This strategic review was initiated by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) in response to concerns raised by the Productivity Commission in its 2011 research report, Early Childhood Development Workforce, about the quality of vocational education and training (VET) and assessment being provided.
The Commission's report noted that increased demand for qualifications will increase demand for vocational education and training, and existing concerns surrounding poor quality training need to be addressed. This review confirmed the concerns raised by the Productivity Commission. The results have indicated that most registered training organisations have difficulty complying with assessment requirements; training courses are delivered in too short a time; and learning and assessment in a structured workplace environment is not done well.
ASQA considers the implementation of the strategic review’s recommendations will strengthen considerably the quality of early childhood education and care training and assessment provided to learners. This is particularly important not only for the integrity of the VET sector but also because there is a projected national shortage of early childhood education and care workers.
Key findings of the review include:
- The CHC30113 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care are critical qualifications for early childhood education and care workers under the sector requirements of the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care.
- Most registered training organisations have difficulty complying with assessment requirements.
- Following time to rectify areas where they were not compliant, most registered training organisations became compliant with the national standards for registered training organisations.
- Training courses are often being delivered in too short a time to enable the development of sufficient skills and knowledge and for valid assessment decisions to be made.
- Learning and assessment in a structured workplace environment is not being done well by many registered training organisations delivering early childhood education and care.
The review made 10 recommendations, some of which proposed that ASQA take certain actions in carrying out its regulatory functions and others recommended involvement from VET sector stakeholders. ASQA will continue to make the regulation of RTOs offering early childhood education and care training a high priority and will work with other stakeholders to implement the recommendations made.
Key recommendations of this review address the need for:
- training packages to include minimum benchmarks around the amount of training required for units of competency and VET qualifications
- ASQA to obtain intelligence from early childhood and care providers about the quality of training and assessment
- the quality of assessment to improve
- greater clarity in training packages in relation to assessment evidence
- adequate provision of training and assessment in an actual or simulated workplace, and
- trainers and assessors to gain and maintain vocational competence.