Seven Tips For Buying Training Resources For RTOs
Your Registered Training Organisation is only as good as the QUALITY of your training team, and training and assessment resources. Even with the best trainers, the quality of education suffers when using inadequate training resources. For this reason, it is critical to ensure that your RTO only selects training resources and assessment materials from trusted VET learning resource developers and publishers.
The decision to purchase quality training resources is crucial for your RTO’s survival and ability to succeed. This choice has a direct impact on your RTO’s, reputation, compliance, and the quality of your training and assessment outcomes. In their 2017 report, ASQA identified that around 80% of RTOs were non-compliant with Standard One at audit? Standard One relates directly to your assessment processes and the quality of your assessment tools. If your RTO does not have adequate quality controls in place when determining the training and assessment tools you use, your RTO will come unstuck VERY quickly and risk your ongoing registration.
In this article, we discuss the different criteria that constitute a great training resource for RTOs. These simple tips will give you an idea of what to look for when buying QUALITY training resources. Saving you the risk of non-compliance and failed audits that are both costly and could lead to the loss or suspension of your RTO.
Tip 1 – Start with a VALID Resource Sample for a Complete Unit
We have seen this before. Publishers and developers showcasing one or two of their BEST resource samples, as if they are representative of every qualification. This can be deceiving and misleads RTOs into thinking that they’ll be getting the same quality training material for every training resource they purchase.
To avoid making an error in judgment, be sure you get a sample of a specific unit from the qualification you are planning to purchase.
Tip 2 – Get Your Assessment Tool Sample Validated
We mentioned earlier that around 80% of RTOs FAIL audit due to Assessment Tools Quality. At TotalVET Training Resources we are constantly being asked to assist RTOs who have failed on assessment due to using poor third-party assessment tools.
A few hours of due diligence and properly validating these resources will save you from placing your RTO at the risk of suspension or even loss of registration. It could also save you thousands of dollars on rectifying poor resources, which is hugely time-consuming and costly. You would be crazy to miss this step.
You should always validate your training and assessment resource samples before spending a single dollar. The only remedy for a bad training resource is an expensive redevelopment or ASQA rectification. this generally cost a lot more than you paid in the first place.
Tip 3 – Are there Mapping Documents for the Assessment Tools?
Be sure to check that your assessment tools come with a complete set of mapping documents. This is to ensure that all unit requirements have been met helping you avoid a costly Audit. Mapping Documents save to time in Validating your Assessment tools and also assist auditors and compliance team at audit.
Tip 4 – Is the Correct Method of Assessment Used?
We see so often that “Off the Shelf’ Assessment Tools use non-compliant methods of assessment to determine the competency of leaners. Beware of any assessment task that asks a learner HOW they would do something, particularly if this is mapped to performance evidence (PEs) or performance criteria (PCs).
The only way to demonstrate competence in a performance task or criteria is to actually perform or DO the task. The evidence to support competency in completing this task should be an observation form that comprehensively spells out the specific level of performance for each observable skill. We see so many observation checklists that are literally copied and pasted PCs and PEs from the unit. These stick out like a sore thumb at audit and will result in critical non-compliances.
Tip 5 – Do The Learning Resources Support Amount of Training Requirements?
When buying training resources for RTOs, you need to select from learning resource that will assist your RTO in demonstrating that you meet the “amount of training requirements” for the qualification you are delivering. For instance, a Cert III requires a minimum of 1200hrs of training. Therefore, ASQA wants to see that your RTO has sufficient training and assessment resources to deliver training and assessment. The training resources you choose are critical in whether or not you will be able to demonstrate this at audit.
Look out for resources that use double spacing and lots of images to fill space, as these are generally light on content. You would expect to see double the number of pages where this kind of formatting is used. Some publishers use this as a trick to make it appear like they have more content than they do.
Where Are the Learning Activities?
Are there learning activities at the end of each section of the learner guides to reinforce learning and provide learners an opportunity to practice the knowledge and skills learned? They also contribute to the Volume of Learning OR Amount of Training requirements RTOs must demonstrate. One of the bigger resource publishers in Australia just have an activity heading and picture at the end of each section, but no actual activity. RTOs who mistakenly buy these resources, unfortunately, have to write hundreds of learning activities before they can use the resources. Very costly and time-consuming.
Training resource should come with a comprehensive set of learning materials that use a variety of instructional methods including formative assessment tasks, learning guides, power points, assessment workbooks, and further support resources.
Tip 6 – Is the Content Correct, Current and Comprehensive?
When buying training resources for RTOs, select from learning resource developers and publishers who work with subject matter experts and industry experts to ensure that training materials are current and up to date.
Training resource should come with a comprehensive set of learning materials that use a variety of instructional methods including formative assessment tasks, learning guides, session plans, assessment workbooks and more.
Before buying training resources for RTOs, check if it includes:
- Student Assessment Workbooks – complete set of assessment tasks that are used for evaluating your student’s level of comprehension
- Trainer Assessor Assessment materials – includes Benchmark Answers, Unit Mapping, Assessor Instructions for your trainers and assessors
- Mapping Document – lets you map each task against the unit of competency/training requirements
- Learner Guides – a comprehensive resource of information and learning content for your students. It should also include Learning Activities for formative assessment.
- Self-Study Guides – training resources that reinforce learning by letting your students develop a more personal approach to education
- PowerPoint Presentations – teaching strategy that is designed to present key learning points with the use of images, topic heading and key content notes
Tip 7 – Do They Come with the Right License?
Training resources come with two main license types; pay per student and unlimited license. While an unlimited license looks to be the most ideal, costs should also be considered. The first step in determining which license type is best for you is to determine the number of students you’ll be training. If you project a high number of enrollees, then an unlimited license makes sense.
Pay per student license – This type of license can run anywhere from $200 to $1000 per student completed qualification, depending on the qualification and its number of units and resource costs. This can work out to be really expensive for qualifications with high student numbers. While having a high student volume for your RTO is ideal, paying for additional licenses is not. If you project high student enrolments we recommend an Unlimited License
Unlimited Student License – avoid growing pains and enjoy the benefits of a successful RTO. Enroll as many students as you want without paying for additional student licenses. No additional payments required for learning materials and assessment tools. This is possible because training materials come in an editable digital format that allows you to create as many training materials as needed.
The Danger of Buying Low-Quality RTO Training Resources
We keep saying it, as we find the statistic incredible, 80 percent of RTOs were none compliant with Standard One at audit in 2017. RTOs should take this seriously since Standard 1 of the National Standards for RTOs 2015 is the largest of the Standards. Standard 1 specifically refers to training and assessment strategies and practices, validation, trainers, and training and assessment resources. RTOs buying Low-quality training resources are in danger of:
- Failure at Audit & Expensive Audit Rectifications
- Sanctions & Conditions on RTO Trading
- Loss or Suspension of RTO Registration
- Legal Action Against the Directors & CEOs in Breach of National Legislation
Where Can You Find RTO Training Resources?
You can get RTO Learning Resources from us here at TotalVET Training Resources. We have the largest range of Training Resources & Assessment Materials in Australia and have RTO resources from over seven different publishers. Remember all resources are not born equal and we always recommend you follow the processes above, no matter who you purchase your training resources from.