Amount of Training

 

Compliance note:
Information herein may be subject to change. It is an RTOs responsibility to check with government and industry bodies to ensure they have accurate information.
General note:
This is tailored for VET practicioners and managers and laced with acronymys and VET-speak. Regulatory information is similarly treated, with governance-speak to lesser mortals slashed for critical information to be clear and concise.

Delivering in a shorter timeframe than the AQF volume of learning (VoL)
(Clauses 1.1 – 1.2)

  • Fact sheet – Amount of training (PDF)
  • Nationally agreed hours – revised 20 June 2018 (.txt)

When developing Training and Assessment Strategies (TAS), an RTO must ensure a sufficient amount of training is provided, that enables a learner to:

  • meet the requirements of each training product, and
  • gain the skills and knowledge specified in the relevant training product.

This essentially comprises the formal learning activities provided (including face-to-face delivery, tutorials, online or self-paced study, as well as workplace learning).
ASQA’s experience and strategic review highlight common RTO failures:
● TAS not accurate/sufficiently detailed or adapted to target groups; and
● delivery and assessment practices do not align with TAS

Significant evidence of ‘unduly short training’ calls into question whether students have sufficient time to learn, practice and consolidate the skills and knowledge before summative assessment. This risks the entire VET system with potential for financial, safety and productivity costs for students, employers, industry and government.

ASQA now has in place:
● A direct relationship between the AQF VoL and an RTO’s TAS and practices
● Enhanced standards relating to marketing and advertising
● Increased measures to ensure the protection of consumers using VET recruiters

ASQA addresses these issues by enforcing the increased provisions of the revised Standards and reviewing marketing and advertising to identify providers promoting excessively short courses.

Amount of training
is determined by the training product, learner cohort and delivery mode

TAS should reflect the complexity required of qualification(s) involved:

  • the breadth and depth of the knowledge,
  • skills required,
  • application of knowledge and skills; and
  • the AQF volume of learning (of which nominal hours may be a consideration).

AQF volume of learning

The VoL is part of the complexity requirements of a qualification. The range is considered a starting point for RTOs in determining the ‘amount of training’.

  • It describes how long a learner, who does not hold any competencies identified in the qualification, would normally take to develop all the required skills and knowledge at that qualification level.
  • It includes all the teaching, learning and assessment activities required for a typical student to achieve the learning outcomes.

An RTO must develop and implement approaches – with suitable resources, facilities and trainers – that ensure students gain all relevant skills and knowledge, and comply with the AQF in applying the VoL, and develop and implement strategies for training and assessment that are consistent with the AQF

A CBT is centred on demonstrated competence against industry-defined standards of performance in an adult learning environment. People learn at different rates, through different modes and environments and that the skills and knowledge already held may be formally recognised.

Impact on training and assessment strategies

To ensure the learner has the skills and knowledge required TAS should give consideration to the VoL indicators and the complex needs of the qualification.

If not delivering a full qualification, the amount of training may be proportional
of the volume of learning.

An RTO must be able to identify and explain any significant variations from the AQF duration and must not compromise the integrity of qualification outcome.

Specific requirements may be set, such as requiring a minimum period of industry experience before students can commence, but these must be made clear to prospective students prior to enrolment.

For shorter courses than the VoL, an RTO must clearly describe – using a rationale based on the needs of students and their previous skills and knowledge – how a specific student cohort:

  • has the characteristics to achieve the required rigour and depth of training
  • can meet all of the competency requirements in a shorter timeframe.

Accounting for the need of students to reflect on and absorb the knowledge, to practise the skills in different contexts and to learn to apply the skills and knowledge in the varied environments that the ‘real world’ offers before being assessed.

Learner cohort

Before a learner can be assessed in each of the requirements, they must first:

  • be trained in each skill and knowledge area, and
  • have the opportunity to practice and apply these skills and knowledge requirements.

For learners new to the industry area and/or without workplace experience, the amount of training required specified in the TAS would closely match the timeframe listed with the VoL.

Each learner must be provided the opportunity to:

  • fully absorb the required knowledge, and
  • develop skills over time in the different contexts they would experience in the workplace.

In planning delivery to a cohort with defined skills, knowledge and workplace experience appropriate to the industry, a smaller amount of training may be sufficient.

