This paper on the development of the draft revised Standards for RTOs was released in mid-October on the DEWR website. It contains the latest set of draft Standards alongside with a description of the development process and changes that have been made since an earlier version was released for consultation in November 2022.
One of the aims of these latest revisions is to “provide greater clarity for RTOs and regulators.” Another is to “allow for more flexibility and innovation in training delivery” across the range of RTO types and settings.
Developing and refining the draft standards
The revision process began in late 2020 and involved a series of consultations and the development of an initial draft set of standards which, along with a consultation paper, were opened up to consultation. This consultation included a call for written feedback and a series of online and face to face forums.
The present paper suggests that overall, support for the initial set of revised standards was positive and there was a feeling that they were clearer, logical, and user-friendly. However, there was also a feeling that they “could be further refined to improve clarity and better reflect the diversity of the sector. Some sought further detail and clarification around what they would have to do to meet the revised Standards.”
A summary of the consultation feedback can be found here. The most recent DEWR paper also highlights areas in which further adjustments have been made, including in relation to training and assessment, learner support, VET workforce requirements and governance.
The revised standards
This most recent paper goes on to present the revised standards ‘on a page’ and then in greater detail. On a page, they look like this:
1. TRAINING AND ASSESSMENT
Quality training and assessment engages learners and enables them to attain nationally recognised, industry-relevant competencies.
|1.1 The training delivered is engaging and well-structured and enables learners to attain skills and knowledge consistent with the training product.
1.2 The RTO engages effectively with industry, employer and community representatives to ensure learners attain relevant skills and knowledge.
|1.3 The assessment system is fit-for-purpose and consistent with the training product.
1.4 The assessment system ensures assessment is conducted in a fair and appropriate way and enables accurate judgements of learner competency.
1.5 The assessment system is quality assured by appropriately skilled and credentialled people through a regular process of validating assessment practices and judgements.
|Facilities, resources and equipment
|1.6 Facilities, resources and equipment for each training product are fit-for-purpose, safe, accessible and sufficient.
|Recognition of prior learning and credit transfer
|1.7 Learners with prior skills, knowledge and competencies are supported to seek recognition of prior learning or credit transfer to progress through the training product.
2. LEARNER SUPPORT
Learners are treated fairly and properly informed, supported, and protected.
|2.1 Learners have access to clear and accurate information, including to make informed decisions about the training product and the RTO, and are made aware of changes that affect them.
2.2 Learners are advised prior to enrolment about the suitability of the training product for them, taking into account their skills and competencies
|2.3 Learners’ training support needs are identified and learners are provided with access to the necessary training support services to undertake the training and assessment.
2.4 Learners have reasonable access to trainers, assessors and other staff to progress through the training product.
2.5 Reasonable adjustments are made to support learners with disability to access and participate in training and assessment on an equal basis.
|2.6 The training environment promotes and supports the wellbeing and diversity of learners.
2.7 Wellbeing needs of the learner cohort are identified and strategies put in place to support these needs
|Feedback, complaints and appeals
|2.8 Effective complaints management addresses concerns and informs continuous improvement.
2.9 Effective appeal processes are available where decisions of the RTO or a third party adversely impact a learner.
3. VET WORKFORCE
Learners are trained and assessed by people who are qualified, skilled and committed to professional development and the VET workforce is supported through workforce planning
VET workforce planning
|3.1 The delivery of services is supported through effective workforce planning.
|VET workforce competencies
|3.2 Training and assessment is delivered by credentialled people with current skills and knowledge in training and assessment.
3.3 Training and assessment is delivered by people with current industry skills and knowledge relevant to the training product.
Effective governance supports quality VET delivery by ensuring the integrity of operations and a commitment to continual improvement.
Leadership and accountability
|4.1 The RTO is accountable for ensuring the delivery of quality services, including training and assessment.
4.2 Leadership is effective in building and promoting a positive organisational culture.
4.3 Roles and responsibilities within the RTO are clearly defined and understood, and support effective decision-making.
4.4 Fit and proper persons oversee the operations of the RTO.
4.5 The RTO maintains financial viability to support the delivery of services and enables the refund of any pre-paid fees if the RTO is unable to deliver the training and assessment.
4.6 The RTO undertakes systematic monitoring and evaluation to identify and manage risks to the achievement of the outcomes described in the Standards and support continual improvement.
There is also a glossary of terms included.
In particular, what has this latest paper have to say in relation to the VET workforce?
First, there is a concentration on effective workforce planning to support the delivery of services, including not only those delivering training and assessment, but also those others who support learners, and provide administrative support. It’s a holistic view supported by continuing professional development and monitoring.
Second, staff not only need to have competencies to train and assess, as specified by the ‘Credential Policy’ (and this policy “enables a person to work under direction, a system for ensuring the person does not make assessment judgements and for ensuring the quality of their practice”) but also requires that “each person delivering training and assessment” and “has industry competencies, skills and knowledge that are relevant to, and at least to the level of, the training product being delivered and/or assessed” as well as maintaining “a practical understanding of current industry practices.”
And finally, … piloting
As the paper notes, “the draft revised Standards have now been finalised for piloting”. The pilot will be undertaken in late 2023 to test the practical application of the draft revised standards.