WHAT IS COMPETENCY BASED ASSESSMENT?

Competency based training is the recognised training method for vocational training. It is a style of vocational education and training that places emphasis on what a person can do in the workplace as a result of completing a program of training or based on workplace experience and learning.

Assessment is the process of collecting and recording evidence to support judgments on whether competency has been achieved. The purpose of assessment is to confirm that an individual can perform the standard expected in the workplace, as stated in the relevant endorsed competency standards.

The features of a competency based assessment are:

• It is focused on what learners can do and whether it meets the criteria specified by industry as competency standards.
• Assessment should mirror the environment the leaner will encounter in the workplace.
• Assessment criteria should be clearly stated to the learner at the beginning of the learning process.
• Assessment should be holistic. That is it aims to assess as many elements and/or units of competency as is feasible at one time.
• In competency assessment a learner receives one of only two outcomes. Competent (C) or Not Yet Competent (NYC).
• The emphasis in assessment is on assessable outcomes that are clearly stated for the trainer and learner.

Assessable outcomes are tied to the relevant industry competency standards where these exist. Where such competencies do not exist, the outcomes are based upon those identified in a training needs analysis.

The Principles of Assessment

Assessment must be:

• Valid
• Reliable
• Flexible
• Fair

Assessment must be valid

• Assessment must include the full range of skills and knowledge needed to demonstrate competency
• Assessment must include a combination of skills and knowledge with practical application
• Assessment must include judgments based on evidence taken from a number of contexts and across a number of occasions

Assessment must be reliable

• Assessment must be reliable and must be reviewed regularly to ensure that assessors are making consistent decisions
• Assessors must be trained in national competency standards to ensure reliability

Assessment must be flexible

• Where possible assessment must cover both on and off the job components of training within a course
• Assessment must be made accessible to learners through a variety of delivery modes
• Assessment must allow for the recognition of knowledge and skills irrespective of how they have been attained

Assessment must be fair and equitable

• Assessment must be equitable to all learners
• Assessment procedures and criteria must be made clear to all learners before assessment
• Assessment must be able to be challenged. Procedures must be put in place for reassessment as a result of challenge.

THE RULES OF EVIDENCE

When obtaining evidence there are certain rules that apply to that evidence. All evidence must be:

• Valid
• Sufficient
• Current
• Authentic

Valid

• The evidence obtained should meet the requirements of the unit of competency.
• The evidence should match the type of performance that is to be assessed

Sufficient

• It is essential that enough evidence is obtained to satisfy the requirements that the learner is competent across all aspects of the unit of competency

Current

• This relates to how current the evidence is and whether the evidence relates to current abilities

Authentic

• The trainer/assessor must be satisfied that the evidence obtained is the learners own work.

THE DIMENSIONS OF COMPETENCY

The five dimensions of competency are:

• Task skills
• Task management skills
• Contingency management skills
• Job role environment skills
• Transferability

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)

The AQF provides a comprehensive, nationally consistent framework for all qualifications in post compulsory education and training in Australia. In the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector it assists national consistency for all trainees, learners, employers and providers by enabling national recognition of qualifications and Statements of Attainment.

Training Package qualifications in the VET sector must comply with the titles and guidelines of the AQF. Endorsed Training Packages provide a unique title for each AQF qualification which must always be reproduced accurately.

For a full explanation of the AQF see the AQF Implementation Handbook which can be downloaded from: http://www.aqf.edu.au/

About VET

Australia’s VET sector

What is VET?

Vocational Education and Training (VET) enables students to gain qualifications for all types of employment, and specific skills to help them in the workplace.

The providers of VET include Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes, adult and community education providers and agricultural colleges, as well as private providers, community organisations, industry skill centres, and commercial and enterprise training providers. In addition, some universities and schools provide VET.

Vocational Education and Training is provided through a network of eight state and territory governments and the Australian Government, along with industry, public and private training providers that work together to provide nationally consistent training across Australia.
The VET sector is crucial to the Australian economy; both for the development of the national workforce and as a major export industry.

VET Quality Framework

The vocational education and training (VET) Quality Framework is aimed at achieving greater national consistency in the way providers are registered and monitored and in how standards in the vocational education and training (VET) sector are enforced.

The VET Quality Framework comprises:

• the Standards for National VET Regulator (NVR) Registered Training Organisations
• the Fit and Proper Person Requirements
• the Financial Viability Risk Assessment Requirements
• the Data Provision Requirements, and
• the Australian Qualifications Framework.
• Find out more about provider requirements under the VET Quality Framework

VET Standards

Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015
On 26 September 2014, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Industry and Skills Council agreed to new regulatory standards for training providers and regulators.

When do the new Standards come into effect?

The new standards will be implemented from 1 January 2015 for new RTOs and 1 April 2015 for existing RTOs.

What are RTOs

What is a registered training organisation (RTO)?

Registered training organisations (RTOs) are those training providers registered by ASQA (or, in some cases, a state regulator) to deliver VET services.

RTOs are recognised as providers of quality-assured and nationally recognised training and qualifications.

There are currently around 5000 RTOs in Australia. A complete list of RTOs is maintained at training.gov.au, the authoritative national register of the VET sector in Australia.

Why use an RTO?

Only RTOs can:

• Deliver nationally recognised courses and accredited Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) VET qualifications,

• Apply for Australian, state and territory funding to deliver vocational education and training.

• Offer qualifications at the following levels:

1. Certificates I, II, III and IV
2. Diploma
3. Advanced Diploma
4. Vocational Graduate Certificate
5. Vocational Graduate Diploma.

Being registered by ASQA means an RTO must act in your best interests and meet the NVR standards (http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2014L01377 )

Training Packages (TP)

Training Packages are integrated sets of components providing specifications for training and assessment in the VET sector. They, along with accredited courses, include the benchmarks for nationally recognised training.

Industry Skills Councils (ISCs)

Industry Skills Councils and Auto Skills Australia have the two key roles of:

• Providing accurate industry intelligence to the Vocational Education and Training sector about current and future skill needs and training requirements, including through industry skills reports; and

• Supporting the development, implementation and continuous improvement of quality nationally recognised training products and services, including Training Packages.

Visit the Industry Skills Councils (external link) or Auto Skills Australia (external link) website.

Opportunities to contribute

The VET sector is a dynamic, evolving environment. As well as knowing the changes to VET that affects you in your work role, you can contribute to the development process of VET policy.

Some of these opportunities may be in the form of:

• Attendances at workshops, involving consultations conducted by VET organisations and stakeholders
• Written submissions and feedback to VET organisations and stakeholders
• Participating in forums, networks or conferences
• Participating in your practice environment’s meetings
• Contributing to online consultations.