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Policy: Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy

Policy Number: 012                         Version: V.1.0                       Commencing 01/07/2016

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Introduction

The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy was formulated taking cognisance of the Principals of Assessment and the Rules of Evidence. ACTAC is committed to providing assessment tasks that have been validated and mapped against the:

  • Performance Criteria
  • Performance Evidence
  • Knowledge Evidence

 

General Overview

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

We understand that you may already have relevant skills and areas of expertise that you have obtained in different ways and these are recognised through our RPL process. Skills and knowledge you have acquired under many different conditions such as life experiences, short courses and volunteer work all contribute to the sum total of your skills, but may not be recognised by formal accreditation. RPL is not concerned about how or where your learning occurs—it makes the distinction between forma land in formal training by focusing on outcomes rather than the location of learning. RPL offers a new dimension to education by incorporating the breadth of your experience as it relates to your course. The purpose of RPL is to identify and assess your accumulated learning experiences in relation to clearly defined vocational outcomes. Vocational outcomes form the benchmark against which prior learning is valued. In the case of education, these are the course outcomes defined in your course curriculum or competencies.

To be granted RPL, your experience is measured against a series of already established benchmarks. Some of the benefits of RPL include:

  • confirming competence for a workplace position
  • confirming eligibility for entry into a qualification
  • ensuring that you do not have to re-learn existing skills and knowledge
  • reducing the time required to get a qualification
  • ensuring that training time is spent acquiring new skills and competencies.

Our RPL procedures explain:

  • how to submit an RPL application
  • how RPL applications are assessed
  • what types of documentation are needed as evidence
  • how to present your RPL portfolio
  • how applications are processed
  • how to appeal if you’re not satisfied
  • how credits are transferred

Overview for Trainers

The typical RPL process for providers consists of the following stages:

  • identifying the evidence required
  • providing advice to students about the process
  • providing students with sufficient information to enable them to prepare their evidence to meet the standard required for the RPL assessment process
  • assessing using appropriate evidence-gathering methods and tools
  • recording the outcome, and
  • reporting to key internal and external stakeholders. RPL assessment:
  • as with all assessment, should be undertaken by academic or teaching staff with expertise in the subject, content or skills area, as well as knowledge of and expertise in RPL assessment
  • should be the same standard as other assessment for the qualification
  • should recognise learning regardless of how, when and where it was acquired, provided the learning is relevant to the learning outcomes in the qualification
  • must ensure that evidence provided is valid, authentic, current and sufficient and that the process is fair, flexible reliable and valid.

*Trainers will use the Trainer RPL Toolkit to assist them with this process. It is important that students acknowledge and understand that RPL outcomes are guidelines and are not definite, the actual outcome and competencies issued in this manner may vary depending on the evidence, skills and knowledge demonstrated by the student through the process.  Students are required to sign an acknowledge statement during this process should this wish to undertake the RPL process with ACTAC.

 

 

RPL Process:

Step 1

  1. Student Completes Application

The candidate completes the application forms in SECTION II (the RPL Self Evaluation Toolkit) and submits this for initial assessment along with supporting documentation.

It is important candidates provide as much information of their previous experience as is available.

Documents that may be available include but are not limited to:

  • any licence they may have obtained
  • brief CV or work history
  • certificates/results of assessment
  • indentures/trade papers
  • certificates/results of assessment – interstate/overseas
  • certificates/results of assessment – universities
  • results/statement of attendance/certificates – vendor training courses, in-house courses, workshops, seminars, symposiums
  • results/statements of attendance/ certificates – colouring courses e.g. first aid, officials, surf life saving, etc
  • tickets held
  • diaries/task sheets/job sheets/log books
  • site training records
  • site competencies held record membership of relevant professional associations
  • hobbies/interests/special skills outside work
  • references/letters from previous employers/supervisors
  • industry awards
  • any other documentation that may demonstrate industry experience

Candidates also need to provide contact details for one or two referees who can confirm their industry skills in context and over time.

To have skills formally recognised under the Australian Qualifications Framework, you must ensure the candidate’s skills meet industry standards appropriate to this qualification.

 

Step 2

  1. Interview about Candidate’s Documentary Information

Review the information provided by the candidate and arrange a time for both you and the candidate to discuss. Begin alignment of documentation and skills to the relevant qualification:

The candidate will have the opportunity to discuss and identify previous experience with you. The available documents are step one in collecting information and you will need to determine which units of competency, if any, are fully covered at this stage. Use ACTAC Learning assessment recording forms to record this stage of the assessment.

