Issuing qualifications to your own trainers, assessors and staff members

Qualifications are important. They ensure that trainers and assessors are current and competent in their fields. They also help to put a check on the quality of training provided by trainers and assessors. You may be tempted to issue qualifications to your own trainers, assessors and staff members for a number of reasons such as in an effort to save money or save the administration processes or you are the only or few RTO having the training product on their scope of registration. Let’s now understand what is the stand of the regulatory body:

The VET Quality Framework or the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015 do not prevent RTOs from providing and granting RPL and issuing AQF qualifications or statements of attainment to their own trainers, assessors and staff members. However, RTOs must be able to provide evidence that demonstrates how competence was determined prior to issuing AQF qualification or statement of attainment. For example, the RTO must be able to demonstrate compliance with Clause 1.8, ensuring that the assessment complies with the requirements of the training package, is conducted in accordance with the principles of assessment and is fair, valid and reliable.

We have learned from thousands of audits that awarding qualifications to your own trainers, assessors, and staff members can open a can of worms for a variety of reasons. Here are a few of them:

a. How do you provide evidence that staff did not have access to the student and assessor copy or RPL documentation before and during the assessment?

b. How do you make sure sufficient evidence has been collected?

c. Who assesses their competency and what are their credentials?

d. Where the evidence is kept and for how long? How do you demonstrate trainer/assessor has been assessed in a valid and reliable manner after the retention period of documentary evidence such as assessments ends?

e. How do you ensure the trainer/assessor meet the entry and admission requirements to enrol and complete a training product?

f. What sort of agreement is in place between your RTO and RTO personnel related to fees, other charges and refunds?

g. How does your policy framework reflect these practices?

So, before you go ahead and issue qualifications to your own employees, make sure you take all these things into account. It’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of doing this and to make sure that the benefits outweigh the risks. Otherwise, you could end up causing more problems than you solve.

RTO compliance guide to buy compliant assessment resources

According to almost all ASQA reports, getting an assessment right is one of an RTO’s most difficult compliance issues, with a substantial number of RTOs, audited being found to be non-compliant with clause 1.8 (ASQA’s 2017 report showed around 72% RTOs failed audit on assessment resources). This is what we notice as well whenever we have conducted any internal audits through CAQA.

It is a wise decision to get your training and assessment strategies and resources validated by independent industry experts to get honest feedback and an unbiased opinion.

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)

Let’s look into some of the most important aspects in detail now:

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 keyword 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.

Comprehensive mapping to training package requirements

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.

Refer to the following articles for more information

Mapping document of assessment resources – do you need one? https://caqa.com.au/2021/10/04/mapping-document-of-assessment-resources-do-you-need-one/

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

skilled/paraprofessional

work and/or further

learning

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

paraprofessional/highly

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

learning

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

learning

Bachelor Honours Degree Graduate and

Vocational Graduate

Certificate

Graduate and

Vocational Graduate

Diploma

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

practice

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 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 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.

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

Assessment resources meet principles of assessments and rules of evidence

When constructing or reviewing the assessment tools, RTO compliance experts such as compliance managers, RTO management and trainers and assessors must ensure that the principles of assessment and rules of evidence are strictly followed.

The regulatory requirements specify that this is not only good practice but also a requirement for RTO registration. Validity, reliability, flexibility, and fairness are all requirements of the assessment evaluation process.

Validity

The validity of an assessment outcome refers to the extent to which the interpretation and use of the outcome can be supported by evidence. When the assessment methods and assessment materials used reflect all the training package requirements such as elements, performance criteria, etc. the assessment is considered valid. The assessment outcome is also considered valid when the evidence gathered fully supports the assessment outcome.

Reliability

The degree to which the assessment outcomes are consistent and accurate is referred to as reliability; that is, the extent to which the assessment will produce similar outcomes for students with equal competence at different times or places, regardless of the trainer who is conducting the assessment.

Flexibility

When students have the chance to negotiate specific components or aspects of their assessment (for example, timing) with their trainers and assessors, this is referred to as flexibility. All students should be thoroughly informed (for example, through an assessment plan) of the purpose of the assessment, the assessment criteria, the methods and tools that will be used, as well as the context and timing of the assessment, prior to taking part in it.

Fairness

A fair assessment does not favour or disadvantage any particular learners or groups of students in a discriminatory manner. Depending on the situation, this may imply that assessment procedures be tailored to specific learners (such as those with disabilities or those from diverse cultural backgrounds) in order to guarantee that they are not disadvantaged as a result of their circumstances. An evaluation should not set too high demands on students, as this may hinder them from demonstrating competency in the subject matter (for example, an assessment should not demand a higher level of English language or literacy than that required to perform to the workplace standard outlined in the competencies being assessed).

Evidence is governed by a set of rules.

A well-designed assessment tool will aid in ensuring that the evidence gathered is of the following types:

  • Valid – there is a clear relationship between the evidence criteria of the unit of competency and the evidence on the basis of which the assessment judgement is made;
  • Sufficient – the performance criteria and evidence guide is addressed; competence is demonstrated over a period of time; all dimensions of competency are addressed; competence is demonstrated in a variety of settings;
  • Current – the evidence reveals that the student possesses current knowledge and skills, and
  • Authentic – the evidence may be confirmed to show that it is the student’s own original effort.

In conjunction with industry, assessment evaluation strategies, methodologies and tools should be developed, and they should be evaluated on an appropriate sample of students before being implemented.

Easy to contextualise to your learner cohorts

Contextualising assessments and learner materials are one of the most thought-provoking tasks that RTOs face. Many RTOs are deemed non-compliant due to their contextualisation methods.

Regardless of whether 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

For more information, please read the following articles

https://caqa.com.au/2021/10/04/contextualisation-why-you-must-contextualise-the-training-and-assessment-resources/

https://caqa.com.au/2018/06/08/contextualising-assessment-resources-part-2/

How to make a reasonable adjustment in summative assessments

https://caqa.com.au/2021/07/14/how-to-make-reasonable-adjustment-in-summative-assessments/

Easy to modify to different delivery modes

Assessment resources should be adaptable to a variety of delivery modes, including online, offline, distance learning, workplace, and blended learning.

Clear guidance to the assessor

Assessment resources should provide clear instructions to assessors in terms of what they should look for.

  • what was expected from the learners
  • what they (trainers and assessors) should observe
    • have clear assessment (evidence-gathering) methods based on training package requirements
    • have clear assessment (evidence-gathering) tools
  • how they (trainers and assessors) should assess
    • have clear benchmarks and standards against which a student’s work is assessed
    • have clear evidence requirements to assess sufficiency and competency
    • have clear guidelines related to when assessments should occur and how they should occur
  • who should collect the evidence and when?
    • When determining who can collect evidence, the guidelines for training package assessment may be of use to you. It is critical that the instrument and instructions for your assessment tools clearly state what is expected of the students, the trainer/assessor, workplace supervisor or a third-party evidence gatherer. It is also critical that the instrument and instructions for your assessment tools provide a clear structure for the evidence gatherers to follow.
  • where they (trainers and assessors) should record
    • Focus on the requirements of the training package – is there any specific conditions, requirements and guidelines?
    • If workplace assessment is not possible or suitable, your alternative is to choose settings and procedures that allow students to demonstrate their competence to the level of performance indicated.
    • In a simulation, students should complete or deal with a task, activity, or problem in an off-the-job situation that is designed to mirror the workplace environment.
  • how they (trainers and assessors) should record
    • What are the RTO requirements and documentation?
  • who they (trainers and assessors) should report
    • Where do the assessors and trainers report the outcome of the assessment?
    • What is the procedure?
    • How students are informed about the assessment outcome?

Clear instructions to the learner

All assessment materials should provide very clear instructions to the learners in terms of:

  • What
  • When
  • Where
  • How
  • Why
  • Reasonable adjustments required

Observation checklists and benchmarking

All assessment resources should have comprehensive observation checklists and benchmarking to ensure

  • Learners know what is expected of them
  • Assessors know the scope of assessment in terms of what they should observe and assess, resources required and what should be considered when assessing
  • Clear guidelines and information related to how to use the observation checklists

All equipment, resources and facilities are available to conduct the assessment

Assessment conditions should be followed strictly and the training organisation should ensure that all equipment, resources and facilities are available to conduct the assessment.

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

Ensure students are ready for the summative assessment

You must ensure that all students are ready for the summative assessment before you assess them.

For more information, please refer to

Formative vs Summative Assessment: A Comparison https://caqa.com.au/2022/01/31/formative-vs-summative-assessment-a-comparison/

Conduct pre and post validation checks

You must pre and post validate all assessment resources before and after you use them for your learners.

For more information, please refer to:

Different phases of assessment and learner validation processes (Part 1), Click here.

Different phases of assessment and learner validation processes (Part 2), Click here.

Different phases of assessment and learner validation processes (Part 3 of 4), Click here.

Different phases of assessment and learner validation processes (Part 4 of 4), Click here.

fact sheet, Click here.

Having a license of purchase

Training organisations should double-check that they have an authorised copy of the training and assessment resources from the publisher of the resource before using them for training purposes.

In a number of audits, the regulatory body has requested proof of purchase because a number of stakeholders are aware that there are some offenders in the sector who do not purchase the actual copies of the resources, resell when they do not have authority, or obtain materials in other illegal ways.

For more information, please click here.

How to protect the copyright of your training and assessment materials Margaret Ryan (lawyer and trade marks attorney), for more information click here.

