Why didn’t Mum tell me about this?

Why didn’t Mum tell me about this?

Why didn’t Mum warn me against becoming a TAE specialist?

She could have told me that the constant changes to Australia’s vocational education and training system would have me chained to my computer writing continuous updates that have little to do with building skills at being a better educator.  But I acknowledge that it is important to understand how Australia’s VET system works.


Hence this post. If I’ve found it tough to keep up-to-date, I thought others might find it useful if I summarised these.

Here’s my attempt to summarise key VET changes that have impacted on TAE materials and delivery in recent months, and a brief preview of changes to come…

Sep 2014—
Major VET Reform announcements

It all started for me in September, when I heard some key VET players announce more changes in store for VET.  For details, see VET Reform Tranche 2, posted 16 September 2014.

Dec 2014—
Department of Education and Training formed

     Twas the week before Christmas,
     when all through the house,
     Not a creature was stirring,
     Except us… we were jet-lagged!


We had flown halfway around the world to visit my mother for Christmas.  It was past midnight local time, mid-morning in Sydney.  Wide awake, I laid in the dark listening to a Radio National Australia (thank goodness for Tune-In Radio!).

At 1:00am I heard about Tony Abbott’s most recent cabinet shuffle. Nothing was interesting to me until the final, throwaway line by the presenter:  “And vocational education and training has moved to the new, Department of Education and Training”.

This was how I learned that the Australian Government Department responsible for VET had changed… again!

I learned that responsibility for VET now lies with the Department of Education and Training with the Honourable Simon Birmingham named as the Assistant Minister for Education and Training, and the Minister responsible for VET.

I started writing my post-holiday ‘to-do’ list that night:  “Note to self, update TAE resources!”

01 January 2015
Standards for Registered Training Organisations introduced

These are the new standards that apply to Registered Training Organisations. They replace the SNR Standards.  The Standards for RTOs (2015) came into effect on 01 January 2015 and took full effect on 01 April 2015.

20 April 2015
New arrangements for how and by whom training packages will be developed in the future
As you know, Industry Skills Councils have been responsible for training package development since their formation in 2005.  If you look at ISC websites today, there is very little sign that things are changing, but they are!

New arrangements for training package development were announced on the VET Reform Taskforce website on 20 April 2015.  In summary, from 30 June 2015 we will start working towards a system for training package development that includes:

  1. Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC)—they will endorse training packages and will take advice from the
  2. Skills Service Organisations (SSOs)—a few SSOs will be formed and funded by the Australian Government to support the IRC in writing new or updated training packages
  3. Industry Reference Committees (IRCs)—IRCs will be formed for each industry.  IRCs will be, “alliances of eminent persons with demonstrated experience, skills and knowledge to represent the issues of their sector.” (from Fact Sheet: new arrangements for Training ProductDevelopment for Australian Industry). The IRC will be the ‘voice of industry’ (my term) and will be responsible for training package development, with support from the relevant SSO.

Want more info?
I found the post-announcement Q&A document especially helpful.  It summarises the roles of the key players in the new system, and gives implementation dates.

08 May 2015
Finally we know who will endorsetraining packages
The Dept of Education and Training and the VET Reform Taskforce has finally announced formation of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee.  The AISC will endorse training packages, among other things.

In coming weeks I expect that we’ll start to see endorsement of more training packages written in the ‘new’ format that meets the Standards for TrainingPackages.  I don’t envy their workload as they get up and running.  They have more than a year of backlogged training packages waiting for endorsement!

30 June 2015
What next?

I know, I know, 30 June isn’t here yet, but it is coming.  This is the date when the contracts of many ISCs will expire and the process of transitioning to the new system for training package development and endorsement will begin.

This includes IBSA, the ISC responsible for development of the TAE Training Packages.  IBSA had hoped to get the new TAE40115 qualification (and other TAE qualifications) endorsed before 30 June, but they have now been told that they must get in line and wait for the AISC to endorse it.  So endorsement is now expected (hoped for) any time from mid-July onwards.

Implications of these changes for TAE trainers and assessors
TAE trainers will need to get their heads around the following, and ensure that they are ready to teach the ‘current’ VET system when they deliver TAE.  This includes knowing and teaching:

For my part…
I’ll keep updating the TAE materials to keep up with the changes.  
Or maybe I should just go visit my mother and wait ‘till the dust settles!
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