstrated in these assessments. By looking at the context, you can consider the conditions under which evidence for assessment must be gathered.
  • All activities are conducted adequately using the required:
    • equipment or material requirements
    • contingencies
    • specifications
    • physical conditions
    • relationships with team members and supervisors
    • relationships with clients/customers
    • timeframes for completion.
  • Assessment methods or tasks are suitable to the requirements of the units of competency and students are assessed on the tasks and activities according to the requirements of the training package.
  • The language used is simple English
  • The evidence required to make a decision of competency is clearly outlined
  • The types of activities and tasks students need to perform are clearly outlined
  • The level of performance required for each assessment activity is clearly outlined
  • Adequate exposure to workplace conditions, including appropriate simulated environments, is provided
  • Sufficient knowledge-based assessment tasks and activities such as written questions and case studies etc.
  • Sufficient practical based assessment tasks and activities such as projects, role plays, workplace tasks and observations etc.
  • Assessment resources are error-free and free from any grammar, copyright or plagiarism issues

Step 3: Focus on evidence collection and assessment methods

Focus on evidence collection and assessment methods after ensuring that the assessment resources meet the training package requirements. The focus points should include:

  • What are the assessment methods selected for evidence collection?
  • Are these suitable and appropriate for evidence collection?
  • What are the other methods that may be used for evidence collection?
  • Where and how should evidence be collected?
  • What resources are required for evidence collection?

Foundation skills, assessment conditions, performance evidence, performance criteria and knowledge evidence should be taken into consideration when designing the evidence collection and assessment methods.

The evidence collection and assessment methods should change according to the AQF level where the units of competency will be used. For example, for a Certificate II, III level true or false, match the following statements with, multiple-choice questions, fill in the blanks might be appropriate but for Certificate IV and Diploma short answer questions, closed book, time-limited exams, contrast and separate, and other assessment methods could be used. We have included an AQF summary for you to understand how each AQF level requires a different set of requirements.

AQF Level Summary Qualifications Purpose of this Qualification
1 Graduates at this level will have knowledge and skills for initial work,

community involvement

and/or further learning

Certificate I basic functional knowledge and skills to undertake work, further learning and community involvement.
2 Graduates at this level will have knowledge and skills for work in a

defined context and/or

further learning

Certificate II qualify individuals to undertake mainly routine work and as a pathway to further learning.
3 Graduates at this level will have theoretical and practical knowledge and

skills for work and/or

further learning

Certificate III to qualify individuals who apply a broad range of knowledge and skills in varied contexts to undertake skilled work and as a pathway for further learning.
4 Graduates at this level will have theoretical and practical knowledge and

skills for specialised

and/or skilled work

and/or further learning

Certificate IV to qualify individuals who apply a broad range of specialised knowledge and skills in varied contexts to undertake skilled work and as a pathway for further learning.
5 Graduates at this level will have specialised knowledge and skills for


work and/or further


Diploma to qualify individuals who apply integrated technical and theoretical concepts in a broad range of contexts to undertake advanced skilled or paraprofessional work and as a pathway for further learning.
6 Graduates at this level will have broad knowledge and skills for


skilled work and/or

further learning

Advanced Diploma Associate Degree to qualify individuals who apply specialised knowledge in a range of contexts to undertake advanced skilled or paraprofessional work and as a pathway for further learning.
7 Graduates at this level will have broad and coherent knowledge and

skills for professional

work and/or further


Bachelor Degree to qualify individuals who apply a broad and coherent body of knowledge in a range of contexts to undertake professional work and as a pathway for further learning.
8 Graduates at this level will have advanced knowledge and skills for

professional highly skilled

work and/or further


Bachelor Honours Degree Graduate and

Vocational Graduate


Graduate and

Vocational Graduate


to qualify individuals who apply a body of knowledge in a specific context or range of contexts to undertake professional or highly skilled work and as a pathway for research and further learning.
9 Graduates at this level will have specialised knowledge and skills for

research, and/or

professional practice

and/or further learning

Masters Degree to qualify individuals who apply an advanced body of knowledge in a range of contexts for professional practice and as a pathway for further learning.
10 Graduates at this level will have a systematic and critical understanding of

a complex field of

learning and specialised

research skills for the

advancement of learning

and/or for professional


Doctoral Degree to qualify individuals who apply a substantial body of knowledge to research, investigate and develop new knowledge, in one or more fields of investigation, scholarship or professional practice.