References:

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

NCVER Report – Upskilling and reskilling: the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employers and their training choices

Photo source: NCVER

NCVER’s latest research examines how Australian employers have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and their future workforce training plans.

To survive financially during the pandemic, many businesses had to adjust and digitise their operations, as well as shift quickly to remote working arrangements.

As restrictions started easing in 2020, businesses were faced with changing working environments. This resulted in new staff training demands, particularly on how to operate safely in the prevailing COVID-19 business conditions, and in health and safety and infection control. Digital skills also emerged as a key training need.

For more information, click here.

Formative vs Summative Assessment: A Comparison

Formative and summative assessment, the two main types of assessing knowledge and skills, are often confused with one another. Both types of assessment have a place in the teaching and learning process, but it can be difficult to distinguish between formative and summative assessment.

Both formative and summative assessments are used to assess learning, provide feedback to students and collect information for the purposes of future planning. Therefore, it is important to understand the differences and their purposes in education and training.

Assessment is defined as the process of collecting, analysing and evaluating information about a student for educational purposes.

Assessment involves gathering evidence to understand where a student is in their learning journey and what they know and don’t know, as well as how to improve the quality of what the student is learning.

When planning a lesson or teaching session, what kind of assessment strategy, formative or summative, should you use?

Formative assessment (FA) is ongoing during the learning process, and provides feedback for improving instruction.

Summative assessment (SA) is characterised as a one-time event used to make a judgment or decision about a student’s knowledge or skills.

The main difference between these two types of assessments lies in how the information is used by the trainers/assessors.

Formative assessments, also known as formative evaluation (FE) , occur while the student is studying. Formative assessment measures the student’s progress throughout the learning process and provides immediate feedback to help the student improve skills. These assessments give trainers and assessors feedback on how well the students understand what they have been taught so far, and is an ongoing process throughout a teaching session or unit of study. The goal of formative assessment is to identify what each learner knows and does not know so that teaching can be customised accordingly. Some examples of formative assessments are quizzes, observations, homework, classwork, exit surveys, discussions in class, turning in research for early feedback, classroom polls, creating diagrams and charts such as Venn diagrams, T/charts and so on. The purpose of formative assessments is usually to improve student’s learning. The formative assessments consider evaluation as a process.

A summative assessment is the end assessment, meaning it occurs at the very end of a course or curriculum unit. It measures everything that the student has learned throughout the study period – not just one lesson – and also shows how much they have improved or mastered specific skills. A summative assessment results is a grade or other evaluation that determines the placement, advancement or competency of a student. This type of assessment generally does not provide feedback for improvement; rather, it is an endpoint from which to decide where the student stands with regards to meeting objectives set by the assessor. A summative assessment is usually based on certain standards and criteria that evaluates the student’s learning related to a training product. Some examples of summative assessments include end of unit/term assessments, end of unit portfolios, standards-based assessments, final projects or papers and so on. The purpose of summative assessments is usually to evaluate the student’s achievements and performance. The summative assessments consider evaluation processes as an end product.

The main difference between formative and summative assessments:

In addition, there is a significant difference between the assessment strategies in terms of obtaining reliable information about the student’s learning.

Formative assessments are used to determine if a student requires additional assistance by closely monitoring the learning process.

Summative assessments offer competency to students. It tells you whether a student has met the learning objectives based on performance.

The purpose of the assessment process

During the formative assessment, the goal is to help students enhance their overall learning. It is necessary to be able to provide meaningful feedback in order to do this.

In formative assessment, the evaluation takes place numerous times throughout the learning process, whereas with summative assessment, the evaluation takes place at the conclusion of a unit of competency or course. This also explains why the assessments may have different size and duration of completion.

The formative assessment covers only a small number of curriculum areas. For instance, a small set of questions based on one element from a unit of competency.

In summative assessment, the goal is to determine how well a student has done academically.

Decide whether or not you want your students to be the best at something, or whether you want them to transcend themselves each and every time they take part in it.

The summative evaluation comprises the evaluation of entire chapters or content areas in a unit of competency. For example, at the end of a unit of competency, there may only be one evaluation. Therefore there will be a number of assessments included when students are doing their summative assessments.

Interview with Anna-Louise Allen, Quality and Compliance Auditor

Anna-Louise Allen has been a leader in education and a catalyst for change and innovation in teaching and learning throughout her career. Anna-Louise commenced as a technical school teacher in the western suburbs teaching Geography. She had held leadership positions in schools, run the Geography Teachers Association of Victoria and worked in a variety of government agencies.

Anna-Louise has published textbooks, industry articles and a wide range of training materials for use in both the school and vocational sectors. More recently Anna-Louise was well known for her fair and informative audit style, conducting audits for both the State and National Regulator and a range of funding bodies. She is a strong advocate for the Learn Local sector and has a passion for assisting some of the more vulnerable members of our community.


Here is a copy of Anna-Louise Allen’s interview conducted by Sukh Sandhu.

Q1: What led you to choose a career in the field of vocational education and training, and how has your entire experience been thus far?

I have always been a person who feels passionate about my career choices. This coupled with a touch of Happenstance theory has led me on my exciting and varied career in education and training.

As a technical school teacher, I have always forged strong connections with industry. I have seen myself as a conduit between education, industry and government which meant that working in the vocational education and training sector was a natural progression.

Q2: It has been a pleasure to attend a number of your professional development workshops, which you have been conducting since the early 2000s. Do you have a favourite topic that you prefer presenting and why?

Quality is a big driver in both business and education. In the VET sector this can sometimes be viewed as a dirty word particularly when it is called Compliance!

Quality is a habit which is inherent in everything we do. It drives ongoing continuous improvement, where small incremental improvements make a big impact on quality and your bottom line. It is about doing great work that inspires learners to engage and enjoy their learning. It is also about ensuring that they have the skills and knowledge to make valuable employees. I like working with trainers and teachers to come up with creative approaches to topics that encourage the application of knowledge and skills to do a great job.

Q3: How can RTOs maintain a balance between the quality of the services they provide and the number of clients to whom they can provide those services, based on your extensive knowledge and experience?

Satisfied customers can become raving fans for your business, which means they will not only come back to study with you again, but will also tell their friends. Quality is not the enemy but rather the strategy to ensure customers for life.

Think about the car you drive or your favourite pair of shoes or handbag. If it is quality, it was probably produced by a quality production system. Often that system involved extensive automation, coupled with innovation and creative thought. Education is no different. A quality system that is informed by industry and clients coupled with creative designers and trainers will produce engaging learning and satisfied students who excel and achieve.

Q4: What are the five most important characteristics of a successful CEO of an RTO?

The CEO must have:

  • Vision
  • Passion
  • High level communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • A great listener.

Q5: What are the five most imminent risks to RTO businesses, and what should RTOs be doing to mitigate these threats?

  • Relationship management
  • Complaints management
  • Clear lines of communication
  • Strong brand
  • Policies, procedures and systems that are understood by all.

The five strengths are potentially the greatest risks. Without strong relationship management an RTO or any business can very soon be out of business. Relationship management is also critical when communicating with both the happy and dissatisfied client. Everyone in the RTO has a key role to play in relationship management.

How you manage and handle complaints is also critical to success. Aim to solve them before they escalate. Make sure that your marketing and branding clearly defines what a client can expect from your business and then make sure that you deliver.

Your systems and internal training will be critical in making sure that clients receive the service they expect. Empower all your staff to be proactive and aim to solve problems as they arise.

Q6: What improvements would you like to see made to our standards and regulatory frameworks in order to improve the overall quality of training and assessment?

I am not a fan of the big stick approach. Unfortunately, over the years I have seen a lot of bad behaviour that has required stern and often legal intervention. It will be a great day when we can provide education and training that supports the development of the individual while providing a safe and welcoming learning space for everyone.

The VET sector has often been characterised by a significant movement of talent in and out of training providers. The loss of skills and knowledge resulting from this churn has a large impact on the overall quality of training and assessment. It also means that we are continually re-skilling the workforce in the expectations of clients and government.

Regardless of the sector, there needs to be standards and modes of operations. I would like to change the way we view the regulatory framework, seeing it as a basis for supporting quality within the Vocational Education and Training sector.

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 https://www.asqa.gov.au/course-accreditation/renew-course/stage-2-course-review-and-redevelopment 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 info@caqa.com.au.

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

skilled/paraprofessional

work and/or further

learning

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

paraprofessional/highly

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

learning

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

learning

Bachelor Honours Degree Graduate and

Vocational Graduate

Certificate

Graduate and

Vocational Graduate

Diploma

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

practice

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.

How to protect the copyright of your training and assessment materials Margaret Ryan (lawyer and trade marks attorney)

Training and assessment materials are normally protected by copyright in Australia. They are a valuable resource and should be protected from unauthorised copying, which may reduce their value and the value of the business which supplies these resources.

Copyright is automatic

In Australia copyright protection is automatic. As soon is an author records their thoughts in a physical form – whether on paper or in a form of electronic storage – copyright exists, provided that the work has not been copied from somewhere else and at least a minimum amount of effort has gone into the work. There is no system of copyright registration in Australia (although you can register your copyright in some countries such as the USA and China).

Copyright notice

Whilst it is not essential, it is recommended that a copyright notice be placed on all valuable copyright works. A common version is:

© [Name of copyright owner] [year of publication] [place of publication] All rights reserved.

This notifies any user that you are claiming copyright in your work and are warning against infringement. It also has other benefits if you sued for copyright infringement.

Contracts

There are also contractual methods that you can use to protect your training and assessment materials, firstly, when they are being made, and secondly, when they are being used.

