I was recently asked by someone interested in moving into Vocational Education and Training (VET) what is required to work in the industry. With all of the changes that the VET sector seems to consistently go through, a lot of people ask "Is my Cert IV still current?" A very good questions. So what are the requirements for working as a Trainer/Assessor in Australia?
Currently, an Assessor has obligations that must be met within their role as outlined through the SNRs (and where appropriate, the AQTF) and supported by the NSSC (the successor of the NQC), such as maintaining currency in qualifications and vocational competence (competencies and vocational currencies are held and maintained by the trainer/assessor). The RTO’s establishing and verifying of an Assessor’s qualifications is a supportive aspect of compliance with SNR 4.4(a) and 15.4(a) (Standard 1.4(a) of the AQTF).
The NSSC determined that (1);
1. Trainers as a minimum need to hold the TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment qualification, or demonstrate equivalence of competencies.
2. Persons delivering training who are working under the direct supervision of a Trainer who holds the TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment must as a minimum hold the Enterprise Trainer Skill Set which is made up of the Units of Competence; BSBCMM401A Make a Presentation, and TAEDEL301A Provide Work Skill Instruction.
3. The period in which individuals can operate as Trainers under supervision of TAE40110 qualified Trainers/Assessors without themselves holding the TAE40110, or under supervision of TAE40110 qualified Trainers/Assessors without themselves holding the Enterprise Trainer Skill Set or demonstrating equivelant competencies is limited to two years.
(1) This information is based on the NSSC determination dated 26th October 2011, to be published in mid-December 2011, with RTOs required to comply by the 1st of July 2012. Current as at June 2012.
Assessors are required to hold the TAE10 Assessor Skills Set or be able to demonstrate equivelant competencies. Most RTOs will opt for the full TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, or equivalent, in order for Assessors to effectively make determinations of competence under assessment conditions.
Trainers and Assessors must also have the appropriate vocational competencies to level they are training and/or assessing or above as required within SNRs 15.2 and 15.4 (Elements 1.2 and 1.4 of the AQTF).
Remaining compliant and delivering a quality services to Clients is able to be achieved through the RTO supporting;
- Meaningful engagement with industry and relevant professional bodies
- Professional development in teaching and learning methods
- Developing understanding in the requirements of the VET system
- Fostering a culture of critical evaluation and innovation
How can I assess someone if I don’t have the relevant vocational competency?
Co-assessment is a process where a person, who holds the vocation competency and current industry experience, but not the assessment competencies, is able to work with another person who holds the assessment competencies to complete specific assessments. These types of partnerships often provide the opportunity for assessments to be completed in an effective manner where the person possessing the vocational competency and experience is able to act as a Subject Matter Expert and assist in the evidence gathering process.
The person with the assessment competencies acts to facilitate the requirements of the Training Package or accredited course and ensure the principles of assessment are upheld. The co-assessment process involves both the Subject Matter Expert and the Assessor working together to ensure the evidence gathered meets the dimensions under the rules of evidence in the areas of validity and currency.
The final informed decision in the determination of competence is made by the Assessor with dimensions of authenticity and sufficiency being considered in line with the outcomes related to validity and currency. See the NSSC’s December 2011 Communique, page A2, Appendix A, Part C ‘notes’ as the reference source.
Other arrangements that are common place in the VET Sector include auspice arrangements, often referred to as ‘mutually beneficial arrangements’ where as an example, an RTO is able to offer their tools and services (usually at a fee) to a qualified Assessor or organisation to use within an agreed environment or context to complete (training and) assessments. Auspice arrangements are subject to the same requirements within the determinations made by the NSSC.
The results of completed assessments are moderated by the primary RTO in the agreement to ensure the auspicing party are applying the principles of assessment, rules of evidence and the requirements for the specific Unit(s) of Competence/Training Package(s) in order to issue Statements of Attainment or Qualifications. Within the auspice arrangement it is critical that SNR 17.3 (Element 3.3 of the AQTF) be adhered to through the monitoring processes.
If (training and) assessment is to be completed through a contract arrangement, Contractor compliance is to be aligned with SNR 15.3 and 15.4 (Elements 1.3 and 1.4 of the AQTF).
Some helpful information about Assessor’s required competencies may include;