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Planning for Delivery (VET)

Training packages and units of competency

Training packages

A training package is a set of nationally endorsed qualifications, competency standards and assessment guidelines that describe the skills and knowledge needed to perform effectively in a particular industry or enterprise.

Training packages have enabled the provision of:

Training packages are developed by industry to meet industry training needs and are overseen by 11 national Industry Skills Councils. Each training package is regularly reviewed with extensive consultation to ensure it meets industry’s changing needs. To check the review status of training packages visit the Training Packages @ Work website.

Units of competency

Units of competency, or competency standards, are the building blocks of a qualification. They describe discrete work tasks and the knowledge, technical skills and employability skills a person needs to perform the task effectively in the workplace.

Units of competency do not describe how an individual should be trained. Rather, trainers use units of competency to develop training and assessment strategies based on the needs and circumstances of the industry/enterprise and the learner. Information about how to do this is provided in the following sections.

Scope of Registration

For CDU to advertise, deliver and assess qualifications and/or units of competency, these must be included on CDU’s Scope of Registration which is managed by the Accreditation and Quality Team. For a new qualification to be added to CDU’s Scope, approval must be given by the Northern Territory Department of Education and Training (DET).

Resources

All staff engaged in training and assessment require access to the relevant Training Package. Print copies of these can be purchased through TVET Australia or through the relevant Industry Skills Council as well as a range of commerical publishers. Electronic copies can be searched and downloaded from the National Training Information Service database.

A national resource is currently under development that will list a wide range of suppliers of training resource materials. Further information will be provided as this is made available.

Victorian Purchasing Guides are designed to assist in planning the delivery of Training Package qualifications and units, including the determination of nominal hours.

The DET Training Package Guide provides a ready reference for VET staff to understand and work with training packages.

Training Packages @ Work is a national website that provides information and resources for VET practitioners. For those new to the sector it has developed a Back 2 Basics guide that provides an easy-to-read overview of the VET system in Australia.  It also has a monthly newsletter which you can either view online or subscribe to and receive via email.

 

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Developing training and assessment strategies

A training and assessment strategy guides and structures the delivery and assessment arrangements of a VET qualification. It is initially developed by a course team in consultation with industry when applying for Scope of Registration.

Activities undertaken in the development of a training and assessment strategy include:

More detail about each of these activities is provided below.

Training and assessment strategies need to be reviewed and modified for each client group, and for each delivery period. The Accreditation and Quality Team recommends that training and assessment strategies are reviewed and updated at least annually in conjunction with assessment moderation and Course Advisory Group activities.


Resources

A CDU Training and Assessment Strategy template and exemplar are available on the CDU Intranet.

Adapting to change: How technology is changing work. This guide shows how to develop teaching and learning approaches that allow shared technology skills and knowledge to be incorporated into nationally recognised qualifications. Available in print from TVET Australia or online by registering on the Resource Generator.

Contextualising teaching and learning: A guide for VET teachers. The focus of this guide is on teaching. It helps practitioners develop training programs that achieve the outcomes of Training Packages and reflect the specific requirements of enterprises, small workplaces and community settings. It is available in print from TVET Australia or online by registering on the Resource Generator.

 

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Determine industry and client needs

Developing a training and assessment strategy requires an understanding of your client and their needs. This means nurturing meaningful relationships with employers and/or industry associations and considering learner characteristics and the needs of the target group.

Strategies for gaining industry input include:

Resources

The webpage with information about Course Advisory Groups includes links to proformas for recording meeting agendas and minutes.

A range of proformas for recording industry consultations and interactions are available on the VET Intranet in the Industry Consultation folder.

 

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Select qualification / units of competency

To select the qualification or units of competency that best meet a client's needs you will need to have a thorough working knowledge of the relevant Training Package/s and be able to interpret and apply units of competency.

A qualification can be customised to meet the specific needs of clients by adding, substituting or modifying units of competency. This must be done in accordance with the qualification packaging rules which are set out in the relevant training package.


Resources

Print copies of Training Packages can be purchased through TVET Australia or through the relevant Industry Skills Council as well as a range of commerical publishers. Electronic copies can be searched and downloaded from the National Training Information Service database.

Victorian Purchasing Guides contain sample qualifications for most training packages.

The Queensland Studies Authority provides Guidelines for the selection of an appropriate qualification structure.

 

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Determine target group needs

To determine the needs of learners within a target group you should consider the following questions and document your approaches:

The information flyer Language, Literacy & Numeracy provides information about RTO and trainer obligations for LLN.

CDU supports VET learners through the following initiatives:


Resources

Working with Diversity: quality training for Indigenous Australians. Prepared by Australian National Training Authority, 2001.

