Guide to determining the amount of training
How much training you deliver is as important as the quality of your training. Your training and assessment strategies and practices need to ensure the amount of training provided to a student is sufficient. This guide aims to help providers understand the requirements of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 (the Standards) in relation to determining the amount of training required in clauses 1.1 and 1.2.
Training is defined in the Standards as:
The process used by an RTO or a third party delivering services on its behalf, to facilitate learning and the acquisition of competencies in relation to the training product on the RTO’s scope of registration.
Training comprises the formal learning activities you provide to a student and includes all of the supervised or specified activities documented in your training and assessment strategy. Examples of these activities include:
- classes, lectures or tutorials
- organised workplace learning
- structured online learning
- structured self-paced study.
The amount of training that is provided is often described in an amount of time that a provider anticipates a student would reasonably need to undertake the identified training. This amount of training must be suitable for your student cohort to:
- meet the requirements of each training product
- gain the skills and knowledge specified in the relevant training product.
Suggested factors to consider in determining the amount of training
The amount of training you provide is determined by the:
a) characteristics and needs of your student cohort
b) training product being delivered
c) mode(s) of delivery you have selected.
Your student cohort
Understanding and considering the attributes of your student cohort enables your organisation to identify an amount of training that reasonably supports a student to:
- fully absorb the required knowledge
- develop skills over time in a range of contexts they would experience in the workplace
- have the opportunity to practice and apply these skills and knowledge requirements prior to assessment.
The time taken for a student to develop the capabilities required by a training product will differ based on a student’s:
- existing skills and knowledge
- industry experience
- language, literacy and numeracy skills.
The following table gives examples of how student cohort characteristics and needs can change amount of training requirements.
The training product
Each training package or accredited course document describes the requirements and complexity of the training product being delivered – be it a qualification, accredited course, skill set or unit of competency. A training package companion volume may also assist your organisation in interpreting requirements to develop a suitable amount of training for a particular training product.
The complexity of a training product is influenced by:
- the breadth and depth of the knowledge required
- the development of practical skills
- any work placement requirements, and
- the application of knowledge and skills needed.
To streamline delivery, your provider may choose to cluster the of units of competency. Clustering units of competency allows similar or complementary content to be delivered at the same time. This can reduce duplication in content covered and may also reduce the amount of training required.
Mode(s) of delivery
When designing the structure of a training program, the mode used to deliver training influences the amount of training to be provided.
Delivery modes can include one, or a mixture, of:
- internal delivery at a delivery location, such as a workshop, laboratory, simulator or classroom
- synchronous (real-time) online learning
- asynchronous (self-paced) online learning, that is included as a measurable, set exercise
- other forms of self-paced external delivery, where a student undertakes training in their own time and location
- workplace delivery, including training activity conducted in the workplace by an RTO or an employer.
The mode(s) of delivery your provider chooses influences the training frequency, including whether the course is studied:
- within a set timeframe.
Training frequency influences your resource requirements to ensure each student has sufficient time to use the resources and equipment to develop their capabilities.
The amount of training will vary depending on which mode of delivery your organisation has selected with some delivery modes enabling students to fully develop the required skills and knowledge in a shorter timeframe.
Determining a suitable amount of training
You will be able to determine how long it will take to deliver students training so that they are comfortable, prepared and ready to undertake assessment once you have:
- considered the needs of your student cohort
- examined the requirements of the training product
- selected the mode(s) of delivery.
Recording evidence of your determinations
There is no one method for documenting the consideration and reasoning your organisation applies to decide on a suitable amount of training. This can be expressed in a single document or across multiple documents. However, you need to be able to demonstrate how the analysis conducted resulted in a well-thought-out and rational amount of training.
Another approach is to consider developing multiple training and assessment strategies for a training product, where the needs of the student cohort require different approaches to the delivery of training and/or assessment (including the amount of training to be provided).
Tips for determining the amount of training
Things to consider when deciding if the amount of training described in your training and assessment strategy is appropriate:
- Does the training content reflect a sufficient and reasonable time for the student to obtain, reflect upon and absorb knowledge prior to undertaking assessment?
- Will students be given enough opportunities for practice prior to undertaking assessment?
- What is the level of experience in the student cohort, and has this informed the amount of training?
- Will the planned delivery mode, and amount of time allocated, reasonably allow all students access to the resources needed?
- Do you have sufficient resources available to deliver training to all students in the time allocated?
- Are any units of competencies clustered, possibly shortening the amount of training needed?
- Are there any pre-learning activities that a student needs to complete prior to face-to-face delivery?
Continuously improving your training delivery
The amount of training delivered in practice may vary from the intended amount of training described in your training and assessment strategy. This will apply in circumstances where the training and assessment strategy has been developed for a new training product, student cohort or delivery mode.
To adjust the amount of training:
- regularly review the documented methods your organisation applied to estimate the amount of training
- evaluate the effectiveness of the method
- use the outcomes of that analysis to amend future training strategies.
The importance of industry engagement
Effective engagement with employers and other industry representatives may assist in effective identification and ongoing implementation of a suitable amount of training.
Ongoing discussions with industry can guide the design of your training and assessment strategies to assist in identifying how much time certain skills and knowledge requirements would take to obtain, based on learner cohort characteristics and planned delivery modes.
Amount of training and overseas students
If you are delivering VET to students studying in Australia on a student visa (overseas students), you need to also comply with the requirements of the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (National Code) in addition to the Standards.
The amount of training an RTO provides to overseas students needs to ensure that these students are enrolled in a full-time registered course. For VET courses, a full-time course is a minimum of 20 scheduled course contact hours per week, unless otherwise specified by ASQA.
More information on determining the amount of training