Newbery Consulting VET News – 25th June 2020

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Hello and welcome to VET News,

On the 1st July 2020, the National VET Regulator Amendment Act 2020 comes into effect. ASQA has provided a broad overview of the changes for both RTOs and for its own operation (click). Some on LinkedIn got all frothy at the mouth over the proposed amendments to the Act when they were being debated in Parliament. I didn’t share those concerns. I think the changes provide more balance to the regulation and where ASQA now has some additional powers, it appears to be seeking to consult with the sector in the implementation of those powers. I am referring here to the enhanced powers such as to publish provider audit reports and to use enforceable undertakings as a regulatory tool.

The amendment which I am most pleased to see is the change to section 201 of the Act. I have spoken/written about ASQA’s misuse of this section in various forums and above all of the changes, it is this amendment which will result in a fairer regulatory environment for providers.  Let me explain. Section 201 provides the mechanism for an RTO to seek a reconsideration of a decision. You might remember back in the day that virtually all regulatory decisions would go through a ‘rectification’ process. Throughout all my experience as an auditor with NARA, VETAB and ASQA (in the early days) and consultant, if you received a non-compliance you automatically had a chance to provide ‘rectification evidence’. This rectification process did not usually lead to any additional cost to the provider and if you could demonstrate your compliance in the rectification, great. In July 2016, (click) ASQA announced a suite of “procedural improvements” relating to how it conducts audits and makes decisions. I noted at the time (click) that it appeared to be a step back from providing for procedural fairness. This change to the audit process really was the beginning of a very dark period for the national regulator whos behaviour over the period 2016 – 2019, you could only characterise as nasty, litigious, bullying and generally quite devastating to many providers and livelihoods. ASQA would deliberately elevate even the most trivial non-compliance decisions to the level of the commissioners as a joint decision therefore removing any option for an internal review (Reconsideration) and leaving no other option for the RTO other than an external appeal at the AAT. Of course this led to many unnecessary appeals going to the AAT where ASQA usually does not fair well anyway. I said at the time that ASQA was basically outsourcing their regulatory function to the AAT and Blind Freddie could see that this was never a rational strategy and was patently unfair for providers.

I think of this dark period for ASQA as the “Mark Paterson Era” because Mark Paterson was announced as the ASQA Chief Commissioner on the 5th May 2016 and the “procedural improvements” were announced on the 19th July 2016. Mark Paterson was responsible for the operation of ASQA over this dark period and then suddenly departed ASQA as Chief Commissioner on or about the 27th September 2019 when the Minister announced “Changes to the Australian Skills Quality Authority” and “As part of these changes Mark Paterson AO, the Chief Commissioner of ASQA, has decided the proposed shift in direction for ASQA provides an appropriate time for him to step down and pass responsibility for managing the next phase of ASQA’s evolution to others,” (click). The government could see the damage ASQA was doing to the VET sector and was forced to act. Following Mark Paterson’s departure there were a number of other senior managers in ASQA that quietly departed as well in what would seem to be an attempt to lay the foundations for a change in culture at the National Regulator.

This amendment to the legislation really draws a line under this dark period in ASQA’s short history. The amendment ensures that all reviewable decisions will be entitled to a reconsideration internally before the need to seek an appeal at the AAT. Very sensible and fair and a better outcome for everyone (including ASQA). I think it would be a fairly rare occurrence that legislation that enables a statutory authority needed to be amended to counter regulatory overreach. Certainly that is exactly what has happened in this instance. I am really pleased with the new direction at ASQA and it seems the current leadership have a more balanced and consultative approach to regulation of the sector. I am feeling very positive about our sector at the moment and look forward to these positive changes to the legislation hitting the ground.

Good training,

Joe Newbery
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Compliance & Regulatory News

Waived annual registration charges

ASQA will waive the annual registration charges for 2020-21, as part of the Australian Government financial relief measures.
At the start of July ASQA will send RTOs and CRICOS providers an invoice that states the annual registration charge and an adjustment labelled ‘COVID-19 Relief Waiver’.

The annual registration charge will be calculated according to ASQA’s schedule of fees and charges, and the ‘COVID-19 Relief Waiver’ adjustment will offset the total amount. The amount payable for RTO’s 2020-21 annual registration charge will be $0.

For further information, read here.

National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Amendment Act 2020

As of 1 July 2020, the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Amendment Act 2020 will come into effect. These changes have been made to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the legislation and to ensure ASQA can encourage and promote a quality VET system to benefit students, industry and RTOs. ASQA has created a new Legislative changes webpage to better understand the amendments.

For further information, click here.

