Newbery Consulting VET News – 21st January 2021

Hello and welcome to VET News,

This is our first VET News for 2021. Welcome back and I hope you all had a lovely break.

Today we have received the Productivity Commission’s report into the National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development. There are some interesting and relatively predictable findings in the report. A link to the report is provided below in the news articles but here are some key findings and recommendations:

  • A VET workforce censes will be administered by the NCVER to inform improvements to quality teaching, delivery and assessment.
  • Independent assessment is recommended to have a phased introduction aiming to improve the quality of training and competency outcomes.
  • The quality indicator Employer Questionnaire is to continue to be administered by RTOs with data to be collected and analysed by the NCVER to inform market choice. RTOs will no longer be required to administer the quality indicator Learner Questionnaire or provide the ASQA with an annual summary report of their performance against quality indicators.
  • The Commission has called for greater contestability and transparency to public funding of TAFEs and for States and Territories to enhance the operational autonomy of public providers. The commission has recommended a provider-agnostic approach to training delivery based on the principles of market testing and training quality.
  • The Commission has called for greater transparency by States and Territories of public provider funding to ensure compliance with competitive neutrality principles in the national agreement. The commission observed that competition is weakened by governments reserving a large share of public funding for TAFEs. On average, State and Territory governments allocate about half of total VET funding to public RTOs without market testing. The other half is then contested between both public and private providers with public providers receiving on average 70% of the total public funding.
  • The adoption of consistent course funding across all jurisdictions to remove unjustified national variations.
  • The introduction of minimum student fees for certificate III and above courses to ensure students have a stake in their own learning. The commission found that fee free TAFE courses are distorting the VET market and crowding private RTOs out of some markets and ultimately reducing contestability and student choice.
  • The Commission has recommended an expansion of VSL program to include Certificate IV qualifications and potentially Certificate III qualifications in time. The revision of VSL course loan caps is also recommended to better reflect the cost of course delivery.
Keep in mind that these are only recommendations at this point. Most of these findings seem to be consistent with the discussion paper that was released proceeding the study. Nothing this, the Commission has certainly strengthened its language in support of greater competition in the VET market and directly questioned State and Territory subsidy of public providers which is distorting VET market contestability and reducing competition and ultimately user choice which is a fundamental principle of the national agreement. It is also notable that the commission has avoided making any recommendations about changing the status quo on the federal to state distribution arrangements for VET funding. We are set to continue to have multiple State and Territory level funding contracts to manage and comply with although we may see in the future more consistent pricing. Maybe.

I will watch with interest the proposed independent assessment that has been recommended for phased introduction. The cost of introducing and conducting independent assessment depending on the model adopted could be quite significant for the provider. Those considering an independent assessment model and trial will need to give careful consideration to the potential cost impact on providers. I find these initiatives, much like mandatory assessment validation are often great in concept but those pulling the leavers do not really understand the implications (or cost) on the ground. We need to be targeting independent assessment mechanisms that are cost neutral or are supported with appropriate cost offsets. The cost of compliance is already too high. If the opportunity arises to provide input to the development of an independent assessment model, we all need to be very vocal about the need to consider the cost impact on providers. You can access the full report in the article below.

Good training,

Joe Newbery

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Compliance & Regulatory News

New governance arrangements

From 1 January 2021, the National VET Regulator will also be known as ASQA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Saxon Rice has recently been appointed to the role of CEO for a five-year term. As ASQA implements these new governance arrangements, you will see:

  • under the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011, the roles and responsibilities of Commissioners removed, reinforcing the role of the CEO as the single independent statutory office holder, with responsibilities conferred upon the CEO as the accountable authority for ASQA
  • regulatory decisions being delegated to different levels within ASQA, and
  • increased opportunities for internal reconsideration of ASQA’s regulatory decisions.

Read more.

Other VET News

National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development Review Report released

The report sets out the Commission’s Review of the National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development (NASWD). Its key messages are that the NAWSD should be replaced with a new principles based agreement, and there is manifest capacity for governments to get a better return from their investment in vocational education and training (VET).

The Commission recommends changes to make the next intergovernmental agreement more effective and improve accountability for the $6.4 billion spent each year by governments.

Read the full report.