You must look for if the assessment methods accurately and properly describe how many questions students must do correctly to be deemed satisfactory in the assessment task or activity and then check mapping to ensure your recommendation does not compromise with the integrity of the assessment.

Always remember that each of the evidence collection and assessment methods must flesh out the details related to the assessment activities and tasks such as what, why, where, how, when something must occur.

Step 4: Language, Literacy and numeracy requirements of the unit

The assessment tool must reflect the language, literacy and numeracy requirements related to the work task and work activities required to be assessed. Your focus points should include:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Numeracy
  • Oral communication
  • Learning

Step 5: Have a comprehensive mapping document

A comprehensive mapping document is required to ensure all training package criteria has been addressed appropriately and comprehensively. Mapping is a cross-referencing activity where each component of the unit of competency is cross-referenced to one or more assessment criteria or questions in the assessment activities and tasks. Mapping is more a ‘content’ validity process and not a ‘process’ validity process.

Step 6: Focus on what kind of customisation is required

Regardless if you have developed the assessment resources in-house or you have purchased them as off-the-shelf resources, you must customise and contextualise each training product.

The customisation and contextualisation should occur in terms of:

  • training context,
  • learner characteristics,
  • delivery modes,
  • cultural context,
  • technology requirements,
  • AQF level,
  • intent if the unit of competency is not addressed appropriately,
  • formatting,
  • grammar,
  • Your RTO’s templates and style guides

Step 7: Conduct a pre-validation

Even though this is not a requirement in the standards, we would strongly recommend you validate the assessment tools against all the criteria mentioned in this article.

Fact Sheet: Validation of assessment resources

Compliance requirements and guidelines:

This Fact Sheet has been developed and produced to assist Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) in understanding the compliant validation practices as part of the learner resources to comply with a number of clauses of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015.

Clause 1.9

The RTO implements a plan for ongoing systematic validation of assessment practices and judgements that includes for each training product on the RTO’s scope of registration:

  1. when assessment validation will occur
  2. which training products will be the focus of the validation
  3. who will lead and participate in validation activities
  4. how the outcomes of these activities will be documented and acted upon.

Clause 1.10

For the purposes of clause 1.9, each training product is validated at least once every five years, with at least 50 per cent of products validated within the first three years of each five year cycle, taking into account the relative risks of all of the training products on the RTO’s scope of registration, including those risks identified by the VET regulator.

Clause 1.11

For the purposes of clause 1.9, systematic validation of an RTO’s assessment practices and judgements is undertaken by one or more persons who are not directly involved in the particular instance of delivery and assessment of the training product being validated, and who collectively have:

1. on or prior to 31 March 2019:

  1. vocational competencies and current industry skills relevant to the assessment being validated
  2. current knowledge and skills in vocational teaching and learning
  3. the training and assessment credential specified in Item 1, or Item 2, or Item 4, or Item 5 of Schedule 1.

2. on or after 1 April 2019:

  1. vocational competencies and current industry skills relevant to the assessment being validated
  2. current knowledge and skills in vocational teaching and learning
  3. the training and assessment credential specified in Item 2 or Item 5 of Schedule 1.

Industry experts may be involved in validation to ensure there is the combination of expertise set out in a) or b) above.


Interpretation of the regulatory requirements

This Fact Sheet outlines the requirements and responsibilities of registered training organisations (RTOs) for conducting compliant validation practices.

According to the Standards of Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015, you are required to implement a quality review process (Clauses 1.8, 1.9, 1.10 and 1.11).

Clause 1.8a requires that the RTO’s assessment systems comply with the assessment requirements of the relevant training packages or VET accredited courses.

Clause 1.8b requires RTOs to ensure that the evidence gathered is valid (one of the Rules of Evidence) and that assessment processes and outcomes are valid (one of the Principles of Assessment).

These requirements must be met and demonstrated in all assessment policies, procedures, materials and tools of the RTO. Clause 1.8 primarily relates to the development (or purchase) of the RTO’s assessment resources.

