As the financial year comes to a close, the big news this month is the endorsement by SCOTESE of the NSSC’s standards policy framework, “Improving Vocational Education and Training: the Australian Vocational Qualification System”. This 54-page document will form the basis for drafting standards for the new VET regulation. You’ll find a link to the NSSC update in the relevant news item below. Also, I am currently writing a blog entry about the framework and hope to post this on the Newbery Consulting website in the not too distant future.
For now, enjoy reading this June 2013 edition of VET News.
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Compliance and Regulatory News
New fact sheets and forms for accredited courses. There are two fact sheets titled ‘Getting a course accredited’ and ‘Renewing an accredited course’. Six forms have also been updated in relation to developing, adding and maintaining accredited courses. Click on the link for more information.
ASQAnet release – 31 May 2013. ASQA upgraded ASQAnet so that it accurately reflects the training package endorsement status of qualifications and units of competency on an RTO’s scope of registration, when a qualification or unit of competency has been superseded. Each item will now be tagged as either active, in-transition, teach-out, superseded or deleted. Read more at:
Reminder about quality indicator data submission. ASQA has reminded all its VET providers that they are required to submit their quality indicator data by 30 June 2013 and has strongly encouraged providers to refresh their knowledge of the quality indicators by reviewing the NSSC-published fact sheets and FAQs. Refer to the ASQA Data Provision website page for instructions on submitting quality indicator data and for links to the NSSC resources.
Invoicing update – May 2013. This month’s update relates to invoicing options for applicants using ASQAnet. Read more at the following link.
Course Accreditation Feedback Questionnaire – May 2013. ASQA is seeking to moderate and improve it course accreditation assessment process. To facilitate this it has issued a short questionnaire to all course owners and applicants for accreditation of a VET course, who have undergone an accreditation assessment since 1 July 2011. If you haven’t received a questionnaire and feel that you should have, contact ASQA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interview with ASQA Chief Commissioner Chris Robinson. Chief Commissioner Chris Robinson was interviewed in the June 2013 edition of Campus Review about the need for strong regulation in the VET sector. Click on the link to find out more.
Unique Student Identifier (USI) update
Technical Services Contracts. The USI website has been updated to include information for providers about Technical Services Contracts. This relates to how an RTO’s student management system (SMS) can interact with the IT system for the USI in an optimal way. The following link will take you to the Technical Information page of the USI website.
RTO workshops. The USI Taskforce is hosting workshops for RTO staff to assist them in preparing for the implementation of the USI. Workshops are to be scheduled in June 2013 in all capital cities and RTOs can register their interest by emailing email@example.com. For more information go to:
Ministers met in Canberra for the first meeting of the COAG Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment for 2013. In addition to the endorsement of a new framework for drafting VET regulatory standards (see news item below), Ministers agreed to the implementation of transparency reforms including Total VET Activity data collection (TVA) and the Unique Student Identifier (USI) scheme; and the next stage in the move to full cost recovery for the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). Read the full Communiqué at the link below.
As noted above, SCOTESE has now endorsed the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) standards policy framework, Improving Vocational Education and Training: the Australian Vocational Qualification System, as the basis for drafting standards for the regulation of VET. Read the related NSSC Special Bulletin at the following link.
New process to extend scope of registration. VRQA-registered RTOs were notified by email in early May 2013 about the new process for extending a scope of registration. An application now includes the submission of Form B plus evidence of readiness to provide training. Find the related news article at the following link.
Increased registration fees for TAC. Fees for TAC-registered RTOs will increase from 1 July 2013. The new schedule of fees, applicable to applications received from 1 July 2013, can be reviewed at the link below. TAC noted “Alignment of the fees for regulatory services will address inequity in the cost of regulation between jurisdictions for providers offering identical services and ensure competitive pricing in WA for regulatory services.”
VET activity reporting for all RTOs
Following the SCOTESE meeting on 7 June 2013 (see news item above), the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIICCSRTE) has added a page to its website titled Vocational education and training (VET) activity reporting for all RTOs. It notes that, ‘to support increased access to Vocational Education and Training (VET) information, reporting requirements for training providers are changing from 1 January 2014’. A review of data collection and reporting requirements on training providers is currently underway and is expected to report to SCOTESE towards the end of the year with recommendations on streamlining and simplifying RTO reporting to Commonwealth, state and territory governments. Click the link below to go to the DIICCSRTE website.
