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Qualification Design Trials
Starting in early 2021, three Skills Organisation Pilots in the Mining, Digital and Human Services sectors trialled new evidence-led approaches to designing qualifications. The Skills Organisations Pilots had the opportunity to design a qualification model and test it with their sector.
Trials aimed to show evidence of:
- Qualifications that recognise common skills, delivering broader vocational outcomes and promoting individual mobility and labour market resilience
- A reduction in unnecessary training product duplication
- A reduction in training product complexity
- An enhanced relationship between training products, training needs and employment pathways
- Greater training product flexibility and enhanced responsiveness to changing industry need
- Improved articulation and pathways between education sectors.
These design trials provided evidence on different approaches to designing qualifications and raised technical elements that would need to be considered. The key learnings outlined by the three Skills Organisation Pilots helped inform the proposed model for VET qualifications and micro-credentials.
For more information, please visit the Skills Organisation Pilots webpage.
Mining Skills Organisation Pilot
The Mining Skills Organisation (MSO) Pilot qualification design trial was aimed at designing better training to enable the mining sector to create new jobs and support the Australian economy. Informed by an assessment of industry need and existing training products, the MSO worked to develop a new apprenticeship for mobile plant diesel mechanics that incorporated critical skills from other occupations. This addressed and identified immediate skills need that provides learners with more career pathways.
For more information on the mining trial, visit the Mining Skills Organisation Pilot webpage.
Digital Skills Organisation Pilot
The Digital Skills Organisation (DSO) Pilot qualification design trial was aimed at ensuring digital training better met the evolving skills needs of employers and individuals. As part of the trial, the DSO worked with industry and training organisations to focus on the skills for data analysts as well as the more general digital literacy skills required by individuals, industry and employers. The trial built on the Pilot’s successful train 100 Data Analysts project which explored new and innovative opportunities for Australians to rapidly develop digital skills.
For more information on the digital trial, visit the Digital Skills Organisation Pilot webpage.
Human Services Skills Organisation Pilot
The Human Services Skills Organisation (HSSO) Pilot qualification design trial focused on the personal care worker job family for residential and in-home aged care and disability support. The trial designed job families, career pathways, occupational, training and assessment standards in order to compare an alternative model of VET qualification design to the current design approach. The trial developed a tool to support formal recognition of individuals’ skills, knowledge and experience along with mapping trial products against the requirements of the Certificate III in Individual Support.
For more information on the human services trial, visit the Human Services Skills Organisation Pilot webpage.
Qualification Reform Survey, Webinars and Workshops
From June to September 2021, we sought broad stakeholder feedback and analysis of new training product design concepts and qualification model.
The Qualifications Reform Survey received 875 responses with broad support for the proposed model.
- 80% of survey respondents agreed that the proposed model would support industry and learners by facilitating recognition of transferrable skills.
- 75% agreed that the model would make better use of industry and educator expertise.
- 83% agreed that there would be a reduction in the number of highly similar or duplicative products.
- 73% of respondents agreed that common occupational competencies across qualifications would support RPL processes.
The survey was supported by two webinars and a range of workshops with industry and VET stakeholders. Over 800 people attended the webinars and workshops, with their feedback helping develop thinking about how the training product design concepts might work in practice.
You can continue to have your say by completing the Good Practice Story Submission Form to share your stories about innovation and/or effective collaboration in the VET sector.
Qualification Design Survey
On behalf of Australian, state and territory governments the former Department of Education, Skills and Employment (the department) ran a Qualifications Design Survey from December 2020 to February 2021 to gather stakeholder feedback on the design, development and delivery of training products. This feedback was used to build the evidence base required to inform future standards and policies for national training products and to support a strong and adaptable national training system.
What we heard
We received responses from a wide range of stakeholders, including RTOs, trainers and assessors, VET experts, employers and business owners, industry experts, industry peak bodies, Skills Service Organisations, State and Territory Government, learners, teachers, trainees and apprentices, VET peak bodies, parents or carers, employee representatives and unions, schools, careers advisors, and regulators.
The survey demonstrated strong support for the concepts being tested through the trials, with 89% of respondents (including 88% of industry and employer respondents and 96% of RTOs) supporting the design elements:
- Qualifications based on appropriately grouped occupation and skills clusters to deliver broader vocational outcomes for students. This includes supporting stronger recognition of cross-sectoral and transferable skills.
- Simplifying products and removing complexity through the separation of occupational and training standards, to reduce the level of prescriptive conditions in current qualifications, and qualifications and make better use of industry educational expertise.
- Stand-alone and/or stackable short form training products, with improved pathways advice to support students to rapidly upskill or reskill to pursue career opportunities. This includes facilitating stronger articulation pathways between school, VET, and Higher Education to support lifelong learning.
Through the survey, we received some more detailed feedback on the design concepts, as well as other aspects of VET training:
- Enterprise and foundation skills - respondents talked about embedding digital literacy in training, and more foundation skills support services.
- Learner needs and pathways - for example, training availability in regional areas, assurance of the learner experience, individualised development needs and simplified language.
- Training product development - respondents discussed developing nationally consistent training materials, and testing workforce capability frameworks for stakeholders to create courses and design job roles.
- Delivery and assessment - respondents raised simulated versus on-the-job assessment environments, and a move to blended delivery.
- Relevance and outcomes - respondents discussed input from professionals in identifying training needs, and standardising final assessments, taking into account industry relevance.
This survey data informed the qualification design trials and future consultations as the trials progress.