The recent ASQA report
This week ASQA published the findings of its national strategic review of early childhood care and education training. A sample group of registered training organisations (RTOs) were audited as part of the review which represented around one-third of the RTOs delivering early childhood and child care programs.
According to the ASQA website, approximately 90 per cent of training providers offering qualifications in early childhood education and care were able to demonstrate compliance with the required national Standards. However, the report showed some 20 per cent of RTOs offer the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care in 25 weeks or less, which is only half the minimum length of time recommended in the Australian Qualifications Framework for such programs.
What are the concerns?
According to the Courier Mail this has concerned the Abbott government for 2 reasons:
“The first concern is that trainees are not being fully skilled and properly assessed, meaning that employers are not always getting fully skilled employees,’’ the report said.
“The second concern relates to those RTOs that are trying to provide high-quality programs that are capable of delivering the skills and competencies required in a meaningful way: these RTOs are being faced with unfair competition (in terms of downward pressure, or the lowering of costs or prices to unrealistic levels) from those RTOs that are providing ‘cheap’ and unrealistically short training programs.’’
What is the solution?
As such, under a range of new measures announced by the Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham, the childcare industry now faces increased audits, more on-the-job training and threats of penalties. RTOs who are running a compliant process, however, could form part of a ‘preferred provider’ scheme.
Senator Birmingham said he would also ask the newly-established Australian Industry and Skills Committee to examine childcare Training Package requirements to ensure they clearly set out the standards expected by industry, with a particular focus on workplace learning. He is quoted as saying, “Nothing beats well supervised, on the job training and experience, especially when dealing with children, which must be adequate in both duration and quality,” he said. “If short cuts are being taken, then I expect penalties to be applied.”
Why Cloud Assess?
Cloud Assess is designed for trainers to conduct “on the job training”. It is an assessment tool for the VET sector which allows trainers to easily train and assess in the work place. For example a user can: Capture evidence of competency with the video and photo function, allow feedback to be logged within an assessment, Recognise Prior Learning efficiently using unique mapping features. Training and assessment can be conducted at a click of a button or a touch of a screen, seamlessly throughout the working day.
With Cloud Assess compliance is made easy throughout the assessment process as records are all safely retained in the cloud with no paper to lose. With a crack down on audits you can feel confident that your RTO will have been able to retain all performance and knowledge evidence, which can be accessed quickly and easily. It might even propel your RTO to becoming a ‘preferred provider’.