Clauses 1.13 to 1.16—Employ skilled trainers and assessors
In addition to the requirements specified in clause 1.14 and clause 1.15, the RTO’s training and assessment is delivered only by persons who have:
- vocational competencies at least to the level being delivered and assessed
- current industry skills directly relevant to the training and assessment being provided
- current knowledge and skills in vocational training and learning that informs their training and assessment.
Industry experts may also be involved in the assessment judgement, working alongside the trainer and/or assessor to conduct the assessment.
The RTO’s training and assessment:
- if delivered on or prior to 30 June 2019, is delivered only by persons who have the training and assessment credential specified in Item 1 or Item 2 or Item 3 of Schedule 1.
- if delivered on or after 1 July 2019, is delivered only by persons who have the training and assessment credential specified in Item 2 or Item 3 of Schedule 1.
Where a person conducts assessments only, the RTO ensures that:
- on or prior to 30 June 2019, the person has the training and assessment credential specified in Item 1, or Item 2, or Item 3, or Item 4, or Item 5 of Schedule 1; or
- on or after 1 July 2019, the person has the training and assessment credential specified in Item 2, or Item 3, or Item 5 of Schedule 1.
The RTO ensures that all trainers and assessors undertake professional development in the fields of the knowledge and practice of vocational training, learning and assessment including competency-based training and assessment.
What clauses 1.13 to 1.16 mean for your RTO
Quality training and assessment depends on the skills and knowledge of trainers and assessors.
The Standards specify that trainers and assessors are skilled VET practitioners with current industry skills and knowledge. This ensures students receive the training they need and graduates are properly assessed before being issued with a qualification or statement of attainment.
ASQA’s strategic industry reviews have consistently found high levels of non-compliance with these clauses. This non-compliance undermines the quality of the student experience and directly affects the quality and credibility of qualifications. Students have told ASQA that it is important to them that their teachers are professional and knowledgeable about their subjects.
To provide training that reflects current industry practice and valid assessment, your RTO’s trainers and assessors must maintain the currency of their skills and knowledge in both:
- their industry area
- vocational education and training.
It is also acceptable for an appropriately qualified trainer and assessor to work with an industry expert to conduct assessment together.
What is a qualification in adult education?
An adult education qualification has a focus on training and assessing adults. The qualification does not need to include the words ‘adult education’ in the title; however, units or subjects completed within the qualification need to demonstrate the skills and knowledge required to train adults. The academic transcript or record of results for the qualification will provide the evidence to demonstrate this.
Examples of adult education qualifications include:
While the Standards do not prescribe how trainers and assessors must maintain their currency in industry skills, it is the responsibility of your RTO to retain evidence that shows:
- your trainers’ and assessors’ current industry skills and knowledge
- that trainer and assessor knowledge directly relates to the training and/or assessment they are providing.
The industry skills and knowledge held by trainers and assessors must be consistent with:
- information gathered through your industry engagement activities
- any specific requirements expressed in relevant training packages and accredited courses.
Your RTO must ensure that all trainers and assessors undertake professional development in VET—including in competency-based training and assessment. This includes trainers and assessors employed or contracted by your RTO and those engaged by a third-party
delivering training and assessment on behalf of your RTO.
The Standards do not prescribe how often professional development must occur, but it must be sufficiently frequent to ensure your trainers and assessors have current knowledge and skills in vocational training, learning and assessment. Simply delivering training and assessment does not constitute professional development.
A guide to compliance
Evidence relating to trainers’ and assessors’ industry skills can take many forms.
If a trainer and assessor holds the qualification they are delivering and has recent extensive industry experience, this may be sufficient to demonstrate they hold both current industry skills and vocational competencies.
In some cases, people may have significant industry experience but not hold any formal qualifications—in such cases, you would need to analyse the skills and knowledge they deliver and compare this to their industry skills and knowledge. Consider all units of competency (including electives) in this analysis to ensure that you are meeting the requirements for trainers and assessors specified in the training package or accredited course.
Current industry skills
Training and assessment should only be provided by those who have current industry skills and knowledge. Training and assessment is best provided by those who can undertake—to an industry-standard level—all of the tasks defined in the elements of units of competency and modules.
To confirm trainers and assessors have current industry skills, and all training and assessment is delivered by people who are themselves competent practitioners, your RTO should ideally ensure that trainers and assessors are regularly exposed to industry workplaces and participate in workplace tasks.
Trainers and assessors need to show how they have maintained, upgraded or developed new skills relevant to current industry needs. Evidence showing trainers’ and assessors’ industry skills can take many forms.
Currency in skills will depend on the industry area. Some examples of how trainers and assessors can demonstrate current industry skills include:
- volunteering or working part-time in the industry area
- undertaking accredited training relevant to the industry area
- belonging to industry associations
- engaging with industry (for example, through discussions with employers or attending industry networking events)
- reading industry journals and subscriptions
- staying informed about changes to technology
- keeping up to date with changes to legislation.
Delivering training and assessment in a workplace does not constitute the development of current industry skills. However, attending a workplace to experience the latest techniques, processes and resources could contribute to the
demonstration of current industry skills.
Vocational competency for trainers and assessors
RTOs must retain evidence that all trainers and assessors have undertaken relevant professional development in VET. The Standards do not prescribe what form this evidence takes, but you may choose to include registers of the development activities your trainers and assessors have completed.
How can my RTO demonstrate and provide evidence of compliant practice?
