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Edition 12; Winter, 2013

A Message from … the President, VETIG, Ed Spink Welcome to the winter edition of our newsletter. It has now been a year since the National VET Regulator (NVR) assumed responsibility for Queensland RTO. With this big change, there was bound to be some uncertainty. … Click here for more

the Editor, Wendy Nichols On a recent cold evening, the smell of mulled wine was enough to start our family thinking about having a “Christmas in July” next year. It sounds reasonable, to enjoy a hot food feast in the middle of winter with the warm company of friends and family. It is the notion of togetherness (without the mulled wine) that is the focus of this edition. Click here for more

National and State VET Round Up Wow! Look at the list of what’s happening in VET land. Thank goodness you belong to a network that helps you keep up-to-date with your profession. Click here for more

Questions & Answers Our Q&A in this edition suggests that not all trainers in the VET sector recognise their responsibility to beClick up-to-date, only with here fornot more their subject area, but with what is happening in VET land. Click here for more SC

Tips and Hints Feedback from Events Since our Autumn issue, both VETIG members and non-members have had the chance to attend three breakfast sessions on a range of topics, as well as participate in VETIG’s Annual General Meeting. Click here for more

Contributions from Members There is no crossword in this edition. Instead, we hear from one of VETG’s newest committee members. Belinda Cunningham volunteered to tell us a little about herself and share her thoughts on professional networks and the challenges facing VET professionals. Click here for more

Here are some networking tips straight from “the horses’ mouths” – VETIG members! Click here for more

Think Pieces How involved are you in your professional network/s? Do you feel you really belong to a group of like-minded practitioners? Click here for more

How-to Our guest contributer to this issue is Simon Brown who presented a very successful session about Networking, at the EyeQ conference last year. Click here for more


A Message … from the President, VETIG, Ed Spink Welcome to the winter edition of our newsletter. It has now been a year since the National VET Regulator (NVR) assumed responsibility for Queensland RTO. With this big change, there was bound to be some uncertainty. Thankfully though there is an ever-increasing amount of information being made available as issues are identified to clarify these uncertainties. VETIG strives to provide its members with all updates as they come to hand as well as provide information and clarification at our various functions. The theme of this newsletter is on communities/networking. Through networking we are able to receive updated information and have informed discussion about issues that arise within the VET sector. The aim of VETIG is to provide resources through which its members can network. The breakfast and workshops are two such resources. I encourage VETIG members to attend these functions and to participate in discussions and sharing of ideas and best practices. Since our AGM in April a number of new members have joined our committee. The new members are Carolyn Claridge, Belinda Cunningham, Bill Cadden and Michael Mead. I welcome these members to the committee and look forward to working with all the committee members over the next 12 months. We appreciate members taking the time to provide us with feedback at functions and we do take note of your comments. Our planning for future activities is informed by this feedback. I look forward to catching up with many of you at future functions. Cheers, Ed

… from the Editor, Wendy Nichols On a recent cold evening, the smell of mulled wine was enough to start our family thinking about having a “Christmas in July” next year. It sounds reasonable, to enjoy a hot food feast in the middle of winter with the warm company of friends and family. It is the notion of togetherness (without the mulled wine) that is the focus of this edition. As a group of volunteers, VETIG relies totally on the good will and enthusiasm of its committee and members – our training ‘family’. In particular, this newsletter is produced only with the help of members and other industry colleagues whom we identify and approach through our network/community contacts. I hope you enjoy reading the articles in this issue and perhaps you will consider making a similar contribution to a future edition. We are happy to help if you are ready and willing but a little unsure; just let us know – email the Editor at wendylou@iprimus.com.au . Until next time, happy training! Cheers, Wendy


National and State VET Round Up NSSC announces Standards Review Update The Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (SCOTESE) endorsed the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) standards policy framework, Improving Vocational Education and Training: the Australian Vocational Qualification System as the basis for drafting standards for the regulation of VET. The NSSC has released a Special Bulletin about the endorsement and the next steps for the VET sector. Find out more about the standards policy framework from the NSSC website.

