Skill Sets, Specialised Training or Full Qualifications

I have been having a really interesting discussion on linkedin with a number of my collegues around competency based training. So I thought that I would share a few of my thoughts about the whole qualifications, skill sets, non-accredited specilist training mish mash.

From an organisational point of view, what I want from training is value for money (a good solid ‘real’ ROI), an increase in the skills of the staff memebers who attend the training, to have this acieved in the most efficient and effective manner and to have both particpants and managers happy with the outcomes of the training they received. I would rather send staff on a two day sales training course for which I will get a real ROI on in terms of increased sales, better customer service etc than a full qualificiaitons. I want staff who can do their jobs and do them well, not just staff with pieces of paper and will utilise the best training to get that result, whether it be a non-accredited course, a skill set or a full qualification.

One of my biggest complaints in terms of the way some RTO’s seem to run is this; I get 3-5 calls a week from BDM’s at various RTO wanting to offer me all of this wonderful training that they can deliver to staff for no cost to the organisation. However it is clear that they neither have any understanding of our business or in a lot of cases have even bothered to look at our website. The training is also not what we need and they dont in a lot of cases even bother to ask what it is that we might be looking for. Where they do bother to ask the quesiton they take the response they are given and try and squeeze what it is I want into some qualificiation which is not actually what is needed, which staff will not be happy with because they neither need not want segments of its all because there is government funding and we can give it to you for free.

Why does it make sense to go down the qualificiation route. More often than not qualificiations do not have the same content in them as sepcialist course because specialist courses are not tied to having to deliver and assess UOC’s, in fact most of the non-accredited courses we send staff on are not part of any training package but short specialist courses designed to upskill a staff member in specific skills they require. Alternatively it could be a short course with one or two UOC attached to it which the staff member could then use towards a qualificiation that they might wish to achieve. Too many people in this industry focus soley on full qualifications (probably because they are governement funded) and not enough on what it is that both organisations and staff want. It is not just organisations that want to have their staff do skill sets and non-accredited training, in fact the vast majority of requests I have from staff are not for full quals, but rather for with skill sets or specialist training that will make them better at their jobs.

Too many providers rely on selling government funded training rather than training that people and organisations need. If an RTO’s business model relies on selling governement funded programs to people and organisations without truly understanding what the person or organisation actually needs then I think that is seriously flawed.

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About pauldrasmussen
Paul Rasmussen is one of Australia’s most widely read Vocational Education and Training Commentators. He provides deep, unbiased analysis and insights not only on topical issues, but also on the underlying structure and policy which supports the industry. His writing and analysis has been praised for its uncompromising and thought provoking style and its ability to focus on the issues of real importance to the sector. He has advised various government departments and ministers, training providers, public and private organisations, not for profits and small to medium enterprises on the VET sector and the issues and opportunities facing it. He is one of Australia’s most awarded learning professionals and a regular speaker at a range of conventions and forums. His extensive experience in vocational education, and learning and development coupled with formal qualifications in philosophy, ethics, business and education management allow Paul to provide a unique view of the road ahead and how to navigate it.

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