Velg Training’s 2015 National VET Conference – what I learned about TAEv2 and more…

Velg Training’s 2015 National VET Conference – what I learned about TAEv2 and more…

Velg Training’s 2015 National VET Conference (2015NVC) took place in Adelaide on 17-18 September 2015.  This annual conference has become ‘the place’ to go and hear latest news from VET leaders and decision-makers.  This year’s sold-out conference was no exception.  We heard from speakers such as:

  • Chris Robinson – Chief Commissioner for ASQA
  • Rosalie Staggard – General Manager – Industry Projects at IBSA
  • John Pollaers – Chair of the AISC
  • Simon Birmingham – Minister for Education and Training

The conference was—as always— very well run.  It had something for trainers and assessors, RTO compliance staff, and more.  In this post, I’ll focus on what I learned at (and after) Velg Training’s 2015NVC about:

  1. TAEv2 and the new Cert IV TAE
  2. Other key directions in VET.

1. What I learned about TAEv2

First, some background
You may know that IBSA submitted its Case for Endorsement of TAE v2 (which includes the new Cert IV TAE) for consideration by the Australian Industry andSkills Committee at its meeting on 01 September 2015.  Endorsement did not go ahead as planned.  I emailed Robert Bluer, Industry Manager for Education at IBSA, and asked why endorsement had not gone ahead.  He responded with this:

“At a meeting recently the chief commissioner of ASQA said that they believed that the assessment units in the TAE40115 were inadequate.” (email: 31 August 2015)

Chris Robinson
at Velg Training’s 2015NVC*

Chris Robinson – Chief Commissioner of ASQA

Chris delivered a keynote presentation on day one of Velg Training’s 2015 National VET Conference.  In his presentation, Chris summarised ASQA activities of the past year and described their ongoing focus areas for the coming year.  Relevant insights for TAE were:
  • Most RTOs are compliant at audit (all quals, not just TAE)
  • Non-compliances—where identified—are most often due to inadequate assessment practices.
  • He recommended that, when RTOs validate assessment, they should look at both “…assessment tools and assessment practice” (my paraphrase of what he said).
His third point above made me think… if the most common area of non-compliance by RTOs is assessment practice, perhaps ASQA wants more robust assessment units in the Cert IV TAE to potentially reduce this issue in the future.

After Chris’ presentation, I surprised and impressed myself by my assertive navigation as I twisted and wound my way through an ocean of humanity to get to Chris and ask him some questions about why he felt the assessment units were ‘inadequate.’  I made it!

Chris was friendly and willing to speak about TAE.  He acknowledged that he was “pretty cranky” (direct quote) about the content of the TAE40115 assessment units.  He feels that TAE students should develop assessment tools, so they can better understand the relationship between assessment tool content and the units they come from.  I don’t agree that Cert IV TAE students should develop assessment tools, but I do agree that to be a competent assessor, a person must understand the relationship between assessment tools and the units upon which they are based. 

Rosalie Staggard

Rosalie delivered a break-out session in which she summarised the latest updates to the training packages for which IBSA is responsible.  She had little time to cover the many training packages that IBSA is responsible for, so information given about TAE—and others—was limited to recent changes and current projects.  Overall, she did a terrific job with the time she had.
After her session we chatted…
Rosalie was generous with her time and we discussed at length possible next steps to get TAE v2 endorsed.  I came away with the impression that IBSA will work as quickly as they can to address ASQA’s concerns and get TAEv2 endorsed.

So what will the new Cert IV TAE look like?

At this stage, who knows, but I think it’s safe to say that we can expect more robust requirements for the assessment units than we have had in TAE40110.  Indeed, the draft TAE40115 assessment units we have already seen are more robust than their TAE40110 predecessors.

What is IBSA doing to address ASQA’s concerns?
This week I received this email from Robert Bluer:

“We’ve been asked by the Department to conduct further consultations on the issue of expanding the assessment content of the Certificate IV.  This will occur during October and an Options paper will be available as part of the process.” (email: 28 September 2015)

Have your sayview the Options paper on the IBSA website!
Robert has confirmed that IBSA will post its Options paper on the IBSA website.  I will stay tuned to their site to see when it appears, and will offer feedback if invited.  If you have a stake in the new Cert IV TAE, you may want to do the same.

When might TAE v2 (and the new Cert IV TAE) get endorsed?

We now know TAEv2 won’t be endorsed at the October meeting of the AISC

The AISC has posted a list of training packages it expects to review and consider for endorsement at its upcoming meeting on 12 October 2015.  TAEv2 is not on that list.  Click here for the full list (go to the link, then scroll to the bottom of the page).
Maybe the December meetingbut no promises!

AISC meets again in December.  IBSA hopes—but doesn’t promise—to be ready to submit the ‘new and improved’ TAE v2 for consideration at this December meeting.

In the meantime, we continue to wait. We are getting very good at waiting…

2. What else I learned at Velg Training’s 2015NVC

John Pollaers
at Velg Training’s 2015NVC*

John Pollaers – Chair of the AISC
John Pollaers is a skilled speaker who impressed me.  He seems highly capable, genuine, and approachable.  I like him!

In his presentation he described the AISC and its key priority areas for the immediate future.  Interesting points he made included:

“Training is not keeping up with emerging industries and technologies”

“The last 25 years has seen a rise of skilled workers from 47% to 66% of the labour force.”

Simon Birmingham
at Velg Training’s 2015NVC*

Simon Birmingham – Minister for Education and Training

Simon was unable to speak on day one as scheduled, but joined us on day two.  We laughed as he thanked us for attending his first—and possibly last—Velg Training presentation as the Minister responsible for Vocational Education and Training.  How correct he was!  Two days later, Malcolm Turnbull announced Simon’s new appointment as Australia’s Minister for Education and Training.
Read Senator Birmingham’s press release in response to his new appointment.

The new Minister for Vocational Education and Training is Luke Hartsuyker.

In Minister Birmingham’s Velg Training presentation, I was impressed by the strong stance he took against ‘dodgy providers’.  Read his press release, Full Force Against Dodgy Providers, here.

Of course, I learned loads more at Velg Training’s 2015 National VET Conference, but that’s the stuff of another post.

* Photos courtesy of Velg Training