Assessment validation has been strengthened in the Standards for RTOs and the requirement is to:

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive plan for ongoing systematic validation of assessment that includes all training products on the RTO’s scope of delivery (Clause 1.9)
  • Validate the assessment practices and judgements for each training product at least once every five years with at least 50% of products to be validated within the first three years of each five-year cycle (Clause 1.10)
  • Ensure that validation is conducted by one or more suitably qualified persons, who are not directly involved in the delivery and/or assessment of the training product being validated. (Clause 1.11).
  • These clauses relate primarily to the actual delivery and outcomes of the RTO’s assessment systems, including the performance of the RTO’s assessors.

Important bits of information


Criteria Explanation Comments
Validate the assessment practices and judgements for each training product


Note: In order to completely (100%) validate a training product, what is the validation time frame?

Five years after the training product is initially listed on the national register or included in the scope of the RTO. It is an ongoing process and will renew after every five years if a training package is not being updated/superseded, or removed/deleted from the national register.
Validate the assessment practices and judgements for each training product


Note: In order to partially (50%) validate a training product, what is the validation time frame?

Three years after the training product is initially listed on the national register or included in the scope of the RTO. It is an ongoing process and will renew after every five years if a training package is not being updated/superseded, or removed/deleted from the national register.
Why do you need to do validation more frequently? (Best industry practice) If you identified that risk indicators exist for validation to occur more frequently. The risk indicators may include:


  • The use of new assessment tools;
  • Delivery of training products where safety is a concern;
  • The level and experience of the assessor;
  • Changes in technology, workplace processes, legislation, and licensing requirements;
  • Qualifications identified by the regulator as ‘high-risk’;
  • Assessment conducted under a third-party agreement;
  • The number of locations where assessment is conducted;
  • The number of students;
  • The mode of assessment such as RPL or on-line;
  • Feedback from clients, trainers and assessors; and

Audit and validation history

How many people do you need to conduct the validation? One or more suitably qualified persons, who are not directly involved in the delivery and/or assessment of the training product being validated.


If a team approach is used, the assessors who are directly involved in the assessments being validated may participate in the process, however, they cannot contribute to meeting the team requirements of Clause 1.11.


If an individual approach is used, validation must be undertaken by a person who meets all the requirements of Clause 1.11.


Validation is a collaborative process. The team must hold collectively:

  • Vocational competencies and current industry skills relevant to the assessment being validated
  • Current knowledge and skills in vocational teaching and learning
  • The TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (or its successor) or the TAESS00001 Assessor Skills Set (or its successor).
  • Validators can be employees of your RTO, or you can seek external validators.

The trainer and assessor who delivered/assessed the training product being validated:

  • Can participate in the validation process as part of a team
  • Cannot conduct the validation on his/her own
  • Cannot determine the validation outcome for any assessment judgements they made
  • Cannot be the lead validator in the assessment team.
Do you need to keep the records of validation? It is important to keep the records of all validation activities and validators as auditors might ask for it during audit activities and for managing continuous improvement processes at an RTO. You need to keep for validators information for the following reasons:

  • To demonstrate that the RTO’s assessment system can consistently produce valid assessment judgements.
  • Validation is undertaken by one person or by a team of people. The RTO must ensure the review process is completed by people who collectively hold:
    • vocational competencies and current industry skills relevant to the assessment being validated
    • current knowledge and skills in vocational teaching and learning, and
    • the TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (or its successor) or the TAESS00001 Assessor Skills Set (or its successor).
  • A regulatory body such as Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) may request evidence of it during audit activity.
Reasons why validation of assessment and learner resources should be systematic and ongoing. A unit of competency needs to be regularly reviewed to ensure that it meets current industry and regulatory requirements, therefore, you must have a systematic and ongoing mechanism to track any changes and to ensure all your resources are up-to-date and current.
How to schedule validation The first step is to develop a “validation schedule” used to validate each training product (AQF qualification, skill set, unit of competency, accredited short course and module) on your scope of registration.