There may be instances where the candidate has little, or no, documentary information of industry experience. This is not a barrier to gaining recognition. This will just require you to rely on the questioning, practical assessment and referee validation phases of the RPL process.

 

Step 3

  1. Questions for the Competency Conversation

The bank of questions in SECTION C is the next phase in collecting evidence for the RPL process. The questions are designed to enable you to have a “competency conversation” with the candidate to further gain evidence of their past experience. REMEMBER, the primary focus is on the candidate’s experience.

Each question has “key points” to look for in responses. You may use the list of key points to formulate questions of your own if you wish, or contextualise the question to the candidate’s particular work situation. The Record of Conversation sheets indicate relevant content that should be sought. Place a tick next to each key point as you hear this topic being discussed during the conversation. You should read the “industry requirements” of each competency before the candidate answers the questions posed. You may also target the assessment to those aspects that present the greatest risk in the industry. Questions are aligned with the relevant unit/s of competency in SECTION G.

It is not intended every question for all competencies is asked, only those competencies the initial interview about the candidate’s documentary evidence has failed to fully address. The question bank covers most but not all units in the kit. Units without questions are covered in the practical assessment/scenario section.

Step 4

  1. Practical Assessment Tasks

It is important that you use both Steps 3 (Questioning) and 4 (Practical Assessment) in doing this assessment. The RPL process is a streamlined RPL process which does not rely solely on practical assessment but uses a combination of questioning and practical to provide evidence of candidate competence.

This is the third phase in collecting evidence. A practical skills test is then conducted by you at the candidate’s workplace or another suitable venue. Appropriate permission must be sought before entering workplaces.

Recording sheets for candidate information, questioning and the practical assessments have been included in SECTION D. You may use other recording mechanisms provided these also keep a complete record of assessment and justification of judgement. Candidate responses, observations of skills demonstrated and documents presented as evidence must be noted in enough detail so anyone external to the process (e.g. a fellow assessor, auditor, lawyer, etc) can read the record and retrace your judgement.

 

Step 5

  1. Gap training

RPL is an assessment process designed to show areas of competence and to identify if a candidate has gaps in skills and knowledge against a whole qualification.

Not all candidates will have skill/knowledge gaps.

If a candidate has skills gaps, a pathway to complete training in the outstanding units can be negotiated to assist the client to gain the full qualification.

 

Evidence Review

Recognition of prior learning outcomes (both Granted and Not Granted) are now funded nationally and as such will be included in National AVETMISS audits. NCVER have stipulated evidence recording requirements for RPL assessments as a minimum requirement for passing an AVETMISS audit. The following “Evidence Review” proforma has been approved by NCVER as covering AVETMISS audit requirements for RPL recorded outcomes. It also gives you an opportunity to track a student’s assessment progress at a glance.

It is expected that this “Evidence Review” summary sheet (or similar) would be attached to each participant’s evidence compiled during the RPL assessment process.

(Place a tick in the appropriate evidence collection method column for each unit of competency. Place a line through those units not examined as part of this RPL assessment.)

 

Policy Acknowledgement:

It is a condition of enrolement with ACTAC that all students sign the “Enrolement Form”. By singing the enrolment for you acknowledge that you have read and understood ACTAC’s policies and procedures, including this communication policy and agree that you will make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with these policies and procedures. By signing this form, students acknowledge and agree to be bound by all of ACTAC’s policies. This is completed to ensure that students understand what our rules are, why they must be adhered to and that action may be taken if any policy is not adhered to. In accordance with best practice this practice will be subject to an annual review.

Policy: Language, Literacy and Numeracy Policy (LLN)

Policy Number: 008                            Version: V.1.0                         Commencing 01/07/2016

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Introduction

The Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) Policy was formulated taking cognisance of the Education Act 2013, the Queensland’s Public Sector Ethics Act 1994, the Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service Act, the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (QLD) the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (QLD) and the AQTF Standards as detailed below. The purpose of the language literacy and numeracy (LLN) Policy is to ensure that ACTAC can identify LLN skill levels and assist students with LLN needs in order to provide them with appropriate support and access to an obtainable and enjoyable course throughout their study.

Scope

This Policy applies to all of ACTAC’s employees, students and/or potential students. This policy should be observed while at work and while attending any activities relating to ACTAC including enrolments, LLN completions, training, assessment, student assistance and promotional activities.