Gettin' into it! - Working with Indigenous learners. This guide focuses on designing teaching and learning strategies relevant to Indigenous learners and their communities. You will need to register on the Resource Generatorto dowload it, or alternatively purchase a print copy from TVET Australia.

CDU Equal Opportunity Policy. This policy provides the framework for the implementation of equity principles and processes at CDU to ensure compliance with Commonwealth and Northern Territory anti-discrimination legislation.

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Determine training delivery methods and schedule

It is a requirement of the AQTF2007 that RTOs must consult with industry to determine how training will be delivered and then document the resulting plan in a delivery schedule. Delivery may be on-the-job, off-the-job, online, block delivery, clustering of units – or any combination of these.

There may be a range of factors which influence the delivery schedule including:

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Determine assessment strategies

The purpose of competency based assessment is to confirm that an individual can perform tasks to the standard expected in the workplace, as expressed in the relevant competency standards. Assessment strategies should therefore provide for a range of meaningful assessment activities within a context of work performance.

Assessment strategies must:

The assessment strategies selected for a course should complement each other, rather than require unnecessary duplication of work by the learner. Where learning has occurred in the workplace, consider what evidence is available to demonstrate competence, in preference to applying additional assessment tasks.

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Determine validation processes


Training delivery and assessment strategies must be validated at least once a year, and processes to achieve this must be identified in the training and assessment strategy documents.

Processes for validating training delivery strategies may include:

Processes for validating assessment strategies may include:

Detailed information about validation can be found in the Validation / Moderation section of this website.

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Working with units of competency

Effective workplace performance requires both the skills to function effectively in the workplace and the knowledge and attitudes to apply those skills in routine and non-routine situations.

'In other words, being competent to do a job requires a number of observable and non-observable skills; it is more than just the technical know-how – the visible task skills.
Source: Guide 4, Training Package Assessment Materials Project, ANTA, 2001

By looking at different aspects of a unit of competency, a complete picture of required performance is generated, which informs the design of training and assessment activities. This is often called ‘unpacking’ the unit of competency.

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Unpack a unit of competency

‘Unpacking’ a unit of competency has also been called 'building a picture of competency'. This means breaking down the competency standard to gain answers to the following questions:


Resources

The Unpacking units of competency template helps trainers/assessors break down the unit of competency, or clusters of units, into easy to understand sections. This provides important information that will help in designing meaningful delivery and assessment strategies and tools. OLT strongly recommends this activity to VET staff whenever they plan for delivery of a new unit, or apply a unit to a new training and assessment context.

DET Training Package Guide provides a ready reference for VET staff to understand and work with training packages.

 

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Address language, literacy and numeracy requirements

When you 'unpack' a unit of competency you should identify the language, literacy & numeracy requirements of the unit so you can design you teaching and assessment strategies in a way that ensures learners have these skills.

Many trainers screen students prior to commencement of training in order to identify their language, literacy and numeracy skill levels. By comparing the language, literacy and numeracy requirements of units of competency with the current skills of students, training can be structured and designed to build these skills and provide additional support as required.

Resources

Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) Programme

WELL Implementation Guide, Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council, Commonwealth of Australia 2005

Literacynet, The Australian Government adult literacy website

Several Industry Skills Councils have developed resources to support Workplace English Language development specific to industry training packages.

 

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Incorporate and assess dimensions of competency

Effective workplace performance requires not only isolated technical skills, but the knowledge and attitudes to apply those skills in routine and non-routine situations. People are considered to be competent when they are able to apply their knowledge and skills to successfully complete work activities in a range of situations and environments.

The four dimensions of competency are:

Task skills

Undertaking the specific task/s required to complete a work activity to the required standard. This means being able to perform the individual actions as well as the whole task.

Task management skills

Managing a number of different tasks to complete a whole work activity. This means working efficiently to meet deadlines, handle a sequence of interrelated tasks, and progress smoothly between tasks.

Contingency management skills

Responding to problems and irregularities when undertaking a work activity, such as:

  • breakdowns
  • changes in routine
  • unexpected or atypical results or outcomes
  • difficult or dissatisfied clients.

Job/role environment skills

Dealing with the responsibilities and expectations of the work environment when undertaking a work activity, such as:

  • working with others
  • interacting with clients and suppliers
  • complying with standard operating procedures
  • observing enterprise policy and procedures.

 

A fifth dimension that is often addressed – but not mandated - is ‘Transfer skills’ which means having the capacity to transfer skills and knowledge to other contexts.

The dimensions that apply to a work task may be found in the different parts of a unit of competency, that is, in the elements, the performance criteria, the range of variables statement or evidence guide. Not every unit of competency will necessarily contain all four dimensions, however, in a group of units they should be covered effectively.

Dimensions of competency must be taken into account when an assessor is gathering evidence of a candidate’s competency for a unit, and assessment should be designed to address these accordingly.

