Your trainer and assessor files (Part 5 of 5)

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In the last newsletter we discussed the following: 

  • The definition of a “trainer matrix”
  • ASQA Guidelines on “trainer matrix” 
  • What must be included in a “trainer matrix” 
  • Who must complete the skills matrix in your RTO?
  • The trainer file and checklist 

In part 5 of the series, we will discuss common errors and non-compliance identified in trainer and assessor files. 

Your RTO must maintain compliant and complete trainer and assessor files and records. You must make sure that all trainer and assessor files demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements and are free from errors and non-compliance. 

The most common errors and non-compliance in trainer and assessor files and solutions to rectify them as soon as possible:  

Non-compliance number 1: Incomplete trainer files without inclusion of relevant evidence

Explanation: Our experience tells us this is one of the biggest non-compliances.  Trainers and assessors presenting files that are incomplete to an auditor. Incomplete files may include: 

  • All evidence referred to in the trainer matrix and their resume not made available to the auditor 
  • Trainer files containing outdated and not properly version controlled documents and forms 
  • Trainer documents are not stored according to the documented policies and procedures 
  • Trainer file contains irrelevant and/or incorrect information 

Solution: Make sure your policy and procedure have clear guidelines on: 

  • What should be included in each trainer file 
  • How information should be presented in each trainer file 
  • The documents and version numbers that should be used to collect information from trainers and assessors. 
  • Regular audits of your trainer files

Non-compliance number 2: Accuracy of the documents can not be established 

Explanation: It is the RTO’s responsibility to ensure they complete due-diligence at the recruitment of trainers and assessors. Establishing accuracy and validity of all the documents is one of the most important steps. 

Solution: Make sure you establish the accuracy of all documents. The accuracy of documents can be established by, but not limited to: 

  • Ensuring all copies of the original documents are sighted and verified by initials of the staff responsible
  • Conducting a reference check according to the organisational procedure and guidelines 
  • Making sure you verify that all the academic documents are genuine and original by approaching the relevant institutes that has issued them
  • Ensuring all verified copies of evidence are available in the trainer file, as required.

Non-compliance number 3: Trainer/Assessor engagement with the RTO has not been documented 

Explanation: The RTO must ensure that the documents or trainer files they use belong to the trainers they have legally contracted or recruited. They cannot and must not use documents of a trainer that has not been recruited by the organisation. Therefore, the trainer association and engagement with the RTO must be established through documented processes. 

Solution: You must ensure that you have copies of all the documents mentioned below: 

  • Job offer letter 
  • Copy of a signed position description 
  • Copy of a signed contract even if you have trainers and assessors as contractors 
  • The resume does include the trainer’s job-role and responsibilities at the RTO 

Non-compliance number 4: VET currency has not been documented properly or there is inadequate VET currency. 

Explanation: The RTO has not documented the vocational education and training knowledge and experience of their trainers. 

Solution: 

  • Encourage your trainers to participate in the resource validation processes and document their participation using compliant validation forms 
  • Organise professional development sessions for your trainers and assessors from VET experts. You must keep the evidence of participation for compliance reasons.  
  • Subscribing to VET and RTO newsletters and magazines also helps your trainers and assessors. Make sure they keep a PD log of what they read, where they read it, what they learned and how they implemented the learning.
  • Participation in VET forums and discussions such as LinkedIn is also helpful.
  • Participation in VET seminars, conferences and workshops, (particularly the ones delivered by the regulatory bodies), are excellent ways to demonstrate vocational education and training knowledge and currency. 

Non-compliance number 5: Their industry currency has not been documented properly or there is inadequate industry currency 

Explanation: The RTO has not documented industry currency and experience of their trainers. 

Solution: In many situations, trainers and assessors may be working in the industry sector and this can be used as evidence for industry currency. Where this is not the case, currency needs to be established through different mediums such as:

  • Attending trade events, workshops, conferences, technical seminars and other industrial events  
  • Reading industry magazines and journals (subscription and notes taken)
  • Undertaking online research (and have documented logs of these activities)
  • Engaging in industry networks
  • Participating in LinkedIn groups
  • Product manufacturer/vendor training

Each RTO has to consider relevant factors, ideally in consultation with industry, to determine an appropriate currency period. This will depend on how static or how fast the industry is developing and changing.  In general, any experience that is 2 years or older will not be considered current.

Non-compliance number 6: The vocational currency has not been documented properly or there is inadequate vocational currency. 

Explanation: The RTO has not documented the vocational currency of their trainers. To provide training that reflects current industry practice and valid assessment, your RTO’s trainers and assessors must maintain currency of their skills and knowledge in both:

  • their industry area and,
  • vocational education and training.

It is also acceptable for an appropriately qualified trainer and assessor to work with an industry expert to conduct assessment together.

Solution: 

  • Formal vocational education and training qualification/units of competency you deliver and assess: The easiest solution is for trainers/assessors to have the same unit of competency they are training and assessing. 
  • Participation in documented mapping activities to demonstrate trainers and assessors have the required level of knowledge and skills. You can use a trainer matrix template to demonstrate your vocational competence. 