Changes in Qld for new and superseded apprenticeship and traineeship qualifications
The Queensland Apprenticeship and Traineeship Office (QATO) has adapted its process for phasing out an existing qualification when a new apprenticeship or traineeship qualification is declared. The new process aims to ensure Supervising Registered Training Organisations (SRTO) have enough time to update their scope of registration with the Australian Skills Quality Authority. Read more at the following link.
Training Package News
Recent Training Package endorsements/updates
MA08 Chemical, Hydrocarbons and Refining – Release 4.0 – 24 June 2013
AHC10 Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management – Release 6.0 – 17 June 2013
SFI11 Seafood Industry – Release 1.2 – 12 June 2013
RII09 Resources and Infrastructure Industry – Release 3.2 – 29 May 2013
FPP10 Pulp & Paper Manufacturing Industry – Release 1.2 – 24 May 2013
For details of release information go to http://training.gov.au/
Events, Resources & Funding News
The Australian Government’s 2013-14 Budget, delivered on 14 May 2013, will see the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education’s VET national support program funded to address four main priorities – enterprise-based funding, skilling of the workforce and apprenticeship support, improving access to training and support for the National Training System. Through these priorities, the Australian Government aims to achieve national growth in skills, qualifications, productivity and social inclusion, as well as supporting effective workforce planning and development.
Within the enterprise-based funding priority, a new program, the Skills Connect Fund, will offer business and industry new choices in the way they approach workforce development training. See the news item below for more information on the Skills Connect Fund. Also refer to the ‘Other News of Interest’ section for TAFE Directors Australia’s response to the Budget.
Skills Connect Fund
From 1 July, the Government will invest $45 million in a new Skills Connect Fund that will provide industry with a single point of access for skills and workforce development support. The Fund will replace a range of current application processes for businesses looking to up-skill and develop their workforce. Read the Media Release at the link below.
Australian apprenticeship & traineeship update
Click on the link below to view a summary as at 12 June 2013 of the qualifications that have recently been registered in each State and Territory.
DFEEST professional development workshops – June & July 2013
Find out what’s coming up at the link below.
IBSA Escan 2014 industry consultation
IBSA is conducting a series of industry consultations as part of the development of its 2014 Escan. Each consultation will start with breakfast at 7:30am. Discussions will begin at 8.00am and conclude at 10:00am. To register your interest go to the following link.
Federal and Queensland governments agree on VET funding
On 7 June 2012 the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, the Hon Craig Emerson and the Queensland Minister for Education, Training and Employment, the Hon John-Paul Langbroek announced an agreement under the Gillard Government’s $1.75 billion reform of the national training system. Under the plan, the Federal Government will invest approximately $356 million in Queensland TAFEs and private training providers over the next five years. In return, Queensland has given assurances that TAFE will continue to offer services that cannot be provided by the market, including for rural and remote and disadvantaged students. Read the Media Release at the link below.
22nd National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference (No Frills)
The 22nd National VET Research Conference ‘No Frills’, will be held in Mooloolaba, Queensland on 10-12 July 2013. Co-hosted with Sunshine Coast TAFE, the conference aims to be informative and practical, and contribute to building capacity for VET research by providing an opportunity for researchers to discuss and share information about key issues confronting the sector. Click on the link below to find out more.
2014 Fulbright Scholarship
Applications for the Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Vocational Education and Training (VET) is now open. This Fulbright Professional Scholarship is for employees within the VET sector or training leaders in business and industry. It is not for university academics that study VET as an academic discipline. Click on the link below to find out more.
Reminder about changes to State Training Services online systems
There are a number of changes occurring to STS online service as of 1 July 2013. Click on the link below to access the latest edition of Training Matters News to ensure you are across the changes that may affect you.
SkillsDMC 2013 Annual Conference
The SkillsDMC 2013 Annual Conference will be held at The Westin Hotel, Sydney on Wednesday, 7th August, 2013. Click on the link below to go to the conference web page.
Recent VET publications
Digital literacy and e-skills: participation in the digital economy
The report prepared by IBSA highlights that digital literacy and e-skills are crucial in achieving business productivity and effective engagement with the digital economy, which also includes uptake of high speed broadband capacity.
