Once you understand the business requirements for sustainability you can develop a program that offers a solution to the business need. A training and assessment strategy helps you to plan and document key aspects of your program such as the content of the program, how the training and assessment is organised and who will be involved.
The Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations 2015 (the Standards) set the following requirements:
“The RTO’s training and assessment strategies and practices, including the amount of training they provide, are consistent with the requirements of training packages and VET accredited courses and enable each learner to meet the requirements for each unit of competency or module in which they are enrolled.”
“Training and assessment strategies and practices are the approach of, and method adopted by, an RTO with respect to training and assessment designed to enable learners to meet the requirements of the training package or accredited course.”
This is not just about having a document called a training and assessment strategy. You must ensure that the training and assessment strategies are clearly integrated with your practices. In particular the Standards specify integration with your:
- Industry engagement
- Assessment system
- Assessment practice
- Capacity, capabilities & resources.
Structuring the strategy
While some people publish templates for training and assessment strategies there is no set way to design or structure them. The overall aim, however, is to ensure that:
- There is a structured approach to planning and delivering training and assessment
- Training and assessment meets all requirements of the relevant unit/s of competency
- The amount of training and how it will be scheduled is defined
- Training and assessment is relevant to the industry and workplace and addresses relevant business needs
- There are systems and documentation so that everybody who needs to know is clear about how the program is to run, who is involved
- Sufficient of the right materials and resources will be available where and when needed
- Consistent high quality delivery and assessment will be provided to the client.
Not all strategies are going to be the same. The training and assessment strategy will vary depending on whether you program aligns to a full qualification or a skills cluster (group of units of competency). Client groups will have different learning needs. The operational requirements of industry clients and changes to legislation or regulation in the industry will also have affect your strategy.
The strategy will also vary depending on how you want to use it. You may want to use the training and assessment strategy as a project planning tool for a one-off program for an enterprise client. In this case the strategy could add details of project milestones and timelines and sub projects such as resource development.
Or you might use the strategy as a communication or procedural tool. In which case you could include details of of the processes, personnel and procedures for a program that is run regularly for full time students, off the job. It can be useful to think of it as a document to explain the program to a new trainer.
ASQA provides some guidance on training and assessment strategies in the User’s guide to the Standards for Registered Training Organisations 2015.
However, keep in mind that this is intended as guidance only. ASQA’s introduction to the guide states:
“This guide is not part of the Standards and has no legal authority. The guide does not prescribe how an RTO should be managed or what evidence must be retained to demonstrate compliance… The guide should not be considered as any form of checklist or to contain any prescriptive information.”
ASQA’s guide lists the following things to cover in the training and assessment strategy, as a minimum:
- Training product (code and title)
- Core and elective components (full qualifications) and pre-requisites
- Mode of delivery
- Entry requirements
- Duration and scheduling and amount of training
- Assessment resources, methods and timing
- Learning resources
- Human resources
- Physical resources
- Strategies for ‘stand-alone’ single units or skill sets
- Strategies for ‘assessment only’ pathways.
ASQA advises that the strategy does not have to be a stand alone document. So you might link to other documents such as mapping documents, staff competency matrix and records of industry consultation/engagement.
Refer to ASQA’s User’s guide for more detail.