Well our year has almost come to a close. It has been a good year. A few challenges overcome and steady growth as usual. Our biggest achievements this year include the engagement of new permanent staff and a number of new contract Consultants who are all doing great work for our clients. Our data management system RTO Data also advanced this year with some significant upgrades. RTO Data has become a fantastic platform for Newbery Consulting and our many users. I am also very proud of our many clients who have navigated their way through their initial and renewal of registration audits. Most with nil non-compliances which as an outstanding result given the terrible inconsistency in regulation. We even had two clients this year that prepared like champions only to receive a letter from ASQA informing them that their renewal application was approved without an audit! That’s nice when that happens, but its a bit of a let down at the same time. Its like preparing over 12 months for a big race only to be told, “No need for the race, you are the winner”. We also had some lovely new clients that presented needing urgent assistance. I am not the fan of rescue missions, but sometimes you can see the injustice that is about to occur and the impact it can have on peoples lives. If we can see a genuine commitment to quality, we will step in every time. I am proud to say we resolved a few of those this year and those clients will now go from strength to strength.
Next year presents new opportunities for Newbery Consulting. We will be launching an exciting new product range of fully designed assessment packages for a range of common courses. It is a constant frustration of ours that clients buy other commercial resources and then need to spend loads of time and money having them customised to get them to compliance. Our assessment packages will be licenced and issued in Word format and will be a designed package for target qualifications, individual units or skill sets. The assessments will align to carefully selected text and learning resources that will be available from our partners. The assessments will be smartly designed utilising clustering where applicable with in-depth instructions, recording tools, mapping and assessment validation. We will also aim to offer some choice in electives. We will provide a guarantee for their compliance and will make a consultant available to provide assistance to rectify non-compliance if needed (that’s how confident we are). Something that no other developer in Australia does.
We will also be offering a range of professional development opportunities in most capital cities and via the web. The feedback we get from clients tells us that the current offering of professional development in the sector is too expensive and not offering value for money. We also have clients calling us after attending some of these PD sessions with very negative feedback. Providers need practical tips to comply with ever changing standards. I see a significant opportunity for these sessions to be opportunities for collaboration and networking. All in all, 2014 is set to be a huge year. Thanks for subscribing in 2013 and we look forward to bringing you the news again in the new year.
On behalf of all staff and consultants at Newbery Consulting, I would like to wish you and your families a safe and merry Christmas.
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Compliance and Regulatory News
ASQA presentation to Community Colleges Australia. ASQA Commissioner Dianne Orr made a presentation to Community Colleges Australia on Thursday 14 November 2013. The presentation covered issues relating to compliance, assessment and evidence requirements. Access the presentation at the link below.
Revised audit fact sheet. ASQA has published a revised version of the Fact sheet—Audit which outlines the various types of audits that ASQA conducts, and details the purpose and focus of each audit type.
The principal change is in language and format. Audits are now referred to as registration audits, meaning audits in response to submitted applications, or compliance audits which are scheduled at ASQA’s discretion. The Fact Sheet also now confirms ASQA’s intent to charge RTOs for compliance audits.
Access the new Fact Sheet at the following link.
Results from recent ASQA Audit Survey. The latest round of surveys relates to training providers that had a site audit finalised between 1 June and 31 August 2013. A total of 139 responses were received. Click on the link below to access the media release summarising the survey results.
ASQA Strategic Plan 2013-16 and Operational Plan 2013-14. Access the plan at the following link.
NCVER aiming to make reporting easier
With the requirement for all RTOs to obtain and submit AVETMISS compliant data from 1 January 2014, there is a timely item in the latest NCVER newsletter explaining how it aims to make reporting easier. NCVER is enhancing its client support in several areas, including online, phone assistance and systems for VET. Click on the link below for more information. (NB. You will need to be a registered user of the NCVER website to access this article)
Cut-off date approaching for reporting exemptions or implementation grace period
If you plan on applying for an exemption under Total VET Activity Reporting, or want to take advantage of the 12-month implementation grace period, then you better get your skates on. The cut-off date is 31 December 2013. Click on the link below for more information.
Training Package News
Recent Training Package endorsements/updates
ICA11 Information and Communications Technology– Release 2.0 – 7 November 2013
RII Resources and Infrastructure Industry – Release 1.0 – 14 November 2013
For details of release information go to http://training.gov.au/
Events, Resources & Funding News
Australian apprenticeship and traineeship update
Click on the link below to view the qualifications that have recently been implemented in States and Territories.
IBSA launches VET Capability Framework
On Friday 8 November 2013 IBSA launched the VET Capability Framework, developed to support high quality professional practice in the vocational education and training sector. The intent is for the Framework to initially operate as a professional development tool for individuals and RTOs and to fulfil the Productivity Commission’s objective of providing a national approach to VET workforce development. Click on the link below for more information.
