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report of the high level review of training packages.

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The issue of generic skills should be central to the redevelopment of training packages. Undeniably, part of the resistance to training packages in the past was due to the use of regulatory and compliance mechanisms to ensure implementation.

A new ‘settlement’

Yet this assumption seems to be the basis for some design aspects of training packages. There are cases where a state trade association objects to the jurisdiction's approval of training packages that have the backing of the national trade association.

Better design

We believe that generic skills are the most important design problem facing the training package model, requiring immediate attention and urgent resolution. Adoption of the ACCI/BCA Employability Skills Framework and generic skills approaches vary across states and territories. Training pack developers receive specific guidance and advice on how to identify employability skills required within the industry and how to incorporate them into training packs.

Assessment in the VET sector is competence-based, with the benchmarks for this assessment being the approved units of competence in training packages. However, coordination and leadership on this issue at the national level is overdue, and we suggest that ANTA investigate the range of graded assessment models currently being implemented across Australia, with a view to developing a model that would enable graded assessments to be are provided within Training Packages as additional reports. Several initiatives have been launched and some progress has been made, but according to feedback to the Review, the benefits of this work have yet to be fully realized.

We believe that ANTA's leadership in this area has been sound, and the current strategy of involving regulators in an adaptation process should continue to be actively pursued as an element of an overall reform strategy.

Rigorous and inclusive development and review

Part of the validation process involves representatives of the Industry Skills Councils coming together with a small number of independent qualification design and capital specialists to review the Training Packages before approval. The aim here is to ensure that the workforce development supported by the Training Packages simultaneously matches current needs - today's business - while adapting to tomorrow's business: evolving industry dynamics, changing labor market patterns and changing community expectations. The capacity of Training Packages to adapt depends on a number of factors including a collaborative culture, clear authorities, enlightened leadership and excellent market intelligence and forecasting skills.

First, intelligence from multiple and diverse sources on economic, social, labor market and business needs in national, regional and international markets likely to influence the design of training packages. There is a widespread perception that there is an inappropriate proliferation of qualifications, competency standards and training packages and that duplication at each of these levels needs to be reduced for the benefit of end users. We see little value in a policy-driven or rule-based reduction in the number of qualifications or training packages due to

However, this will be furthered if the new Industry Skills Councils have as part of their agreement with ANTA the requirement to systematically reduce the duplication of competency units and qualifications and consolidate existing training packages where there are clear synergies.

An effective qualifications framework

We also pay attention to the New Zealand experience, where in the nineties of the 20th century the commitment of the industry was lost because of too general standards. Their use outside recognized vocational education and training should continue to be encouraged, so that the value of a significant investment in training packages is reflected not only in their use for nationally recognized training, but in their use for wider workforce development initiatives, particularly in the workplace. places. In this discussion, we believe there is a middle ground that should be explored, with market standards that allow titles to be used in a way that better reflects market needs.

We suggest that State/Territory accreditation bodies re-examine their interpretation of the AQTF rules to ensure a good balance between course accreditation that complements training packages on the one hand, and a course accreditation system that can encourage duplication of resources, variability of qualifications and lack of transferability on the other qualifications for individuals. Overall, we believe that demand for accredited courses is likely to decrease as training packages improve; that there will always be some demand for accredited courses and that this should not be seen as a weakness of the training package model in itself. Alignment between training packages and school and university systems is desirable, although difficult, and a more consistent way of comparing qualifications held across sectors (secondary school, vocational education and training, higher education) and ensuring consistency in award level would be of great benefit.

As a first step, we think it would be valuable to have a national discussion of the principles behind the Victorian Credit Matrix system to assess its relevance to the national VET system.

Supporting quality teaching, learning and assessment

A system that supports high quality teaching, learning and assessment While the responsibility and risks for the implementation of the training package lie with the RTOs, the national level VET system and national training authorities have an obligation to provide a reasonable level of support for the implementation of a nationally agreed model. The AQTF compliance framework is a necessary but not sufficient means of ensuring quality teaching, learning and assessment. It may be possible to identify areas for improvement in the National Implementation Guides that could support teaching, learning and assessment.

However, more teaching, learning and assessment resources or professional development for the individual practitioner will have a limited effect without parallel attention to the organizational context (management, resources, systems and physical spaces) in which the practitioners work. The respective roles and responsibilities of ANTA, state education authorities, RTOs and individual practitioners to provide quality teaching, learning and assessment resources have been blurred. Perhaps as a result, state/territory and RTO facilitation of better teaching, learning and assessment has been inconsistent – ​​although there are some important exceptions.

Professional growth – consider ways to develop a stronger sense of professional identity; capacity building of training managers; ensure better professional guidance of teachers and evaluators at the pedagogical level; fostering a strong national dialogue on alternative pedagogies and assessment practices in a training package environment; and consider how Australia's flexible learning framework could further contribute to improving teaching and assessment.

Improving Pathways

The availability of widespread assessor expertise is critical to the success of the training package model. Training packages are based on concepts of flexibility and access, offering access and progression for learners through a number of pathways. To improve equity group participation in training packages, an agreed entry point is required; entry into an industry via education package qualifications seems logical.

Decisions on whether the training package model should allow for cross-sector and cross-disciplinary qualifications at Certificate I and II level based on a cluster of training packages should be accelerated, although we have some concerns that current initiatives may be trying too hard to make training packages to 'all things to all people', when vocational training courses may be more suitable. We also believe that training packages with potential overseas markets could perhaps incorporate additional flexibility in their development by, for example, increasing the capacity to contextualise competency units to suit international conditions. We started this report by arguing that the environments in which the training packages are implemented are even more important than improving.

In the past, all parties agree that there has been a lack of attention to managing the massive changes that Training Packages have represented for practitioners and providers.

Dealing with the legacy

The suggestions in this report will require considerable attention to the processes that will ensure a successful transition.

Funding

Better cooperation, good leadership, outstanding national and state/territory coordination and more support and adaptation systems at all levels are needed. These are not new problems brought about by the introduction of Training Packages, but the Training Package model combined with budgetary constraints has brought them into sharper relief. It seems to us that the tendency to ignore the way to finance Training Packages at the provider level has created its own implementation and quality problems.

Initiatives are currently underway to address macro-level funding issues and to explore the possibility of greater alignment of nominal hours allocated to training package qualifications. We can only commend these efforts and hope that they will eventually lead to a better understanding of the cost structures of providers and a new funding model that will better support the delivery of training packages.

R&D

A staged approach

Project Brief

Methodology

Project Management Group

Sounding Board members

Organisations consulted

Submissions received

List of Working Papers

Bibliography and References

9 Australian National Training Authority (2003d) Key Equity Issues for ANTA's High Level Review of Training Packages. 10 Australian National Training Authority (2003e), Report summary of ANTA-funded project to test employability skills in training packages. Strategic evaluation of the qualitative impact of the. introduction of training packages for VET customers.

Phase two examined the current reality of training packages and examined the experience of implementing training packages from a wide range of users. A shared understanding of the role and importance of training packages will be fostered so that training packages meet the skills needs of Australian business now and in the future. Clearer, more consistent guidance will be provided and shared among developers and evaluators of training packages.

A national approach to explicitly include generic and employable skills in training packages will be implemented. Global and international factors will be fully considered in the development and review of training packages, ensuring that training packages continue to meet the needs of the Australian market. Further work will be done to progress this and to provide more comprehensive information to users of the training packages.

References

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