1. Commissioning copyright works – It is a little known fact that, if a business commissions someone else to write its training and assessment materials, normally copyright in the materials will be owned by the author or their employer, not the commissioning party, unless the parties have agreed that the commissioning party is to own the copyright.

It is essential that a copyright assignment be included in a written agreement with the author or their employer upfront if the commissioning party wants copyright ownership. Trying to obtain a copyright assignment some time down the track can be met with various obstacles such as: the author cannot be found, or demands an unacceptably high sum for the assignment, or refuses to assign copyright all together.

2. Why would you want copyright ownership? Because it gives you the maximum freedom to use the materials as you wish, including allow others to amend and update them. It also allows you to take action against someone who is copying the materials without your authority.

3. Letting others use your materials – letting others use copyright material is called a “copyright licence” in legal terminology. A licence can be in writing, oral or even implied from the circumstances. But if your materials are valuable, you should set out in a written contract how they can and cannot be used. If you do this and someone misuses the material, you will have a legal right to claim breach of contract. If it is unclear how your materials can be used, you are in a weaker position.

If someone else is using your copyright material

1. Infringement – What if you believe that someone is infringing your copyright? The best thing to do is to speak to a copyright lawyer. I gave more information about what this involves in an article in The VET Sector on 4 October 2021. It is important that you are vigilant in watching out for unauthorised use of your training and assessment materials because this may detrimentally affect your business, especially if you are missing out on sales or licence fees.

2. Educational copying – Some copying of educational materials is permitted under the Copyright Act through an education copying scheme called the Statutory Education Licence. This Licence is administered by the Copyright Agency, which collects licence fees from educational institutions. It distributes royalties to copyright owners and is free to join – www.copyright.com.au Are you a member?

3. Third party websites – Sometimes academic resources are posted by students on third party websites. Two that come to mind are www.coursehero.com and www.scribd.com. These websites operate out of the United States, which means that there is a takedown facility under the USA Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). You can fill out a form on these websites verifying that you own the copyright in material posted on their sites and that it is infringing content and the material will be removed, although the person posting has a right of reply.

For businesses that develop training and assessment materials, a key component of the value of their business is their copyright, which gives them a level of exclusivity in the use of their materials. But this needs to be protected, firstly, by securing ownership of the copyright, secondly, in taking care when licensing others to use the materials and thirdly, by taking action against those who infringe the copyright.


Margaret Ryan is a lawyer and trade marks attorney with over 30 years’ 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® – www.ipbymargaret.com.au

 

Training and assessment strategies – why you should have a clear roadmap!

When it comes to training, there are many factors that contribute to the effectiveness of the training. However, one of the most important factors is how effective and efficient your training and assessment strategy is.

There are a number of key considerations in training and assessment strategies including but not limited to:

– Learner experience
– Learner engagement
– Quality learning and assessment outcomes

The goal of this roadmap is to provide a guide for quality training. It provides practical strategies for effective learning, assessment, and evaluation.

To create the ultimate learning course, you need to understand how your learners learn best. You need to tap into their interests, goals, styles of learning, and more to give them the best chance of success. This requires careful planning at the beginning of your course development process. This roadmap will help you identify what types of activities will engage your learners and provide them with a rewarding experience that will keep them coming back for more!

A Training and Assessment Strategy (TAS) is the approach of, and method adopted by, an RTO with respect to training and assessment designed to enable learners to meet the requirements of the training package or accredited course (Glossary, Standards for RTOs 2015).

The Training and Assessment Strategy (TAS) is a high-level view of a program that guides the learning requirements and the teaching, training and assessment arrangements of a VET qualification. It is a “how-to” guide that defines and explains the process of developing, delivering and managing a training program.

The Training and Assessment Strategy (TAS) is also called a Learning and Assessment Strategy (LAS), Qualification Delivery and Assessment Strategy (QDAS) or simply; a helicopter document. We strongly suggest you name your document according to the terminology and words mentioned within the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015.

The Training and Assessment Strategy (TAS) is used to convey information such as;

  • The qualification (if applicable) or unit of competency training product codes and titles
  • Requirements to enrol in the course (set by the RTO)
  • The core and elective units of competency in the course and a rationale
  • Details of the training product and alignment with the qualification packaging rules
  • Prerequisites (pre-existing knowledge and skills) to enrol in the training product (as per the training package)
  • Details of the training organisation and contact person
  • Any clustering (grouping) of units
  • The learner cohort/ training group (description of employment status, academic background, domestic or international, related industry experience)
  • The mode and method of training delivery
  • The mode and method of assessment
  • Entry and exit points
  • Pathways to, from and employment
  • Timeframes for delivery and assessment
  • The volume of learning and amount of training
  • Information regarding work-placement requirements, if applicable
  • Information on how training and assessment is going to take place
  • Details of staff qualified to deliver and assess the training
  • Equipment, facilities and resources required
  • Explanation and outline of industry consultation
  • Explanation and outline of how industry feedback has contributed to changes in training and assessment, facilities and resources, training and assessment skills of trainers and assessors
  • How the program has been validated
  • The sequence of delivery of units according to a priority order
  • Review and approval processes for training and assessment strategies to both staff and regulators (in the case of nationally recognised training).

This information is initially constructed to form an overarching strategy that will allow the training organisation to validate that it possesses the organisational capacity to deliver the qualification; giving thought to any specific venue, access to equipment as well as qualified staff; both from a vocational and training and assessment perspective.

The Training and Assessment Strategy, therefore, outlines the macro-level requirements of the learning and assessment process.

The Training and Assessment Strategy tool or template can be developed using a Word document (.docx). It is an active document and should be modified and updated to match what, where, when and how the training organisation is delivering a training product.

How auditors use the training and assessment strategy

The auditors make sure the strategy provides the framework to deliver a quality training product. Their main focus stays on:

  • Where the training will be delivered
  • How the training will be delivered
  • What the method of the course delivery is
  • What resources and/or support services are provided to the student
  • Who is delivering the training and any skill-gaps
  • How clear are entry and exit requirements
  • How clear the instructions and information for trainers and assessors are when using the strategy

The regulatory body can ask you to provide a compliant training and assessment strategy at any time before, during or after an audit or any regulatory activity such as at the time of addition to scope application etc.

You must develop a training and assessment strategy before you start delivering training. The strategy should be validated to ensure it is “fit-for-purpose”. You need to develop training and assessment strategies when you are planning to deliver a course/training product.

You must have a fit for purpose training assessment strategy for:

  • each course and/or training product
  • each delivery mode (classroom-based, online, workplace delivery etc)
  • each learner cohort
  • each location
  • or any other variation in teaching, learning, assessment and support arrangements

Where any variations occur in training and assessment you must provide a modified TAS. A common situation occurs where a training and assessment strategy has been developed for one learner cohort, however, the training organisation is asked to deliver to a very different cohort. For example, a TAS was initially developed to deliver training to mature students with substantial industry experience with a shorter delivery time frame and assessment methods that utilise the candidates’ prior experience- or application to the workplace. If the RTO’s new learner cohort has little to no experience, the TAS will not be fit for purpose.

There is also no “single size” template for a TAS. All variations must be correctly recorded through a customised or new training and assessment strategy. The training organisation must consider:

  • How the revised or updated training and assessment strategy provides a clear framework for delivering a quality training product or course
  • Support needs and requirements to deliver a training product
  • How the course delivery suits the learner cohort or alternatively, referring the opportunity to another provider if the cohort does not meet their business model.

In our next editions, we will discuss:

  • What should be included in a training and assessment strategy (TAS) template
  • How to complete a training and assessment strategy (TAS) template
  • Review and manage training and assessment strategy (TAS) tool

Can a training and assessment strategy be used for different learner cohorts?

A simple answer to this question is “no”. The regulatory requirements require the training provider to ensure they have employed suitable and effective training and assessment practices after evaluating and assessing the needs of each of their learner. You can certainly categorise the learners, according to their preferences, needs and requirements into a separate learner cohort but then you must design a learning and assessment strategy for each of your learner cohort.

You can offer learners a learning experience that is unique to the cohort they belong to by categorising them into smaller groups based on the category they fall into. You can separate and organise discussion topics by cohorts so that participants only communicate with people from their own group. You can design course material in such a way that different cohorts of learners receive different assessments or training materials designed and prepared to meet their individual learning and training needs and requirements.

Regulatory guidelines related to this matter are:


Standards for RTOs 2015:

Clause 1.1

The RTO’s training and assessment strategies and practices, including the amount of training they provide, are consistent with the requirements of training packages and VET accredited courses and enable each learner to meet the requirements for each unit of competency or module in which they are enrolled.

Clause 1.2

For the purposes of clause 1.1, the RTO determines the amount of training they provide to each learner with regard to:

  • the existing skills, knowledge and the experience of the learner
  • the mode of delivery
  • where a full qualification is not being delivered, the number of units and/or modules being delivered as a proportion of the full qualification.

Clause 1.3

The RTO has, for all of its scope of registration, and consistent with its training and assessment strategies, sufficient:

  • trainers and assessors to deliver the training and assessment
  • educational and support services to meet the needs of the learner cohort/s undertaking the training and assessment
  • learning resources to enable learners to meet the requirements for each unit of competency, and which are accessible to the learner regardless of location or mode of delivery
  • facilities, whether physical or virtual, and equipment to accommodate and support the number of learners undertaking the training and assessment.

Clause 1.4

The RTO meets all requirements specified in the relevant training package or VET accredited course.