2020 AVETMISS Reporting due soon

The collection window for direct reporting of 2020 AVETMISS fee-for-service activity reported directly to NCVER is due by 5pm (ACDT) Friday 26 February 2021.

If you are reporting fee-for-service activity via a state training authority (STA) then please check their deadlines as they may be earlier.

Read more.

Quality Reform Survey

The Skills Reform Department has released a new survey seeking views from vocational education and training (VET) stakeholders to support the development of a VET Workforce Quality Strategy. The survey will help to identify the strengths of the VET workforce, and areas for improvement and further support.

You are encouraged to complete this new survey, and to regularly check for further ways of providing your feedback on the industry engagement, qualifications and quality skills reforms.

Read more.

Articles and Papers

VET student outcomes 2020

This report provides a summary of the outcomes and satisfaction of students who completed nationally recognised vocational education and training (VET) delivered by registered training organisations (RTOs) in Australia during 2019 using data collected between June and September 2020.  This paper highlights, the most common reason for undertaking training in 2020 was for qualification completers and part-completers ‘to get a job’, and for short course completers, part-completers and subject(s) only completers was because ‘it was a requirement of my job’. It also shows that a lower proportion of qualification part-completers was satisfied with the overall training than any other group.

Read more.


Business Opportunities / ATMs

ATM ID: Health/21-23/07275
ATM Title: Development and implementation of the Aged Care Transition to Practice Program.
Category: Education and Training Services   

Description: The Department is seeking organisations and/or established or future consortia as Tenders to develop an evidence-based Aged Care Transition to Practice Program  for new nurses, and to implement and deliver this program over three years from 2020-21 to June 2023.  Participants in the program must be registered nurses who have graduated university within the previous two years. The program must contain mentoring and training components.

Read 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:


AATIS Recruiting for Contact and Content Officer

The ‘Contact and Content Officer’ will be a key front line resource dealing with enquiries, and presenting information sessions. The role will also provide the opportunity to manage and create content which will be published across the Service’s communication platforms. The role is a great opportunity for a person with knowledge of Australian Apprenticeships to bring their dedication and creativity to a highly regarded national initiative. The position is full time, initially for a 6 month period. The IIS workplace is a hybrid of work from home and work at our Melbourne CBD location. 

For more details please contact Ian Marett, Managing Director, IIS (mobile: 0439 902 009 or email:

Labour Market Trend Updates

December 2020 Report (Preliminary)

Job advertisements increased by 1.4% in December  2020 to stand at 171,500. This represents the eighth consecutive month on month increase in job advertisements, which now stand 11.1%above the level recorded in December 2019.

Recruitment activity increased across all states except Victoria and both territories during December 2020.  Despite falling over the month (down by 2.7%) Victorian recruitment activity  remains above the level recorded a year (up by 2.0%).

Over the year, job advertisements have now increased in all states and both territories.

View more.


Training Package Updates

Training Package Updates

The following training packages have been updated on

  • AMP: Australian Meat Processing
    Revised 18th December 2020
  • AHC: Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management
    Revised 24th December 2020
  • HLT: Health
    Revised 24th December 2020
  • CPC: Construction, Plumbing and Services
    Revised 15th January 2021
  • CPP: Property Services
    Revised 13th January 2021
  • ICT: Information and Communications Technology
    Revised 19th January 2021

Upcoming Events

Career Information for School Leavers and Parents 
28 January 2021, 2:00pm to 2:45pm

The National Career Institute’s Your Career website, the School Leavers Information Kit and Service and Parent and Guardians Guide for School Leavers can help people figure out their next steps. Join AATIS and the NCI for a webinar to find out more about how you can take advantage of these services to help people figure out their next steps.



RTO Data Cloud

Newbery Consulting has been supplying student management software for over 10 years. A cloud based RTO student management system that provides RTOs the capability to manage their training operation and meet all national and State reporting and compliance obligations. It would be our pleasure to offer you access as a trial user and you can evaluate the system capabilities for yourself.

Don’t continue to pay too much for cloud based AVETMISS software. Have the flexibility to only paying for your additional users as you need them on a flat daily cost of only $2.00 per day. Set up your online enrolments and customise your certificates at no extra cost. Need to manage your CRICOS and State funded enrolments, no problems. Get in contact with the team at Newbery Consulting today and request to be set up as a trial user.

Read more.

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