Review of ACAS practices<
New procedure bar
What is the AVETMISS data standard?
Fees for 2017
Number of electives
Can we get a full year of Austudy for a Cert IV course?
Upload the relevant soft copies of documents
About keeping assessment evidence
What if a student is assessed as NYC on the second attempt?
Centrelink: Getting better service
>> Review of ACAS practices
The Australian Skills Quality Authority recently issued a new interpretation of the Standards for National Recognition. For example, some things that were not previously defined now have working definitions. Consequently, Randy and Ross are reviewing all ACAS practices. It's a big job, and will result in major changes to how ACAS works.
>> Unique Student Identifier (USI)
Almost all students now need to have a Unique Student Identifier (USI), which they can get easily from http://usi.gov.au.
Individual students are exempt from providing a USI if:
• They are studying outside of Australia, although AVETMISS data must still be collected.
• They have completed the requirements for graduation by 31 December 2014, even if the award has not yet been issued.
• They have been granted an exemption for personal reasons. Individuals with genuine personal objections can apply to the Student Identifiers Registrar.
>> Our own university. We've done lots of setting up and course preparation, although permits are very slow. Website: www.worldwideuniversity.org.
>> Procedure bar. The Staff Page has a new line with a link to procedures for instructors and assessors.
>> AVETMISS This is the data standard for demographic information about students. We have to ask students for that information and keep it in a certain way. But what if a student doesn’t want to give it? We asked ASQA, the accreditor. They answered, "ASQA does not require a student to give this information as a condition of their enrolment." (8 April 2013).
For most of us, the main change in version 7 of AVETMISS was the inclusion of the Unique student identifier (USI)
>> Fees have generally had only minimal changes, with most fees staying the same. However, ASQA fees are through the roof. According to the auspice agreement, these are apportioned out to member colleges. At least you get only a portion of the whole thing.
>> "Can we get a full year of Austudy or Youth Allowance for a Cert IV course?" The new rules, called "volume of learning" generally require that RTOs give more time, apparently in an attempt to outlaw "quickie" quals.
>> Number of electives. Students may only be granted the number of permitted electives specified for the qualification. Any extra units must now be given in a separate Statement of Attainment, for which separate scope is specifically required.
>> Retention of evidence. ASQA have issued a directive ordered that RTOs securely retain all completed student assessment items for each student, as per the definition above, for whichever is the longer period of the following:
• the duration of the RTO’s assessment appeal period
• a period of six months from the date on the assessment
• the duration of the student’s enrolment
We must be able to produce it in full at audit if requested to do so.
Some kinds of evidence cannot be retained. Some workplaces won't allow in-house commercial information off the premises, and some client files are certainly too private to allow an assessor to keep. So ASQA has admitted that the rule cannot be completely hard and fast. Still, we otherwise don't get much choice.
Our general rule is that any evidence may be kept on site on condition that it is availabe for RTO purposes and audit..
>> CRICOS We are no longer planning for CRICOS. Instead, we now encourage propective overseas students to come on a cultural exchange visa. Special Program Visa (Subclass 416). It is simpler and lower risk than CRICOS, but can only be used for non-profit pursoses such as cultural exchange.
>> Feehelp We are very glad that we did not apply to be a VET FeeHelp provider. We have not amassed sufficient cash assets to meet their requirements, and some shonky dealers have given it a bad name. The system has now been replaced with a better system, but only for a narrow range of qualifications.
>> Check this this neat website: http://blog.cathy-moore.com. The thing I like most was about linking training directly to behaviour that achieves business goals. So far, people haven't thought further than students' goals.
Afterword: IBSA is saying that assessment validation should also be aimed at achieving business goals. Good thought.
>> About Centrelink payments
Students on Austudy, Abstudy or Youth Allowance can get faster Centrelink service by quoting the Centrelink Institution Code, which is linked from the student page.
>> Software discounts We can get software discounts for registered students.
And they are those sad people who actually prefer Microsoft products, at least they don't have to pay full price for them. Here's a link to their student discount page.
>> About Centrelink payments
>> Question: "What if a student is assessed as not yet competent on the second assessment attempt? Do I then give him/her another chance. How long can this process go on for?"
Answer 1: The student is entitled to a second chance. Even if he/she doesn't get the whole qualification, we must issue a Statement of Attainment for any units in which you assess him/her as competent.
Answer 2: If you wish, you could give the student a third chance, but you don't have to and he/she is not really entitled to it. You are quite within your rights to say, "This was your second assessment of these units, and you weren't successful. You are welcome to try again, but you'll need to apply and pay again for them."
Answer 3: We should inform students what will happen if they are assessed as "Not yet competent." This will probably be a simple website statement that students have to re-enrol for the unit and pay for it again.
>> Internships We pooled some staff expertise on how to most effectively run internships. Have a look.
>> Several people have asked about getting new courses accredited. Generally speaking, not a good idea. First, ASQA fees are prohibitive, and rising steeply. Second, look for a more effective way of offering what you need to offer:
- You can often "re-interpret" existing accredited or endorsed units to meet your particular needs. In fact, they are usually designed to be contextualized in this way, because they are only a set of outcomes, not a syllabus for how you must teach it.
- Use the options cleverly. You'd be surprised at what you can do. For some courses, the electives can be much more important than the required units.
- We can add a specialization line under the qualification title. For example, a generic Diploma of Management can become a more specific Diploma of Management (Event Management).
>> If you need to join WA College of Teaching, an ACAS letter can be used as evidence of current teaching experience.