Towards fixing Voc. Ed & Training – Constructively – Case Study

Should – Someone

I regularly hear many complaints from the RTOs I have worked with:

The Government should be doing this?

The Regulatory authorities should be doing that?

Why hasn’t ‘someone’ fixed the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment?

Why hasn’t ‘someone’ researched the needs of VET Trainers and Assessors?

And the list goes on. And on.

Reality check:

VET is an industry- led System.

(Educationists were excluded from the inception of the VET System)

The air is palpable when I hear what (some) Public RTOs have to say about (some) Private RTOs and vice versa.

Who is ‘someone’

What I have found more difficult to find is what (particularly) Private RTOs have done to address their concerns.

VET is an industry-led System so ‘someone’ is industry.

To begin with, I commenced a dialogue in a Private RTO LinkedIn discussion group on some of these issues. They presumably only referred to my LinkedIn Profile and no-one enquired why I was even interested and whom I might be enquiring for. That is interesting in itself because a few loud voices [Posters] mainly concentrated on trying to discredit me, my experience, my qualifications, my industry experience and my evidence-based views without anything but their personal views.

I soon had confirmed for my client why I thought the VET System is in trouble.

As Australian Vocational Education and Training is an Industry-led System, (educationists have been excluded from the inception), I wanted to know how ‘industry’ had addressed its concerns?

If you want VET ‘fixed’ in an industry-led System, then industry has to bite the bullet and get on with it.

I will let it speak for itself.

Resources Industry Skills Association (RISA ) started out 4 years ago as an RTO Association (RRTOA) to lift the quality of delivery in the resource sector.

The association then “morphed” into the Resource Sector Skills Association with membership made up of mining companies, contractors, training organisations, the union and the inspectorate. Through this body there is a concerted effort to improve the quality of training and assessment in our industry. And that includes working with the ISC and ASQA. Surprisingly (to some) we are making huge inroads and that includes all areas of training through to diploma level.

The original association was born out of pure frustration that industry had dumbed down training and assessment as quick fix to comply and the dodgy RTO’s lined up to accommodate.

The founding members put their business on the line to get this attitude change and it is just starting to bear fruit. We have met with the Qld Minister on a number of occasions and we have regular dialogue with David Garner from QLD ASQA. RISA is about to set up a committee to look at the HRW licensing with the view to “cleaning up” the dodgy practices of some providers and we have opened dialogue with the safety beaurocracy.

It is a slow process, however we a gaining credibility and making great strides forward. Our recent conference (our third) had great debate and input from all stakeholders around quality and the debate will now continue at the regional industry network meetings over the coming months at which we have representatives from government including DET and the inspectorate.

The issue is and always will be – having your paperwork compliant and good systems in place doesn’t always mean quality training / assessment.


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