Hello everyone,

Hope you are all well. Welcome to our October VET News and welcome to all of our new subscribers that have joined us this month. The big event for us in September was the National VET Conference in Adelaide which was staged by Velg Training. Velg as always did an amazing job and the conference was a great success. We used the conference as a point to celebrate our 10th year anniversary in business. We had so much fun and met up with many existing and new clients. We will definitely be attending the conference next year which is on the Gold Coast 15-16 Sep 2016.

I want to just make a special note to thank Sarah Funke our Operations Manager who completely planned and implemented all aspects of Newbery Consulting’s participation at the conference. This was no small task and involved many moving parts to coordinate and liaise with the conference organiser, suppliers, etc. The result was amazing and really is a credit to Sarah’s hard work and professionalism. It’s great to have such committed staff in our organisation. Enjoy the news.

Joe Newbery

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If you have some news, send it to us at: news@newberyconsulting.com.au


Compliance & Regulatory News

ASQA update

Two new fact sheets. With its new capacity to issue infringement notices for breaches of relevant civil penalty provisions, ASQA has published a fact sheet to explain how infringement notices are issued, and to ensure RTOs understand their rights and obligations. The new fact sheet relating to third parties helps to clarify what constitutes a ‘third-party arrangement’ under the Standards, and provides guidance to RTOs in meeting the requirements of the Standards.

Strategic Review: Early childhood education and care training. ASQA has released a report on the findings from its national Strategic Review into early childhood education and care training. It has made 10 recommendations to address the issues that were identified in the sector, including the inclusion of minimum training requirements for each unit of competency and qualification across the whole vocational education and training sector.
You can read the report here; http://www.asqa.gov.au/verve/_resources/Strategic_Review_2015_Early_Childhood_Education_Report.pdf
You can read the media release here;

More guidance for accredited course developers. Over the coming months, the ASQA Accreditation team will be publishing information about each of the Standards for VET Accredited Courses 2012 to provide guidance to course developers on demonstrating compliance. ASQA are also planning to publish a range of fact sheets and a Users’ Guide to the Standards for VET Accredited Courses.
In its first edition, ASQA covers VAC 7.1—VET accredited courses are based on an established industry, enterprise, education, legislative or community need.

RTO compliance is on the increase. ASQA’s Chief Commissioner Chris Robinson announced that compliance rates since new national Standards were implemented showed that 87 per cent of RTOs were compliant at the end of the audit process. This compares to 82.4 per cent compliance rate under the previous Standards. Mr Robinson attributed the increase in compliance rates to the new Standards being clearer, as well as ASQA’s efforts to increase the information and guidance it provides to RTOs. He said ASQA was planning to undertake another round of information sessions/briefings targeted specifically at RTOs in the first half of 2016.


VRQA update

New powers for the VRQA. A number of new powers for the VRQA under the Education and Training Reform Amendment (Child Safe Schools) Act 2015 (the Act) were proclaimed on 1 July 2015 and are now in effect.
The new powers relate to the regulation of school education including the ability to accept an enforceable undertaking from the proprietor or principal of a registered school. An amended VRQA Enforceable Undertaking Policy has been published.

Closing date for applications to amend scope. Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) are reminded that all Form B applications to amend the scope of registration must be received by the VRQA no later than Monday 19 October 2015 in order for any required site audits to be scheduled in 2015.


NCVER update

The September edition of NCVER’s Data Support Bulletin has information on the following:

  • Classification and validation updates
  • Data retention & the Australian Privacy Principles
  • Fixing validation errors
  • Student Enrolment Form update
  • Tips for 2015 submissions to NCVER
  • Review of the AVETMIS Standard – call for feedback
  • SMS vendor update
  • Unique Student Identifier – tips when creating USIs for students



Training Package News

TGA updates

Training package changes. There are new releases of the following training packages:

SFL Release 1.0: 25 September 2015
MSF Release 1.3: 10 September 2015
CPP Release 2.0: 8 September 2015
MAR Release 3.0: 7 September 2015
AVI Release 1.0: 4 September 2015

Change to the way skill sets are displayed on training.gov.au (TGA). Back in July all RTOs had their TGA scope of registration automatically updated to show the skills sets they could deliver. This was based on the implicit units of competency for their existing scope of registration. The issue was that unlike implicit units, TGA automatically displayed the implicit skill set registration on an RTO’s scope. From 2 September, TGA will only display implicit skill set registration when the ‘Include implicit skill set scope’ option is selected.


Events, Resourcing & Funding News

Australian apprenticeship update

Click on the links below to view the Training Package qualifications recently implemented in States and Territories.

