This article has been primarily written for people studying for their TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment qualification. However, qualified trainers may still get something from the content or the presentation of the content in this article.
I have structured the TAE40116 program over five learning blocks:
- The VET Framework (VET)
- Competency-based assessment (ASS)
- Competency-based training design (DES)
- Competency-based training delivery (DEL)
- Language, literacy, and numeracy (LLN).
The first learning block is The VET Framework (VET) and it covers the work activities or tasks that are described by the TAEDES402 Use training packages and accredited courses to meet client needs unit of competency.
Analysis of the TAEDES402 unit
An analysis of the TAEDES402 unit reveals four fundamental tasks that relate to using training packages and VET accredited courses. This article focuses on training packages but the same tasks would be performed when using a VET accredited courses. One thing that is different is terminology. VET accredited courses have ‘Course rules’ instead of ‘Qualification packaging rules’.
The following shows the link between the performance criteria of the TAEDES402 unit and four work activities or tasks performed when using a training package to meet client needs.
Task 1. Select appropriate qualification or skill set
Qualifications have an occupational outcome. The occupation or job role covered by a qualification are available from the training.gov.au website. Search for the ‘Qualification details’ and scroll down to the information under the ‘Classifications’ heading. The following example shows that the occupation covered by the TLI22418 Certificate II in Furniture Removal qualification is ‘furniture removalist’.
Skill sets and units of competency
An alternative to a qualification can be a skill set or a unit of competency. There were 1450 skill sets available at the time when this article was published. And there is nothing stopping a training provider delivering a single unit of competency to meet a client’s needs. Some common stand-alone units of competency cover:
- First aid
- Infection control
- Safe food handling
- Construction induction
- Responsible service of alcohol.
Training packages have been developed for more than twenty years to address current and emerging skills needed by the workforce of an industry sector. VET qualifications, skill sets and units of competency are available for about 80% of all occupations. The remaining 20% of occupations are usually the professions such as doctor, dentist, lawyer, accountant, scientist, engineer, teacher, etc. These occupations are addressed by qualifications that are delivered by universities or other higher education providers.
How to select an appropriate qualification or skill set
After you have confirmed the occupation or job role to be performed, select the qualification or skill set that has been developed to meet that need. All qualifications and skill sets describe the occupation or target audience that it has been designed for.
Where do start? The starting point is knowing the Training Package that covers the industry sector relevant to the occupation or job role. Alternatively, you can use the training.gov.au search function. Keep the key word or words for your search to a minimum. The following example shows that a search for ‘furniture removalist’ returned to possible qualifications: TLI22418 Certificate II in Furniture Removal and TLI33316 Certificate III in Furniture Removal.
In this example, you will need to decide the appropriate AQF level for the occupation or job role. The Certificate III qualification would be appropriate if team leader responsibilities were required.
Task 2. Select and sequence suitable elective units of competency
Select suitable elective units of competency
Qualifications have packaging rules. These rules include:
- Total number of units required
- Number of core units and number of elective units
- Rules that specify what elective units can be selected or imported
- List of core units that must be included
- List or lists of elective units.
Elective units must:
- be relevant to the work environment and the qualification
- maintain the integrity of the AQF alignment; not too low and not too high
- contribute to a valid, industry-supported vocational outcome.
Some qualification packaging rules are simple and easy to follow. However, there are some qualifications with complex rules that must be complied with.
Also, there are a small number of qualifications that have no or limited elective units. This occurs when an industry regulator mandates the content to be covered by a qualification. For example:
- TLI41218 Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics (Road Transport – Car Driving Instruction) qualification has twelve (12) core units and no electives
- TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment qualification has nine (9) core units and one (1) elective unit.
Sequence the units of competency
After the units have been selected, then the training delivery sequence will need to be determined. Consider the following:
- Covering safety first
- Cover simple tasks before complex tasks
- Use a logical sequence; some tasks are performed before others
- Comply with prerequisite requirements.
Some training packages have some units of competency that specify one or more units of competency to be prerequisites. A prerequisite unit must be completed first.
Prerequisites have an impact on sequence and selection of units. A prerequisite unit must be selected. More details are available from Prerequisite units in the Australian VET system.
Task 3. Interpret and contextualise units of competency
Units of competency are often ambiguous or vague. Each unit will need to be interpreted and contextualised. The task of interpreting and contextualising units of competency can take much time and effort. More details are available from Importance of interpretation and contextualisation in the Australian VET system.
Individual units of competency are rarely performed in isolation in the workplace. Typical job roles involve a number of related tasks. It is useful to link or cluster units together and this gives structure for the delivery of training.
Task 4. Interpret and contextualise assessment requirements
As stated above, units of competency are often ambiguous or vague. Each unit and its associated assessment requirements will need to be interpreted and contextualised. The task of interpreting and contextualising units of competency and assessment requirements can take much time and effort.
As stated above, individual units of competency are rarely performed in isolation in the workplace. Typical job roles involve a number of related tasks. It is useful to identify opportunity for integrated assessment. More details are available from How to identify integrated assessment opportunities.
Training packages are flexible and can respond to client needs
Sometimes I hear people say that training packages are inflexible and unresponsive to the needs of clients. This is not true. Training packages are designed to be flexible and responsive to a diverse range of client needs:
- Select suitable elective units of competency
- Import elective units of competency, if applicable
- Interpret and contextualise units of competency
- Interpret and contextualise assessment requirements.
Units of competency can be clustered or integrated for the purpose of training delivery and assessment. The sequence of delivery is flexible with the exception of prerequisite units.
The only thing that may be inflexible or unresponsive to the needs of clients is the training provider.
Knowing how to use training packages and accredited courses to meet client needs is fundamental to understanding Australia’s competency-based training and assessment system.
A case study example is available demonstrating how to use training packages to meet client needs.
The Australian VET system has been designed to be flexible and responsive. It begins with VET practitioners:
- Selecting appropriate qualification or skill sets
- Selecting and sequencing suitable elective units of competency
- Interpreting and contextualising units of competency and assessment requirements.
Australia’s VET system
Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) system is complex and forever changing. People studying for their TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment qualification may find useful information on this website. Tap or click on the following ABC logo to find out more.
This article supplements the TAE resources that have been developed by On Target Work Skills.
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Training trainers since 1986