Your RTO should take appropriate steps to verify information about trainer and assessor’s qualifications, vocational competencies and current industry skills.
These steps may include:
- viewing qualifications and contacting the provider named on the person’s qualification to confirm that the document is genuine
- reviewing academic transcripts
- confirming the VET study completed through the online Unique Student Identifier (USI) Registry (do not rely on printed transcripts)
- conducting referee checks at the time of employment to confirm relevant industry experience.
You should retain evidence of how you have verified this information—for example, by maintaining records on each person’s human resources file.
Your RTO should also retain evidence of your approach to professional development and of how you engage with industry to confirm, review and update the required skills and knowledge for trainers and assessors. Examples of possible approaches include:
- implementing a requirement for a certain number of professional development hours per year, with your RTO to approve development activity in advance in order for the hours to be counted as part of the annual requirement
- collecting evidence of trainer and assessor participation in communities of practice
- requiring trainers and assessors to participate in industry exchanges and/or placements
- conducting an annual review of the skills and knowledge required for trainers and assessors with local industry representatives, in order to ensure currency and relevance
- maintaining information on professional development activities on a register.
If you are seeking registration
You must provide evidence that:
Case study—Employing trainers with appropriate adult education qualifications
AJF Training College provides training in information technology and digital media. The RTO employs three trainers and assessors to deliver these qualifications. In order to cover the increasing number of student enrolments, the RTO manager decides to employ two additional trainers and assessors to deliver these qualifications.
At the job interviews, the RTO manager requests evidence of each applicant’s training and assessment qualifications. One of the applicants does not hold the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment; however, he does hold a Diploma of Training, Design and Development and a Bachelor of Education. The RTO manager views the academic transcript for the Bachelor of Education and notes that the subjects studied had a focus on teaching primary school children. As the Bachelor of Education did not have a focus on training adults, this evidence does not demonstrate compliance with clause 1.14 of the Standards.
However, as the Diploma of Training Design and Development included units that assessed the skills and knowledge in training and assessing adults, this evidence demonstrated that employment of the trainer and assessor was likely to meet the requirements of clause 1.14.
Case study—Making sure the trainer is trained
MNO Community College employs seven part-time trainers and assessors as staff members and engages another three contractors as needed. To ensure their trainers and assessors have all the required skills and knowledge, the provider requires anyone employed or contracted as a trainer and assessor to hold the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment prior to being engaged. As part of the induction process (for both employees and contractors), all qualifications are verified with the issuing RTO where possible, and comprehensive referee checks are carried out. MNO Community College keeps records of these activities in each individual’s human resources file.
MNO Community College requires that all trainers and assessors undergo a minimum of 20 hours of formal professional development in training and assessment each calendar year. (MNO Community College pays this cost for employees, but not for contractors.) Both staff members and contractors must seek prior approval to have professional development counted towards their 20 required hours, allowing MNO Community College to ensure the development activity is suitable. Both staff members and contractors must undergo a skills and knowledge evaluation in their industry area at least annually (which most people demonstrate by providing evidence of work conducted in the industry). Any trainers not currently working in the relevant industry are required to provide alternative evidence of current skills and knowledge. Again, any additional activities required are paid for by MNO Community College for employees but not contractors.
As part of its industry engagement strategy, MNO Community College meets annually with industry representatives to review the required industry skills and knowledge for all trainers and assessors to ensure they continue to meet industry expectations.
Case study—Documenting a trainer’s vocational competency
Fiona is a trainer and assessor working for an RTO, Brighter Training Services, delivering the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.
Fiona does not hold the qualification Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care. However, she does hold the Diploma of Children’s Services (Early Childhood Education and Care), which she completed in 2010, and a Bachelor of Early Childhood and Teaching (Birth to Five Years).
The Diploma of Early Childhood and Care and the Diploma of Children’s Services (Early Childhood Education and Care) are not equivalent qualifications. The general manager for Brighter Training Services asks Fiona to demonstrate how the combination of the Diploma of Children’s Services (Early Childhood Education and Care) and Bachelor of Early Childhood and Teaching demonstrates equivalence to the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.
Fiona provides evidence of equivalence by conducting a mapping analysis of the unit requirements for the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care to the units she completed for the Diploma of Children’s Services (Early Childhood Education and Care) and Bachelor of Early Childhood and Teaching (Birth to Five Years). Fiona also includes the industry skills and knowledge she obtained from her employment at Toys Day Care Facility in 2013 as part of the mapping analysis.
The RTO general manager reviews the mapping analysis and determines that it indicates vocational competencies at least to the level being delivered and assessed. The RTO general manager adds a copy of the mapping analysis to Fiona’s human resources file.
Case study—Documenting a trainer’s industry skills
John works as a trainer and assessor for the RTO Pale Ale Pty Ltd in 2016, delivering the unit of competency SITHFAB002 Provide Responsible Service of Alcohol.
The compliance manager for Pale Ale Pty Ltd is conducting an internal audit, and is checking the evidence provided to demonstrate John’s industry currency.
John’s CV included the following information as evidence of industry currency:
References have been provided to validate John’s experience as a contract RTO trainer and assessor, as a bartender from 2010 to 2012, and monthly casual work as a waiter/bartender at his father’s Italian restaurant.
A copy of John’s current membership with the QHA is also on file with copies of newsletters received from QHA regarding legislative updates.
The compliance manager is satisfied that the evidence provided will meet the requirements of clause 1.13(b).