Units of Competency, Skill Sets, and Qualifications
October 11, 2012 3 Comments
I have been talking a lot recently about accredited and non-accredited training, skill sets and units of competency. One of the things that concerns me is the focus on full qualifications and how they are delivered.
Now I understand that a RTO’s and TAFE market full qualifications and market them in the way that they do is driven almost entirely by the way in which the Australian Governments funds training. For the most part funding only applies to full qualifications. The unfortunate thing about this is that it constricts the way a lot of training providers think about delivery.
I want to put forward an idea today about an alternative and what I think is ultimately more effective method of delivery. Those of you who have heard me speak over the last few months may already have heard outlines of this idea and of how it works for our organisation.
Think about undertaking an undergraduate Arts degree at university. You choose from a wide range of different subjects spread over a number of semesters, which gradually build towards a major or maybe two. This is not necessarily how VET training works and I wonder if there is not some value in thinking about delivery differently.
Rather than (and I will give examples from the community services package because I know it well) enrolling someone into a cert IV in community services work why not let them choose from a range of courses say ‘effective communication’ ‘maintain quality service delivery’ ‘cultural competence’ ‘work effectively with young people’ ‘advocate for clients’ etc. Let the participant choose their path, develop the areas they want, get a feel for different sectors of work and decide where they might want to go.
Given this idea a participant may start off thinking they want a qualification in social work, but may end up realising that they realise and want to do youth work or maybe they might decide they want to do both.
Of course funding this form of training delivery from a government point of view is going to be much more difficult than just funding a place in a cert IV in disability work, which may not be what the participant really ends up wanting to do. It would also make it more difficult for RTO’s and TAFE’s to market and administer. However it seems at least in my mind a model of training delivery that has a much more congruent outcome for the learner.