A skilled/experienced cohort may be able to operate to a TAs incorporating ‘gap-training’ or accelerated learning reflective of their existing competencies.

Mode of delivery

When structuring a training program, the way a course will be delivered may influence the amount of training to be provided. Modes can include:

  • face-to-face learning
  • online learning
  • self-paced distance delivery
  • workplace training, or
  • a mixture of modes.

The modes of delivery choosen for a TAS determine how training and assessment activities are scheduled (to ensure learners are able to fully develop the required skills and knowledge prior to assessment).

Units of competency may be clustered to allow similar or complementary content to be delivered at the same time, to reduce content duplication and delivery.

Other considerations for the amount of training required

Multiple TAS will likely be needed if the needs of different cohorts require different approaches to the delivery of training and/or assessment (including the amount of training to be provided).

For TAS with shorter timeframes than the VoL, variations must be identifyed and explained. It may include a rationale explaining how, based on the previous skills and knowledge and needs of learners, a specific learner cohort:

  • has the characteristics to achieve the required rigor and depth of training; and
  • can meet all of the competency requirements in a shorter timeframe.

Clauses 1.1 – 1.4 of the Users’ Guide

The following case study exemplifies how a ‘shorter course’ may be implemented.

Case study – delivering a shorter course

Hospitable Training is a Melbourne RTO delivering SIR30212 Certificate III in Retail Operations (SIR30212)

Its main client cohort is of employees working in retail stores. Their TAS for SIR30212 specific for this cohort – who have existing retail skills and knowledge acquired from their current employment – specifies that training and assessment will be provided through:

  • a series of workshops for theory assessment, and
  • practical delivery at the learners’ workplace. Supervisor/third-party reports will be utilised in the practical assessment.

When developing that TAS, they considered the volume of learning guidelines for a Certificate III qualification; that recommend one to two years (1200 – 2400 hours) for a learner, who does not hold any of the competencies identified in the relevant units of competency, to develop all the required skills and knowledge.

As the cohort have existing retail skills and knowledge, it was identified as appropriate to provide the training and assessment in a shorter timeframe and a rationale developed, explaining that it is expected that:

  • learners will be able to obtain RPL for some of the units within the qualification, and
  • gap training will be provided for the remainder of the units.

This rationale is included in their TAS for SIR30212.

They hold interviews with learners prior to the commencement of study to:

  • confirm the learners’ previous retail experience, and
  • obtain copies of the learner’s resume and any qualifications or previous study associated with retail operations.

The outcomes of these interviews influence their TAS for this qualification.

If required, they can provide additional teaching and learning activities to ensure that learners gain all relevant skills and knowledge, and are able to successfully complete SIR30212.

All documented evidence acquired from the learners’ interviews is securely retained and readily available for audit.

Question:
If delivering this unit and meeting the 2015 Standards for RTO’s above in their own way, how would the RTO be non-compliant?

More information

Regulatory

Other takes

Definitions

amount of training

Part of the overall VoL, and relates primarily to formal activities including online, self-paced study and workplace learning.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)

The framework for regulated qualifications in the Australian education and training system.

competency

The consistent application of knowledge and skill to the standard of performance required in the workplace. It embodies the ability to transfer and apply skills and knowledge to new situations and environments.

Formal learning

Learning that takes place through a structured program of instruction and is linked to the attainment of a formal qualification or award.

mode of delivery

The method adopted to deliver training and assessment, including online, distance, or blended methods.

nominal (supervised) hours

The supervised structured learning and assessment activity required to sufficiently address the content of each unit (acknowledging that progress can vary between learners).

These hours are assigned to learning and assessment activities that are delivered via face-to-face, online and/or structured distance education, from Certificate I through to Graduate Diploma

See: Volume of learning

Certificate I & II,
Graduate
Certificate

Certificate III,
Diploma and
Graduate Diploma
Certificate
IV
Advanced
Diploma
0.5 – 1 year 1 – 2 years 0.5 – 2 years 1.5 – 2 years
600 – 1200
hours
1200 – 2400
hours
600 – 2400
hours
1800 – 2400
hours

Note: Qualification pre-requisites factor in, as well as AQF expectations

Certificate III qualifications are often the basis for trade outcomes and undertaken as part of a traineeship or apprenticeship. In these cases, up to four years may be required to achieve competency. It is a mythstake to believe that higher levels of study under the AQF are higher attainments.