This publication presents peer-reviewed papers from the NCVER No Frills conference in July 2012.
Education and Training Newsletter, April 2013
The bi-annual Education and Training Newsletter was released by the ABS on 10 May 2013.
Service Skills Australia – 2013 Environmental Scan
Service Skills Australia has finalised its 2013 Environmental Scan along with six sector-specific environmental scans for Tourism, Travel and Hospitality; Sport, Fitness and Recreation; Retail, Wholesale and Floristry; Hairdressing and Beauty; Community Pharmacy, and Funeral Services. All documents can be downloaded at the following link.
Structures in tertiary education and training: A kaleidoscope or merely fragments? Research readings
NCVER – Editors: Francesca Beddie, Laura O’Connor, Penelope Curtin
In this collection of papers, 13 essayists and four high-profile discussants consider the complexity of the tertiary education system and its underlying structures. The papers are clustered by themes: how educational matters influence the system’s structures; who controls the system; how the system is governed in a competitive environment; and how individuals interact with the system to ensure they get quality offerings. Each theme is considered by a leading thinker in the area of education, policy or economics.
Industry currency and professional obsolescence: what can industry tell us?
NCVER – Authors: Berwyn Clayton, Pam Jonas, Regan Harding, Mark Harris, Melinda Toze
Industry currency and professional obsolescence refer to the competence of an individual to perform their job. The knowledge required in occupations does not remain static so workers need to continuously update their skills. As vocational education and training (VET) practitioners train the individuals entering these occupations, it is important for them to ensure their industry knowledge and skills are current. This report explores the issues of industry currency and professional obsolescence from the viewpoints of those working in the trades and the professions, with the aim to examine their suitability for VET. The authors suggest that a more strategic approach to industry currency needs to be adopted by training organisations, while individual practitioners should look at regularly updating their industry skills.
Podcast interview relating to the preceding publication
A 13-minute interview with Berwyn Clayton, one of the authors of Industry currency and professional obsolescence: what can industry tell us?, is available as a podcast from the NCVER website. Following the link below to access the resource.
Other News of Interest
TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) responds to the Federal Budget 2013-2014
In a Special Bulletin dated 15 May 2013, TDA published its response to the Federal Budget announcement. Martin Riordan, Chief Executive of TAFE Directors Australia, said the Budget has confirmed that tight economic conditions will restrict the capacity for the technical and further education sector to recover from reduction in skills funds, and the impact on international education. Access the full Bulletin at:
Public commentary on the NSSC’s proposed VET regulatory framework
Article in The Australian newspaper on 13 June 2013:
ACPET Newsletter item on 10 June 2013:
Queensland opens TAFE assets to private RTOs
The Queensland government has released a “reform action plan” in response to the report of the Queensland Skills and Training Taskforce. Great skills. Real opportunities confirms that full contestability of public funding will be phased in from 1 July 2013, to come into full operation from 1 July 2014. It also confirms that the ownership of what are now TAFE facilities are to be transferred to a new, yet to be determined entity, which will provide access to public training facilities for private providers as well as the public TAFE institutes. Read more at the following link:
VIC TAFEs’ financial position deteriorates
The financial health of Victoria’s TAFE sector is deteriorating, with the Victorian Acting Auditor-General finding that 10 out of 14 “standalone” TAFEs were at medium financial risk last year, compared with seven in 2011. Read more at the following link.
More students start training: preliminary data
As reported by the NCVER on 4 June 2013, the number of students enrolled in the national publicly funded training system increased for the fifth consecutive year. 1.943 million students began studying last year, up 3.3% from 2011. Click on the link below to find out more.
SkillsDMC welcomes Paul Hemburrow to the board
Paul Hemburrow has joined the SkillsDMC Board of Directors. Mr Hemburrow is General Manager of BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Blackwater Mine in the Bowen Basin, Queensland and will be representing the coal sector on the Board.
Proposed changes to student visa charges
The proposed new visa charges will “do incalculable damage to international education, which is only now starting to recover”, according to Sue Blundell, the head of English Australia. Read more at the following link.
The news articles presented in this edition of VET News have been researched and prepared by Anne Maree Newbery.