A Training and Assessment Strategy (TAS) is the approach of, and method adopted by, an RTO with respect to training and assessment designed to enable learners to meet the requirements of the training package or accredited course (Glossary, Standards for RTOs 2015).
The Training and Assessment Strategy (TAS) is a high-level view of a program that guides the learning requirements and the teaching, training and assessment arrangements of a VET qualification. It is a “how-to” guide that defines and explains the process of developing, delivering and managing a training program.
The Training and Assessment Strategy (TAS) is also called a Learning and Assessment Strategy (LAS), Qualification Delivery and Assessment Strategy (QDAS) or simply; a helicopter document. We strongly suggest you name your document according to the terminology and words mentioned within the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015.
The Training and Assessment Strategy (TAS) is used to convey information such as;
- The qualification (if applicable) or unit of competency training product codes and titles
- Requirements to enrol in the course (set by the RTO)
- The core and elective units of competency in the course and a rationale
- Details of the training product and alignment with the qualification packaging rules
- Prerequisites (pre-existing knowledge and skills) to enrol in the training product (as per the training package)
- Details of the training organisation and contact person
- Any clustering (grouping) of units
- The learner cohort/ training group (description of employment status, academic background, domestic or international, related industry experience)
- The mode and method of training delivery
- The mode and method of assessment
- Entry and exit points
- Pathways to, from and employment
- Timeframes for delivery and assessment
- Volume of learning and amount of training
- Information regarding work-placement requirements, if applicable
- Information how training and assessment is going to take place
- Details of staff qualified to deliver and assess the training
- Equipment, facilities and resources required
- Explanation and outline of industry consultation
- Explanation and outline of how industry feedback has contributed to changes in training and assessment, facilities and resources, training and assessment skills of trainers and assessors
- How the program has been validated
- Sequence of delivery of units according to a priority order
- Review and approval processes for training and assessment strategies to both staff and regulators (in the case of nationally recognised training).
This information is initially constructed to form an overarching strategy which will allow the training organisation to validate that it possesses the organisational capacity to deliver the qualification; giving thought to any specific venue, access to equipment as well as qualified staff; both from a vocational and training and assessment perspective.
The Training and Assessment Strategy, therefore, outlines the macro-level requirements of the learning and assessment process.
The Training and Assessment Strategy tool or template can be developed using a Word document (.docx). It is an active document and should be modified and updated to match what, where, when and how the training organisation is delivering a training product.
How auditors use the training and assessment strategy
The auditors make sure the strategy provides the framework to deliver a quality training product. Their main focus stays on:
- Where the training will be delivered
- How the training will be delivered
- What the method of the course delivery is
- What resources and/or support services are provided to the student
- Who is delivering the training and any skill-gaps
- How clear are entry and exit requirements
- How clear the instructions and information for trainers and assessors are when using the strategy
The regulatory body can ask you to provide a compliant training and assessment strategy at any time before, during or after an audit or any regulatory activity such as at the time of addition to scope application etc.
You must develop a training and assessment strategy before you start delivering training. The strategy should be validated to ensure it is “fit-for-purpose”. You need to develop training and assessment strategies when you are planning to deliver a course/training product.
You must have a fit for purpose training assessment strategy for:
- each course and/or training product
- each delivery mode (class-room based, online, workplace delivery etc)
- each learner cohort
- each location
- or any other variation in teaching, learning, assessment and support arrangements
Where any variations occur in training and assessment you must provide a modified TAS. A common situation occurs where a training and assessment strategy has been developed for one learner cohort, however the training organisation is asked to deliver to a very different cohort. For example a TAS initially developed to deliver training to mature students with substantial industry experience with a shorter delivery time frame and assessment methods which utilise the candidates prior experience- or application to the workplace. If the RTO’s new learner cohort has little to no experience, the TAS will not be fit for purpose.
There is also no “single size” template for a TAS. All variations must be correctly recorded through a customised or new training and assessment strategy. The training organisation must consider:
- How the revised or updated training and assessment strategy provides a clear framework for delivering a quality training product or course
- Support needs and requirements to deliver a training product
- How the course delivery suits the learner cohort or alternatively, referring to the opportunity to another provider if the cohort does not meet their business model.
In our next editions, we will discuss:
- What should be included in a training and assessment strategy (TAS) template
- How to complete a training and assessment strategy (TAS) template
- Review and manage training and assessment strategy (TAS) tool