Clause 2.2

The RTO:

  • systematically monitors the RTO’s training and assessment strategies and practices to ensure ongoing compliance with Standard 1
  • systematically evaluates and uses the outcomes of the evaluations to continually improve the RTO’s training and assessment strategies and practices. Evaluation information includes but is not limited to quality/performance indicator data collected under clause 7.5, validation outcomes, client trainer and assessor feedback and complaints and appeals.

Let us understand this concept using some practical real-life examples.

Example 1:

The training organisation has the opportunity to offer training through different training delivery modes such as online, workplace, distance, classroom or blended (combination of two or more delivery modes). However, the training organisation will not be able to use the same strategies, resources, equipment, and materials for all the different delivery modes. The same condition applies to the training and assessment strategies as well. Online learners might need access to learning management system, discussion forums, interactive training sessions, online meetings and so on when traditional classroom learners may need face to face, live interactions with trainers and assessors, set time and set location for training and learning activities, physical distancing, different sets of equipment and training materials. Therefore, you will not be able to design a single strategy that can meet the requirements of these completely different kinds of learner cohorts.

Example 2:

Another example is for learners who may or may not require prerequisite learning and assessment criteria before enrolling into a course. There are several courses where students are required to have adequate and sufficient knowledge, skills and understanding to enrol into the course. Without meeting these fundamental enrolment and admission requirements, which can be set by the training product, a regulatory body, at the state or federal level or by the training organisation, the learners should not be able to enrol, study and complete a course. You will therefore require two separate sets of training programs, one for the learner cohort who can commence training after demonstrating they meet the admission and enrolment criteria and another one for learners who must complete the prerequisites before enrolling into a course. This example also includes learners who need to improve their English proficiency skills before they can enrol to complete a training program, completing a training course before enrolling into a pathway program, completing a hands-on employment training program or work—experience for a certain time period and so on.

Note: Some of these requirements can be co-requisite (must be studied at the same time of completing other components of the training and assessment) and others are prerequisites (must be successfully completed before enrolling into the training program).

Example 3:

We discussed this example in part 1 as well but thought to include it again to ensure the readers understand why we need to develop separate training and assessment strategies to meet the needs of the different learner cohorts.

For example, a TAS was initially developed to deliver training to mature students with substantial industry experience with a shorter delivery time frame and assessment methods that utilise the candidates’ prior experience- or application to the workplace. If the RTO’s new learner cohort has little to no experience, the TAS will not be fit for purpose.

There is also no “single size” template for a TAS. All variations must be correctly recorded through a customised or new training and assessment strategy.

What are the different learner cohorts?

  • The learner cohorts can also be based on a number of other factors such as:
  • The location where training and assessment will be delivered is it online, classroom, workplace, blended etc.
  • The facilities, equipment, materials, support services and resources required to deliver the training.
  • Skill gaps identified in the learner cohorts or expected pre-requisite knowledge, skills and work experience required to enrol and complete the course
  • The course duration and timings and arrangements to cater for these needs.
  • Course entry and exit requirements
  • English language proficiency requirements
  • Support needs and requirements of each learner
  • Disability, demographics, degree, dialect, difference
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, first in the family to attend university, non-English speaking background.
  • Multicultural, mindset, motivation, morals
  • Employment status of the learners
  • Reason for enrolling into the course
  • Relevant industry and work experience in the specific stream
  • Course delivery structure and sequence
  • Recognition of prior learning and recognition of current competencies
  • Duration of the training course
  • Other possible variations for learners with different learning and assessment needs and requirements

Note: This is not an exhaustive list and is written for reference purposes only.


In our next editions, we will discuss:

  • What should be included in a training and assessment strategy (TAS) template
  • How to complete a training and assessment strategy (TAS) template
  • Review and manage training and assessment strategy (TAS) tool

Risk assessment and risk management at your organisation

Risk assessment and risk management at your organisation should be a continuous process. It involves best practices like identifying, assessing and mitigating risks.

Risk assessment is the process of identifying and analysing the hazards, risks, and threats to an organisation. A risk assessment is a process to identify and evaluate the potential risks and threats to an organisation’s people, property, reputation, or mission. It includes vulnerability mapping, which helps identify where an organisation might be vulnerable to future threats or hazards. Many organisations have access to a wide range of risk assessments tools such as issue identification tools for identifying risks in operations or training courses, incident reporting tools for communication between organisations about potential incidents, safety alert systems for communication between organisations about safety issues etc.

Risk management is the process of reducing the impact or probability of a hazardous, risky, or threatening event from occurring by taking protective measures. Risk management is important as it helps the companies to identify the hazards as early as possible and take actions to mitigate those hazards. Risk Management is an ongoing process that should involve risk assessments, mitigation of identified risks, and continuous monitoring of progress towards achieving this goal.

The best way to prevent risks in your organisation is by putting in place risk assessment and risk management strategies. They can identify risks that could potentially lead to negative outcomes and/or damage the reputation of your organisation.

The most common risk assessment strategies are using formal or informal questionnaires to gather data on risky behaviours, incidents, and environmental factors that may present risks to people or property.

Some examples include:

– A questionnaire asking employees about their job satisfaction levels or students for their course satisfaction levels.
– A questionnaire asking employees about their thoughts on compensation plans for long term absences from work
– A questionnaire asking employees about their thoughts on how often they work overtime hours

When should organisations implement these strategies?

Before you start operating, you need to establish all the risks present in your operating environment, the best ways to assess, mitigate and manage them.

The benefits of risk assessment and risk management

Risk assessment and risk management can help to:

– Strengthen organisational resilience by providing the right information to the right people at the right time.
– Improve employee safety, wellbeing, wellbeing and motivation.
– Increase productivity by improving transparency in decision-making processes.

Examples of risk assessment techniques are an audit of student records, evaluating your financial reports, human resource policies, physical security procedures, workplace health and safety practices, the building design process for fire safety. Examples of risk management strategies are assessing work content risks while planning activities or using the job rotation principle while organising work schedules, having more than one trainer and assessor for each course etc.


Call us on 1800 266 160 or email info@caqa.com.au to find out more regarding how we can help you with risk assessments and risk management.

Contextualisation – Why you must contextualise the training and assessment resources.

Understanding contextualisation

Contextualising assessments and learner materials is one of the most thought-provoking tasks that RTOs face. Many RTOs are deemed non-compliant due to their contextualisation ‘methods’.

What is contextualisation, what is the right way to do it, how is it done, why do RTOs conduct it incorrectly?

Before explaining what is contextualisation, let’s first clarify what is NOT contextualisation as that is one of the main reasons RTOs face enormous challenges.

What is not contextualisation?

Contextualisation is not a free ride process to change at whim the training product requirements specified in the relevant training package. Contextualisation is not a green light to cross compliance boundaries and jeopardise the quality of Australian education. Contextualisation is not an exercise that focuses only on the assessment tool. Contextualisation is not a process that can be done without limits set by guidelines.

A competency’s breadth of application should not be reduced in order to reduce its portability, nor should the competency outcomes be narrowed in order to limit its use, nor should the content of any element and performance criteria related to the unit involved be removed as a result of contextualisation.

Now, to the definition:

What is contextualisation in the context of training resources?

Contextualisation is the process of modifying your RTO’s training and assessment materials to make learning more meaningful for your students and their employers, and the industry at large. It is a way of making learning and assessing relevant to a person’s workplace experience. It involves adjusting the training products such as units of competency, or packaging certain units into a qualification, to suit the specific needs of the enterprise or learner.

Generic resources that you have purchased from an RTO resources provider should be changed or adapted to satisfy the special requirements of a specific industry, as well as the social, cultural, and business requirements of that industry, as well as the needs of a particular work environment as applicable.

For example, the assessment and learner resources should be modified to suit learners from different industries without compromising the quality of the resources. That means, the training and assessment resources for a unit of competency that you use in the community sector will be different in terms of type of work performed, type of industry or enterprise, terminology used, industry sector requirements, legislation and regulations compared to resources for information technology sector.

When it comes to assessments, it is the process of adapting language and assessment tasks (terminology, assessment context and scope etc.) in order to suit specific work circumstances present in an actual workplace that is referred to as contextualisation in the context of assessments. Candidates and employers will benefit from this adjustment because the assessment resources will be more relevant and beneficial to them. For learner resources, wording, industry regulations etc. should be customised to ensure learners understand terminology and expectations to effectively work in the industry.

Contextualisation must take into account organisational policies, standard operating procedures, workplace architecture, as well as organisational and legal requirements particular to the local context in order to be compliant with Training Package regulations. It is necessary for the assessments to be considered valid in order for it to not have a negative impact on the standards specified in either the units of competency or the Training Package.

Why is contextualisation important?

Contextualisation is critical to ensure high-quality training and assessment and graduate students who are well equipped for employment or further study. It plays a significant role to enhance the qualifications. It also plays a vital role in preparing students with credible certification as holding the skills and competencies specified in their qualification when they enter the job market.

Contextualisation is essential for RTOs to develop learning resources and assessment methods tailored to their learner’s needs and aligned to the work context in which they operate. If you don’t contextualise your resources, you risk alienating your learners, losing clients and being found non-compliant at your next ASQA audit.

What is the best starting point to conduct contextualisation?

The best starting point of contextualisation of resources is to understand why you are doing it and specify your ultimate goal. The second point of departure is to be aware of the ‘rules of don’t’ regarding contextualisation.

This must be followed by identifying who would be included in the panel that is responsible for contextualising assessments. In the process of selecting your team, you are required to be inclusive, especially the industry experts who can see areas that your trainers and assessors (even with industry currency) cannot see as adequately and authentically as the subject matter experts could.