ASQA Update The following updates have also been published on the ASQA website:             

Changes to training requirements for liquor and gaming employees in Queensland – 18 June 2013 Multi Sector Project Update – 17 June 2013 Data provision requirements – 17 June 2013 NSSC Standards Review Update – 10 June 2013 ASQA Chief Commissioner interview about the importance of VET regulation - 5 June 2013 ASQA Update | Issue 20 | May 2013 - 1 June 2013 Course Accreditation Feedback Questionnaire, May 2013 - 31 May 2013 Payment options for applications entered via ASQAnet - 31 May 2013 Latest Unique Student Identifier (USI) news - 31 May 2013 2013 Student Outcomes Survey - 31 May 2013 Quality indicator data submission: reminder - 31 May 2013 Latest ASQAnet release - 31 May 2013 New fact sheets and forms: accredited courses – 21 May

Access updates from ASQA, read their 'Latest news' section here.

Training Package endorsements The NSSC endorsed the following Training Packages at its 17 June 2013 meeting AgriFood Skills Australia  AHC10 (version 6) Agriculture, horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package  MTM11 (version 4) Australian Meat Industry Training Package Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council  CHC Community Services Training Package


HLT Health Training Package

Service Skills Australia  SIF Funeral Services Training Package Innovation and Business Skills Australia  FNS10 (version 5) Financial Services Training Package Manufacturing Skills Australia  PMB07 (version 2) Plastics, Rubber and Cablemaking Training Package  PMA08 (version 4) Chemical, Hydrocarbon and Refining Training Package

VET activity reporting for all RTOs The Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIICCSRTE) has updated their website to state that, 'to support increased access to Vocational Education and Training (VET) information, reporting requirements for training providers are changing from 1 January 2014,' as a result of recent outcomes from the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (SCOTESE) meeting on 7 June 2013. As stated on the DIICCSRTE website page titled 'Vocational Education and Training (VET) activity reporting for all Registered Training Organisations (RTOs)', SCOTESE agreed on 7 June 2013 to arrangements for the introduction of mandatory reporting of training activity by RTOs. For more information on the introduction of enhanced reporting requirements for RTOs, click here. Read the SCOTESE communiqué from the meeting on 7 June 2013.

Recent VET publications           

NCVER - Structures in tertiary education and training: a kaleidoscope or merely fragments? Research readings – 24 June 2013 NCVER - Socioeconomic disadvantage and participation in tertiary education: preliminary thoughts - 18 June 2013 NCVER - AVETMISS R6.1 validation software: Software patch 6.61 - 14 June 2013 NCVER - Training and its impact on the casual employment experience - 12 June 2013 DERN - Student expectations - 13 June 2013 NCVER - Training and its impact on the casual employment experience - 12 June 2013 APO - Learning as a driver for change - 12 June 2013 NCVER - 21st National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference 'No Frills' refereed papers - 7 June 2013 NCVER - Student income support and education and training participation in Australia - 5 June 2013 NCVER - Student income support and education and training participation in Australia: research overview - 5 June 2013 NCVER - Students and courses 2012: preliminary data - 4 June 2013


            

NCVER - Student and courses 2012: publicly funded training providers - 4 June 2013 NCVER - Australian vocational education and training statistics: apprentices and trainees 2012 - December quarter - 30 May 2013 DERN - Teens and social media - 30 May 2013 NCVER - Australian vocational education and training statistics: apprentices and trainees 2012 - December quarter - 30 May 2013 DERN - Learning analytics - 23 May 2013 Queensland Government Treasury and Trade - A Plan: Better Services for Queenslanders April 2013 AHRC - Women in male-dominated industries: A toolkit of strategies - 21 May 2013 NCVER - Apprentices and trainees 2013 - early trend estimates, March quarter - 17 May 2013 Australian Government - Budget 2013-14 - 14 May 2013 APO - Strategically strengthening learning and teaching leadership in the creative arts through the createEd network - 13 May 2013 DERN - Integrating digital technologies - 9 May 2013 IBSA - Digital literacy and e-skills: participation in the digital economy report - 9 May 2013 NCVER - Student load and employment outcomes attached to mid-level qualifications - 8 May 2013