Provide details of how you meet the vocational competence requirements of each unit you are delivering or assessing. This may be through: 

  • Holding the same unit of competency 
  • Holding an older version of the same unit and verifying there are no gaps
  • Holding an older version of the same unit and providing details of how gaps have been addressed
  • Other formal qualifications
  • Professional development activities
  • Evidence from work in the industry, etc.

Please ensure all areas of the unit of competency are addressed through the evidence provided. Provide examples and explain each criterion to ensure you have addressed all areas of the unit of competency. If the units are not equivalent (e.g. a Statement of Attainment for the specific unit/course has not been submitted), a mapping document must be provided to demonstrate how the units have been mapped to ensure vocational competency. The mapping document may be provided by the RTO. 

Non-compliance number 7: The training and assessment requirements have not been documented properly or there are inadequate training and assessment requirements.

Explanation: The RTO has not documented the training and assessment requirements of their trainers, or trainers do not meet the current training and assessment requirements. 

Solution: Your RTO must ensure all trainers and assessors are meeting the below requirements: 

Training and Assessment Credentials Required – Trainers 

On or prior to 30 June 2019 (no equivalence)

  • TAE40110 or TAE40116* or
  • TAE40110 + one of the following Units of Competency: TAELLN401A/TAELLN411 and
  • one of the following Units of Competency: TAEASS502A/TAEASS502B/TAEASS502 or a diploma or higher-level qualification in adult education OR
  • Diploma related to adult education OR
  • Higher qualification in adult education

From 1 July 2019 (no equivalence)

  • TAE40116* or TAE40110 + one of the following Units of Competency: TAELLN401A/TAELLN411 and
  • one of the following Units of Competency: TAEASS502A/TAEASS502B/TAEASS502 or a diploma or higher-level qualification in adult education OR
  • Diploma related to adult education OR
  • Higher qualification in adult education

Training and Assessment Credentials Required – Assessors

 On or prior to 30 June 2019 (no equivalence)

  • Assessor Skill Set (TAESS00001 or TAESS00011 Assessor Skill Set) or
  • TAE40110 or TAE40116* or
  • TAE40110 + one of the following Units of Competency: TAELLN401A/TAELLN411 and
  • one of the following Units of Competency: TAEASS502A/TAEASS502B/TAEASS502 or a diploma or higher-level qualification in adult education OR
  • Diploma related to adult education OR
  • Higher qualification in adult education

From 1 July 2019 (no equivalence)

  • Assessor Skill Set (TAESS00001 or TAESS00011 Assessor Skill Set) or
  • TAESS00001 plus one of the following Units of Competency: TAEASS502A/TAEASS502B/TAEASS502 or
  • TAE40116* or TAE40110 + one of the following Units of Competency: TAELLN401A/TAELLN411 and
  • one of the following Units of Competency: TAEASS502A/TAEASS502B/TAEASS502 or a diploma or higher level qualification in adult education OR
  • Diploma related to adult education OR
  • Higher qualification in adult education

You must have a Training and Assessment Qualifications section on your skills matrix and options to select the checkboxes or let the Trainer/Assessor write the training and assessment qualification/s they have acquired.

Non-compliance number 8: The trainer file does not have a compliance checklist

Explanation: Without having a checklist it makes it difficult to maintain consistency and accuracy across all trainer files. This also creates inconsistency of forms or documents that are being used as they may be outdated or incorrect. 

Solution: You must make sure all trainers have valid files that include the following information:

  • A current copy of the trainer/assessor’s CV (usually updated on an annual basis)
  • The RTO’s name, the position title and a description of the job-role
  • Details about the vocational competencies that the trainer/assessor holds
  • Details about the vocational competencies that the trainer/assessor is delivering/assessing.
  • Information about industry currency and skills
  • List of VET professional development activities
  • Confirmation that it is a true and up-to-date copy of the CV (usually means the trainer/assessor initialling each page of the CV to confirm the accuracy of the information provided)
  • Signature and date of last update of the CV

It is also recommended that all resumes/CVs are verified for currency and authenticity through reference checks. For more Information, please refer tohttps://www.caqa.com.au/single-post/2019/05/28/Your-trainer-and-assessor-files-Part-4-of-5 

Non-compliance number 9:  Information provided verbally or documented do not match

Explanation: One of the major non-compliances is when the information provided by the trainers/assessors and/or the RTO do not match each other. For example, a trainer’s CV has different information from the trainer’s staff matrix or vice versa. 

Solution: 

  • Make sure you read and approve all documents before filing 
  • Do not use any false or incorrect information. The regulatory bodies have the power to investigate and penalise the people involved in fraud and deceitful activities. 

Non-compliance number 10: No annual review on the trainer file 

Explanation: Make sure you review all documents on an annual basis. Ask your trainers to submit updated copies where required. 

Solution: 

  • Make sure all documents are checked internally by the compliance team or coordinator/manager 
  • Organising an external audit by VET compliance experts is also helpful to ensure errors and mistakes are identified earlier rather than later, and fixed appropriately 

Stay tuned for more… upcoming newsletters will cover the following topics: 

  • Special edition on frequently asked questions and answers on trainer files. 

Do you have questions regarding your trainers and assessors that you want our VET experts to answer? Send them to us at info@caqa.com.au. 

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