A registration board for the VET sector?
March 30, 2015 1 Comment
Do we need a Trainer and Assessors registration board?
After my previous post and a number of comments and discussions in a variety of forums, I got to thinking about this idea of a registration board for Trainers and Assessors in the VET sector. Now I know this idea has been floated before, and that there are several groups out there who have or are attempting, as membership organisations, to utilise this idea to lift the general level of professionalism in the industry. But lets face facts, unless membership of an organisation is linked to some kind of regulated authority to train, then there is always going to be a systematic failure. There are registration boards for Teachers in all of the states, statutory bodies, set up to regulate and determine who is appropriately qualified and suitable to teach in a our primary and secondary school systems, so do we need something like that? A single national registration board for all trainers and assessors in the VET sector. While I think in the long-term that might be a very good idea, I think there might be an alternative which at least in the shorter term may have a significant effect on the professionalism of the industry.
A registration board for all Trainers and Assessors delivering a Training and Assessment Qualification!
So if you want to be able to train others in the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment or above or any qualification from the TAE package, you would need to be registered by a single national board which provided you with an Authority to Train. It should like most other boards of its ilk, charge membership fees which would be used to cover the expenses of running the board, and have clearly defined membership entry and maintenance requirements. These requirements should revolved around skills and knowledge as well as experience. Imagine the difference that would be made overnight if the ‘TAE registration board’ required 5 years of training experience before you were able to apply for membership to allow you to deliver a TAE qualification. Gone instantly would be the incidents of doing a weekend TAE this weekend and then teaching the same class the next weekend. A skills and knowledge component, perhaps an exam could be added into the mix for initial registration, as well as strong on going CPD requirements including delivery thresholds, peer supervision and mentoring requirements, then add to this penalties for non-compliance including suspension and de-registration and even just at this level, directly aimed at those teaching TAE qualifications this would have a rapid and marked effect on the quality not only of the TAE suite of programs, but a knock on effect to all other qualifications as well. This added to increased regulatory pressure at an organisational level would should see the quality of the qualification and the sector lifted quickly.
Now people might argue against this proposal in a number of ways.
This is industry is already over regulated
I am not sure of this for a start, but even so the vast majority of regulation at this point in time sits at the level of the RTO. Trainer registration sits at a personal, not organisational level. It is something that is managed by a person for themselves. Individuals can choose whether or not they wish to be registered and have an Authority to Train or not. Trainers and Assessors not delivery TAE qualifications would not be required to undertake registration, although there could either initially or over time a registration process developed for those who did not deliver TAE products.
The cost of a TAE qualification would go up
Probably, but is that a bad thing? Is a $300, 2 day, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment really worth the money it is printed on for anyone?
Who would run it
The simple solution in my mind would be the regulator (ASQA). Given that it needs some kind of regulatory force behind it to be effective, it either needs to be the current regulatory body or some of other statutory body. I suppose it could be an independent organisation, but issues of continuity always concern me in these cases.
It is another expense for the Trainer
I, as I think most reputable training organisations would be more than happy to pay the registration fees and associated costs of our TAE trainers or in terms of a new employee who came with registration, renewals of the registration for as long as they worked for us. However that aside it would be an expense, yes, but it seems one that anyone who was interested in the quality of training and assessment would be willing to pay.
The single most important thing about this however, is that it needs to have regulatory force, it needs to be built into the standards that Training providers delivering TAE qualification may only employ registered trainers to deliver those qualifications. No working under supervision arrangements or anything like that, you either have the registration and the authority to train or you don’t and if you don’t you can’t be employed in a role relating to the delivery of TAE qualification.
Anyway that’s just my opinion.