A validation schedule is a five-year plan and each training product must be reviewed at least once in that five-year period, and at least 50% of your training products must be validated in the first three years of the schedule. Your RTO might choose to validate its training products more often, for example, if risk indicators demonstrate that more frequent validation is required. Indicators of risk might include:

  • the use of new assessment tools
  • delivery of training products where safety is a concern
  • the level and experience of the assessor, or
  • changes in technology, workplace processes, legislation, and licensing requirements.

Once you have your validation schedule you need to complete a validation plan with dates and timelines. The more detailed your plan is with regards to who (needs to be included), when (what date and for how long), and what (which units are being validated, what information will be needed, from where are we getting it) the better your outcomes for your validation will be.

It is important RTOs have a clear understanding of the terms being used before they commence developing assessment validation plans and schedules under Clauses 1.9 -1.11.


For example, in the context of the Standards for RTOs:


  1. What is a training product?


  1. What is the intent of assessment validation?


  1. What is a statistically valid sample?
What is statistically valid sampling? A statistically valid sample is one that is:

  • large enough that the validation outcomes of the sample can be applied to the entire set of judgements, and
  • taken randomly from the set of assessment judgements being considered.

Use ASQA’s validation sample size calculator for more information. It can be found here:

Validation outcomes You must keep all records in a soft-copy/scanned format or in hard copy. The records must include all the tools used to conduct validation such as assessment resources, validation forms and checklists, profiles of validators etc.


The validation outcomes should identify recommendations for improvement to the assessment tool, assessment process or assessment outcome.

Sometimes the validation outcome can identify critical issues in the collection of valid evidence.


When this occurs, you may:

  • increase the validation sample size to assist in identifying patterns of issue
  • validate completed assessments from other units of competency to see if the issue is spread across the whole of the qualification, and
  • look for patterns of error (for example, consider if it is one assessor making invalid judgements—this could indicate the assessor requires further training in competency-based assessment).


Your validation plan must clarify how you will document and act on validation outcomes. For example, an assessment validation checklist addressing the principles of assessment and rules of evidence may be utilised to document the validation outcomes. Outcomes of validation may be acted upon through your RTO’s continuous improvement processes.


Your RTO must have a records management process to retain the evidence of the validation. You should retain evidence of:

  • the person/people leading and participating in the validation activities (including their qualifications, skills and knowledge)
  • the sample pool
  • the validation tools used
  • all assessment samples considered, and
  • the validation outcomes.


If the validation outcomes recommend improvements to the assessment tool, you should implement these recommendations across all training products, not only those included in the sample. If you make changes to the assessment tool, complete quality checks and review the revised tool prior to implementation.

During an audit, the auditors are looking for evidence that you have established a system that assures the quality of assessment in your RTO.


This will include:


  • having processes and tools that enable validation at all stages of the lifecycle of a training product in your organisation;
  • having a plan for validation that is implemented successfully in your organisation;
  • being able to demonstrate that you have managed who participates in the validation process;
  • being able to demonstrate that your assessors have made quality assessment decisions; and
  • your assessment practice has improved as a result of validation activities.


Validation is a process of checking the assessment tools, methods, judgements, evidence and processes to ensure that the training product meets:

  • ​Principles of Assessment – i.e. valid, reliable, flexible and fair
  • Rules of Evidence – i.e. valid, authentic, current and sufficient
  • The judgment made by the trainer/assessor is benchmarked with colleagues or industry experts
  • There is sufficient evidence to support the judgment of the trainer/assessor
  • Whether the requirements of the Training Package or accredited course have been met.

Typical benchmarks used during the validation process include:

  • National training packages which are developed by Skills Service Organisations (SSOs)/ Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) and can be found on the website.
  • Units of competency consist of competency standards and need to be unpacked so that those validating the assessments can compare the actual competency against the tools being validated.
  • Industry standards and consultation will vary, and these standards form the basis of the skills and knowledge required to perform work roles.
  • AQF Guidelines and Framework
  • Information provided to candidates, assessors and third parties
  • Legislation relevant to the assessment such as privacy, health and safety, anti-discrimination, copyright law and so on.

