ASQA has published the following on 12th March 2013:
“ASQA has published a new response to a frequently asked question regarding compliance with ‘suggested volume of learning’ for AQF qualifications.
Question: Does ASQA audit RTOs for compliance with the suggested volume of learning for AQF qualifications?
Answer: ASQA does not specifically audit RTOs for compliance with the AQF-suggested volume of learning for a qualification type.
However, RTOs should have regard to the guidance provided in the suggested volume of learning when designing training and assessment strategies.
Arrangements for delivery must support learners in achieving competence in accordance with the requirements of the relevant Training Package or accredited course.”
See ASQA’s publication here.
In my opinion ASQA’s response is a misinterpretation of the AQF. The Volume of learning is not a suggestion, is a compulsory element of the AQF. In fact AQF does not provide guidance but requirements for the delivery and assessment of AQF qualifications.
The VET Quality Framework comprises:
- the Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations 2012
- the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
- the Fit and Proper Person Requirements
- the Financial Viability Risk Assessment Requirements
- the Data Provision Requirements.
In assessing compliance with registration requirements, ASQA must assess compliance with AQF requirements as well.
What ASQA might tried to explain on its “New FAQ”, is the fact that Volume of Learning is not necessarily equal to delivery time. And of course delivery time must be suitable to learners’ characteristics and needs, as well as Training Package requirements.
The Volume of Learning is a definition of how big is the learning required to achieve the competencies in terms of hours, and allows a broad range of values for each AQF level. The Volume of Learning is probably the first element to consider when designing a Training and Assessment Strategy. The AQF recently published Volume of Learning: An Explanation including explanatory notes about this particular.
When an RTO is proposing a learning path that fals outside the AQF Volume of Learning range, ASQA must ask to the RTO: Please explain.
In plain English, what AQF is trying to do here is to eliminate the two days Diploma courses, or one-week TAE40110 courses, currently advertised in the newspapers.