Better guidance for training providers and better informed consumers

Currently there is little information available to training providers and consumers (students and employers) about how industry expects training to be delivered, including:

  • the duration of training (in addition to the specifications for volume of learning in the Australian Qualifications Framework, what is the length of time industry thinks it should take a learner new to the area to complete the training);
  • the mode of delivery (for example, does industry think it is appropriate for a qualification such as the Diploma of Massage to be fully delivered through online learning); and
  • learner characteristics (for example, does industry think it is appropriate for a VET in schools student to undertake a particular qualification such as some of those in the health and funeral industries.).

This lack of information can cause confusion for training providers and means that students may not be able to make informed choices about whether the training they are receiving has been delivered in the way that industry expects it to be.

Through the Review of Training Packages and Accredited Courses, stakeholders strongly stated that industry needs an avenue for putting forward their views about the way training should be delivered.

However, there was a wide range of views about whether this advice should go into training packages.  Some stakeholders wanted this information specified within each training package.  Some suggested this advice would assist training providers but would more appropriately be placed in the Companion Volume. While at the other end of the spectrum, some stakeholders put the view that the inclusion of delivery requirements within a training package qualification is contrary to the fundamentals of a competency based system.  Others said that training packages describe the skills and knowledge needed to do a particular job and the assessment criteria for assessing whether a person has the skills and knowledge.  They do not describe how a person should be trained and they don’t contain curriculum so are the not the right place to put this advice.  

The COAG Industry and Skills Council considered the wide ranging views and have agreed that industry advice on training delivery should be made available to training providers and consumers in the training package Companion Volume Implementation Guide. Companion Volume Implementation Guides are a non-endorsed component of the training package and designed to help providers implement the training package. 

The new arrangements for training package development provide an opportunity for industry to provide this advice through the Industry Reference Committees and it will be added to the relevant Companion Volume Implementation Guide. 

The advice will also be made available to consumers to help them make informed course choices about how a course aligns with industry preferences about the way the particular training should be delivered.

The success of this reform relies on industry clearly defining their expectations, the information being provided to training providers and consumers in a useful way and on training providers taking up the advice and delivering training that aligns with industry’s advice.

Given this, the COAG Industry and Skills Council has agreed to review this approach in the future to see if further action, including introducing regulatory requirements, is needed.