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C H A P T E R    4

Spotlight On trainers and assessors:
Working under supervision

Chapter 4 aims to help ensure those working under supervision have opportunities to learn and develop skills as part of supervisory arrangements.

When recruiting trainers and assessors, sometimes RTOs find potential staff who are industry-experienced subject matter experts, but lack the required training and assessment credentials. You may still be able to employ these people to participate in delivery through a supervision process.

Determining supervision eligibility

Completing one of the skill sets is a way for emerging trainers and assessors to begin to experience units that can make up the competency requirements of a qualified trainer and assessor. The skill set chosen to study should be one that best aligns to intended work outcomes.

Planning supervision arrangements

Your RTO must have suitable processes in place to manage supervision arrangements. This ensures that individuals who are under supervision are supported by qualified and experienced trainers and assessors, so that students are receiving high level delivery by participating in valid training and assessment.

A fully qualified trainer and assessor must monitor and is accountable for all training and collection of assessment evidence by the individual under their supervision. An assessor may make assessment decisions together with the person being supervised, who may gather some or all of the relevant evidence. However, the systems and processes your RTO implements must ensure the trainer and assessor providing supervision is ultimately responsible for the assessment outcome.

The process implemented to monitor supervision arrangements should balance the requirements of the Standards with what makes the most sense to your operations and the training and assessment experience of the person being supervised.

Working under supervision does not necessarily mean direct supervision, or one-on-one observation, of teaching at all times. Your RTO needs to consider the level of training and/or assessment skills and knowledge the person being supervised has and put in place arrangements for appropriate supervision and guidance. The level of supervision needed will change as the person becomes more experienced.

A plan should be established so monitoring arrangements are based on skills and experience, allowing a new trainer and/or assessor to learn, develop and practice skills while not compromising on students receiving high quality delivery. The plan should also allow adjustments to the arrangements as the supervised trainer and/or assessor gains skills and credentials.

Continue to document all feedback on the performance and progress of the person under supervision, to maintain effective records, to demonstrate how quality training and assessment is delivered under the arrangement, and to articulate how decisions are made when supervision arrangements are varied.

The outcomes of a supervision arrangement can also be beneficial for your RTO. For example, as part of the supervision plan, seek feedback from the person being supervised on ways to improve your RTO’s processes. Individuals working under supervision who are also actively studying for their full trainer and assessor credentials can also provide suggestions on ways to implement current training and assessment techniques that help to continuously improve the delivery practices of your organisation.

Workplace supervision

When a student is undertaking on-the-job training or work placement, and is being monitored by a worker on site, that workplace supervisor is not required to hold the trainer and assessor credentials, and is not an “individual working under the supervision of a trainer” defined by the Standards.

A workplace supervisor is not responsible for delivering training against the unit of competency and does not make any assessment decisions. A workplace supervisor can however give advice and practical support to students, advising on their progress, and could be involved in the collection of evidence for assessment.

During workplace supervision, your RTO must ensure:

  • training against the unit of competency is provided
  • you develop and implement assessment tools to collect evidence for assessment
  • workplace supervisor materials are maintained as supplementary evidence sources for the RTO assessor. This includes log books or testimonials.
  • The judgement of competence for any assessment remains the RTO assessor’s responsibility.

More information can be found in the fact sheet
Using other parties to collect assessment evidence.

Industry experts and assessments

Assessment outcomes may only be made by people who meet the trainer and assessor requirements of the Standards. However, an industry expert can be involved in assessment judgements by working alongside a qualified assessor to conduct assessment. Industry experts do not need to hold trainer and assessor credentials, and are not an “individual working under the supervision of a trainer” defined by the Standards.

An industry or technical expert may be included into the assessment process, for example, to give specific feedback to the assessor on a process or an observation. Where industry experts are involved in assessment judgements, your RTO’s assessor must still be fully qualified and meet the thresholds required by Clauses 1.13 and 1.14 of the Standards.




Still have a question? Check out the Users’ guide to the Standards for RTOs 2015, or send through a question for consideration for our webinar via our website.


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Follow the links below to visit other chapters in the Spotlight On series.

Visit Chapter 5 Insights into engaging trainers and assessors to deliver quality outcomes for students.

Visit Chapter 3 Chapter 3 aims to help providers develop and maintain their staff’s skills, knowledge and expertise as trainers and assessors.


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