When is the best time to contextualise your resources?

The best time to conduct your contextualisation is today. To ensure quality training is delivered on time and any content that does not align with the cohort’s requirement is captured and rectified at the earliest stage, the best practice is to contextualise as soon as possible and as finest as possible.

Timely contextualisation will help you to ensure:

  • High quality and better outcomes for your students, hence better reputation for your RTO
  • Better relationship and engagement with the industry
  • Continuous improvement that provides assessment system and practice is performing at their best
  • Conduct routine improvement activities
  • Introduce a more efficient and effective process and system that monitors your practice
  • Early intervention to check any gap and early rectification to fill the gap before affecting future students

What learning resources are included in the process of contextualisation?

One of the mistakes that surface repetitively in the RTOs landscape is the practice of contextualising focus on assessment tools only. This leaves students dealing with different resources that do not talk to each other, and at times provide inappropriate or conflicting content.

So, as a minimum requirement, RTOs must contextualise the following resources;

  • Training and Assessment Strategy
  • Assessment tools including RPL kits
  • Learner Guide
  • PowerPoint
  • Session and delivery plan
  • Facilities and equipments
  • Self study guides and manuals
  • Workplace logbooks/vocational placement kits
  • Facilitate delivery and assessment of learners

What are the factors that can influence your contextualisation process?

For a comprehensive understanding and best experience, we advise you to consult with industry experts, check your current status, and make a situational analysis.

As a general principle of contextualisation, the following questions must be raised and appropriately addressed before embarking on the process of Contextualisation.

1. Learners.

The characteristics of the target group. The study should include information about the knowledge and skill, learning needs, learning style preferences, literacy, language and numeracy skills, and support needs.

This section can also include the learners’ level of motivation for engaging in the learning, any specific goals of the group, and any particular abilities that the group may have.

2. Mode of Delivery

This study must focus on how the training and assessment are to be delivered. This might include face-to-face, online, through workplace training or a mixture of different modes. The information provided in this section should be consistent with and supportive of the information in the remainder of the TAS document. For example, if your delivery is online, but the assessment tool has workplace tasks, your Contexualisation must consider how to provide a virtual simulated workplace environment to ensure they can practice their new skills.

3. Workplace and Industry.

This section must analyse what does the workplace environment look like? (e.g., equipment, facilities, policies, procedures, etc.)

  • What types of evidence can be collected in the work role to meet the unit of competency evidence requirements? What are the typical tasks performed in the work role and industry context?
  • What are the typical and current workplace conditions for the work role and industry context?
  • What is the relevant legislation, codes of practices, and regulations for the work role and industry context?

4. The Resources

This section will probe what specific resources are required to deliver and assess the Training Product. This might include an assessment, a session plan, or a detailed list of resources for a unit of competency or cluster of units. This may also include information about the resources the learner might be required to provide or have access to. An example would be if the delivery were online, there would be a requirement to access a computer and potentially stable internet connection. You can address the requirements by raising valid question such as:

  • Do the learning resources provide enough depth in the instruction, including industry-relevant practical examples, to meet the needs of learners with little or no previous experience?
  • Is the learning content appropriate for learners with physical and learning disabilities, language, and cultural sensitivities?
  • Is the learning resource content aligned to the industry context, work role tasks, and work environment? Examples also include access to:
    • Job role and workplace relevant policies and procedures
    • Workplace appropriate equipment and facilities etc.
    • Work role and workplace relevant conditions and environment.
    • Actual workplace or Simulated Workplace (were allowed in the training package)
  • Do the learning resources align with the qualification and/or training package context where it is being used?
  • Do your learning resources align with your Training and Assessment Strategy and Delivery Method?

In line with the COVID related requirements and the online delivery necessitated by it, please see also ASQA’s distance learning guide by clicking this link. https://www.asqa.gov.au/distance-learning

5. Training in the Workplace

  • What are the training and assessments that must be conducted in the workplace?
  • Do they align the learning activities with the organisation’s objectives and overall culture?
  • Do they contain activities and tasks that are relevant and are users of the business itself?
  • Are the learners’ tasks valuable to all parties? Are the activities advantageous to provide opportunities for students to learn problem-solving skills?
  • Are there workplace mentor-mentee scenarios that may also be suitable for this training delivery method?

How does contextualisation ensure candidates can apply their skills and knowledge in a work setting.

The primary objective of contextualisation is to make the training and assessment strategy more meaningful for your students and their employers. RTOs need to develop learning resources and assessment methods that are custom-made to their learner’s needs and aligned to the work context in which they operate.

Contextualising ensures best practice and high-quality training and assessment strategy and practice. In turn, high-quality training and assessment mean that employers can have confidence that vocational education and training (VET) graduates in the workplace will safely and productively apply the skills described by their qualifications.

Does contextualisation serve the principle of assessment and rule of evidence?

Contextualisation is mainly conducted to accommodate the learners’ needs and ensure the content is adjusted to be appropriate to the learner cohort’s skill, knowledge and experience levels. Accordingly, the task of contextualisation must primarily serve the principle of fairness framed on the individual learner’s needs and the principle of flexibility underpinned by the reflection of the individual learner’s circumstance.

To promote fairness and flexibility contextualisation must start from the below questions.

  1. Can the assessment gather Valid, Sufficient, Authentic, Current evidence.
  2. Is the assessment appropriate for the target audience/ or client group for whom the use of the training and assessment resources will be relevant?
  3. Does the assessment contain a range of different assessment methods: Knowledge assessment: Workplace projects – advanced practice, Projects – analysis, design and development
  4. Does the assessment tool provide enough depth in the instruction, including industry-relevant practical examples, to meet the needs of learners with little or no previous experience?
  5. Is the assessment content appropriate for learners with physical and learning disabilities, language, and cultural sensitivities.
  6. Does the assessment consider the work performed and the environment in which it would be completed. Do the tasks suit particular work conditions that apply in an actual workplace?
  7. Does the assessment include policies, standard procedures, workplace infrastructure and organisational and regulatory requirements of the local context

If candidates/learners/students are of high importance in the process of contextualisation, what do you need to consider about them?

There are several questions that you might want to ask, including:

  • What are the likely characteristics of the learner group?
  • What would look like their work environment, industry, and work role when they graduated.
  • What level is their existing skills and knowledge? Do they have RPL/Credit?
  • Are they self-motivated?
  • Can learners complete group activities?
  • Do they need to be adapted to suit individual learners?
  • How much time will they have to complete tasks?
  • What will their access to resources, facilities and equipment be like?

Is there any manual that guides how contextualisation must be conducted?

There is no prescribed and strict manual that can fit all sizes. Each contextualisation’s objective, qualification, learning outcome or cohorts’ need has its own peculiarity; hence contextualisation is adapted accordingly.

However, there is a general guide that can help your contextualisation process.

Let’s start with the legislative guidelines.

The National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) identified three steps involved in contextualising assessment resources:

  1. Clarify the assessment context.
  2. Review and contextualise the assessment resources.
  3. Trial the Contextualised assessment resources.

The Standards for RTO 2015 Clause 1.8 to 1.12 stipulates:

“When developing assessment materials, use the information from the unit or module elements, performance criteria and assessment requirements to determine what competence looks like. Ensure that assessment tools are contextualised (or can be contextualised) to the student cohort to produce valid skills that are relevant to the student’s industry or work context.”

In addition to these two guidelines, the below best practices are helpful to conduct effective Contextualisation:

Phase 1: Understand what you are required to do

This includes conducting thorough research of the legislative requirements and guidelines, knowing your boundaries and the areas that should not be compromised in the process of Contextualisation.

Phase 2: Unpack the training and assessment resources

Unpacking the resources, including all documents related to the qualification, is a good sequence during your Contextualisation process. This must incorporate the industry requirements, the work placement time, the mode of delivery, the duration etc.

All the resources and assessment will be studied in relation to the cohort and their requirements. As repeatedly noted, the central objective of contextualisation is to ensure the learning resources are appropriate to the cohort’s needs.

Phase 3: Review your training and assessment resources.

When reviewing your training resources, make sure that you make the principle of assessments and rule of evidence your road map. Assessment resources should be identified or developed and reviewed to determine their appropriateness for the context.

In this stage, one of the ‘must-dos’ is to ensure the context-specific criteria can be substituted or added to complement the requirements in the resources and associated units of competence. You must check if the learning resource content is aligned to the industry context.

You must ascertain the assessment tools and guidance materials that can include organisation-focused performance checklists, question banks and sample responses, case study materials, assessment projects, reference documents, job cards.

Note: Please always remember that your contextualisation must not jeoperdise the learning outcome. You are not allowed to remove anything from the elements and performance criteria, distort or limit the competency outcomes and use, and reduce the breadth of application of the competency and lessen its portability.

Phase 4. Trial before implementation

The trial of the contextualised assessment resources, associated strategies, assessment tools and related guidance materials is best practice to avoid any unseen potential problems.

The trial will help you identify and monitor the status/success of your contextualised resources and improvement opportunities and initiate any required quality improvements.

In addition to the trial, a risk management matrix for the contextualised assessment strategy should be prepared. This includes.

  • A listing of the Principles of Assessment and Rules of Evidence
  • The potential risks to the achievement of these quality criteria
  • The risk management measures embedded in the assessment strategy to overcome or minimise these risks

Phase 5: Recording: remember to record all the changes and update the version control. You must make sure you record any changes you make to present them at audit as evidence.