Overview

ACTAC is committed to maintain a learning environment that supports the learning needs and skill development of students.  ACTAC does not discriminate against any student or potential student who identifies as having low LLN skills.  ACTAC evaluates students LLN skills and abilities through the completion of a language, literacy and numeracy (LLN ) form, to the level of qualification to be undertaken as part of the enrolment process. This includes:

  • Diploma Level
  • Certificate IV Level
  • Certificate III Level

ACTAC may also use other methods of assessments to further evaluate the application, including but not limited to;

  • Observations
  • Discussions
  • Self-evaluations
  • Student Submissions

General Principles

ACTAC is committed to promoting an environment that is respectful of all students and potential students.

ACTAC will ensure that students/potential students are aware of the recommended level of LLN requirements that are needed to undertake the various courses on offer.

All LLN results will be completed with integrity and the potential student good will always be promoted.

All ACTAC employees will contribute to an honest, unbiased and unprejudiced work environment.

ACTAC will ensure that enrolment officers, trainer and assessors who identify students with LLN issues at time of LLN completion understand the correct procedures to follow (outline below).

ACTAC will make aware to students the contents of the LLN policy and its location on our website.

ACTAC will work to effectively ascertain the LLN skills and abilities of potential students.

ACTAC will ensure that enrolment officers, trainer and assessors can identify students with LLN issues at time of LLN completion.

ACTAC will strive to foster links with professional organisations for the referral of students with LLN needs.

Staff will remain up to date with the current LLN policy and procedures and the job outcomes requirements associated with each course.

ACTAC’s LLN forms adhere to the following three AQTF standards:

  • Standard 1 – The RTO provides quality training and assessment across all of its operations
  • Standard 2 – The RTO adheres to principles of access and equity and maximises outcomes for its clients
  • Standard 3 – Management systems are responsive to the needs of clients, staff and stakeholders and environment in which the RTO operates.

 

Employees will seek to handle complaints professionally in line with ACTAC’s policies and procedures and will face specific penalties and/or disciplinary action for any violation of student rights or ACTAC policies.

All trainers and assessors must hold competency in the standards prescribed by the National Quality Council.

Currently these include.

  • TAELLN401A
  • TAE40110

ACTAC representatives may seek advice and expertise from relevant professionals in relation to LLN issues as required.

Current Procedure for ACTAC to follow when a student is identified as potentially having low LLN skills

  • Discuss results with students (using positive language)
  • Discuss students reasons for undertaking course
  • Discuss and explain that a strong level of support and assistance will be provided to student to assist student in completing the course. This will be outlined in more specific detail with each individual student and trainer depending on the particular situation.
  • If it is apparent that the students LLN skills and abilities may hinder their abilities to complete the job outcomes or the course content then the ACTAC representative should immediately speak to a supervisor for guidance.
  • Upon examining the case the supervisor may suggest an alternative course (at a more appropriate level) or the possibility of the student working towards a statement of attainment of units or the possibility of working through the course in an alternative way. A supervisor has the discretion to discuss various options here with the student depending on the particulars of the situation while also adhering to the anti discrimination legislation outlined above.
  • Any solution or suggestion will not discriminate or exclude any potential student and will only be suggested if the ACTAC representative genuinely feels it is a suitable consideration for this student.
  • It is ACTAC’s goal to ensure that student is not mislead about the course content and/or difficulty level and that students do not undertake a course in a manner that is not suited to their LLN abilities or skills.

 

Policy Requirements:

It is a condition of employment with ACTAC that all employees sign the “Policy Acknowledgement Form” demonstrating that they have read and understood this LLN Policy and that they will make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with this policy. By signing this form, they acknowledge their support and co-operation with this and all of ACTAC’s policies. This is to ensure that staff understands what our rules are, why they must be adhered to and that disciplinary actions may be enforced if this policy is not adhered to. In accordance with best practice this policy will be subject to an annual review.

 

Mandatory Conditions all staff must adhere to in line with this policy

  • Be respectful in your communication and actions.
  • Follow the procedures and guidelines outlined in this policy.
  • Be aware and follow all ACTAC’s policies, practices and procedures relevant to your position.
  • Act ethically, truthfully and honestly at all times.
  • Inform a supervisor if in need of assistance or guidance
  • Abide by the confidentiality policy and respect your responsibility of confidentiality.
  • Be inclusive and value diversity.
  • Adhere to duty of care and duty of safety.
  • Report all areas of concern to your supervisor.
  • Be open to feedback.
  • Seek to engage in lifelong learning and improved work practices.
  • Remain up to date with policy contents and changes.