Keynote presentations: National VET Conference

The 2015 National VET Conference in Adelaide on 17-18 September 2015 included keynote presentations from ASQA’s Chief Commissioner Chris Robinson who presented on Day 1 of the event, and Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training who presented on Day 2. Velg have posted videos of both presentations for your viewing pleasure.
Chris Robinson: https://vimeo.com/140376440
Simon Birmingham: https://vimeo.com/140280347

Decline in VET funding intensifies

VET spending in Australia has fallen back to levels of more than a decade ago, while funding for schools and higher education has soared, according to new research from the Mitchell Institute. The Institute says that one year on from research which showed spending on schooling and higher education far outstripping spending on VET, the trend has intensified.
Among the three sectors, expenditure on higher education has grown the fastest, up by over 40% in real terms in the eleven years to 2013-14. Expenditure on schools has grown by approximately 25% over the same period. Expenditure on VET has grown much more slowly, by around 15% to 2012-13, before experiencing a sharp decline in the most recent year, leaving VET expenditure only around 5% higher than 2003-4 levels.

Expansion of Industry Skills Fund Youth Stream Pilots

Community organisations and businesses across Australia will now be able to benefit from the Industry Skills Fund’s Youth Stream Pilots: Youth Employment Pathways and Training for Employment Scholarships. The pilots will operate nationally until 30 June 2016 and aim to deliver positive outcomes for disengaged and unemployed young people.

Broader access to subsidised training in NSW

The NSW government is to provide greater access to subsidised training for students with existing qualifications. The Minister for Skills John Barilaro announced that from 2016, students with a Certificate IV or higher qualification will be able to access subsidised training at the Foundation Skills and Certificates II and III levels, provided it is on the Skills List.

Shake-up of apprenticeship funding

The federal government has embarked upon a shake-up of the $435 million apprenticeship incentives program and is exploring new models of apprenticeship delivery. On 3 September 2015, the then Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham announced an advisory group to provide options for better targeting apprentice funding to some 80,000 employers.

NCVER webinar for RTOs planning to deliver degrees

The NCVER is hosting a free webinar on 20 October 2015 for VET providers who are exploring the addition of higher education delivery to their current suite of qualifications. Professor Victor Callan and Dr Kaye Bowman will discuss research on six trail blazer VET providers who have made the successful transition to delivering associate degrees and bachelor degrees, as well as VET qualifications.


Recent VET Publications

Regulating and quality assuring VET: International developments – Josie Misko

To reduce regulatory burden and build trust in the VET system, accreditation and registration systems are increasingly utilising principles of responsive regulation and risk analysis to help increase compliance. Approaches to the regulation of VET in selected overseas countries are investigated, and detailed systems of accreditation and registration used for approving providers to deliver training and issue nationally recognised qualifications have been identified.


Other News of Interest

Ministry changes

Malcolm Turnbull was sworn in as Prime Minister on 15 September 2015 and announced the changes to his Ministry on 20 September 2015. This included appointments across the portfolios, including the VET sector.
You can read Malcolm Turnbull’s statement here;
You can read Simon Birmingham’s statement here;

The Minister’s response to allegations against Phoenix Institute

Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham released a media statement on 17 September 2015 following allegations made by Fairfax Media against RTO Phoenix Institute and broker Education Circle.
He indicated that he has asked the Department of Education and Training to urgently investigate the matter and consider commencing the processes to remove the Phoenix Institute as a VET FEE-HELP provider. Senator Birmingham also requested that ASQA expedite its investigations in to this training provider and to consider suspending or revoking their license to operate as a training provider. The Senator has also requested that ASQA and the Department consider investigations into any other RTOs using Education Circle as a broker.


Possible class action against Evocca College

As recently reported by the ABC, Evocca College is facing a potential class action from hundreds of former students. Solicitor Benjamin Kramer said he is preparing to file documents on behalf of former Evocca College students. He will allege the company breached consumer law by providing sub-standard courses and using unfair marketing tactics to sign up students.

Pharmacy training ‘a health risk’

As reported in The Australian
on 3 September 2015, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia has given evidence to a Senate committee of fraudulent behaviour by private training firms that it says poses a public safety risk. Sue Bond, head of the Guild Pharmacy Academy told the Senate Education and Employment References Committee inquiry into the VET system that a pharmacy assistant Certificate III typically takes between 24 and 26 months, but that some RTOs were turning out graduates in a month.
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The news articles presented in this edition of VET News have been researched and prepared by Anne Maree Newbery.

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