NCVER Research Forum – Realising our potential: widening participation through education and training
In recent years, the National Centre for Vocational Education Research has funded a significant amount of research focused on informing issues around the role of tertiary education and training in social inclusion. The findings will be showcased at a one-day national research forum titled “Realising our potential: widening participation through education and training”, to be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on 3 April, 2014. Click on the link below for more information.
SSA’s Model for Integrated Foundation Skills Support in training
Service Skills Australia has built a model to help vocational trainers integrate foundation skill support into their planning and delivery. The Model for Integrated Foundation Skill Support – MIFSS – includes advice on how trainers can identify and address foundation skill support while using FSK Foundation Skills Training Package units in delivery. Built to be customised to a range of industry contexts, MIFSS has a range of advice and tools for those vocational trainers wanting to address their learners’ foundation skill needs. Find out more at the following link.
TLISC’s Mentoring Skill Set resource
TLISC has developed a resource with embedded mentoring skills to support the implementation of the Mentoring Skill Set. This resource has been developed to map to the unit of competency TLIM4004A Mentoring individuals and small groups. Go to the TLICS website to access the resource.
Recent VET publications
Defining vocational streams: insights from the engineering, finance, agriculture and care sectors
Serena Yu, Tanya Bretherton, John Buchanan
The authors identify the potential for vocational streams – a set of linked occupations with related skills in a broad field of practice – in the areas of agriculture, financial services, engineering and healthcare/community services. To further explore this idea, they interview a range of stakeholders on the usefulness of a vocational stream framework for the labour market.
A half-open door: pathways for VET award holders into Australian universities
Louise Watson, Pauline Hagel, Jenny Chesters
Effective pathways from vocational education and training (VET) to higher education help to alleviate skill shortages as well as increase access to higher qualifications and lifetime earnings for people holding VET awards. Nationally, the proportion of students admitted to higher education on the basis of a VET award is now around 10%. However, there is considerable variation in the rates of admission between different higher education institutions. The authors investigate the extent to which these differences were the product of factors associated with specific fields of study or the result of factors related to the university, such as institutional policies and practices.
Issues for VET providers delivering associate and bachelor degrees: literature review
Victor Callan, Kaye Bowman
This literature review compares vocational education and training (VET) and higher education providers delivering diplomas, advanced diplomas, associate degrees and bachelor degrees, as well as noting the changing nature of VET and higher education. The aim is to identify the issues that VET providers face when moving into higher education provision.
Other News of Interest
NCVER data update
Click on the link below for a snapshot of the most recent statistical trends from the NCVER. (NB. You will need to be a registered user of the NCVER website to access this article)
New Queensland Ministerial Industry Commission meets
Newly-invited members of the Ministerial Industry Commission met for the first time on 14 November 2013 to champion positive change in Queensland’s vocational education and training (VET) system. Education, Training and Employment Minister John-Paul Langbroek opened the meeting and welcomed the eight new members who join Commission Chair Saxon Rice, Assistant Minister for Technical and Further Education. Click on the link below to read the media release.
Service Skills Australia announces new Chair and Deputy Chair
At its Board Meeting on 19 November 2013, Mr Ian Blandthorn was elected Chair of the SSA Board, with Mr Justin Scarr being elected Deputy Chair.
New TAC Compliance and Complaints Manager
WA’s Training Accreditation Council welcomes Gerry Westenberg, the TAC Secretariat’s new Manager, Regulation (Compliance and Complaints). Gerry comes to TAC with a wealth of knowledge and experience within the VET Sector, including 16 years as a Training Systems Officer with the Royal Australian Air Force, 2 years as a supervisor of training with the NSW Rural Fire Service and 5 years as an AQTF Lead Auditor.
A new website to rate training providers in Victoria
Rate Your Training is a new website for businesses to give their opinion on registered training organisations in Victoria. It was launched by the Hon Peter Hall MLC, Minister for Higher Education and Skills on 24 October, 2013. The idea is that employers will give their opinion on the Rate Your Training site so that other employers can benefit from that knowledge. Reviewing the ratings of other employers will help businesses to identify the training options that best meet their business needs. Go to the website at the link below.
SA’s 2013 Skills for Jobs five-year plan
On 26 November 2013 the State’s Training and Skills Commission released the annual update of its Skills for Jobs five-year plan for skills and workforce development in South Australia. Although industry sectors vary, the Commission expects there will be strong growth in a number of industry sectors including mining; health care and social assistance; education and training; and agriculture, forestry and fishing. Click on the link below to access the report.
Commonwealth Department of Industry organisation chart
For a view of where the VET sector sits in the Commonwealth Government machinery, take a look at the newly release organisation chart for the Department of Industry. Click on the link below.
The news articles presented in this edition of VET News have been researched and prepared by Anne Maree Newbery.