Unacceptable Staff Behaviour

This policy outlines unacceptable behaviors. If a staff member demonstrates that they are or have carried out any of the following unacceptable behaviours they will face disciplinary action, including verbal warnings, written warnings or reprimands, suspension or dismissal.

  • Violation of any of ACTAC’s policies or procedures or guidelines, particularly those outlined in this policy.
  • Inappropriate, unprofessional of lack of communication with members of staff or students.
  • Engaging in disruptive, threatening or bullying behaviours.
  • Ignoring supervisor direction or Instruction.
  • Engaging in any discriminatory or unwelcoming behaviour.

Policy: Refund Policy

Policy Number: 014                       Version: V.1.0                       Commencing 01/07/2016

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Overview for Fee Paying Students:

A full refund, less a $199 administration fee, will be given to students who cancel/withdraw their enrolment in writing within fourteen (14) days of enrolment. No refunds will be given after fourteen (14) days of the date of enrolment and the student is liable to pay the balance of any fees owing.

In the case of the Diploma Courses the student is liable for the first installment only and is liable to pay the balance of that fee only.

The $199 administration fee is unconditional. In circumstances where a student has entered into a payment plan for the payment of course fees and withdraws from the course after the fourteen (14) day cooling off period they are liable to pay for any outstanding fees owed.

 

Policy Acknowledgement:

It is a condition of enrolement with ACTAC that all students sign the “Enrolement Form”. By singing the enrolment for you acknowledge that you have read and understood ACTAC’s policies and procedures, including this communication policy and agree that you will make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with these policies and procedures. By signing this form, students acknowledge and agree to be bound by all of ACTAC’s policies. This is completed to ensure that students understand what our rules are, why they must be adhered to and that action may be taken if any policy is not adhered to. In accordance with best practice this practice will be subject to an annual review.

Policy: Assessment and Qualification Policy

Policy Number: 0014                       Version: V.1.0                       Commencing 01/07/2016

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Introduction

The Assessment and Qualification Policy was formulated taking cognisance of the principals of Assessment and the rules of evidence as required. ACTAC is committed to maintaining a fair environment that supports and encourages students achievement.

Overview

Students must complete the required number of units compliant with the packaging rules of each course to gain the AQF nationally recognised qualification:

Students can do this through any of the following (combination):

  1. Complete required units through completion of written and workplace related activities.
  2. Recognised Prior Learning
  • Credit Transfer

Students who do not complete the course in its entirety will obtain a Statement of Attainment for the units in which competency has been demonstrated.

A student must achieve a mark of competency in each unit. To achieve a mark of competency a student must be deemed competent either through RPl, Credit Transfer or in each component of the assessment:

  1. Written work
  2. Observation report
  • Third party/Supervisor report.

Student will complete their course externally, self paced. Trainers and assessors will visit the student at the work placement and collaborate with students supervisors where possible to assist the students learning and course progression.

Students will be given additional assistance and support if required.

Students will receive regular contact from trainer consistent with the requirements of this training product including assessment guidance, invitations to attend workshops, workplace visits, phone calls and one on one assistance, where feasible.

Should students present with LLN difficulties, additional needs or a lack of skills knowledge or experience, trainers will increase their allotted time to students, as deemed suitable, in partnership with the principal to increase the learning opportunities and enjoyment for these students.

ACTAC has chosen to utilize Smallprint’s mapping of units assessments at this point due to a number of factors.

  • The principal is experienced with this mapping and has found it to be valid and relevant
  • The principal has witnessed new trainers use this mapping with ease.
  • This mapping can be consistently applied in a range of assessment situations.
  • This mapping style fits effectively with the RTO’s TAS.

Due to ACTAC being new, the principal will review this assessment mapping on a monthly basis to ascertain if any gaps are identified. If so ACTAC will develop its own evidence gathering methods, assessment tools or activities to address these gaps.

ACTAC will work in partnership with student supervisors to assist assessment validity and student learning.

Students will have the choice of completing their written assessments in hard copy or in soft copy version.

Adjustments may be needed to cater for different learner characteristics or needs.

Adjustments include:

  • Trainer Assistance
  • One on One Guidance
  • Hard Copy/Soft Copy Versions
  • Buddy System (where possible)
  • Scribing
  • The use of assistive technology

Principals of Assessment:

All assessments are conducted in accordance with the principals of assessment:

  1. Fairness
  2. Flexibility
  • Validity
  1. Reliability

All assessments are conducted in accordance with the Rules of Evidence:

  1. Validity
  2. Sufficiency
  • Authenticity
  1. Currency

 

Strategies for Supporting, Monitoring and Assessing learners in the Workplace:

Trainers and Assessors will strive to work closely with students and their workplace supervisors.