Recent VET newsletters                        

Mskills Update – 25 June 2013 Taking the Lead E-news Flash - 19 June 2013 WorldSkills Australia - SkillNews June - 19 June 2013 Energy Skills Queensland The Skill Connection - 18 June 2013 QTIC e-newsletter - 18 June 2013 TLISC Update - 17 June 2013 TDA Newsletter - 17 June 2013 ACPET National Monday Update - 17 June 2013 VRQA E-news - 17 June 2013 NCVER Data Support Bulletin - 17 June 2013 QLD DETE Education Views - 14 June 2013 NCVER News #306 - 13 June 2013 AEI Update Winter 2013 - 13 June 2013 AgriFood Skills Australia May 2013 | Issue 35 - 13 June 2013 COAG Reform Council inBrief - 13 June 2013 Energy Skills Queensland - 12 June 2013 CISC Update Newsletter - 12 June 2013 TDA Newsletter - 11 June 2013 ACPET National Monday Update - 10 June 2013 WA DTWD VETinfo Newsletter - 10 June 2013 SCOTESE communiqué - 7 June 2013 NSSC Special Bulletin 05 - 7 June 2013 QLD DETE Education Views - 7 June 2013 AAT Info Service E-newsletter Issue 228 - 7 June 2013


                                  

COAG Reform Council inBrief - 5 June 2013 IBSA Escan 2013 Industry Consultations - 4 June 2013 SSA Taking the Lead E-Newsletter Issue 32 - 3 June 2013 TDA Newsletter - 3 June 2013 ACPET National Monday Update - 3 June 2013 Training Packages@Work - 3 June 2013 ASQA Update | May 2013 - 31 May 2013 NCVER Newsletter #305 - 30 May 2013 CS&HISC Newsletter - 30 May 2013 QLD DETE Education Views - 30 May 2013 Skills Queensland e-newsletter May 2013 - 29 May 2013 Mskills Update May 2013 - 28 May 2013 myfuture news May 2013 - 27 May 2013 TDA Newsletter - 27 May 2013 ACPET National Monday Update - 27 May 2013 COAG Reform Council inBrief - 24 May 2013 SSA Newsletter May 2013 - 24 May 2013 QLD DETE Education Views - 23 May 2013 National VET E-learning Strategy Flex e-News May 2013 edition - 23 May 2013 The Skill Connection News - 21 May 2013 TLISC Newsletter - 20 May 2013 CISC Newsletter - 20 May 2013 TDA Newsletter - 20 May 2013 ACPET National Monday Update - 20 May 2013 NCVER News #304 - 16 May 2013 QTIC Newsletter - 16 May 2013 DETE Education Views - 16 May 2013 IBSA News - 15 May 2013 ForestWorks Skills Update - 14 May 2013 VETinfo News - 13 May 2013 QTIC Newsletter - 13 May 2013 TDA Newsletter - 13 May 2013 ACPET National Monday Update - 13 May 2013 DETE Education Views - 10 May 2013 IBSA News - 9 May 2013

Conferences 2013 Australian Council for Adult Literacy Conference, “Local Practices – Global Contexts”, Sydney, September 30-October 2. For more information: http://www.acal.edu.au/13conf/ 22nd National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference (No Frills); Mooloolaba 10-12 July 2013. See more at: http://www.ncver.edu.au/newsevents/trconf/trconf22.html VELG’s 2013 National VET Conference – Evolve, Adapt, Embrace – 19-20 September, Melbourne http://www.velgtraining.com/national-conference


