Sunday, 1 February 2015

Vocational Education Training Reform

The NSW Audit Office has released a damning report on the NSW Smart & Skilled changes, showing that learner choice is placed as the very last priority in the reform framework and that the government's long term goals are going to be hindered by the system.

You can download the 2015 Report here.

The NSW findings and recommendations can easily be transported across all other States of Australia.

Certainly the move to a national approach to vocational education and training and the appointment of ASQA some years ago as the primary national administrator of vocational training are welcomed and long overdue initiatives.

The Vocational Education system and the creation of training packages had been hijacked by organizations that have created a monopoly on these Training Packages.

The result to date has been ineffective, inefficient and faulty training packages, and unnecessary inconvenience and costs to learners who are constantly being required to "upgrade" their qualification.  

The so-called upgrades bring no value to the learner other than changing the titles of their certificates and the codes associated with these.

This has placed an enormous burden on RTOs who have had to constantly update website content, training materials and learning guidelines.  

Once again these "updates" bring no value or improvement to learning.

We welcome the new Government initiatives announced recently; less red tape, more consultation, more efficiency in training package creation, more transparency and, most importantly the end of monopolies.

ASQA's announcement was a breath of fresh air for this industry.

Another alarming outcome of the incompetence of the previous regulators has been the proliferation of opportunistic individuals who have devalued and devastated the reputation of qualifications such as the Training and Assessment Qualifications.
The sole aim of these individuals is to rake in as much profit as possible without any regard for the learners and the quality of training delivered.

The ploy is simple--rip as much money as possible out of the system until the authorities catch up and deregister them, and then start the process all over again.

In the meantime, long standing Registered Training Organisations who care about their students are forced to the wall because of the cut-throat below-cost fees being charged by the opportunists.

In the last 12 years I have personally witnessed the sad demise of ethical and professional training organizations because of the actions of these opportunists.  Once again ASQA has announced their firm determination to target opportunists in the industry, and to bring them into compliance with the spirit of Adult Vocational Education.

For the first time in decades of inept management, an efficient and determined government body has been given the resources to deal with all these issues.

The educational qualifications of Australians command respect worldwide.  Indeed, even when hampered by incompetent regulators, many overseas countries eagerly seek Australian qualifications and training--especially in the Vocational Training field.

We wish ASQA every success; and we encourage all RTOs to cooperate and participate in their efforts for the benefit of the learners and the industry whom we serve.

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