Is it just me or is there a lot of negativity surrounding Vocational Education? There seems to be a “blame game” blowing around in media. There is a lot noise. The system is imperfect, but it is not bad. Attention needs to move away from those ‘rouge RTO’s’ or “money sucking” public training organisations who have reportedly pulled the industry into disrepute. It is not ASQA that has caused irreparable damage. Blame does not rest upon the regulator. Nationally, we should celebrate what the industry is doing and how far is have evolved.
Vocational Education is navigating change. There is a lot of work that needs to be done to drive the industry through change - but there is support. Change can be challenging. As your business manages the change, look for support. Create local networks and be open to supporting other businesses with your knowledge and expertise. Learn from each other.
‘ASQA Bashing’ is not an effective strategy to manage change. RTO accountability is. I would love to see and hear more about responsible and accountable RTO’s. There are many. Australian media should recognise both TAFE and non-TAFE RTO’s as respectable – not just lop them into the unprofessional/rogue group. Large businesses do not need to be threatened by small businesses, and vice versa.
My belief aligns with ASQA. I believe that trainers and assessors must know their role – they must know the Standards, the regulations, the systems and they must be responsible and accountable. VET practitioners face tricky trials related to the scope and practice of their position and their responsibility within this industry.
Standard 1 of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015, state that the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) has the responsibility to implement a comprehensive training and assessment strategy, engage with industry, support learner, conduct effective assessment, employ skilled trainers and assessors, provide supervision of trainers where needed and employ experts to teach trainers and assessors (ASQA, 2014. p17). This is a big job. VET trainers are dual professionals. To further complicate their role, VET trainers must maintain current industry skills, knowledge and expertise for both professions, i.e. industry and VET (ASQA, 2015).
Clause 1.16 states that The RTO ensures that all trainers and assessors undertake professional development in the fields of the knowledge and practice of vocational training, learning and assessment including competency-based training and assessment. (Check it out https://www.asqa.gov.au/standards/chapter-4/clauses-1.13-1.16 )
ASQA has noted that Clauses 1.13 to 1.16 has been an area of consistently high level non-compliance. Not only do Trainers and Assessors need to maintain currency of skills and knowledge in their industry area, but they need to maintain currency of skills and knowledge in vocational education and training. VET Trainer and Assessors need to be supported in their role as VET professionals.
What does this mean for the Trainer and Assessor?
Trainers and Assessors must understand the VET system and have current knowledge and skills in vocational education and training. Trainers and assessors must understand their role within this complex system. This includes: