NSSC Position Paper on a New VET System – Part 2 The Standards

So on Tuesday I started to look at the position paper just released by the NSSC

today I want to start looking more closely at the Standards Framework which the NSSC have put forward, starting with the standards around Training and Assessment.

Standard 1 – Training and assessment strategies and practice give effect to AQF qualifications defined in the Training Package or accredited course

All of this looks great on paper,  and these comments go equally for Standard 2 as well,  but I have some issues, yet again it seems the focus is on assessment and assessment strategies, could for once actually look at how the training is delivered and the content that is being delivered.  It is not enough to say that it needs to meet AQF standards etc and then only look at the assessment tools, strategies and the qualifications of the trainers.  In reality that is not where the problem is, the problem is in what is actually being delivered to participants and how it is being delivered, until the government and the regulators actually step up to the plate and actually look at the content itself and how it is delivered and who knows and here is a radical suggestion, Auditors could actually sit in on a class or two to see what really is happening, and what the content and delivery methodologies are, instead of just looking at pieces of paper and going yep well you have ticked all of those boxes so what you deliver in to participants must be fine.

It is absolutely ridiculous in my opinion that we are supposed to have a system that regulates training providers, but which doesn’t actually look at the training that they provide.  The problem is that until we actually start doing this the system will still have the problems that currently exist.

The real kicker in this standard though and one which I and I know a large number of people involved at all levels of VET will support fully, again if properly implemented is this little gem;

Trainer/teacher and assessors delivering the minimum training and assessment qualification set by the NSSC hold at least the Diploma of Vocational Education and Training;

and all I have to say is it is about time.  It is and has always been a ludicrous situation, where someone with no training background, could  obtain the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and the very next be training other people in the Qualification.  It made no sense and has caused no end of issues within the industry and as the NSSC paper goes on to comment in the explanation of the standards ;

a strong theme arising from consultations to date is concern with the quality of delivery of the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, which in turn has a significant impact on the capability of vocational education and training trainers/teachers and assessors to implement quality training and assessment practices and

require a trainer/teacher delivering the TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to hold at least the Diploma of Vocational Education and Training 

This just makes sense, but again only if they hold RTO’s accountable for what they actually deliver and how they deliver it.

Standard 2 – AQF qualifications or statements of attainment are issued to learners assessed as meeting the competency requirements defined in the Training Package or accredited course.

My comments here are exactly the same as those above, everything talks about assessment and there is not mention of the actual training, unless we start to look at what is actually being delivered and not just the assessment tools, you know the content not just the outcome we will still have poorly trained graduates who are not actually ready for a job role in the vocation they are supposed to have been trained in.

Standard 3 – An LTO has an Accountable Education Officer, who is registered with the AVQS regulator and responsible for all training and assessment undertaken by the LTO.

I am in full support of this standard.  I know that there has been some discussion that it may add an extra layer of cost to the operations of LTO’s but I am less certain as I would suggest that most providers would currently have someone operating in that kind of role anyway, and if they don’t they probably should.  In our instance I can see that it would make no real change to our day-to-day business processes etc.  My only caveat to this is that if the Accountable Education Officer role, was a role that could not be held by someone like the CEO, Executive Officer, RTO Manager etc of the LTO.  If it is required to be a separate role, then I would be far less supportive of it as it would increase the costs without any real benefit flowing form the cost increase.

Standard 4 – LTO is accountable for and systematically monitors all training and assessment services, whether undertaken by itself or through a partnering arrangement, to ensure the achievement of quality training and assessment outcomes and compliance with all the standards.

Again from my point of view this one if a no-brainer, again as I have said before, if when they talk about training they put into place actual process and regulations around the content and delivery of training and not just of assessments   I know I sound like a broken record on this one but it really needs to happen if we are going to have a VET system we can be proud of and which provides us with the outcomes we require.

So there are my thought on the first four of the standards.  I will post some more of my views around the rest of the standards tomorrow.

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.

One Response to NSSC Position Paper on a New VET System – Part 2 The Standards

  1. Kevin McAney says:

    Paul – I read with interest your analysis and comments. Full marks on hitting the nail on the head. The major issue within the training industry is HOW the training is delivered rather than to a lesser degree HOW it is assessed. There is little to be gained by shuffling the deck and dealing the same cards out again. It should not be about “ticking boxes” to show compliance. It should be about providing industry outcomes.

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