Applying the ACSF

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Benchmarking an individual’s core skills performance

The framework can be used to identify and describe an individual’s performance in any of the core skills at a point in time. Its specificity makes it possible to identify a person’s areas of strength and need with some precision, so that training can be targeted to areas of need and an individual’s progress monitored over time. The framework can also be used to develop core skills profiles of learner cohorts.

Mapping core skills requirements

The framework can be used to map the core skills requirements of any education and training course or unit in order to clarify and articulate core skills expectations, priorities and gaps. This facilitates the identification of similarities and differences between core skills requirements and expectations of performance within and across courses, disciplines and sectors.

A broad range of adult English language, literacy and numeracy curricula have been mapped to the framework and it is also being used to identify, clarify and describe core skills requirements in national Training Package qualifications.

Tailoring approaches to teaching and learning

Following mapping of course requirements and materials, and identification of learner strengths and weaknesses, the framework can be used to:

  • tailor curriculum, materials and methodologies to learner needs
  • design and rate core skills assessment instruments
  • evaluate the potential usefulness of assessment tasks by identifying the framework’s levels and Performance Features being assessed
  • develop self-evaluation tools which increase learner engagement and ownership
  • assist teachers/trainers to provide specific feedback on performance.

Describing core skills

The framework enables language, literacy and numeracy practitioners to identify and discuss core skills issues with others in the workplace. This information helps human resources managers and workplace trainers, for example, when designing communication strategies and developing training for employees at any level of an organisation. It can also be used by specialist language, literacy and numeracy practitioners to identify the core skill requirements of a job in order to provide appropriate support and training for someone moving into a new position.

The framework enables consistent descriptions of the five core skills in training programs tailored to workplace performance. Training Package developers can use it to ensure that the core skills associated with competency standards are articulated clearly and adequately addressed as part of unit design and descriptions. This in turn makes it easier for teachers/trainers to address core skills development as an integral part of training.

Informing decisions regarding funding and referrals

Where government funding is provided for core skills training, language, literacy and numeracy practitioners may use the framework’s levels of performance to support applications to government agencies, report on learner progress and evaluate program effectiveness. The use of the framework for these purposes facilitates national equity and accountability, and provides valid statistical feedback on the impact of government-funded programs that focus on core skills development.