Other VET News

National Student Outcomes Survey

The National Student Outcomes Survey will commence next week with nearly 1 million people who completed training in 2019 to be contacted. Students who studied VET as part of their secondary schooling will be invited to take part for the first time this year, and extra questions on how COVID-19 has affected employment and further study outcomes have also been included.

Training providers can also receive a report if enough of their students respond to the survey. NCVER has provided a free kit for resources to help training providers promote the survey to students. To view the free kit, click here.

For further information, click here.

AVETMISS validation software: Update to Delivery mode identifier data element

The AVETMISS data element definitions were recently updated with revisions to the Delivery mode identifier data element. The revisions have been made to provide further clarity around how data submitters should define internal vs external delivery. This clarification has become particularly important in the wake of COVID-19 as more RTOs move to online delivery.

For further information, click here.

Fee-for-service Data 

For those who submit fee-for-service data directly to NCVER, the second quarterly collection window for 2020, covering the period of April to June 2020, will be open from 1—14 Aug 2020.

For more information on quarterly reporting, click here.

Articles and Papers

Good Practice Guides

NCVER has released Good Practice Guides highlighting how critical it is for VET educators to use technology in their teaching practice, as is their ability to assist learners in developing their own digital skills. Both guides were developed following a forum held in late 2019 with representatives from industry, training providers, practitioner bodies, and other VET sector stakeholders.

The ‘Teaching digital skills: implications for VET educators – good practice guide’ highlights the implications for VET educators of the increasing need to include digital skills in VET delivery. View here.

The ‘Incorporating digital skills into VET delivery: good practice guide’ is intended to provide advice on incorporating digital skills into VET delivery for VET providers and policy-makers. View here.

For further information, click here.

Apprentices and trainees 2019: December quarter

This infographic provides a snapshot of apprenticeships and traineeships across Australia. It presents statistics on commencements, completions, cancellations and withdrawals and those currently in training. The data shows there were 259,930 apprentices and trainees in-training as at 31 December 2019, down 1.6% from 31 December 2018. Trade commencements were down 4.8%, with the biggest decrease seen in construction trades workers (down 11.7%). Non-trade commencements were down 2.5%, with the biggest decreases seen in hospitality workers (down 15.0%) and sports and personal service workers (down 10.7%).

To read more, click here.

Support & Assistance

Tasmanian Government’s Rapid Response Skills Matching Service

The Rapid Response Skills Matching Service has being established to help match and prepare a job ready workers with industries and businesses. The service will focus on sectors where there is increasing job demand now, including in health and related services, transport and logistics and retail, but can be accessed by any business needing staff.

Read more.

Energising Tasmania Training Fund extended

The Energising Tasmania Training Fund grant program has been extended until 30 September 2020. The Fund allows existing workers to access full qualifications and apprenticeships and/or traineeships in the renewable energy and related sectors. Under the ET Fund, Endorsed RTOs will be eligible to apply for non-tuition cost support (up to the value of $1000 per learner).

Further information, click here.

Upcoming Events

TAE Professional Development Week
22nd – 26th June 2020

Velg Training and MRWED are providing Trainers and Assessors with the opportunity to participate in professional development during the: TAE PD Week from 22-26 June 2020.

The webinars that make up the TAE PD Week have been developed by industry experts to ensure that the content of each session compliments existing knowledge and skills. They have been created to align with components of the 9 core units from the latest TAE40116 qualification, so that they relate directly to providing training and assessment in a competency-based environment.

For further information, click here.

NCVER ‘No Frills’ 2020 Conference
Online 7th -10th July 2020

Theme: Workforce ready: challenges and opportunities for VET.
The 29th National Vet Research Conference ‘No Frills’ will be held online for the first time ever, with a combination of pre-recorded content, key note speakers, workshops and presentations on the future of VET.

For more information, click here.

Tasmania online responsiveness workshops 

Professional development workshops on online responsiveness for Tasmanian VET practitioners have commenced.
These workshops are delivered online and at no cost, with a specific focus on Tasmanian trainers, VET practitioners and anyone involved in developing, managing and providing support in a vocational training environment.

To register, click here.


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.

Assessment Support Package: CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support (Release 2)

Newbery Consulting is pleased to offer the assessment support materials package for the qualification CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support (Release 2). The package includes the complete assessment materials including:

  • Assessment Summary Report
  • Assessor Instructions & Mapping
  • Candidate Instructions
  • Candidate Response Document
  • Practical Observation Tool
  • Supplementary Workplace Supervisor Report
  • Candidate Workplace Log
  • Training and Assessment Strategy

Read more.

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