Hi there,

Hope you are all well. Well the news is very light this month, which isn’t a bad thing. We have our new VET Advisory Board as of the 15th Aug 2014. I thought it would be helpful to give them a helping start, we could give them a ten point action list to assist them to focus their attention. Here it is:

1. Launch an investigation into the poor training quality and deceptive / unethical marketing practices occurring in the VET Fee Help market.

2. Abolish the quality indicator summary reporting and the competency completion reporting requirements for RTO’s.

3. Disband all Industry Skills Councils and consolidate this function into one (much smaller) organisation called the Australian Industry Skills Council.

4. Work with the governments of Victoria and Western Australia to fully refer their regulation of RTO’s to the Commonwealth (ASQA).

5. Change training package revision cycles back to a periodic review (3-5 years) instead of our current continuous improvement model.

6. Establish a credentialing and quality assurance model for those who identify themselves as a “Consultant” working in the VET sector.

7. Appoint Claire Field as an ASQA Commissioner.

8. Require ASQA to implement a true national auditor moderation programme in order to improve the consistency and reliability of auditor judgements.

9. Publish on the ASQA website the synthesised results of national auditor moderation so that RTOs can be informed of these requirements.

10. Introduce a specific regulatory and approval framework to ensure the quality of VET being delivered offshore and under partnership arrangements.

There it is:) That should keep them going for 12 months. If they run out of things to do, they only need to ask and we will provide.

Anne Maree and I will be at the National VET Conference next week. If you are attending, please don’t be a stranger. Its always nice to meet other committed VET professionals.

Enjoy the news and good training!

Joe Newbery

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Compliance and Regulatory News

ASQA update

All quiet on the National VET Regulator front in the month of August.


VET reform

Vocational Education and Training Advisory Board. On 15th August the Minister for Industry, the Hon Ian Macfarlane MP announced the establishment of the Vocational Education and Training Advisory Board. This five-member Board will provide advice to the Minister regarding priorities for reforming the vocational education and training sector. Access the news article at the link below.


Opposition response to VET Advisory Board appointments. According to Shadow Minister for Vocational Education, Sharon Bird, Minister Ian MacFarlane must answer urgent questions about his recent announcement of the new Vocation Education Training Advisory Board. Ms Bird has lodged a number of Questions in Writing to Minister Macfarlane which were published in the House of Representatives Notice Paper on 26 August 2014. “The new Board came out of nowhere, it has no public provider or staff representation and there are a number of questions to be answered by the Minister in relation to the establishment, purpose and composition of the Board,” Sharon Bird said. Read more at the link below.


Higher education reform

On 28 August, the government introduced its higher education reform legislation into Parliament – the Higher Education and Research Reform Amendment Bill 2014. As anticipated, the legislation closely mirrors the announcement on budget night. This legislation, while expected to pass the House of Representatives swiftly, will likely not make it through the Senate in its current form. The link below will take you to an article posted by The Conversation on 29 August 2014.

Acting Chief Commissioner appointed to TEQSA

Professor Nicholas Saunders AO, former Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Newcastle, has been appointed as the acting full-time Chief Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). Read a media release by the Minister for Education at the link below.


New USI videos

TrainingGovAu has released two new videos on its YouTube channel about the Unique Student Identifier (USI). There is a video aimed at students and one aimed at RTOs. Access the videos at the link below.


Skills Tasmania drops requirement to use logo on certificates

In line with national consistency, Skills Tasmania no longer requires the use of the Skills Tasmania logo on either the certificates or statements of attainment. RTOs with a current Skills Tasmania Agreement who are using the logo should cease to do so. Read more at the link below.



Training Package News

Recent Training Package endorsements/updates

  • MSA07 Manufacturing – Release 8.4 – 27 August 2014

For detailed release information go to http://training.gov.au/


Events, Resources & Funding News

Australian apprenticeship & traineeship update
Click on the link below to view the latest Training Package qualifications recently implemented in States and Territories. Information is current at 29 August 2014.


Qld Indigenous Training Strategy funding round open
Applications open today for the first funding round of the four-year Indigenous Training Strategy. Click on the link below for more details.


Are you ready to report AVETMISS data?
NCVER is hosting free one-hour webinars to help RTOs prepare for reporting AVETMISS data. Each webinar will provide a short summary about what AVETMISS is and how to report AVETMISS data from start to finish using the AVETMISS Validation Software (AVS), with time to ask questions. Click on the link below for more details.


New STS fact sheet on transition fees
A new fact sheet 1.4 Administration Fees for Training Participants has been published on the Doing Business Through the APL section of State Training Services website. The fact sheet details changes to administration fees for Training Participants enrolled under the Approved Providers List (APL) and continuing their training into 2015. Click on the link below to access the fact sheet.



Recent VET publications

What next for tertiary education? Some preliminary sketches
Francesca Beddie
In 2014 a group of prominent thinkers on tertiary education came together to reflect on the Committee on the Future of Tertiary Education report (the Martin report). This publication is the culmination of the ideas discussed and is intended to generate discussion and debate on the possibilities for the future of tertiary education in Australia. The ideas presented include:

  • Restructuring pathways from school or other vocational settings into diverse tertiary institutions
  • Lifting the reputation of applied learning by ensuring competency-based training embraces conceptual thinking
  • Decoupling funding for research and teaching
  • Introducing a single governance framework.

NCVER Discussion Paper 25 August 2014


Other News of Interest

Rod Camm leaves NCVER to take up role as ACPET CEO
After just a year as managing director of NCVER, Rod Camm is moving on to become CEO of the Australian Council of Private Education and Training (ACPET). Camm has had a long career in the VET sector. Prior to his appointment at NCVER he held the position of CEO of Skills Queensland. Before that he was Associate Director-General of the Queensland Department of Education and Training, and CEO of Construction Skills Queensland.

The TDA throws its support behind the government’s higher education reform
TAFE Directors Australia has urged parliamentary support for the Higher Education and Research Reform Amendment Bill 2014, introduced last week, which will extend Commonwealth Supported Places funding to TAFE students enrolled in higher level qualifications. Read the media release at the link below.


National Skills Week showcases Australia’s industry strengths
In a media release on 21 August 2014, Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said reforms that strengthen and streamline the VET sector are essential to ensure Australia has access to the highly skilled and productive workers needed to boost our international competitiveness and allow Australia to take advantage of changing global markets.

Mr Macfarlane was speaking at the launch of National Skills Week in Brisbane and said growth and opportunities in the industries of the future would rely heavily on ensuring Australia’s skills and training system was industry-focussed and industry-led to deliver the skills apprentices, trainees and students need to get a job. Read the media release at the link below.


Apprenticeships and traineeships continue their decline
The collapse in apprentice and trainee commencements has continued, according to early estimates from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER). Seasonally adjusted trade commencements fell 1,200 to 21,700 in the June quarter, representing three consecutive quarters of decline since the September quarter 2013. Seasonally adjusted non-trade commencements fell 2,300 to 28,800 in the June quarter, representing four quarters of decline and the lowest in at least ten years. Access the NCVER media release at the following link. 

NCVER Media Release 15 August 2014

Moodle course best practice

The eWorks team has published a blog article on a few best practice rile when using Moodle. Read the article at the following link.

eWorks Article 18 August 2014


The news articles presented in this edition of VET News have been researched and prepared by Anne Maree Newbery.

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