The Training and Assessment Strategy

 

The national regulator has identified the minimum requirements that must be presented in the RTO’s training and assessment strategies. The following information is a summary of this advice with additional commentary from Newbery Consulting on the recommended content and structure of your training and assessment strategies:

Strategies for training and assessment must be available for each mode of delivery and/or client cohort for each training product you have on the scope of registration. The training and assessment strategy ideally focus on the needs of one type of learner cohort with the same primary mode of delivery.

Each training and assessment strategy must include:

  • The target training product code and title. This means that all qualification or unit of competency training product codes and titles should be clearly identified in accordance with how they appear in the national training package.
  • Identify the core and elective units of competency and provide any rationale about alignment with the qualification packaging rules

 

  • The learner cohort for the relevant training product, including:
    • who they are (employment status, reason for learning, etc)
    • expected pre-existing knowledge and skills
    • related industry experience

 

  • The entry requirements for the training product, including:
    • requirements set by the relevant training package or accredited course
    • local requirements set by your organisation such as being an existing worker or holding specific units of competency or qualification
    • licensing, legislative or regulatory requirements
    • language literacy and numeracy requirements

 

  • The high-level delivery arrangements, including:
    • mode of delivery, such as face-to-face at RTO premises, face-to-face at workplace, online, distance or mixed delivery method
    • duration of the course
    • unit delivery structure and sequence
    • pre or co-requisite units of competency
    • target learner cohort group size (min / max)
    • student / trainer ratio for theory / practical training and assessment
    • work placement (if relevant to the training product)
    • possible variations for students with different learning needs

 

  • The learning and assessment activities and events for all units of competency, (typically displayed in a suggested course program or learning and assessment schedule) including:
    • supervised training activities (theory and practical) identified for each unit of competency showing when these are scheduled over the course duration
    • non-supervised training activities (online learning, self-paced learning, workplace learning) identified for each unit of competency showing when these are scheduled over the course duration
    • assessment events and tasks identified for each unit of competency showing when these are issued and are due over the course duration
    • reflects the sequencing of units of competency and displays how learning and assessment activities for each unit of competency may link or overlap in parallel activity
    • shows any block activities such as work placement, field trips, term breaks, et cetera
    • complements any claims about allocated time made in regard to the amount of training (so if you claim five hours per week of self-paced learning then there should be five hours’ worth of self-paced learning activities displayed for each week)

 

  • The amount of training for each training product should be fully described, including:
    • amount of training (not including assessment) for each mode of training including supervised and non-supervised training activities
    • is sufficient to address the complexity of the training product and gives students sufficient time to fully absorb all required skills and knowledge and develop, practice and apply the skills and knowledge prior to assessment
    • provides a calculation of the total amount of training (not including assessment)
    • provides a justification or rationale where the amount of training is not consistent with the benchmark AQF volume of learning, taking into consideration the existing skills and experience of the target learner cohort, efficiencies in the mode of delivery and any units of competency which will be achieved prior to the course commencement through credit transfer or RPL

 

  • The resources requirements:
    • learning resources (textbooks, handouts, Internet references, presentations, et cetera)
    • assessment tools (assessor instructions, mapping documents, candidate instructions, et cetera)
    • trainers and assessors (include a basic staff matrix)
    • equipment (include all equipment and its required quantities for the planned number of students)
    • consumable items (these are non-durable items such as food, rubber gloves, timber, et cetera that is consumed during learning and assessment)
    • facilities in support of theory and practical training and assessment

 

  • The work placement requirements (if applicable), including:
    • organising responsibility
    • work placement agreement
    • dress and personal equipment
    • minimum time or attendance pattern
    • orientation and induction
    • volunteer insurance
    • supervision arrangements
    • scope of work (tasks) to be performed
    • third party evidence requirements
    • monitoring and reporting arrangements
    • workplace logbook
    • statutory requirements (working with children check)

 

  • Industry consultation that informed the development of the training and assessment strategy, including:
    • the persons or organisations engaged with
    • the details of the engagement such as dates
    • the outcomes of industry engagement focusing on unit selection, suitability of equipment and resources, incorporating industry SOPs or forms, alignment of assessment tasks with industry practices, updating learning content for codes of practice, workplace procedures, et cetera

 

  • Describes the process for review of the strategy including how the review will occur, the data to be collected, who should be involved and the timeframe for the review. Data for the review can be sourced from the following activities:
    • student surveys
    • feedback from trainers and assessors
    • industry consultation
    • assessment validation
    • complaints or appeals

 

  • The following annexes are recommended:
    • Annex A – Course Program (as described above)
    • Annex B – Equipment and Resource Inventory
    • Annex C – Trainer Matrix
    • Annex D – Record of industry consultation

 

Tips for the young and not so young players:

  • Provide a summary of the delivery arrangements on the front cover. This is great to set up the context for the rest of the document. This doesn’t need to take up more than half a page and should include very basic information such as, described the target learner, the course duration, the mode of delivery, the student instructor ratio, the unit structure, et cetera
  • Write the document with the target audience as the trainer. Remember, this document is basically your operational plan for the delivery of a service. You are trying to communicate these delivery arrangements to the trainer. The trainer is the target audience.
  • Don’t feel like you need to fill up the training and assessment strategy with lots of fluff and unnecessary content. Just make a statement early in the document that says that the strategy must be read in conjunction with the associated course learning and assessment materials and organisational policy and procedure.
  • Focus the strategy on a particular learner cohort. Do not try and produce a strategy document that covers off the training needs of multiple cohorts. It confuses the reader and is problematic in dealing with things like describing the amount of training and describing the planned learning and assessment activities which may vary for different cohorts.
  • Establish a systematic review process to conduct a “stop check” on a six-monthly cycle to confirm that your training and assessment strategies still online with the current delivery model. The alignment with the current delivery and the marketing is virtually the first thing that the national regulator checks. This six-monthly review does not need to be some overly bureaucratic or complex activity. Just go over the document and confirm that it still aligns with your current arrangements and if not updated and update the version.
  • Do not utilise nominal hours as a basis for determining the amount of training or comparing this with the AQF volume of learning. The only reference point you should use to determine your amount of training is the AQF level of your qualification, the number of units of competency required to be achieved and the AQF recommended benchmark volume of learning. I agree, the current requirement is far from perfect, but you just need to get on with it.
  • Make sure that you have alignment of information within the strategy relating to the amount of training. If you specify that your target learner is an existing worker in marketing and communication, then you need to make sure that your local entry requirements specify that the learner must meet this criteria. If this is not consistent and you are relying on this as part of your rationale for a reduced amount of training, then it will not correspond to your description of the amount of training or the rationale.
  • Make sure that your described learning and assessment activities aligned with your learning and assessment material. The number of times I have found the client referring to some assessment method that is not supported by either the unit of competency or the develop learning and assessment material would blow your mind. It’s a simple thing to get right you just need attention to detail.
  • Provide as much detail about the recommended inclusions listed above as possible. Providing generic statements or insufficient detail is counter-productive to presenting a compliant training and assessment strategy. Include as much detail as possible. Describe every arrangement in every detail. Avoid generic statements that apply to any qualification.

We have provided a nice template that you may wish to use to assist in the development of your training and assessment strategies. You can download this at the link below.

 

Good training,

Joe Newbery

Published: 5th September 2018

Copyright © Newbery Consulting 2018. All rights reserved.

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