Assessment system

Documents required for conducting an effective validation session, in the RTO’s assessment system, includes but is not limited to:

Validation related documents:

  • Validation plan
  • Validation schedule
  • Validation record or validation form
  • Validation register
  • Validation report form
  • Continuous improvement form
  • Continuous improvement register
  • Pre-assessment validation documents

Assessment resources:

  • Unit assessment pack/student pack
  • Trainer assessment pack/assessor pack
  • Mapping document
  • Assessment evidence according to a sample size

Other documents:

  • Training and assessment strategy
  • Feedback forms
  • Unit of competency
  • Companion volume/implementation guide
  • AQF framework
  • ACSF framework

You will be required to evaluate if the assessment resources meet:

  • Training package requirements (application, elements and performance criteria, foundation skills, performance evidence, knowledge evidence, assessment conditions)
  • Principles of assessment; fairness, flexibility, validity and reliability
  • Rules of evidence; valid, sufficient, authentic and current
  • The appropriate level of difficulties (AQF Level)
  • Provide sufficient and clear instructions
  • Record any appropriate adjustments

What should you consider?

There are a number of things that you must consider when planning the validation, they are:

  • The responsibilities of who is accountable for what should be discussed in detail.
    • Awareness of when a training product gets superseded, deleted or removed and their implications
    • The validation requirements applicable to each training product
  • Requirements for documentation
    • Having a compliant validation plan/validation register and validation schedule
    • Processes and tools used for validation at all stages of the lifecycle of a training product
    • Evidence of the suitability of individuals part of validation panel
    • How the assessment practices have been improved as a result of the validation activities

How to create a compliant and effective self-study guide

A self-study guide is a tool that can be used to help a learner extend their learning. It can be effective when learners begin to prepare for a summative assessment.

The self-study guide can also be used by learners as a document for reflection of learning, identification of strengths and weaknesses, and to build on strengths to meet training package requirements.

A self-study guide gives learners greater autonomy in their learning process by moving away from the instructor-guided model. It also gives the learner the opportunity to explore things in their own time.

The benefits of a self-study guide are:

  • Supports the learning process
  • Allows learners to learn things in their own time
  • Develops research skills
  • Encourages self-motivated learning
  • Compliments the volume of learning hours

Please note: A self-study guide is not a learner guide. The self-study guide contains references and links that allow learners to study additional information related to the unit of competency or course and as additional support to the learner guide.

Do you wish to receive a free copy of our self-study guide template in the email? Send us a request at

Should RTO consultants be regulated through a Government or professional body?

Training and education is a complex and vast subject. It is only prudent that we regulate this field to make sure that individuals who are part of it are providing advice and are doing what they claim they can do.

Training and education consultants seem like a dime a dozen these days. However, with the large numbers, there is less regulation of the quality of service offered by such professionals. This leads to poor consultancy services as well as individuals using this as an opportunity for exploitation.

A common misconception among consumers is that they can find out if somebody they are seeking advice from has any kind of qualification or not by searching for them online. The truth is, most unregulated individuals will not show up in searches. So it becomes even more important for Governments to regulate this profession because it serves as an opportunity for unethical individuals to prey on unsuspecting consumers.

Lack of regulation in the training and education industry has led to the exploitation of a number of clients by these so-called training and education consultants, RTO consultants, VET consultants, RTO experts or Auditors.

There are many people who work as consultants, but not all of them should be classified as “RTO experts” or “RTO consultants”. There are many people who provide services that look like training compliance support or audit support who are not qualified or experienced enough to do so.

Almost all other similar types of occupations are regulated in Australia so why not RTO experts and RTO consultants?

Benefits to regulating consultancy

The benefits of regulation are many.

Firstly, it means that businesses won’t have to worry about staying compliant with legal requirements as there will be clear guidelines and quality charters.

Secondly, this would give customers peace of mind knowing that the services provided by their consultant is legitimate, factual and compliant with industry regulatory standards and best practices.

It should also promote continued professional development for the RTO consultants.

Detailed client assistance and support charter

Regulating consultancy will protect consumers from being taken advantage of and a professionally qualified consultant will be able to provide high-quality services. The regulation would also provide a clearer and more transparent system for both clients and providers to understand how these services should be delivered.

Either a government or professional body could be the regulator and validate qualifications and enforce standards of behaviour for the consultants.