Hope you are all well. Welcome to this edition of VET News. For those who follow my blog, I have posted a recent article on Recording Assessment Evidence. In our audits of new clients as we prepare them for renewal of registration, we are still seeing lots of non-compliance out there in relation to retained assessment evidence. I certainly do not think that the requirements of the ASQA General Direction on Retention requirements for completed student assessment items is yet to be properly recognised by many RTOs and this new blog is an attempt to get the word out so that RTOs can review their arrangements for recording assessment evidence. You can access the Newbery Consulting Blog at: Click Here.
There are a couple of interesting items in this months news. I note the changes published by ASQA in relation to financial viability. Why has ASQA introduced this? My view is to transfer the cost of this step in the application (initial or renewal) process to you the applicant. This step was being handled by Kingsway Financial which would have been costing the Commonwealth a fortune. With this change in approach they transfer that cost to you by having a suitably qualified Accountant, engage by you to sign off on your financial viability. They assert that the reason for the change is about streamlining application processing and shortening application timeframes. It should result in a shorter processing time by ASQA but at your cost. I also note the delay of the Unique Student Identifier introduction. I would be surprised if is delayed any more than a couple of months. The work to prepare for its introduction and undertake systems testing will still progress parallel to the legislative approval process. The only thing that I can see that could cause real issues is if the Greens get control of the Senate (and they probably will) and they block the legislation based on an argument around privacy protection concerns and big brother, etc. Time will tell.
I hope you all have a good election! Make sure you grab a sausage sizzle with lots of sauce and onion outside the polling station before you go in to vote. I do. Its my democratic right!
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Compliance and Regulatory News
Changes to financial viability requirements. As of 1 October 2013, ASQA is changing the way in which it ensures the financial viability of new applicants for initial registration. From this date ASQA will require each new applicant to demonstrate financial viability by completing and submitting the new Financial Viability Risk Assessment pack prior to, or at the same time as, submitting their initial application. This process replaces the previous assessment that was conducted by an independent assessor contracted by ASQA. It is expected to reduce processing times for initial applications for the majority of providers. Read more at the following link.
Update on ASQA’s strategic reviews. ASQA will soon release the reports from its inaugural Strategic Industry Reviews. The reviews have examined training for the ‘White Card’ and aged and community care, as well as the marketing and advertising practices of registered training organisations (RTOs). ASQA has been unable to publish the reports while the Australian Government has been in Caretaker Mode (due to the upcoming federal election). Following the election, the reports will be released on the ASQA website as soon as is practicable.
Invoicing of ASQA 2013-14 annual registration fees. Following the approval of ASQA’s revised fees and charges in July, some providers will be subject to new annual registration fees. The annual registration fees apply to RTOs and CRICOS providers that have had an initial registration or renewal of registration application approved by ASQA or have transferred to ASQA from the Victorian or Western Australian regulators since 1 July 2011. Read more in the ASQA Update at the following link.
The Student Identifiers Bill 2013 was listed for debate in the Winter Sittings 2013. Due to a full legislative program in the Winter Sittings of Parliament, and the federal election being called, the Bill was unable to be considered by the Parliament. As a result, implementation of the Unique Student Identifier scheme will not commence on 1 January 2014. Further advice will be provided by the USI Taskforce when available.
At its meeting on 15 August 2013, the NSSC discussed a range of matters, including the review of the standards for the regulation of VET, progress on the work to implement quality measures in Industry Training Packages to support effective VET regulation and the evaluation of the Training Package flexibility policy. Read the NSSC Communiqué at the following link.
New AQF website
The AQF has launched its new look website. Certainly the navigation on the site seems much improved. Check it out at:
Changes to TGA website
You may have noticed some recent changes last time you were browsing through training.gov.au. Changes include: • layout changes including positioning of documents for download;
- ability to view the content of Training Packages such as packing rules, unit of competency and assessment requirements text at the bottom of the relevant webpage; and
- ability to increase the number of records per view on each page (for example, when viewing units of competency within a training package the number viewed at any one time can be increased or decreased).
Click on the link below for more details.
Training Package News
Recent Training Package endorsements/updates
BSB07 Business Services – Release 9.0 – 28 August 2013
TAE10 Training and Education – Release 3.2 – 27 August 2013
MEM05 Metal and Engineering – Release 10.0 – 27 August 2013
FPI11 Forest and Forest Products – Release 2.0 – 27 August 2013
MEA11 Aeroskills – Release 2.0 – 23 August 2013
SFI11 Seafood Industry – Release 1.3 – 20 August 2013
SIH11 Hairdressing – Release 2.0 – 19 August 2013
AHC10 Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management – Release 7.0 – 16 August 2013
UEE11 Electrotechnology – Release 1.2 – 14 August 2013
For details of release information go to http://training.gov.au/
Events, Resources & Funding News
Improved STS process for transitioning learners to updated qualifications (NSW)
State Training Services (STS) has streamlined the process for lodgement of data where a learner has been or will be transitioned to an updated qualification. This process applies to RTOs when: Learners have been or will be transitioned to a new/updated qualification and Data has been lodged for, at least, the commencement milestone under the old/superseded qualification.