VET does not follow academia in its fascination with ‘bettering oneself through ladder climbing’. The AQF levels one through eight reflect different domains of activity in the workplace that each require particular skills, ability and experience.

Thus, whilst it may be assumed that one holding a Certificate IV or Diploma in a subject must be a master of the lower levels 1, 2 and 3 …it is not the case.

In comparing the minimum nominal hours Certificate III and IV (one year and 6 months respectively) note that the hours are – in effect – cumulative. A raw* student cannot realistically complete a Certificate IV in 6 months with no prior training or workplace experience.

Certificate IV’s are generally either short specialist courses that build on existing skills and knowledge or longer entry-level courses for specific work roles.

*a ‘raw’ student is new to the industry area and/or without workplace experience

Note: Unsupervised hours represent activities that contribute to achieving course outcomes not supervised by an RTO trainer or assessor and may include activities such as non-supervised work experience, field placement, private study and/or assignment work.

I am unsupervised.. For those that know me well, you would know that this could lead to all kinds of trouble!
I am unsupervised..
For those that know me well, you would know that this could lead to all kinds of trouble!

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

An assessment process to determine the extent to which an individual meets the requirements, evaluating:
  • Formal learning – through a structured program of instruction and is linked to the attainment of a formal qualification or award.
  • Non-formal learning – through a structured program of instructions, but does not lead to the attainment of a formal qualification or award
  • Informal learning – learning from experience of work-related, social, family, hobby or leisure activities.

Whilst RPL may contribute, it cannot be the only assessment process used

training and assessment

The training and/or assessment provided to a learner by an RTO or its subcontractor in relation to the AQF qualifications and/or units of competency within the RTO’s scope of registration.

Trainignand Assessment Strategies (TAS)

TAS are not static documents, each strategy needs to be regularly updated to account for:

  • changes in industry technology and techniques, legislation, and the training package itself
  • the availability of resources within your RTO.

and

Evidence must be kept to show:

  • monitoring and review of training and assessment in a systematic manner
  • results are used to revise systems and practices where needed.

TAS must also be consistent with any advertising and other material provided to prospective students.

Units of Competency (UoC)

The specification of the standards of performance required in the workplace.

VET

Vocational education and training.

vocational competencies

Broad industry knowledge and experience usually combined with a relevant industry qualification.

Determined on an industry-by-industry basis and with reference to the relevant training package or VET accredited course.

volume of learning (VoL)

The notional duration from the AQF of all activities required for achieving learning outcomes, including nominal (supervised) and unsupervised hours.

Certificate I & II,
Graduate
Certificate

Certificate III,
Diploma and
Graduate Diploma
Certificate
IV
Advanced
Diploma
0.5 – 1 year 1 – 2 years 0.5 – 2 years 1.5 – 2 years
600 – 1200
hours
1200 – 2400
hours
600 – 2400
hours
1800 – 2400
hours

Note: Qualification pre-requisites factor in, as well as AQF expectations

Certificate III qualifications are often the basis for trade outcomes and undertaken as part of a traineeship or apprenticeship. In these cases, up to four years may be required to achieve competency. It is a mythstake to believe that higher levels of study under the AQF are higher attainments.

VET does not follow academia in its fascination with ‘bettering oneself through ladder climbing’. The AQF levels one through eight reflect different domains of activity in the workplace that each require particular skills, ability and experience.

Thus, whilst it may be assumed that one holding a Certificate IV or Diploma in a subject must be a master of the lower levels 1, 2 and 3 …it is not the case.

In comparing the minimum nominal hours Certificate III and IV (one year and 6 months respectively) note that the hours are – in effect – cumulative. A raw* student cannot realistically complete a Certificate IV in 6 months with no prior training or workplace experience.

Certificate IV’s are generally either short specialist courses that build on existing skills and knowledge or longer entry-level courses for specific work roles.

*a ‘raw’ student is new to the industry area and/or without workplace experience

Note:
Unsupervised hours represent activities that contribute to achieving course outcomes not supervised by an RTO trainer or assessor and may include activities such as non-supervised work experience, field placement, private study and/or assignment work.

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