How can contextualisation be explained using an actual method and example?

Contextualisation is a process that is not necessarily guided by a uniformed method; however, whatever practices the RTO engages, the above points must be taken into account.

Start with this: The central theme of any contextualisation is to design/redesign the learning and the assessment strategies and practices to meet the learners’ needs and make the learning relevant to a person’s workplace experience – current or anticipated.

More importantly, RTOs are required to know what should/could not be done in the name of contextualisation.

The below example is one way of conducting your contextualisation correctly.

Sometimes you will find units that are shared by two or more qualifications. Even though the unit’s code and name are the same, the context and industry requirements are different. For example, CHCDIV001 – Work with diverse people is shared by Early Childhood, Individual Support, Nursing, Audiometry, Ambulance Communications (Dispatch), and Animal Care and Management etc. However, it is applied in different contexts, tasks, assessment conditions and simulated environments.

For the sake of our article, let’s look at ECEC, Nursing and Individual Support (all share CHCDIV001).

If we take one Element, for example, Element 3: ‘Communicate with people from diverse backgrounds and situations and PC: 3.1 Show respect for diversity in communication with all people, concerning a) ECEC, b) Individual Support and c) Nursing the task, the work environment, and job role are entirely different. Accordingly, the context, the tasks, the marking guide, condition of assessment, work placement simulation, the resources required must be contextualised in the context of the workplace and simulated role-play.

CHC50113 – Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care

CHCDIV001 – Work with diverse people

HLT54121 – Diploma of Nursing

CHCDIV001 – Work with diverse people

CHC33015 – Certificate III in Individual Support

CHCDIV001 – Work with diverse people

Role Play

Ms. Annu, a Malaysian mother who cannot speak English, came to the Child Care Centre to discuss her daughter’s allergies.

Simulation:

Regulated Child CareHuman resource: Interpreter   

Role Play

Mr. Ahmed, a Muslim patient in hospital who can barely speak English, is agitated because he was not provided a place to pray. 

Simulation: Hospital 

Human resource: Cultural interpreter, patients room  

Role Play

Christine, a ‘transgender’ person, fluent in English, who lives in a residential care, is outraged because the fellow residents attacked her with a series of derogatory comments.

Simulation: Regulated Aged Care 

Human resource: Social worker

The Element is ‘Communicate with people from diverse backgrounds and situations and PC: 3.1 Show respect for diversity in communication with all people.

As can be seen below, the Element above is the same; however, the industry and context of the role play are different; hence you cannot use one of them in the three role-play scenarios; thus, Contextualisation is required. 

Observation Checklist 
Did the student demonstrates the following communication skills Did, the student, demonstrate the following communication skills Did, the student, demonstrate the following communication skills
  • Speak through an interpreter.
  • Clarify information with the interpreter and request that they give an accurate translation
  • Request that the interpreter inform you of any potential communication differences that could arise (to be self-aware)
  • Give the interpreter time to restructure the translation in their mind (to be socially-aware)
  • Patiently wait for a response via the interpreter, regarding Mr Wong’s feelings about the task
  • When the interpreter is translating, maintain non-verbal communication directly with Ms Annu to provide her a sense of trust and comfort.
  • Greet Ahmed respectfully (to be socially-aware) and patiently wait for a response
  • Use short and simple sentences.
  • Use different words to express the same idea
  • Clearly state you respect his practice and will assist him in providing him prayer place (to be socially-aware)
  • Ask Ahmed if there are any other religious requirements that you should be aware of (to be socially-aware)
  • Resolve communication differences by using cultural interpretation:
  • Politely ask Ahmed to repeat what he said for clarification
  • Ask Ahmed how he is feeling now that the issue is resolved.

 

  • Ask Christine what their preferred gender pronoun is (e.g., she, he, they) (to be socially-aware)
  • Clearly state you respect the gender preference
  • Avoid the words’ real man’ ‘real woman’ or transgender
  • Remember to keep the focus on care rather than indulging in questions about their gender of curiosity
  • Display transgender-positive body language and nonverbal communication and cues in your office.
  • Avoid ‘dead naming; do not use the former name.

 

 


Call us on 1800 266 160 or email info@caqa.com.au to find out more. Let us bring CAQAs Validation professional team to you – don’t wait until your next audit is due.

The strategies for achieving personal and professional success.

There are many strategies to success you can use in your life.

Some people are successful because they work hard. Other people are successful because they have a great opportunity that came their way. Some people are successful because they have the right connections, but most people are successful because they have good timing.

These strategies may not be easy to implement, but if you follow them and find ways to make them work for you, the chances of achieving your personal and professional success will increase.

Here are some of the best strategies that you can use in your personal and professional career.

Being responsive

It is critical to respond quickly and effectively to all stakeholders. For example, you’ve received an email from your manager. The options you have are to choose between reading and doing nothing or reading and checking how well you comprehended the instructions and information supplied.

Self-motivated learning

If you are interested in knowing more about a particular topic then you should conduct your own research and study the subject. If you are a learner, the curriculum, or the job description, are only the starting points of one’s learning journey. Self-motivated learning allows you to accomplish far more.

Enhance your research skills

You must understand how to conduct effective information research on the internet and through other offline mediums. For example, having the following abilities is required when searching for information:

  • Pay close attention to the details
  • Take note
  • Management of one’s time
  • Problem-solving
  • Good communication and reporting skills

Have a positive, can-do attitude

The vast majority of the work takes place in your head, regardless of the job task or activity you are performing; if you are clear about what you want, you will quickly figure out how to get it. Whatever your belief about your ability or inability to perform a job activity, you will find that the outcomes of you performing the job tasks will be pretty similar to your thinking. You must maintain a positive attitude, be self-assured, and be willing to deal with challenges or new duties that may arise in your life.

Embrace the change

When you embrace change, it means that you don’t perceive it as difficulty, but rather as an opportunity to grow yourself or experience amazing adventures. You must remain optimistic towards your current circumstances, your strengths, and your ability to adjust to change. Change forces you to grow as a person and become more evolved. You learn how to adapt to different situations, come up with creative solutions, and focus on accepting yourself. All of these adventures work together to help you grow as a person.


In partnership with Edu Learning and CAQA Skills, CAQA provides a variety of professional and personal development opportunities. We may also tailor the training to meet your specific requirements and skill level as well. For additional details, please contact us at info@caqa.com.au.

Quality training and assessment resources from CAQA Resources

While operating as a registered training organisation, you will be required to make a range of decisions, with obtaining high-quality training and assessment resources being among the most significant.

To ensure that your students receive the learning experience necessary to function competently in their chosen vocation, you need to invest in quality assessment and learner resources. It is only through the use of high-quality training staff as well as good training and assessment materials that a Registered Training Organisation can achieve this.

The quality of education and training that you deliver may suffer if you employ individuals who are not experts in their profession, accordingly, not having compliant assessment and learner resources means the quality of training you offer or promise will also suffer. You must spend time reviewing the quality of your assessment and learner resources against the following criteria:

Investing in high-quality training materials is therefore vital for the survival and eventual success of a training organisation. When you provide quality, it will have a significant impact on the reputation of the RTO, its legal requirements, and the quality of the outcomes. According to ASQA audit analysis published in 2017, over 80% of RTOs failed to comply with Standard One during the audit process and one of the major non-compliance has been the quality of assessment and learner resources.

Consider the following two scenarios:


Scenario 1

You are an industry leader and well-known in the RTO sector for what you know and what you do, but if your training and assessment resources are non-compliant, or worse, if a regulatory body audits you and determines that this is the case and makes decisions based on the findings, your training organisation’s reputation will be questioned. The regulatory body has suggested that students be reassessed for a period of 12 or 24 months in a number of instances. As a result, if you lack compliant training and assessment resources or do not adhere to compliant regulatory practices, you may experience significant challenges.

Scenario 2

Your RTO is unable to contextualise and customise or even worse know the requirements set around the assessment and learner resources because you assume that simply purchasing them from a resource provider qualifies you as compliant. Without acknowledging and comprehending reality, there are a number of resource providers that sell substandard quality resources, and if you purchase these materials, you may risk losing your RTO registration.

The question arises as to what to do when evaluating assessment and learner materials? How can you determine their quality? How can you make informed decisions and avoid wasting your hard-earned money?

This advice may help:

1. Maintain current knowledge and skills in compliance with legislative and regulatory standards.

You must spend time updating your knowledge and skills in relation to legislative and regulatory requirements. This includes contacting industry leaders who know what is compliant and what is non-compliant, attending professional development sessions, subscribing to and attending all regulatory body-sponsored webinars and conferences, subscribing to and reading VET and RTO newsletters, and also asking external auditors to conduct audits on your training and assessment systems on regular intervals.

2. Begin with a compliant copy of the learner and assessment resources that will serve as the foundation for the entire unit of competency:

Some publishers and developers are prone to displaying only a small number of their best samples and claiming that these samples reflect all of their qualifications. This is both incredibly distracting and misleading for the buyer who will assume that all material will be of the same quality. In order to avoid making such a mistake, you should request a complete sample, even if the sample is provided through an online platform to safeguard the copyright.

