Newbery Consulting VET News – 7th April 2022



Hello and welcome VET News,

I mentioned in our last VET News that we were following a matter making its way through ASQA that related to a very wrong audit finding in relation to a trainer’s equivalent vocational competency. I was literally inundated with emails following that last VET News with RTOs sharing their own experience in relation to this area of compliance with one common theme. This is the absolute inconsistency in auditor interpretation of evidence in support of equivalent vocational competency. Many RTOs described the same crazy situation that one of our client’s experienced with one auditor confirming a trainer’s equivalent competency whilst another auditor looking at the same trainer, the same evidence at a different time and finds the opposite. I can report that following the provision of some additional evidence, the non-compliance was resolved.

But,,, clearly there is a systemic problem out there with the reliability of auditor decision making. We need to drag the concept of equivalent vocational competency out from being an unpublished rule and bring it into the light by putting some published rules and guidance around the minimum evidence requirements and by establishing some accepted rules for common qualification areas. I took note some time ago how ASQA have published a guide to recognise the various qualifications that would be accepted as examples of suitable “adult education qualifications” for the purpose of delivering TAE training products. Why did they publish this? Because this rule in the standards (Schedule 1, Item 3) is so vague that it needed to be better defined to assist RTOs to comply with the regulator’s expectation. Go figure!

So, lets build on this idea and see if we can agree on some basic rules around the minimum evidence requirements in support of equivalent competency. As an example, can we agree that a trainer that holds a Bachelor of Nursing and a current AHPRA nursing registration with a minimum of three years demonstrated experience working in the age care sector, has sufficient vocational competency to deliver the qualification CHC33015 – Certificate III in Individual Support? Surely it is self-apparent to accept that this person has the skills and knowledge to deliver aged care training without the need to require this person to waste significant time preparing some lengthy competency mapping. There must be many dozens of vocational areas like this where we can say, if you hold this higher related qualification and have this experience, then this is sufficient evidence that you are competent to deliver this qualification. I think of this like an equivalent vocational competency guide, or some other sexy name. Come on ASQA! Let’s try and develop this type of more helpful level of guidance to reduce the compliance burden rather than simply continuing on the same old path.

Another very basic idea is, why doesn’t the regulator maintain a register of approved trainers? If a trainer’s equivalent vocational competency is sampled at an audit and the auditor confirms their competency for the delivery of a specific qualification, why not put this in a database so that in future audits this does not need to be re-evaluated? This would be more efficient for the regulator; it would reduce the RTOs compliance uncertainty and would support productivity. These are just two suggestions which the regulator could act on which would provide some much needed clarity to an area of compliance which is so dreadfully inconsistent.

I made a point on LinkedIn this week that we are entering a skills shortage the likes of which we have not seen for many decades. Finding and retaining skilled and experienced trainers is going to become increasingly more difficult and expensive. We need to remove these silly barriers to entry where possible. A great place to start is to simplify the rules when it comes to equivalent vocational competency. The regulator needs to sort out its inconsistent regulation and put in place some systems and guidance which provide RTOs more certainty to employ these trainers and reduce the time wasting in preparing micro level evidence to convince some auditor that this trainer is competent. We need to keep on banging this drum until they get it.

Good training,

Joe Newbery

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Compliance & Regulatory News



Federal Budget 2022 Summary 

The 2022-23 Budget invests in measures that support Australian families, strengthens student educational outcomes, and will help secure Australia’s ongoing economic recovery through skills and employment.

Early Childhood and Child Care:

  • $19.4 million to fund up to 20 new services in disadvantaged regional and remote areas where there is a lack of suitable child care.

Schools and Youth:

  • An additional $62.4 million for projects that enable better student educational outcomes through the National School Reform Fund and the Non-Government Reform Support Fund.

Higher Education, Research and International:

  • $37.4 million research translation program to be delivered through the CSIRO, and a commitment to supercharging university innovation and industry collaboration.

Skills and Training

  • Up to $12 billion over 5 years will be committed in support of the National Skills Agreement (NSA) with states and territories.
  • $365.3 million to extend the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) wage subsidy for three months to 30 June 2022 and the Completing Apprenticeship Commencements (CAC) wage subsidy to 30 June 2027.
  • $2.4 billion is going towards the new Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System (AAIS),
  • $38.6 million is going towards encouraging women to take up an apprenticeship in a non-traditional trade occupation.
  • $2.8 million will help support an additional 2,500 Australians aged between 15 and 20 while they are completing their apprenticeship (In-Training Support)
  • The JobTrainer Fund will be expanded, with the Government investing a further $48.5 million over 2 years, contingent on matched funding from states.
  • $3.9 million will be provided to support women considering a transition into the tech workforce.
  • $1.5 million to extend a trial offering career advice to job seekers aged 25 and over.
  • $28.5 million over 5 years from 2021-22 to support vocational education and training (VET). This includes $17.5 million over 5 years is being provided to the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to undertake training package assurance for the national VET system and $11 million in 2022–23 for critical maintenance of the VET Student Loans (VSL) IT system to ensure the system can continue to support the delivery of the VSL program.

View more.

New guide will help course owners apply for course accreditation

ASQA has published a new guide to help course owners understand what they need to do when applying for course accreditation. The new guide will help course owners:

For more information, click here.


