NSCC News | 12 March 2013
John Dawkins, chair of the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC), says a new “Australian Vocational Qualifications System” is needed to protect the economy from a “failure in confidence” in qualifications.
The NSSC proposes replacing the current approach of registering colleges with a new licensing system, starting with 18-month provisional licences. The proposal is set out in a a position paper – Improving vocational education and training – the case for a new system – following a broad ranging review of the standards for the regulation of vocational education and training, focusing on issues of quality, commissioned by training ministers in June 2012.
The review found that damage to the reputation of training and nationally recognised qualifications represents a significant threat to Australia’s prosperity and growth because of the impact of poor quality qualifications on the functioning of the labour market, and the impact on Australia’s education export market, both on and offshore.
The Australian Vocational Qualifications System will ensure the integrity of qualifications issued by training providers, and puts in place a egulatory system that ensures quality training and assessment, transparent information allowing informing consumer choice, and a responsive
regulatory approach – one that is risk based, proportionate, and transparent.
The NSSC says the Australian Vocational Qualifications System will set a higher bar for a training provider to be awarded the privilege of a license to issue vocational qualifications, with all providers meeting the same standards no matter their regulator. Key features of the new proposed requirements for providers are:
- 18 month provisional licence
- Greater focus on training and assessment:
o Improved educational leadership and accountability – Accountable Education Officer
o Strengthened requirements for trainers and assessors, particularly those working under supervision
o Stronger linkage with Training Packages and accredited courses
o Strengthened assessment system
o Increase industry role in training and assessment
- Greater responsibility for compliance on training providers – internal quality assurances strengthened and recognised
- Reduced unnecessary burden of training provider administration and governance standards
- Greater transparency in provider performance, supporting choice.
The NSCC has called for written submissions on the proposals by Tuesday 14 April 2013.