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VET training

How will the changes to the RTO Standards affect schools and teachers?

VET in Schools is about to get a little more complex.

Key changes to the Standards for RTOs will impact on teachers delivering VET qualifications in their schools.   The changes released in February 2024 from DEWR state that “any teacher holding current teacher registration within their state will be allowed to deliver training in any VET context under supervision”.

What does this really mean?   Well to start with, someone within the school will need to have the appropriate TAE qualification to supervise teachers who are now training in any VET context without the knowledge and skills TAE qualifications impart.  This person will likely be the Head of Department perhaps responsible for multiple subject areas and year levels – already a huge task – without the added burden of effectively signing off multiple industry areas and training packages. 

Practically, this could result in a Head of Technology Studies having to micro-manage hospitality, construction, IT and childcare studies, teachers and qualifications.  Or even scarier, a Head of Senior Schooling responsible for the whole shebang, from supervising generalist teachers delivering VET qualifications, to compliance at a school RTO level.

And what does any VET context mean? Does this really imply that a teacher can go from teaching a grade 9 Maths class to delivering a Certificate III in Business despite having no real understanding of the VET system or experience in the industry? Or that a primary school teacher can be allocated to deliver the Certificate II in Health on the basis that they go to the gym and can complete the qualification quickly themselves?  This is a little frightening, especially for the credibility and sustainability of high quality vocational education.

At it’s very core, vocational training is all about developing work skills, so industry standards and trainers with a depth of understanding that only experience can impart, is crucial. And since the VET system generally, and training packages specifically, represent industry standards, all trainers and assessors should have a robust understanding of them. Many teachers do have a background in industry and exceptional classroom skills and make fabulous VET trainers. They too, gain valuable insight and practical skills for implementing VET in the classroom when they undertake a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

There is no doubt that degree qualified teachers have pedagogical, class management and a range of advanced delivery skills exceeding those addressed in a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.  Teachers can apply this understanding and delivery skillset to RPL or accelerate through the requirements of the TAE40122 qualification.  What’s left to learn after recognition is given to teacher qualifications and skills? – The VET system, understanding training packages, and competency based assessment, to list a few.  And these are all very different to curriculum even if the industry area is the same.  For example, Certificate II in Hospitality has distinctive requirements in comparison to Hospitality Studies.

Blueprint Career Development have long understood the need for a highly contextualised TAE program that delivers essential gap training to teachers after recognising their proficiency in general education. Our Accelerated Teacher Program was created when our founding Director, a degree qualified teacher, cross-checked her own teaching competencies to the Training and Assessment qualification.  From there, Blueprint developed a structured RPL pathway combined with gap training and assessment.

In December 2022, this concept was validated by the release of TAESS00024 - VET Delivered to School Students Teacher Enhancement Skill Set which is essentially the gap training teachers need to understand VET.  The key difference between this Skill Set and Blueprint’s Accelerated Teacher Program is the collection of RPL evidence that leads to the attainment of the full TAE40122.

The good news is that in order to have a strong foundational understanding of VET and how to implement it in schools, teachers now have 2 appropriate learning options:

  1. TAESS00024 VET Delivered to School Students Teacher Enhancement Skill Set.
  2. TAE40122 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (Accelerated Teacher Program)

Both of these will ensure teachers understand the VET framework and can unpack the requirements of their qualifications and units of competence.

The changes to Standards for RTO’s allows a third option which we’ve intentionally left off the list.  We think schools who are committed to the success of their VET programs, know the importance of having knowledgeable and skilled teachers.  This includes having an appropriate TAE qualification and industry expertise.