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Tips to boost your Training and Assessment Strategy

09 - November - 2018

ASQA's Standards for RTOs outline the need for a Training and Assessment Strategy (TAS) in clauses 1.1 - 1.4 and 2.2. ASQA states that, "Your RTO must develop a strategy for training and assessment for each training product you are registered to deliver."

One of the main reasons an RTO requires a robust TAS is to avoid non-compliance with Standard 1. According to ASQA, this is one of the most common pitfalls for RTOs. The Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector is based upon a predefined amount of training that is tied to the training package for each qualification and unit of competency. If students are graduating without the training package requirements, the entire VET industry is at risk of, "major financial, safety and productivity costs for individuals, employers and industry and governments."

Components of a typical Training and Assessment Strategy according to ASQA’s guidelines include:

  • Training Product
  • Core and elective components
  • Target Group
  • Mode of delivery
  • Duration and Scheduling
  • Assessment resources, methods and timing
  • Learning resources
  • Human resources
  • Physical resources
  • Strategies for stand-alone single units or skills sets
  • Strategies for assessment-only pathways


Download your free TAS template here


The following blog outlines each clause that relates to the Training and Assessment Strategy and poses some benefits of using Cloud Assess to deliver to your TAS.


Clause 1.1-1.2 Use your TAS to plan for all the variables around amounts of training


"Your RTO is required to develop and implement approaches—including by providing access to suitable resources, facilities and trainers—that ensure students gain all relevant skills and knowledge."

 To assist with planning for the duration of a course, the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) have outlined a Volume of Learning table by type of qualification, which is seen below.

Training and Assessment Strategy
What's included in the ‘Volume of learning’? I hear you ask!

"All teaching, learning and assessment activities that a typical student must undertake to achieve the learning outcomes."

This is still a bit vague. So, how can you be sure you are giving each student sufficient amounts of teaching, learning and assessment activities?

Well, the AQF's range is considered only a starting point for RTOs to gauge what is required. Competency-based training is defined as a concept that, "individuals learn at different rates as well as through different modes and environments". Other aspects can be taken into consideration too, like previously recognised skills.

Top Tip!

As part of your TAS, at enrolment, provide your future students with an online form/questionnaire to assess their existing skills, knowledge and experience. You can also ask questions about how easily they can get to a classroom or workplace to find out the best mode of delivery for each student. Conduct an LLN test online too.

When analysing the training package to identify how the training and assessment is to be delivered either face-to-face, online, through workplace training or blended delivery, consider using an online assessment platform like Cloud Assess. Built for RTOs, you can effortlessly satisfy any assessment requirement. Knowledge assessment, practical assessment, observation checklist, evidence portfolio, log book, 3rd party report or RPL. 

Effortlessly gather knowledge evidence and practical evidence, videos, materials, assessments and results. These are all stored and accessed from the one place and results can be transferred to your Student Management System through a workflow or at the click of a button. No doubling up of data handling, all Cloud Assess forms can be integrated into your website and stored in assessment platform as evidence of an efficient and thorough enrolment process.


Clause 1.3 Make sure everything that falls under the scope of registration is sufficient

Your TAS must identify the following as being sufficient:

Trainers and Assessors - All Trainers and Assessors must meet the requirements as outlined in Standard 1 Clauses 1.13 – 1.16. Identify who will be involved in the delivery of your training product and document this at unit level. To ensure your Trainers and Assessors are up to date with Professional Development (PD) requirements, create and distribute professional development forms. You can analyse if there are any gaps in skills and create an action plan. Download a free Professional Development Guide and Template here

Educational and support services - access to all required educational and support services must be available to all students regardless of their mode of study or location. If you have any limitations regarding access, it must be made very clear in marketing material. 

Learning resources - Your RTO must provide students with access to necessary resources. There is no stipulation on ownership, just that must be accessible/available to all students. So if they require a phone, do they own a phone or does one need to be supplied. If they require access to a kitchen, outline what tools will be required to perform any observational tasks.

Facilities  - Both classroom, simulated workplace environments and workplaces must include resources required to perform any part of your Training Product. Note that it is the RTOs responsibility to ensure the workplace has the required resources.  

Top Tip!

Don't be restrained by the use of paper - Using an online training and assessment platform means that you can conduct assessment anywhere and at any time no matter how you deliver your assessment. It will be a great tool to promote your RTO at the Marketing and Recruitment Phase of the Learner Journey.

 

Clause 1.4: Ensure you are meeting all the requirements of the training product

"Training packages and VET accredited courses describe the requirements for assessment of students, including any specific environments or equipment that must be used. Assessment methods must ensure that only properly skilled students are determined as competent. When conducting assessment, adhere to all requirements such as the context of assessment and essential resources as described in the unit or module."

Top Tip!

Get Mapping - Using Cloud Assess, there are many assessment features that ensure your learners are receiving their AQF certificates only when they have met all the relevant course or training package requirements. 

Cloud Assess has a unique Mapping tool. You can ensure unit requirements are met before issuing an outcome by mapping your assessment to the ASQA standards for each unit using Cloud Assess’s integration with Training.gov.au. Read this case study to learn more: Department of Fire & Emergency Services WA

 

Clause 2.2:  Systematically monitor your RTO's training and Assessment Strategies

ASQA suggests that good practice is more important than audit preparation. 

In relation to monitoring and evaluating your training and assessment strategies and practices you need to keep evidence to show that:

  • You have monitored and reviewed your training and assessment in a systematic way
  • Results are used to revise systems and practices where needed

Your TAS should be a working document that allows you to address systems that have not worked out as well as planned.

Most importantly, ensure that self-assessment is conducted regularly and that the actions that are taking place in the RTO reflect what is documented. 

Top Tip!

Create a bulletproof audit trail - Using a digital assessment tool like Cloud Assess you can document interviews and save formal feedback from your learners along the way. With Cloud Assess, every student has a timeline which is a chronological list of events or actions related to that student. It is a great tool to rely on for capturing your training and assessment strategy in progress.

Automate - Consider a solution that allows you to automate parts of your process. This will remove repetitive, manual tasks and guarantees events in your process take place. You can set up Workflows for a range of purposes. One of which is to systemise actions. Using workflow, you can ensure all learners receive the same communication at the same points within their journey including formal feedback surveys to ensure you know they are on the right track. This ensures fairness to all students showing everyone is going through the same process. 


Validation - Improve assessment process with the Stats tool. Easily fulfil your continuous improvement obligations by accessing insightful data including pass-fail rates which can be filtered by assessor, question or mapping criteria. It provides you with the information required to make a positive change.

Forms - Create your own set of internal audit forms for self-assessment against your criteria.

Quality Checks - Checking for quality has never been easier with the Quality Checks tool. With the ability to adjust sample sizes depending on your risk ratings and validation requirements.

For more features click here.

These are just a few examples of how you can use Cloud Assess to ensure your process aligns to ASQA’s requirements. 

Reference guides:


If you missed the live Training Provider Briefing, you can view the presentation here 

As the leading online assessment solution for RTOs, Cloud Assess is built to make your job easier and keep the passion alive in VET. 

 
Training and Assessment Strategy