Trainers will provide advice and guidance to students regarding their role in the workplace.

Trainers will visit students at their work placement to supervise and offer guidance and assistance where necessary.

ACTAC will systematically monitor its training and assessment strategies and practices to ensure compliance and the strongest outcomes for its students. ACTAC will and evaluates the training and assessment strategies and practices and assessment mapping on the last Friday of each month with the trainers and assessors on staff, for the first year of operation. ACTAC will review the frequency of this activity after 12 months. ACTAC will also involve external relevantly qualified professionals in this process.

During these evaluations ACTAC will examine:

  1. AVETMISS data
  2. Quality Indicator Data
  • Validation Outcomes
  1. Client Feedback
  2. Trainer and Assessor Feedback
  3. Complaints And Appeals

ACTAC will then use this information to inform its activities and practices.

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL)

ACTAC offers RPL to each of its students. ACTAC has developed extensive RPL assessor guides and toolkits for qualifications on its scope. Trainers and Assessors will assist students with this application should they decide to use it.

At this point ACTAC has no access to funding or government subsidies in relation to the courses it can offer. ACTAC hopes that it can join these funding programmes in the coming year.

  • Fee for Service Clients:
  • Apprentice/ Traineeship Clients:
  • User Choice Clients:

Credit Transfer

Credit Transfer is available to all eligible students. Credit will be given to students who provide an original or certified copy of evidence of a having previously successfully completed a relevant unit(s).

Written Assessments

ACTAC uses commercially purchased training and assessment resources. These resources are sourced from Smallprint.  These resources are deemed to meet the needs of our client groups. These resources and the mapping of these resources will be validated on a monthly basis for the first year.

ACTAC has chosen to utilize Smallprint’s mapping of units at this point due to a number of factors.

  • The principal is experienced with this mapping and has found it to be valid and relevant
  • The principal has witnessed new trainers use this mapping with ease.
  • This mapping can be consistently applied in a range of assessment situations.
  • This mapping style fits effectively with the RTO’s TAS.

Due to ACTAC being new the principal will review this mapping on a monthly basis to ascertain if any gaps are identified. If so ACTAC will develop its own evidence gathering methods, assessment tools or activities to address these gaps.

ACTAC has developed an extensive assessment policy and plan for ongoing systematic validation of assessment practices and judgements.

ACTAC will ensure assessment validation takes for each training product at least once every five years with at least 50% of products validated within the first three years of each five year cycle.

ACTAC has taken the relative risks into account and given ACTAC’s newness it has reduced the five years to three years, this ensures that each training package will be validated at least once in the first three years of operation.

ACTAC will involve one or more persons who are not directly involved in the particular instance of training and assessment of te particular training product and ad have:

  • Vocational competencies
  • Current industry relevant skills
  • Current vocational knowledge and skills
  • A training an assessment qualification (TAE40110 or higher)

None of the courses on ACTAC’s scope are deemed as high risk at this time.

Validation outcomes will be documented in the mapping policy and trainers will receive written notification of the changes and how they are to be acted on. The implementation of the outcomes will be assessed and validated in the following monthly validation meeting and any changes or inconsistencies in implementation will be addressed.

Graduation and Certification

 Once you have completed your course, you will receive the following:
• Testamur – students who successfully complete all course requirements will be issued with a certificate of completion.

  • Academic Transcript (for Nationally Recognised qualifications only) – this record follows AQF guidelines and is a list of the competencies you have achieved.
  • Student Assessment Record (or Grades Letter) – this record shows all assessment tasks completed and the grades achieved.

A Registered Training Organisation issues a Statement of Attainment when an individual has completed one or more units of competency from a Nationally Recognised Training qualification. To find a detailed description of the units of competency within your course, please contact ACTAC.

To be awarded your Nationally Recognised Training qualification, Statement of Attainment, you must have:

  • Successfully completed all assessments and work placement
  • Been deemed to be competent in all your areas of study and
  • Met all your financial obligations.

 

Policy Acknowledgement:

It is a condition of enrolement with ACTAC that all students sign the “Enrolement Form”. By singing the enrolment for you acknowledge that you have read and understood ACTAC’s policies and procedures, including this communication policy and agree that you will make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with these policies and procedures. By signing this form, students acknowledge and agree to be bound by all of ACTAC’s policies. This is completed to ensure that students understand what our rules are, why they must be adhered to and that action may be taken if any policy is not adhered to. In accordance with best practice this practice will be subject to an annual review.