Representing quality private education
providers in Australia

The week that was

Monday, February 1 2016

The quality of VET assessment was prominent last week with two significant reports released.

ASQA released the report of its strategic review of training in the security industry. As with the previous strategic reviews of the child care and aged care sectors, this review found shortcomings in assessment were a big contributor to some poor outcomes for students, industry and the community. In releasing the report Chief Commissioner Chris Robinson, perhaps courageously, also highlighted that inconsistent regulation by states and territories hindered quality training outcomes for the sector.  Of course, the solution is to standardise licencing and qualifications arrangements but, as so many in the sector can attest, solving world poverty might be easier.

The other report focusing on the quality of VET assessment was the discussion paper, Quality of assessment in vocational education and training, produced by the federal Department of Education and Training. This paper identifies a raft of propositions to boost the quality of assessment - many of which have been well canvassed in recent times.  These include minimum levels of experience for trainers and assessors, the need for independent validation and industry re-assessments and a greater role for the regulator in checking assessment outputs.

Of course there has been some very recent regulatory changes with the RTO Standards 2015 and Standards for VET regulators both lifting the requirements in relation to assessment.

Submissions on the paper are sought by 11 March 2016.  ACPET will be seeking members’ advice to inform its submission. More on that in the coming days.  

Last week also saw the release of the higher education enrolment data for the first half of 2015.  While the overall growth was modest (with total students up 3.1%) it was pleasing to see that private providers were able to grow enrolments around 10%. As the report highlights, private providers now account for around 8% of total enrolments.  The data highlights the real diversity we have in higher education in Australia and the important role that private providers play in meeting the needs of students and industry. For further details click here.

Rod Camm


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