Your trainer and assessor files (Part 5 of 5)

July 4, 2019

 

In the last newsletter we discussed the following: 

 

  • The definition of a “trainer matrix”

  • ASQA Guidelines on “trainer matrix” 

  • What must be included in a “trainer matrix” 

  • Who must complete the skills matrix in your RTO?

  • The trainer file and checklist 

 

In part 5 of the series, we will discuss common errors and non-compliance identified in trainer and assessor files. 

 

Your RTO must maintain compliant and complete trainer and assessor files and records. You must make sure that all trainer and assessor files demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements and are free from errors and non-compliance. 

 

The most common errors and non-compliance in trainer and assessor files and solutions to rectify them as soon as possible:  

 

Non-compliance number 1: Incomplete trainer files without inclusion of relevant evidence

 

Explanation: Our experience tells us this is one of the biggest non-compliances.  Trainers and assessors presenting files that are incomplete to an auditor. Incomplete files may include: 

  • All evidence referred to in the trainer matrix and their resume not made available to the auditor 

  • Trainer files containing outdated and not properly version controlled documents and forms 

  • Trainer documents are not stored according to the documented policies and procedures 

  • Trainer file contains irrelevant and/or incorrect information 

 

Solution: Make sure your policy and procedure have clear guidelines on: 

 

  • What should be included in each trainer file 

  • How information should be presented in each trainer file 

  • The documents and version numbers that should be used to collect information from trainers and assessors. 

  • Regular audits of your trainer files

 

Non-compliance number 2: Accuracy of the documents can not be established 

 

Explanation: It is the RTO’s responsibility to ensure they complete due-diligence at the recruitment of trainers and assessors. Establishing accuracy and validity of all the documents is one of the most important steps. 

 

Solution: Make sure you establish the accuracy of all documents. The accuracy of documents can be established by, but not limited to: 

 

  • Ensuring all copies of the original documents are sighted and verified by initials of the staff responsible

  • Conducting a reference check according to the organisational procedure and guidelines 

  • Making sure you verify that all the academic documents are genuine and original by approaching the relevant institutes that has issued them

  • Ensuring all verified copies of evidence are available in the trainer file, as required.

 

Non-compliance number 3: Trainer/Assessor engagement with the RTO has not been documented 

 

Explanation: The RTO must ensure that the documents or trainer files they use belong to the trainers they have legally contracted or recruited. They cannot and must not use documents of a trainer that has not been recruited by the organisation. Therefore, the trainer association and engagement with the RTO must be established through documented processes. 

 

Solution: You must ensure that you have copies of all the documents mentioned below: 

 

  • Job offer letter 

  • Copy of a signed position description 

  • Copy of a signed contract even if you have trainers and assessors as contractors 

  • The resume does include the trainer’s job-role and responsibilities at the RTO 

 

Non-compliance number 4: VET currency has not been documented properly or there is inadequate VET currency. 

 

Explanation: The RTO has not documented the vocational education and training knowledge and experience of their trainers. 

 

Solution: 

 

  • Encourage your trainers to participate in the resource validation processes and document their participation using compliant validation forms 

  • Organise professional development sessions for your trainers and assessors from VET experts. You must keep the evidence of participation for compliance reasons.  

  • Subscribing to VET and RTO newsletters and magazines also helps your trainers and assessors. Make sure they keep a PD log of what they read, where they read it, what they learned and how they implemented the learning.

  • Participation in VET forums and discussions such as LinkedIn is also helpful.

  • Participation in VET seminars, conferences and workshops, (particularly the ones delivered by the regulatory bodies), are excellent ways to demonstrate vocational education and training knowledge and currency. 

 

Non-compliance number 5: Their industry currency has not been documented properly or there is inadequate industry currency 

 

Explanation: The RTO has not documented industry currency and experience of their trainers. 

 

Solution: In many situations, trainers and assessors may be working in the industry sector and this can be used as evidence for industry currency. Where this is not the case, currency needs to be established through different mediums such as:

 

  • Attending trade events, workshops, conferences, technical seminars and other industrial events  

  • Reading industry magazines and journals (subscription and notes taken)

  • Undertaking online research (and have documented logs of these activities)

  • Engaging in industry networks

  • Participating in LinkedIn groups

  • Product manufacturer/vendor training

 

Each RTO has to consider relevant factors, ideally in consultation with industry, to determine an appropriate currency period. This will depend on how static or how fast the industry is developing and changing.  In general, any experience that is 2 years or older will not be considered current.

 

Non-compliance number 6: The vocational currency has not been documented properly or there is inadequate vocational currency. 

 

Explanation: The RTO has not documented the vocational currency of their trainers. To provide training that reflects current ind