3. Ensure that all your assessment and learner resources have been pre-validated.

Poor quality of assessment tools is a contributing factor in the majority of RTO non-compliance problems. As an RTO resource provider, we receive a steady stream of calls from RTOs who have already spent money on substandard materials only to realise that fixing them will cost more than buying new resources. You can avoid this by following the steps below:

a. Pre-validate before use: By rigorously and thoroughly validating your new resources before putting them to use, you effectively protect your RTO. Fixing non-compliant resources is an expensive and time-consuming exercise that takes a long time to complete.

c. Make sure that all action verbs and action words are covered in the training package when you are pre-validating. For example, if the performance criteria is “consult with stakeholders,” a plural form is used, which means consultation with more than one stakeholder is required. Consult is a verb that means to seek advice or information from someone i.e. involves open-ended questions and communication.

d. Everything is addressed at least twice if it is not clearly stated in the training package that once is sufficient.

e. It is a must to assess performance criteria, foundation skills, and performance evidence using practical, workplace-based, or scenario-based methods and strategies.

f. Check the footer and header of the documents to ensure that all version control, unit name and code, and other pertinent information is accurate and up to date.

g. All equipment, resources, and materials specified in the assessment conditions must be made available in order for the assessment to take place.

4. Verify that mapping documentation for the assessment tools and learner resources are available.

The mapping materials associated with the assessment tools and learner resources should be available. Check this before you purchase the training and assessment resources. Ensure that the training and assessment resources have met all of the unit requirements.

5. Verify that the correct assessment method has been used.

Many assessment instruments use non-compliant techniques for determining learner competency. If the assessment assignment asks a student, “How would you do this?” or something along these lines, you must be extremely cautious, especially if there is a mapping to performance criteria (PCs) or performance evidence (PEs), as such a question has no wrong answer. The student may provide an answer that shows incorrect understanding, but because the question is not asking for the correct way of doing something, there is no wrong answer.

In order to establish competency in performing a task or job, evidence must be provided in the form of an observation that properly identifies the specific performance level for each practical skill performed. Many observation checklists are simply copied and pasted versions of PEs and PCs from the unit, found on the national register. It has the potential to cause complications during an audit and result in non-compliance.

6. Determine whether there are sufficient learner resources to meet the training requirements.

Choose among those learning resources that will allow you to demonstrate that you have satisfied the learning criteria for the delivery of the qualification. ASQA will audit your RTO to establish whether or not there are sufficient training and assessment resources for the students to be able to implement the theory learnt into practice in the workplace.

The training resources you choose are important as they can determine whether or not you will be able to demonstrate compliance during an audit. One suggestion that you might find really useful is to review the content and ensure it meets the compliance requirements. For example, when you look at materials you may find that they have double spacing between lines and a large number of photos. The material of these types of resources is typically lacking in depth. You will also observe that the use of this type of formatting will result in a two-fold increase in the number of pages. Some publishers employ this technique to give the appearance that their content is more extensive than it actually is. Therefore, look at each of the performance criteria and make an informed judgement if the information is adequately covered or not.

7. Check to determine if the information is accurate, up to date, and thorough.

Finally, but certainly not least, you should check the clarity of the content you are considering purchasing. One method of obtaining legitimate, reliable, and up-to-date training materials is to select learning resource publishers and developers who appoint subject matter experts in order to obtain the proper and comprehensive material. Assessment activities, session plans, assessment workbooks, and learning guides, among other instructional methods, should be included in the training material to ensure that students receive sufficient learning material.

Student assessment workbooks should be a comprehensive collection of assessment assignments used to gain an understanding of a student’s level of knowledge.

Trainer/Assessor evaluation resources are items that are intended for use by trainers in the assessment process.

Trainers employ a variety of assessment tools, such as benchmark answers and assessor instructions, to gather the information that is necessary for providing training.

Self-study guides are available to students to assist them in developing an enthusiastic approach to learning.

Mapping documents, learner manuals, and PowerPoint presentations should be included in the training tools to help make the training complete and user-friendly.

8. The resources are plagiarism-free

Use applications such as Grammarly and/or Turnitin to confirm that the resources are free of copyright and plagiarism issues before using them. If it is general information that is freely available on the internet, you should not be concerned; but, if it is information from a different publisher or from copyrighted websites or other materials, you should be concerned and should refrain from using these products.

CAQA Resources

CAQA Resources delivers high-quality solutions in the form of compliant RTO resources that are comprehensive and totally adaptable to meet your specific requirements as well as the needs and requirements of students.

When it comes to learning and assessment for your learners, CAQA Resources is your go-to for staying compliant. Our RTO resources, training and learning materials, assessment tools, as well as learning kits, provide a comprehensive selection of resources for a wide range of qualifications.

Visit our website www.caqaresources.com.au and look through our comprehensive list.

Contact us on 1800 266 160 or email info@caqa.com.au for more information on how to obtain the best training resources for your RTO.


Training Packages: CAQA Resources can deliver resources from the following training packages:

List of all training packages CAQA Resources have available or are currently writing:

  • AHC – Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package
  • AUR – Automotive Retail, Service and Repair Training Package
  • BSB – Business Services Training Package
  • CHC – Community Services Training Package
  • CPC – Construction, Plumbing and Services Training Package
  • CUA – Creative Arts and Culture Training Package
  • EAL – English as an Additional Language Training Package
  • FBP – Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical Training Package
  • FNS – Financial Services Training Package
  • FSK – Foundation Skills Training Package
  • FWP – Forest and Wood Products Training Package
  • HLT – Health Training Package
  • ICP – Printing and Graphic Arts Training Package
  • ICT – Information and Communications Technology Training Package
  • MEM – Manufacturing and Engineering Training Package
  • MSF – Furnishing Training Package
  • MSM – Manufacturing Training Package
  • MSS – Sustainability Training Package
  • NUR – Nursing Training Package
  • PMA – Chemical, Hydrocarbons and Refining Training Package
  • PSP – Public Sector Training Package
  • RII – Resources and Infrastructure Industry Training Package
  • SHB – Hairdressing and Beauty Services Training Package
  • SIR – Retail Services Training Package
  • SIS – Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package
  • SIT – Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Training Package
  • TAE – Training and Education Training Package

How to transition from classroom to online or distance training and assessment

Moving from face-to-face training and assessment to online or distance learning and assessment can be difficult, especially when you have already invested in facilities, equipment, and resources for face-to-face training and assessment.

However, in order to survive and also to embrace new technologies, many training organisations have decided to move to an online or distance learning and assessment mode. Here are some views and suggestions on how you can accomplish this in a competent and compliant manner at this point in time.

Whatever method you use to offer instruction to students, you must plan, document, and implement techniques that ensure that students obtain all necessary skills and knowledge in the subject matter. This need includes ensuring that students have access to appropriate resources, facilities, and trainers.

Transitioning from one delivery mode to another

Training and assessment strategy

Training and assessment strategies are not a single document but rather a collection of documents that serve as a road map for your organisation’s delivery of training and assessment to a specific learner cohort.

As a result, this is the first document that needs to be updated whenever there is a change in delivery mode (such as switching from classroom mode to distance or online mode), client cohort (whether experienced and working in the industry or not experienced and not working), or any other changes to the way you deliver and conduct your training and assessment practices.

Several aspects of your training and assessment strategy, including but not limited to the following should be considered:

  • Delivery mode
  • Training and assessment arrangements (e.g, Your own lms or using someone else’s)
  • Admissions requirements, skill, knowledge, employment, and pre-enrollment assessment sections, how you will assess the technical skills and competencies of the learners to enrol in the course
  • Course duration in terms and training delivery and assessment, and how these will be conducted
  • The details related to the delivery of the course
  • Academic and student support, how much and when they will be provided
  • Facilities and resources you need to operate the online or distance mode of delivery
  • Policies and procedures to safeguard data and information and also comply with privacy legislation and other regulations applicable
  • The contextualisation and customisation of your training and assessment resources
  • How the work placement component will be conducted?
  • How your assessors will assess the student’s work?
  • Training and evaluation hours required by the students for each activity online or in the distance delivery method
  • How trainers and assessors will ensure that the students are ready for evaluation
  • How trainers and assessors will ensure that the students are prepared for the assessment. When should the assessment take place?

Training and assessment strategies should be agreed to by all parties involved in the training and assessment process after they have been prepared, but they should also be evaluated by representatives from the industry.

All stakeholders should agree on the strategy.

When it comes to offering and providing support to students, following policies and procedures, and proving compliance through all of their actions, one of the most difficult tasks is ensuring that all of your stakeholders are on the same page.

Changes in other documents

You have recognised the changes and how you intend to address them. The next stage is to check all documents and practices, such as the timetable, session plan, training and assessment resources, all templates, your procedures, etc. to ensure your practices reflect what you have stated in your training and assessment strategy.

Marketing materials

Your marketing materials should be updated to include clear information about what learners may expect from participating in learning and assessment activities with your organisation.

Demonstrate compliance through evidence

When it comes to demonstrating compliance, the regulatory body is clear in its requirements. If you do not have evidence to support your claims, then you are not doing what you are claiming.

Ensure you have evidence of everything that is indicated in your policy framework, training and assessment strategies, any other organisational documentation, as well as the needs of any legislative or regulatory guidelines or standards that apply.

For example, a review form that details who developed the training and assessment strategy, who reviewed it from internal and external stakeholders, what feedback was provided, how feedback is included, and when each of these activities took place could be one of the most important pieces of evidence.


Call us on 1800 266 160 or email info@caqa.com.au to find out more on how we can assist.

According to a new report, businesses are increasing their investments in cybersecurity skills

According to new research from cybersecurity firm Sophos, internal IT departments and businesses are making investments in their staff’ cybersecurity skills and knowledge.

