Posted 2/5/14

This morning RTO Doctor, and many of you, would have received an email that the TAE10 training package version 3.3 was endorsed and updated on Curious as the NSSC has been disbanded and the new council is not yet running, we enquired with the old NSSC and SCOTESE as to what had occurred. The NSSC representative informed me that they were unaware of the change, even asking “what has changed in the training package?” When we replied, the representative asked me to hold while she talked to her boss. When she came back, we were informed that ASQA had posted the update and that to her and the NSSC’s knowledge, no endorsement process had taken place.

Concerned and confused as to my knowledge, ASQA has no jurisdiction in this area, we called the ASQA enquiry line. Where the representative informed us that yes, they had posted the update, but that the Industry Skills Councils were responsible for updates and the direction had come from them. That ASQA were waiting on further clarification on the matter. At this point we clarified, “Do you mean the new Industry Skills Council Advisory body or the ISC themself, meaning IBSA?” The response was that IBSA had provided the directive.

Upon further inspection RTO Doctor discovered that several “ISC upgrades” had occurred over the past few weeks, however, the changes when examined in depth are more than small changes with entire units been deemed equivalent which aren’t This unit can no longer for example be trained in a simulated environment and must be assessed in the workplace, additions have also been made to the required range statement, required knowledge and skills which weren’t covered or mentioned previously. This unit is not equivalent!

While this unit is a specified elective, large amounts of specified electives have being upgraded. Up to 50% in some qualifications and up to 25% of specified electives are not equivalent or deleted. While this is technically within the parameters for an ISC upgrade, many providers will find themselves having to significantly update training materials and revise unit selections or risk non-compliance. All this despite the fact the ISC, ASQA and TGA reflect that some units are equivalent.

We have since put in an enquiry to the Ministers office as to whether the ISC’s or ASQA have been granted special interim powers while the new council is being established. However, this is quite disconcerting, there is a quality control process which the NSSC and new council are supposed to oversee and it seems in this instance, that process has not been followed, nor has there been any clear explanation as to why this has occurred. It is concerning that any ISC can request a training package update through the regulator and that the regulator would just oblige. There may be more which is happening in the background and hopefully the Ministers office will come back with a clarification. However, we at RTO Doctor feel strongly that there needs to be clarification as to how and why this has occurred.