Useful links

MSA Numeracy Resource – this download had a few problems at the time we published the original link. The glitches have now been corrected so please try this link: http://www.mskills.com.au/online-products/product/Putting-the-Jigsaw-Together ASQA Media and Publications http://www.asqa.gov.au/media-and-publications/latest-news.html Communique for Standing Council on Tertiary Education Skills & Employment (SCOTESE) http://www.scotese.natese.gov.au/communiques Industry Skills Councils http://www.isc.org.au/ NSSC – New Training Package Standards & Policies http://www.nssc.natese.gov.au/training_packages National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) – Review of standards for the regulation of VET http://www.nssc.natese.gov.au/standards_review Training.gov.au www.training.gov.au Unique Student Identifier (USI) initiative for VET http://www.innovation.gov.au/Skills/National/UniqueStudentIdentifierForVET/Pages/default.aspx


Feedback from Events “What’s Happening with HR & other VET Matters?” - Breakfast VETIG’s Eighth Annual General Meeting 24 April, 2013 at Alan Border Field, Bogan Street, Breakfast Creek Presenter: Ed Spink The President of VETIG, Ed Spink, facilitated this breakfast. Ed led a discussion about the NSSC Determination for Trainers and Assessors, which will take effect from 1 July 2013, and the implications for maintaining the currency of trainers and assessors. Participants offered questions and comments especially in relation to professional development and its documentation. VETIG’s Eighth Annual General Meeting was held before the breakfast. All 2012 office-bearers retained their positions for another year. As well, four new members boosted the composition of VETIG’s committee. (Ed welcomes new committee members in his President’s Message.)

“RPL – An Evidence-Based Process - Breakfast 29 May, 2013 at Riverglenn, Kate Street, Indooroopilly Presenter: John Price Feedback on this session indicated that John Price remains one of VET’s most popular and experienced presenters. Participants were both entertained and informed by John who has the knack of making the topic of RPL fun and interesting. Participants new to VET “learned a lot” whilst experienced participants confirmed their own practices or were inclined to revisit and improve existing practices.

“New Funding available to RTOs” - Breakfast 26 June, 2013 at Kedron-Wavell Services Club, Hamilton Road, Chermside South Presenter: Steve Mathieson, Executive Director, Skills Investment Department of Education, Training and Employment This session was very popular with both VETIG members and non-members as evidenced by the attendance figure of 64. Funding arrangements are important but can be very boring. However in this session, there was not one yawn! Participants were fully focused on the topic, which was presented in a very clear, pragmatic and engaging manner. Questions and answers also helped to clarify issues relating to the Queensland Government’s new approach to its investment in training. Mr Mathieson focused on the Certificate 3 Guarantee which, from 1 July 2013, will allow eligible Queenslanders to obtain their first post-school certificate level III qualification. For those wishing further information, please go to: http://deta.qld.gov.au/about/government-responses/great-skills.html http://training.qld.gov.au/information/investing-in-skills/index.html


Contributions from Members Our thanks go to our new VETIG committee member, Belinda Cunningham, Training Manager, for sharing her background and thoughts with us, in response to the questions posed by the Editor.

1.

How did you come to enter the VET sector?

As a qualified high school teacher one of my teaching ‘subjects’ contained a Certificate II in Business. This was my first introduction into VET. Although looking back now I realise that what I thought as a teacher, that I knew about competency based training and applied to the Certificate II, was really still very much criteria based assessment. The level that we were assessing the students was also way above an AQF level 2. Back then there was also no requirement for a teacher to have done the BSZ, TAA or TAE as it is now known so my VET knowledge was very limited, not that I thought that back then. It was not until I started working for a ‘real’ RTO and had to complete my TAA that I realised how little I knew about competency-based assessment. I had to swallow my pride and my 4 year teaching degree and become a trainer and assessor and learn about units of competencies. Here all I taught was VET and my real education in VET began. 2.

What roles (do) have you performed in the VET sector?

