Industry Skills Councils (ISCs), as the developers of Industry Training Packages, have recently undertaken a project to identify whether greater specification of training delivery and assessment requirements within individual qualifications and/or units of competency, would improve the quality of Training Package outcomes.
Australia’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) system continues to play a pivotal role in supporting industry through an unprecedented period of economic restructure. Up-skilling existing workers in response to new practices and evolving job roles, re-skilling workers as structural change impacts on whole sectors, and equipping new entrants to the workforce with the required skills and knowledge are all vital elements of the vocational system’s role.
Industry Training Packages specify the skills and knowledge required to perform effectively in the workplace; they do not prescribe how an individual should be trained. Providers are required to develop appropriate training and assessment strategies to meet the identified and endorsed skills outcomes. As industry’s needs evolve, so too do the nationally endorsed qualifications and units of competency.
Combined with the Australian Qualifications Framework and the Standards for VET Regulation, Australia’s system of industry led VET is admired and emulated across the developed and developing world. With nearly 5,000 Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) the sector is large, diverse and complex and continues to experience rapid growth following the introduction of demand-based funding.
Delivery of consistent, high-quality training and assessment is a fundamental concern for government, employers and individual students1 and remains one of the most enduring issues facing the sector. In its Review of the Standards for the Regulation of VET, the NSSC’s report also noted that: ‘RTOs expressed particular concerns about the ability of the current standards to adequately safeguard the quality of training delivery and assessment, and ultimately the quality of the qualification outcomes.’ NSSC Review of the Standards for the Regulation of VET 2012, p.8
It is clear that all stakeholders want action on quality. With nearly 1.4 million enrolments in Training Package qualifications in 2011 and total VET revenue of $8.38 billion, action to achieve consistent quality outcomes is now a national imperative. Further growth of the system without addressing this issue of quality is unsustainable. Both policymakers and RTOs must move quickly to restore confidence in the quality of outcomes if enterprises, governments and individuals are to continue their investment in nationally recognised training.
The project report available on www.isc.org.au identifies a series of measures that could be applied to qualifications or units of competency where there is a high risk of poor quality delivery and assessment. The proposed measures will contribute to improved professional practice in VET and enable consistent interpretation by both practitioners and regulators.
The ISC’s draft project can be found here
Source: Industry Skills Councils