Other VET News



Strategic Review into First Aid units of competency in Western Australia

The Training Accreditation Council’s Focus on Quality: Regulatory Strategy 2021-2023 identifies First Aid units of competency as an area of focus. Issues that have come to the attention of the Council include: the quality of training and assessment, including online practices; amount of training; industry currency of trainers and assessors; and RTO facilities and equipment.

Read more.

Updating and correcting transcripts

The USI Transcript Update Tool allows training organisations to edit, add or delete records, and update the training information on a VET transcript outside the AVETMISS collection windows, as long as the record has previously been reported and recoded on the transcript.

Read more.


Articles and Papers



Digital skills development in TVET teacher training

This report presents the results of the UNESCO-UNEVOC trends mapping study on progress and challenges in TVET teacher and trainer digital skills development before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study’s findings offer guidance to governments and TVET institutions that wish to improve teachers’/trainers’ acquisition of digital skills, as well as their capacities and propensities to apply digital tools, services and technologies to deliver quality, learner-centred education and training.

Read more.

VET for secondary school students: a research synthesis

The aim of this synthesis is to provide an overview of VET for secondary school students in Australia. The paper focuses on reasons for choosing and participating in VET programs delivered in schools; models of delivery; quality of delivery; and outcomes, both short and medium-term, from these programs. Current knowledge gaps are identified with areas for further research suggested.

Read more.

Exploratory analysis of VET market segments

The paper outlines the clustering algorithms used and provides insights into the identified market segments, with case studies used to explore key segments (students in targeted English programs; students in social inclusion programs; and migrant students) in more detail.

Read more.


Labour Market Trend Updates



Employment Projections

The National Skills Commission produces employment projections to provide a much-needed guide to the likely future direction of the jobs market over the next 5 years. Over the five years to November 2026:

  • Employment is projected to increase across all 19 broad industries
  • Employment is projected to increase across all 8 broad occupational groups
  • 9 in 10 new jobs are projected to require post-school education

Read more.


Training Package Updates



Training Package Updates

The following training packages have been updated on

  • AHC: Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management
    Revised 26th March 2022.
  • PMA: Chemical, Hydrocarbons and Refining
    Revised 29th March 2022.
  • PSP: Public Sector
    Revised 3rd April 2022.
  • SIS: Sport, Fitness and Recreation
    Revised 4th April 2022.
  • SIF: Funeral Services.
    Revised 4th April 2022.
  • MSS: Sustainability
    Revised 5th April 2022.
Extended transition period: AHC50516 – Diploma of Arboriculture

ASQA has recently approved an extended transition period for AHC50516 Diploma of Arboriculture due to recent floods in Queensland and NSW.

The extended training, assessment, and certification issuance period for AHC50516 Diploma of Arboriculture ends on 31 July 2022.

Read more.

Extended transition period: SIS30315 Certificate III in Fitness and SIS40215 Certificate IV in Fitness

ASQA has recently approved an extended transition period for SIS30315 Certificate III in Fitness and SIS40215 Certificate IV in Fitness.

The extended training, assessment, and certification issuance period for SIS30315 Certificate III in Fitness and SIS40215 Certificate IV in Fitness ends on 10 May 2023.

Read more.

Australian Apprenticeships & Traineeships Qualification Update 

Updates have been made to some Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Qualifications.

View here.


Upcoming Events




31st National Vocational Education and Training (VET) Research Conference ‘No Frills’
Date: 6th July – 8th July 2022
Melbourne’No Frills’ provides an opportunity for networking and ideas sharing in a friendly and informal atmosphere with a cross-section of industry representatives, practitioners, researchers and policymakers. Register.




Business Opportunities / ATMs

ATM ID:ESE22-14 / PRN2570
Agency:Department of Education, Skills and Employment
Category:86000000 – Education and Training Services

Description: By way of a competitive procurement process, the Department seeks suppliers to develop industry-led and globally relevant micro-credentials. These will be for delivery online (including blended modes) and offshore, targeting international students (but also available to domestic students). The Commonwealth will own the intellectual property rights in the micro-credentials developed through this procurement.

View more.

AusTender materials are released by the Department of Finance. AusTender materials are subject to change and should be verified on the AusTender website to ensure the information is up to date and correct:

Business Opportunities / ATMs

ATM ID: ESE21/2158-12
Agency: Department of Education, Skills and Employment
Category: 86000000 – Education and Training Services

Description: Addressing skills gaps through industry-engaged VET and higher education is a priority for governments and institutions across India. By working collaboratively with governments and industry partners, the project will seek to establish a model for international partnerships in key industry sectors to enhance the quality and relevance of local VET while showcasing the strengths of Australian qualifications in delivering skills. This will see greater progress towards alignment of Australia and India’s education systems and enhanced opportunities for students to contribute to skilled workforces in both India and Australia. The project will demonstrate the potential of industry and government-aligned partnerships to foster greater skills mobility and facilitate transnational delivery of Australian education and training in industries where there are critical and emerging skills needs.

View more.

AusTender materials are released by the Department of Finance. AusTender materials are subject to change and should be verified on the AusTender website to ensure the information is up to date and correct:





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