Once I started working full time in the above-mentioned RTO, which I had been in from the inception of the RTO, I trained for a few years. During this time I was included in several audits and loved all the compliance ‘stuff’, so for fun I completed a Diploma of auditing and became the quality assurance manager. I then progressed to the training manager at the same RTO. Presently I am a Training Manager at another RTO. 3.

For how long and in what way/s have you been associated with VETIG?

I have been attending VETIG breakfasts on and off over the last few years. This is my only association with VETIG. 4.

Why did you join the VETIG committee?

I like to be involved in some way with the VET community and keep my hand on the pulse so to speak. Also I would like to contribute to a VET community as well. 5.

What benefits do you derive from membership of a professional network?   

Representation to Government bodies when required Being kept up-to-date on the latest information Professional development


6.

What do you think are the biggest challenges for VET professionals?   

  

Keeping up-to-date with all the changes in the industry as they are constantly changing at the moment. Understanding all the lingo. Accessing good learning materials so we don't all have to write our own. It’s crazy to think that so many RTOs all train in the same qualifications and we mostly all write our own materials. The constant changes in training packages requiring rewriting or updating of resources. Maintaining currency of knowledge and skills. It’s too easy to get into the industry and there are too many people coming into the industry thinking that they want to be trainers but not really knowing enough, after just doing a TAA.


Questions & Answers Question: "I teach stand-alone numeracy subjects for a large RTO and have no real contact with other training packages or vocational courses. My manager has told me that, for audit purposes, I should join a VET network to show that my knowledge of VET is current. Is this really necessary when I am a registered (Maths) teacher and only work part-time for the RTO? "

Answer: The Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations (SNR 15.4 (d)) requires that trainers/assessors “continue to develop their vocational education and training (VET) knowledge and skills as well as their industry currency and trainer/assessor competence.� This is a requirement for all trainers/assessors delivering nationally recognised training in VET regardless of how much delivery of training and assessment is conducted in the VET sector. If the numeracy subjects in which you are delivering training form part of the nationally recognised training from a training package or accredited course then you will need to meet the requirements of the standard. Joining a VET network, and active participation in the network could be one of the sources a trainer/assessor uses to continually develop their VET knowledge.

Thanks to our President, Ed Spink, for his response to this question.


Tips and Hints – for Networking Here are some tips from VETIG members about being involved in professional networks: 

Stay involved on a continual basis

Be not only present on social media but be active! Engage!

A network needs a facilitator/driver. Are you that person?

Follow up personal introductions with an email.

At functions: 

wear a name tag with a silly name

take business cards to hand out to other attendees

introduce yourself to 10 new people

Participate in industry events

Reflect on what you learn at/from your networks; even document that learning and/or show how it has helped to improve your practices

Utilise the network as a source of professional development which contributes to your vocational and/or training-assessment currency

Encourage communication; be aware of your own body language - smile; be friendly and approachable

If you say you will be in contact with someone – then get in contact! Have that cup of coffee!

If you have any useful tips/hints for fellow VET practitioners to enhance their training and/or assessment practices, then please share them with VETIG members by emailing them to the Editor at wendylou@iprimus.com.au.


