“In my opinion to assert that private providers could fill the gaps if TAFE was eliminated or decimated is fanciful,and equates to throwing the baby out with the bath water.” Joseph Sanders FAHRI
It is not about denigrating training provision by private registered training organisations (RTOs) – though it must be recognised there are “rogue operators using the market for profiteering from Government subsidies”. [Bruce D. Watson]
Nor is it seeking to insulate TAFE Institutes from competition from Private RTOs; which can add useful diversity, innovation and choice to the overall VET System. [Bruce D. Watson]
Moving from regulation to inspiration
Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric. [Bertrand Russell]
We need to move away from the confusing VET (i.e., “veterinary”, “war veteran”) label – “Vocational Training and Education (VTE)” [Bruce D. Watson]
Educationist: A specialist who is versed in the theories and practices of, or who advocates and promotes, education.
Frank T. Whilhems says, most educationists can be called teachers too, or educators; but their job identification may be as supervisors or administrators or college professors.
Yet not all who wear these titles are educationists. For there is something distinctive about the life-long student of learning and teaching – the scholar whose discipline is education…
[I]t seems fairly obvious that much of the antagonism against [educationists] stems from a yearning for a return to privilege and from a scarce-hidden contempt of the masses.
Much that has been thrown at [educationists] is mere scapegoating, a refusal to face our country’s problems entire and a search for the cheap [narrow] panacea. There really is a need for some such term to designate those who train themselves for a career applying systematic thought and the whole matter of educating human beings.
Part One: Vocational Training and Education educationists
I contend that we might say of Vocational Training and Education (VTE) :
1. Instructors, trainers, facilitators, educationists are the primary implementers of any VTE/Training Package policy. Instructors, trainers, facilitators, educationists are in fact the ultimate arbiters of VTE practice.
2. Any VTE policy/Training Package that ignores the perceptions of Instructors, trainers, facilitators, educationists, trainees, learners is bound to come across a lot of problems during implementation.
3. No matter how well intentioned a VTE policy/Training Package may be, no one can predetermine the actual outcomes of the instructor, trainer, facilitator, educationist – learner interaction.
4. The system needs well qualified (beyond Certificate IV) to ensure as best as possible the actual outcomes of the instructor, trainer, facilitator, educationist – learner interaction.
Part Two – Commonwealth Ombudsman
The Commonwealth Ombudsman safeguards the community in its dealings with Australian Government agencies.
The Ombudsman’s office handles complaints, conducts investigations, performs audits and inspections, encourages good administration, and carries out specialist oversight tasks.
The Public Interest Disclosure Bill passed by parliament in June 2013 confers new roles and responsibilities on the Ombudsman to oversee the operation of the federal government public interest disclosure scheme.
The activities of the Ombudsman’s office are governed by a number of Commonwealth and ACT laws.
The most important of these are the Ombudsman Act 1976, Freedom of Information Act 1982,Australian Federal Police Act 1979, Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979, Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013and the ACT’s Ombudsman Act 1989 andFreedom of Information Act 1989
Part Three – ASQA
As the national regulator for the vocational education and training (VET) sector, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) seeks to make sure that the sector’s quality is maintained through the effective regulation of providers and accredited courses.
ASQA regulates according to a risk assessment model. This means that the Authority applies proportionate regulatory intervention based on risk assessment.
‘Proportionate’ intervention means that regulatory focus is concentrated on providers of concern (those that are not delivering quality training outcomes). Similarly, regulatory interventions are minimised for providers that consistently deliver high-quality training outcomes.
Part Four – Example “Chief” roles
The role of the Chief Psychiatrist (Victoria) is explained under the Mental Health Act 2014. It exists to provide clinical leadership and promote continuous improvement in the quality and safety of mental health services. This includes promoting the rights of people receiving mental health treatment in public mental health services.
The Chief Psychiatrist provides clinical leadership through developing guidelines, undertaking clinical reviews, audits and investigations, and has statutory responsibility for monitoring restrictive practices, electroconvulsive therapy and reportable deaths.
Chief Health Officer
The Victorian Government’s Chief Health Officer undertakes a variety of statutory functions under the Health and Food Acts, and is responsible for
- developing and implementing strategies to promote and protect public health
- providing advice to the Minister and the Secretary on matters relating to public health and wellbeing
- publishing a comprehensive report on public health and wellbeing in Victoria on a biennial basis.
Chief Fire Officer
The Chief Fire Officer (Victoria) is responsible for fire planning, prevention, preparedness and fire operations on Victoria’s public land.
Part Five: Chief VTE Educationist (Proposed)
The Ombudsman and ASQA consider consequences when problems have become evident and usually complicated.
The role of a Chief Vocational Training and Education (VTE) Educationist could be to ‘nip the problems in the bud’ before they develop and explained under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006
A Chief VTE Educationist might work to create a new era in communication among vocational educationists, For-Profit, Not-for-Profit and Public (Institutes of TAFE) RTO Managers, “industry” and regulators — including practitioners, researchers, and students in the field of vocational education and training ——–together with institutions, organisations, and companies actively engaged in development.
A Chief VTE Educationist could provide:
1. advocacy for education competencies in VTE trainer training
2. centralised and themed online discussion forums across traditional communication boundaries – e.g., educationists and “industry”
3. leadership through developing educational and training guidelines
4. networking events across traditional boundaries, e.g., For-Profit, Not-for-Profit and Public (Institutes of TAFE) RTOS; industry, business and education.
5. fostering of partnerships, e.g.,
- Consultative partnerships – for the purpose of receiving public input around change or to gather ideas for policies.
- Contributory partnerships – formed to benefit an organisation or the community.
- Operational partnerships – work-sharing arrangements in which the components of a given task are delegated to specific parties.
- Collaborative partnerships – set up to share resources, risks and decision-making.
7. leadership in worldwide research and partnership on VTE education policy and learning methods, determining what works in VTE education, and how to demonstrate the effectiveness of different approaches, services and materials.
8. advise on and support the innovation and development of new products and services, and
9. lead strategies for VTE education including rural and remote areas
10. your suggestions….?
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