Newbery’s Audit Guide – Clause 1.7
What the clause requires:
1.7 The RTO determines the support needs of individual learners and provides access to the educational and support services necessary for the individual learner to meet the requirements of the training product as specified in training packages or VET accredited courses.
What is this clause about:
This clause is about ensuring that every learner regardless of their individual situation has the opportunity to properly engage in learning and assessment that is aligned with their needs. It is about providing the learner support services in order to maximise the learner’s completion of the course. Good identification of the learner’s needs and alignment with relevant support services has a direct correlation to the RTO’s competency and qualification completion rates. This clause requires good arrangements to engage with learners during their enrolment pathway to determine their needs and it requires the RTO to have available support services to allocate according to the identified needs of the learner. It’s important to note that the RTO is not required to provide all possible support services. It is reasonable that a small RTO can provide basic language literacy and numeracy support, learning support services and be able to support the majority of learners who may have straight forward disabilities. Where specialist support services are outside of the RTO’s area of expertise then it is appropriate for the RTO to have referral arrangements for these specialist support services. It is also key to consider that “support needs” has a broad application under the standards. The glossary within the standards provides guidance as to the types of support services the RTO may provide. This is not simply relevant to language literacy and numeracy but applies to any individual need a learner may present with such as, disability, financial impairment, social exclusion, et cetera. It is useful when considering learner support needs to consider your learners and think outside the box in terms of what their requirements might be.
You must be able to demonstrate that:
You have very clearly defined arrangements to engage with learners during their enrolment pathway in order to determine their individual support needs.
You have established a broad offering of learner support services that align with the typical or planned learner support requirements.
You can provide examples of how you identified learner support needs and provided support services.
You can demonstrate how the learner is informed about the available support services and how to access these.
Evidence to prepare:
Enrollment policy and procedure which should identify how you engage with learners to determine their needs.
Information in the learner handbook (or equivalent) that informs the learner about the availability of support services and how to access these.
Enrollment application forms and associated documents which may include questions to gather information about the learner’s needs.
Enrollment interview record where you may engage with learner to clarify the needs.
Mechanisms to assess the learner’s language literacy and numeracy skill level benchmarked with the Australian Core Skills Framework.
Evidence of arrangements with local specialist support service providers such as specialist in language literacy and numeracy, counselling services or support services for those with cognitive impairment.
Examples of how support services have been provided to individual learners. In the lead up to an audit, you should canvass the staff in the office and your trainers and assessors who deal with learners at the coalface. These people will be able to recall instances of how learners have presented with needs and how these needs have been addressed. It is quite critical that you can provide tangible examples of how needs were determined and supported. Documentary evidence is king! This might be enrolment records, LLN assessments, correspondence via email with service providers, meeting minutes, et cetera.
You should prepare for these types of questions:
Can you talk me through your process for enrolling learners?
How do you identify a learner’s support needs during the enrollment process?
How do you inform learners about the available support services and have access these?
What do you define as a learner support need?
What arrangements do you have in place to support learners?
Can you identify an example of providing support services to assist them in their course?
Can you talk me through your arrangements to assess learner LLN ability?
Have you benchmarked your LLN assessment arrangements with the Australian Core Skills Framework?
Published by: Joe Newbery, released 2nd May 2017
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