Think Piece A sense of belonging? It is heart warming to read a news item where a community has rallied together to overcome a hardship or challenge or to advocate for some cause. Perhaps you have belonged to such a community in your personal life. I wonder though, how many of us, experience this sense of community in our professional lives. I am fortunate to have had that pleasure a number of years ago when I managed national projects that helped to promote and establish, in Queensland and interstate, communities of practice for VET professionals who delivered the trainer/assessor qualification (by whatever name). We were experienced practitioners who shared a passion for training and assessment, who wanted to improve our training and assessment practices and who were willing to share our ideas and knowledge and to learn from others. These are the three basic features of a community of practice – the domain, the practice and the community. Etienne Wegner and Jean Lave coined the term “community of practice” in 1991*. It was a catchy term for an age-old method of informal learning. A Community of Practice was/is distinguished from a network (and perhaps other groups), which may be seen as a collection of individuals who have a common interest and who may seek advice, express opinions and exchange information. The element of a shared commitment to the domain is less apparent. This element of reciprocity is essential if a group is to be labelled as a Community of Practice. However it does take something special to form and nurture an environment where practitioners feel their contribution will be valued no matter their status, where they can feel this sense of belonging to a group of individuals of like mind – professional kindred spirits!! One special ingredient is Trust – with a capital T. How does this happen? Well, it is certainly helped by one or more individuals who demonstrate and encourage appropriate interpersonal qualities and behaviours such as respect, active listening, kindness, patience, tolerance and honesty. An appropriate physical environment can also help to make people feel comfortable, as does the removal of any obvious signs of rank or status of individuals. And never underestimate the value of humour. Years ago, when I presented the notion of forming a community of practice to a group of fellow practitioners (many of whom are still VETIG members) I shared an embarrassing moment with them. I’ll share it with you now, though it sounds better when it is told as a story -but in very brief terms: When I was taking down a phone message at work, I wondered why two pens wouldn’t write on the yellow Post-It note. Simple really – what I thought was a yellow Post-It note, was actually a slice of Kraft cheese that my work-mate had left on her desk! (There was another punch line but I won’t go into that now.)


The group to whom I was presenting thought it was hilarious. More importantly though, the exercise lightened the discussion and it showed that in some groups you can feel comfortable enough to share an embarrassing moment. If so, then it should be possible to create a safe environment where sharing your ideas, experiences and knowledge (both explicit and implicit) will come easily. Networks have their role, as do hobby groups and professional associations. Communities of Practice have their role. What people want to get out of a group but more crucially, what they are willing to put into a group determines the nature of the collective and what it is labelled – but does that even matter? For me, what matters is not what the group is called but rather, how it functions and my own sense of belonging. I hope that, at some stage in your professional life, you do experience that sense of community. For many, VETIG may be that community.

Wendy Nichols *Lave, Jean; Wenger, Etienne (1991). Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-42374-0.; first published in 1990 as Institute for Research on Learning report 90-0013


How-to … Starting and maintaining your professional network Building a professional network will not make a lot of money for you but it will help you to excel in your chosen craft. A professional network can be like a mirror from which we gain a view of ourselves operating in a public forum. Self-reflection is like daily exercise taken to examine our thoughts, deeds, words and actions. At work we have Key Performance Indicators to prod us awake lest we fall asleep marvelling at our own beauty. A professional network is a public place where peers kindly critique each other’s skills and abilities. Engaging in a professional network helps to moderate our public voice. Not like the words of the character Roy (played by Barry Otto) from the Australian film Cosi: “I know you can take criticism Jerry, because you must get a lot of it.” Be kind. 'Knowledge is Power' - just how many nuts can you eat? I found that instead, 'Sharing Knowledge is Power' Give a little, get a little back. Building a support network helps us to survive 'in the system': from more experienced colleagues, we can source solutions to shared problems. It is more comfortable to gravitate to those groups where we consider it is safe to ask the questions to which we need answers, and safe to contribute to the conversation. It is in these environments that knowledge sharing happens, but it takes time to build trust. Be patient. Traditionally, people have networked via face-to-face events, telephone, email and via newsletters. Nowadays, social media networking tools – such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, Yammer and LinkedIn - play an important role. The Commoncraft Youtube video clip: Social Networking in Plain English: http://youtu.be/6a_KF7TYKVc explains the value of using this mode of networking. There is much to be gained by reaching out and participating in an existing professional network, either as mentor to others less experienced than you, or as a seeker of advice and encouragement. Go to where other professionals are gathering, and join in the conversation.

Our thanks are extended to Simon Brown, Teacher, at SkillsTech Australia for his contribution. Simon based this article on his popular presentation – First Steps: Starting and Maintaining your professional network at EyeQ 2012 – VET Ideas Worth Sharing, October 20, 2012.

Edition 12 Winter 2013  

VETIG Newsletter

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