Case studies, questions, simulated work events, and “what if” scenarios are useful strategies for trainers to use to assist learners to acquire and demonstrate these capabilities.

Working with the dimensions of competency highlights some critical points for assessors:

Adapted from 'The Assessor Bulletin' The FAFPESC Assessment Pty Ltd Assessor Newsletter May 2005


Resources

The Unpacking units of competency template helps trainers/assessors break down the unit of competency, or clusters of units, into easy to understand sections. This provides important information that will help in designing meaningful delivery and assessment strategies and tools. OLT strongly recommends this activity to VET staff whenever they plan for delivery of a new unit, or apply a unit to a new training and assessment context.

Back2Basics: This resource is designed as a guide to Australia’s vocational education and training system for teachers and trainers. This is by no means a definitive guide but it is a handy means of accessing the information needed on a daily basis.

 

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Incorporate and assess employability skills

Employers today need employees who have more than technical skills. They seek individuals who can demonstrate a variety of social and personal attributes as well as the ability to learn new skills.  These skills are also the key for career advancement and satisfaction.

Employability skills are based on the Meyer Key Competencies, but have an expanded emphasis in training and assessment.

A recent report commissioned by DEST (see resources section below) has identified the following employability skills:

DEST has funded Industry Skills Councils to review all training packages and make modifications to competency standards to accurately reflect industry requirements.  From 2006, these modifications will be progressively released in reviewed training packages.

Employability skills represent an opportunity to improve training and assessment approaches and VET practitioners will have flexibility in how competency standards are used to meet the employability skills needs of industry and learners.

Resources

The Unpacking units of competency template helps trainers/assessors break down the unit of competency, or clusters of units, into easy to understand sections. This provides important information that will help in designing meaningful delivery and assessment strategies and tools. OLT strongly recommends this activity to VET staff whenever they plan for delivery of a new unit, or apply a unit to a new training and assessment context.

Some Industry Skills Councils have developed, or are developing, resources to support trainers and assessors to implement employability skills specific to the industry sector.

Additional Information

The Accreditation and Quality Team have developed detailed information about how to incorporate employability skills into training and assessment and unpack and assess employability skills.

The DET Training Package Guide; lists the elements of employability skills – those facets of the skill that employers identified as important.

Download the full report, Employability Skills for the Future. (PDF 2.5 MB)

DEST, 2005. Incorporating Employability Skills into Training Packages

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Document a unit delivery schedule

The VET Unit Information Template, which is available on the Staff Intranet, contains a delivery plan template which sets out how and when the unit or cluster of units will be delivered to address all elements and performance criteria, and what resources learners will need to participate in the training and assessment activities.

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Cluster units of competency

A number of units of competency may be grouped together to address training and assessment for a complete job function. When this is done well it provides for holistic, efficient and meaningful learning and demonstration of competency.

A good approach to grouping is to look at units with similar or complementary knowledge and skills. For example, the following three units could be grouped to provide a structured and meaningful learning and assessment program.

BSBCMN203A Communicate in the workplace
BSBCMN204A Work effectively with others
BSBCMN202A Organise and complete daily work activities

It is important however, when units are grouped, that all elements of competency and performance criteria are addressed and that the delivery schedule and assessment plan documents how each is addressed.

It is advisable to develop a delivery schedule for each cluster of units which identifies:

Resources

The VET Unit Information Template and Exemplar, which are available on the Staff Intranet, contain delivery and assessment plan templates that can be easily adapted for a cluster of units.

 

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Source or develop training and assessment resources

While it is often necessary to develop training and assessment tools and resources, a large range of resources have already been developed for a number of training packages. Some are free to use but others are available for purchase. A large proportion of resources developed for and by the Australian vocational training sector can be customised to your specific needs – however, be aware of and adhere to any copyright conditions of use. You may also be able to source materials through RTO practitioner networks and communities of practice.
 

Search for resources at:

www.ntis.gov.au

www.resourcegenerator.gov.au

www.atpl.net.au

www.flexiblelearning.net.au/toolbox

www.vetassess.com.au

http://www.aesharenet.com.au/ (When ordering materials, note that CDU's AESharenet number is 701)

Checklist for developing Indigenous e-Learning resources

Pearson Education - VET Resource Finder

Browse Education Topics at EdNA

www.aspiretraining.com.au/

Develop resources using the following information and templates:

VET Unit Information Template and Exemplar: These are available on the Staff Intranet and will help you to develop unit information documents. Unit information must be provided to each student prior to or at the beginning of training.

CDU Study guide and readings print-based templates: Optional resources to develop printed guides to direct student learning

CDU PowerPoint presentation shells: Templates to design effective presentations

The section on Assessment provides templates to develop a range of assessment tools. 

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