Engage with Industry/Employers
The RTO’s training and assessment practices are relevant to the needs of industry and informed by industry engagement.
The RTO implements a range of strategies for industry engagement and systematically uses the outcome of that industry engagement to ensure the industry relevance of:
- its training and assessment strategies, practices and resources; and
- the current industry skills of its trainers and assessors.
What this Standard means for your RTO
To provide training relevant to employers and to maximise learners’ opportunities for employment, advancement or further education, your RTO must engage with relevant industry stakeholders to establish appropriate contexts, methods, resources and trainers and assessors to deliver training and to conduct assessment.
Engaging with industry stakeholders (such as employers) is critical to ensuring training and assessment is aligned to current methods, technology, products and performance expectations for the workplace tasks specified in the training package or VET accredited course.
Use the information gathered through the engagement process to:
- design strategies for training and assessment
- select suitable resources, trainers and assessors.
Implement your strategies and monitor your practices to ensure your RTO’s training continues to meet industry needs.
When monitoring the implementation of your strategies, continue to engage with industry and seek feedback about how you have provided training and assessment, including feedback on the resources used for both training and assessment. The monitoring process should also confirm industry’s ongoing expectations for current industry skills and knowledge of trainers and assessors.
By engaging with industry, you can be sure that your training and assessment practices and resources continue to meet the needs of industry, particularly in areas where technology and/or techniques change rapidly. There is no specific method or approach you must use to engage with industry. However, you should document your RTO’s engagement strategies and activities to demonstrate the alignment between industry needs and your strategies, resources and practices.
A guide to compliance
RTOs must be able to demonstrate that all strategies for training and assessment have been developed in response to information obtained through engaging with industry stakeholders. This information could include the qualification, course or skill set that best meets the skill and knowledge needs of industry. It may also include the most relevant electives for the training (in accordance with any packaging rules for the training product). The mode of study and the training and assessment methods to be used must also reflect the needs of industry.
You must be able to demonstrate that industry representatives have had input into:
- the skills and knowledge you require trainers and assessors to hold, and
- the resources your RTO uses for training and assessment.
RTOs must consider specific industry needs when developing and implementing strategies. For example, some industries or occupations may require a reasonable level of English, such as security officers, allied health professionals, childcare educators or other job roles where it is important that graduates are able to communicate effectively in Australian workplaces. In such cases, it may not be appropriate to deliver a qualification entirely in a language other than English and may be appropriate to specify a minimum written and/or oral English level as an entry requirement.
While RTOs can choose their preferred approach or method for engaging industry stakeholders, the information obtained must be systematically used to develop and review training and assessment strategies and practices.
You must retain evidence that you have:
- consulted relevant industry stakeholders
- incorporated stakeholder feedback into the development and ongoing review of strategies.
Taking shortcuts—like developing a generic strategy from a template and asking an employer to ‘sign off’—will not be effective, and does not demonstrate that the strategy was informed by industry. Documenting and retaining evidence of industry engagement activities and their outcomes will help you to demonstrate compliance with the clauses of the Standard.
As industry engagement is an ongoing activity, retaining evidence of recent engagement as well as historic activity will demonstrate that your RTO has consistently carried out industry engagement activities.
If your organisation is seeking registration as an RTO, you must provide evidence that you have sought and incorporated input into your training and assessment strategies from relevant industry stakeholders.
You must also provide evidence that you have developed strategies for ongoing engagement with relevant industry stakeholders.
Case study: Training tomorrow’s mariners
DEF Education delivers three qualifications from the Maritime Training Package. The RTO operates from a former workshop adjacent to a slipway and a number of marine repair businesses. The RTO has been approved by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) for the delivery of maritime licensing qualifications.
Prior to commencing operations and applying for registration as an RTO, the organisation met with local Australian Maritime Safety Authority officers to discuss industry needs. DEF Education identified that:
While these qualifications have no formal entry requirements, many tasks in certain qualifications require the ability to operate in confined spaces, and in hot and noisy conditions. To ensure suitability of learners, the strategy identifies that learners must confirm that they have a reasonable level of physical agility and the ability to operate comfortably in confined spaces, and that they have passed the required eyesight test prior to their enrolment being accepted. As the expected outcomes for the identified client cohort (maritime licenses) require a ‘self-declaration of medical fitness’ prior to issue, potential learners are required to complete this prior to enrolment to ensure they are able to achieve their desired outcomes.
DEF education considered possibilities for training new entrants to the industry using vessels operating in the local marine tourism industry, but concluded that it was not practical for safety reasons.
After consultation with local employers, the RTO purchased two vessels that are representative of the type of vessel commonly used in the local area and more broadly in the marine tourism industry:
To provide access to a range of equipment and machinery for basic skill development, the RTO purchased a variety of engines and other mechanical and safety equipment. This equipment includes electronic and other navigational equipment. The engines and equipment were set up in various simulations of on-board environments to allow learners to familiarise themselves with relevant equipment and tasks safely.
The two vessels purchased are used by all learners, who undertake various voyages during their training and assessment. These voyages enable learners to undertake all required tasks and to complete the requirements of the AMSA Task Book (which documents the amount of sea service, tasks undertaken and the type of vessel the in which the voyage was undertaken).
In response to industry concerns that graduates of some RTOs didn’t have the full range of skills and experience required, DEF Education discussed the sequencing of training and assessment, as well as assessment methods, with local employers. The discussions aimed to develop sequencing/assessment methods that would ensure learners gain exposure to a wide range of contexts and scenarios.
The RTO also monitors emerging technology and regulatory requirements so that it is aware of any changes that would require strategies or practices to be amended in response to changes in industry requirements at any time. The RTO retains records of formal meetings (through minutes) and of less formal engagement activities (through diary notes) to demonstrate how they have engaged with industry stakeholders. Version control of training and assessment strategies documents where changes are made and the reason for the changes.