Challenges facing VET: Recentralising the Learner

Challenges facing VET

It is fair to presume that when it comes to vocational education and training, the learner would figure as quite a central figure.

However, anyone who watches the news will be aware that Australia’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) industry is in crisis.  For various reasons, training providers have come under fire from the media and are under the watchful scrutiny of regulatory bodies.  Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) are scrambling to adjust Read more…

Marking assessments – do we need to change our mind-set?

Challenges facing VET

Over the years, many of my colleagues have had a whinge about marking.  They enjoy the training but they see marking as an unpleasant chore.

I’m wondering if this is because it’s just seen as “compliance paperwork”, whereas I view marking as one of the best opportunities we can have to deliver training. Read more…

Challenges facing VET – Do learning resources motivate learning?

Challenges facing VET


I was talking to a client yesterday about learning resources.  He is happy to write his own assessment resources (and prefers to do so because he can tailor them to the learner groups).  On the other hand, he says he doesn’t have time to write the learning material.  He has tried several approaches, and the last approach was to provide a textbook.  That didn’t work either.  It was a good textbook but the learners were resistant to reading so much information.

Then there is the dilemma Read more…

Challenges facing VET – Assessing knowledge in VET?

Challenges facing VET


Assessment faces many challenges; one in particular is that Assessment practices are typically designed by individuals without specialist test design skills.  Another challenge is that such Assessment practices are then “Validated” by individuals who lack specific skills in test evaluation. The result is impossibly wide variation in the relative quality of assessments across RTOs – With the consequence that there is wide variation in outcomes. Read more…

Challenges facing VET – Where’s the other half of the story?

Challenges facing VET


There’s something about the Black Friday Sales and the massive hype that goes with this event that reminds me of what’s happening in the VET sector, and it’s got nothing to do with sales.

I asked some students recently if they knew what the Black Friday sales were all about – and no-one could relate this to the tradition in America of the shopping spree that happens the day after Thanksgiving. Read more…

Challenges facing VET – Is any Qualification Worthless?

Challenges facing VET

Not so long ago the VET system was put under the spotlight for a number of “worthless” qualifications being pushed onto students for nothing more than profit. We need to be mindful we exist as part of a system in which education enables people to competently do useful work. At least that’s the idea. What’s the deal with so many worthless qualifications? Read more…

Challenges facing VET – Is it too radical to require a workplace?

Challenges facing VET

I ‘joined’ the VET sector back in 1999 in a local not-for-profit VET provider (remember Skillshares?).

We were running primarily ‘jobseeker’ style courses.

We had three key focus – get people skills; get people a job; get a contract in the next tender round. I’m pleased to say that they were almost always in that order.

I didn’t have much experience in VET at the time. My only exposure had been a wholly poor previous experience as a student at my local TAFE (Don’t fret – I have had many wonderful experiences with TAFE over the years since as both student and teacher – I am reliably informed that in my teenage years [at least] I was not a great student to teach). Read more…

Challenges facing VET – Just turning up is not enough.

Challenges facing VET


I train First Aid  specifically. I find that there is an expectation that students will be deemed competent just by attending a course. We train a one day course with E-Learning and whilst not mandatory many students consider it an imposition on their time. Workplaces often say their employees won’t do it. Read more…

Challenges facing VET – Financial caps in VET compared with HECS for university

Challenges facing VET


After the travesty that was the VET Fee-Help scheme and the ‘shonky providers’ publicity that went along with that (whereby all RTOs – good and bad – were lumped into one ‘shonky’ basket) – the government introduced the ill-conceived and almost unworkable VET Student Loan scheme (VSL).  The VSL scheme was devised by government, and ‘cobbled together’ by bureaucrats, with no consultation with reputable VFH providers who had nothing whatsoever to do with the rorts and rip-offs undertaken by the shonks. Read more…

Challenges Facing VET – What is it and where did it come from?

Challenges facing VET

Challenges facing VET is a response to what has become a difficult landscape for all training professionals.   There is much to discuss, digest and directions to determine.

As an industry, it is critical that we do this together.  Our strength lies in our ability to take the best ideas from each other and nurture from those ideas greater ideas. Read more…

Challenges facing VET – Expectations associated with Assessment

Challenges facing VET

There’s probably no surprise that sooner or later someone would bring up assessment as a challenge in VET.

Audit results show it as a number one issue, anecdotal evidence shows it as a number one issue, and the number of forums, webinars and other PD offerings available and dedicated to explaining assessment-related concepts, show it as a number one issue.

Why is this the case? A number of reasons, I’m sure. However, I’m not entirely sure that I agree assessment per se is the issue. Read more…

Challenges facing VET – Do we need to re-think the role of trainers and assessors?

Challenges facing VET

Over the years the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment has been revised several times:

The purpose (or justification) of each change was to improve the overall quality and reliability of training and assessment by improving the competencies of trainer/assessors. Read more…