Read more at the following link.
IBSA’s free PD sessions on LLN – All States and Territories
Register your interest to take part in a free 2.5-hour PD session to find out more about supporting LLN and how foundation skills will soon be represented in units of competency. Click on the link below to register your interest:
2013 NSW ITAB Conference
Service Skills NSW on behalf of the NSW ITAB’s invites you to attend its conference on 31 October 2013 in Sydney. The Hon. Adrian Piccoli, Minister for Education has accepted an invitation to speak. He will be speaking on NSW Opportunities and Challenges in building excellence in Vocational Education and Training.
The theme of the conference Your State: Your Workforce: Your Future: Building quality VET and industry partnerships for Workforce Development is very much geared towards showcasing the potential of NSW VET reforms. For more information, go to:
Joint Skills Tasmania & ASQA Workshops
Skills Tasmania and the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) are holding joint workshops to provide information to registered training organisations (RTOs) about the National Regulator and its activities and Skills Tasmania’s vocational education and training (VET) purchasing arrangements. The free 2-hour workshops will be presented by ASQA Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Robinson, and Skills Tasmania’s General Manager, Chrissie Berryman. The link below will take you to the current edition of Skills Tasmania Facts, where you’ll find instructions for registering your interest.
Australian apprenticeship & traineeship updates
Click on the links below to view the qualifications that have recently been registered.
Recent VET publications
The returns to literacy skills in Australia
Jenny Chesters, Chris Ryan, Mathias Sinning
The financial return to training and how it varies with qualification level has been the focus of much research. This study goes a step further and investigates the relationship between literacy skills and the incomes of workers in the Australian labour market and whether this varies with level of education. The findings show that both educational qualifications and literacy skills are positively associated with income. Additionally, within broad education levels (university-level qualifications, vocational education and training qualifications and no post-school qualifications), income also increases with skill level.
Other News of Interest
New Transport & Logistics App
The Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC) has launched its new TLISC – eResources app, giving assessors an innovative and interactive tool to conduct on-the-job assessments. The app has been developed for Transport and Logistics assessors, providing them with a paperless method of conducting assessments. It already contains more than 160 assessment resources mapped as compliant to Units of Competency from TLISC Training Packages, with more to follow. Learning Resources will be available in future releases. Click on the link below to read the Media Release.
Five research projects awarded to tackle tertiary education & training issues
The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has awarded five research grants in the 2013 open-category funding round to conduct research relevant to the contemporary tertiary education and training environment.
The research projects, which cover a broad range of subjects with final papers due to be published in 2015, include: an historical examination of tertiary education in Australia, to inform future directions; two projects which look at structures of support available to students, either with a disability or for apprentices transitioning into work; a project which considers assessment methods for apprentices, to identify best practice; and one which seeks to understand the motivations and repercussions for VET providers that deliver associate degree and degree qualifications. Click on the link below to read more.
Peak bodies call for measures to restore international sector
Both TAFE Directors Australia and the Australian Council for Private Education and Training have released policy statements calling on all political parties to clearly articulate what action they will take to protect and enhance Australia’s international vocational education and training sector.
Tertiary “integration” a long way off
The outgoing head of the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER), Dr Tom Karmel, has lamented the slow progress on implementing a ‘seamless’ tertiary education sector, as proposed by the Bradley Review. Karmel says the promised integration between higher education and vocational education is “more distant now than ever”, while overstated differences between the sectors are producing dysfunctional outcomes. Read more at the following link.
ACPET lashes “gold plated regulation”
Claire Field, chief executive of the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) has launched a scathing attack on the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC), the agency responsible for setting training standards, saying armchair experts are wrecking the sector. Speaking at ACPET’s national conference, she said that non-practitioners with a “predominantly classroom-based” view of training were setting unreasonable and unworkable standards. Read more at the following link.
Libs promise to introduce apprentice loans scheme
The Coalition has promised to establish Trade Support Loans from 1 July next year to provide apprentices with interest free loans of up to $20,000 over four years. The loans will be capped at a total of $20,000 and will be repaid at the same thresholds as loans for university students. The policy is slated to cost $85 million to the federal budget four years. They will be available to apprentices training for a Certificate III or IV qualification that leads to an occupation on the National Skills Needs List, which includes nearly 70 trades. 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.
Copyright © 2013 Newbery Consulting All rights reserved.