According to a new analysis from Sophos, IT teams around the world faced unprecedented challenges in 2020 and 2021, with cybersecurity issues ranking at the top of the list – if not at the top – of the list. As a result, businesses are increasing their investments in cybersecurity, training the staff members, checking their knowledge and skills to protect organisations and themselves from cyber attacks and making reasonable efforts to safeguard the organisation from any cyber threats.

The cybersecurity behemoth interviewed 5,400 IT managers across 30 countries and discovered that workloads for internal IT Teams are increasing as cyberattacks become more advanced, prompting IT professionals to improve their cybersecurity expertise and hire more in-house security personnel. This is the reason why Australia is continuously focussing on improving and enhancing the cybersecurity skills of its skilled labour.

According to the survey, non-security workloads increased in every industry, with 63 per cent of IT managers across all industries reporting an increase in non-security workloads. The most significant increases in workload were observed in Turkey (84 per cent), Australia (81 per cent), and the United States (75 per cent), with IT teams in government and education being the most adversely affected.

However, 69 per cent of respondents stated that their cybersecurity responsibilities have increased even further, with over 70 per cent of managers in business and professional services, government, construction, education, utilities, manufacturing, and retail stating the same.

Given the sophistication of modern cybercrime, a slim majority (54 per cent) of IT managers surveyed indicated they are having difficulty responding to cyberattacks on their own. Businesses, governments, and the healthcare industry all claimed they require outside assistance to handle cybercrime responses.

IT professionals in Australia say they require the most assistance, with 86 per cent stating that assaults are too advanced for internal IT to handle. In contrast, 54 per cent of respondents in the United States agreed.

According to the survey, these difficulties are contributing to longer reaction times, with 61 per cent of IT managers reporting that their response times to IT problems are increasing, while 19 per cent reported that their response times are either remaining the same or decreasing.

Increasing their cybersecurity knowledge and skills, perhaps out of necessity, is something that IT professionals are doing, with 70 per cent claiming to have been successful in doing so.

The events of the last year and a half have also compelled organisations to increase their investment in their cybersecurity workforce, with 68 per cent of IT managers expecting to increase their in-house security teams over the next two years and 76 per cent expecting to do the same over the next five years as a result of the recent events.

Meanwhile, 56 per cent of respondents anticipate an increase in outsourced IT employees over the next two years, and 64 per cent anticipate an increase over the following five years.

The survey also revealed that firms that were negatively impacted by cybersecurity actually experienced an increase in morale. Overall, 52 per cent of respondents indicated an improvement in IT team morale, but when IT experts whose business had been struck by ransomware were polled, 60 per cent reported an increase in morale in their firm. Ransomware did not have a negative impact on morale in 47 per cent of the firms that were not affected.

It was noted that “adversity – in this case, cyberattacks – frequently creates an opportunity for people to join together and work collaboratively towards a common objective, which helps to increase morale.” The ability to sustain the organisation while dealing with growing attacks provides a sense of satisfaction, as well.

A range of VET resources, RPL kits, LLN kits, training and assessment resources, and e-learning resources in cybersecurity have been developed by CAQA Resources for use by any interested training organisation. You can visit our website www.caqaresources.com.au for more information related to our training and assessment materials or email us at info@caqa.com.au.

Writing your Training and Assessment Strategy – Part 2 of Part 5

To refresh yourself, please find Part 1 here

In our part 1, we had the opportunity to cover a number of topics relevant to writing a compliant and useful training and assessment strategy. Topics covered included:

  • What is the definition of training and assessment strategy?
  • Why is it known as a high-level view of a course/ training program or a “Helicopter—document”?
  • What are the other terms we use for training and assessment strategies?
  • What should we call our document according to regulatory requirements and guidelines?
  • What information must be included in a training and assessment strategy?
  • How a training and assessment strategy should be saved?
  • How auditors use the training and assessment strategy?
  • Why do we need a fit for purpose training assessment strategy?
  • What a training organisation must consider when designing a training and assessment strategy?

In this part of the series, we will cover the following main points:

  • Can a training and assessment strategy be used for different learner cohorts?
  • What are the different learner cohorts?

Can a training and assessment strategy be used for different learner cohorts?

A simple answer to this question is “no”. The regulatory requirements require the training provider to ensure they have employed suitable and effective training and assessment practices after evaluating and assessing the needs of each of their learner. You can certainly categorise the learners, according to their preferences, needs and requirements into separate learner cohort but then you must design a learning and assessment strategy for each of your learner cohort.

You can offer learners a learning experience that is unique to the cohort they belong to by categorising them into smaller groups based on category they fall into. You can separate and organise discussion topics by cohorts so that participants only communicate with people from their own group. You can design course material in such a way that different cohorts of learners receive different assessments or training materials designed and prepared to meet their individual learning and training needs and requirements.

Regulatory guidelines related to this matter are:

Standards for RTOs 2015:

Clause 1.1

The RTO’s training and assessment strategies and practices, including the amount of training they provide, are consistent with the requirements of training packages and VET accredited courses and enable each learner to meet the requirements for each unit of competency or module in which they are enrolled.

Clause 1.2

For the purposes of clause 1.1, the RTO determines the amount of training they provide to each learner with regard to:

  • the existing skills, knowledge and the experience of the learner
  • the mode of delivery
  • where a full qualification is not being delivered, the number of units and/or modules being delivered as a proportion of the full qualification.

Clause 1.3

The RTO has, for all of its scope of registration, and consistent with its training and assessment strategies, sufficient:

  • trainers and assessors to deliver the training and assessment
  • educational and support services to meet the needs of the learner cohort/s undertaking the training and assessment
  • learning resources to enable learners to meet the requirements for each unit of competency, and which are accessible to the learner regardless of location or mode of delivery
  • facilities, whether physical or virtual, and equipment to accommodate and support the number of learners undertaking the training and assessment.

Clause 1.4

The RTO meets all requirements specified in the relevant training package or VET accredited course.

Clause 2.2

The RTO:

  • systematically monitors the RTO’s training and assessment strategies and practices to ensure ongoing compliance with Standard 1
  • systematically evaluates and uses the outcomes of the evaluations to continually improve the RTO’s training and assessment strategies and practices. Evaluation information includes but is not limited to quality/performance indicator data collected under clause 7.5, validation outcomes, client trainer and assessor feedback and complaints and appeals.

Let us understand this concept using some practical real-life examples.

Example 1:

The training organisation has the opportunity to offer training through different training delivery modes such as online, workplace, distance, classroom or blended (combination of two or more delivery modes). However, as the training organisation will not be able to use the same strategies, resources, equipment, and materials for all the different delivery modes. The same condition applies to the training and assessment strategies as well. Online learners might need access to learning management system, discussion forums, interactive training sessions, online meetings and so on when traditional classroom learners may need face to face, live interactions with trainers and assessors, set time and set location for training and learning activities, physical distancing, different set of equipment and training materials. Therefore, you will not be able to design a single strategy that can meet the requirements of these completely different kinds of learner cohorts.

Example 2:

Another example is for learners who may or may not require prerequisite learning and assessment criteria before enrolling into a course. There are several courses where students are required to have adequate and sufficient knowledge, skills and understanding to enrol into the course. Without meeting these fundamental enrolment and admission requirements, that can be set by the training product, a regulatory body, at state or federal level or by the training organisation, the learners should not be able to enrol, study and complete a course. You will therefore require two separate set of training programs, one for learner cohort who can commence training after demonstrating they meet the admission and enrolment criteria and another one for learners who must complete the prerequisites before enrolling into a course. This example also includes learners who need to improve their English proficiency skills before they can enrol to complete a training program, completing a training course before enrolling into a pathway program, completing a hand—on employment training program or work—experience for a certain time period and so on.

Note: Some of these requirements can be co-requisite (must be studied at the same time of completing other components of the training and assessment) and others are pre—requisite (must be successfully completed before enrolling into the training program).

Example 3:

We discussed this example in part 1 as well but thought to include again to ensure the readers understand why we need to develop separate training and assessment strategies to meet the needs of the different learner cohorts.

For example, a TAS initially developed to deliver training to mature students with substantial industry experience with a shorter delivery time frame and assessment methods which utilise the candidates prior experience- or application to the workplace.  If the RTO’s new learner cohort has little to no experience, the TAS will not be fit for purpose.

There is also no “single size” template for a TAS. All variations must be correctly recorded through a customised or new training and assessment strategy.

What are the different learner cohorts?

The learner cohorts can also be based on a number of other factors such as:

  • Location where training and assessment will be delivered, is it online, classroom, workplace, blended etc.
  • The facilities, equipment, materials, support services and resources required to deliver the training.
  • Skill gaps identified in the learner cohorts or expected pre-requisite knowledge, skills and work experience required to enrol and complete the course
  • The course duration and timings and arrangements to cater these needs.
  • Course entry and exit requirements
  • English language proficiency requirements
  • Support needs and requirements of each learner
  • Disability, demographics, degree, dialect, difference
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, first in family to attend university, non-English speaking background.
  • Multicultural, mind-set, motivation, morals
  • Employment status of the learners
  • Reason for enrolling into the course
  • Relevant industry and work experience in the specific stream
  • Course delivery structure and sequence
  • Recognition of prior learning and recognition of current competencies
  • Duration of the training course
  • Other possible variations for learners with different learning and assessment needs and requirements

Note: This is not an exhaustive list and written for reference purposes only.

In our next editions, we will discuss:

  • What should be included in a training and assessment strategy (TAS) template
  • How to complete a training and assessment strategy (TAS) template
  • Review and manage training and assessment strategy (TAS) tool

References:

https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/training-assessment/clauses-1.1-to-1.4-2.2