Mandatory Workplace Requirements: Good Practice Guide and advice for training product developers

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In 2020, the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) completed a review of the impact of COVID-19 on mandatory workplace requirements (MWR) in training products. One of its findings was a lack of clarity and consistency in the descriptions of these requirements, leading to delivery issues and confusion among training product users.

The AISC has implemented several actions to support students, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and employers. Following focus group discussions last year with stakeholders including Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) and the Training Package Quality Assurance Panel, the AISC has approved a MWR Good Practice Guide.

MWR Good Practice Guide

The MWR Good Practice Guide (The Guide) aims to provide consistency and clarity to training product developers when determining, justifying, and drafting MWR for inclusion in training products.

The Guide is framed around five good practice principles to apply when developing training products:

  1. Necessary – based on needs expressed by industry
  2. Achievable – able to be implemented by RTOs and employers
  3. Justified – based on valid rationale
  4. Defined – clearly stated in the training product
  5. Supported – backed by support information and guidance

To support the principles, the Guide sets out a series of steps that should be followed in the training product development process. Information provided in the Guide includes:

  • consulting and building an evidence base in support of MWR, ensuring there is a clear and persuasive rationale
  • consistent representation of MWR in the qualification and units of competency
  • other supports that can be provided, including in the companion volume implementation guide.

The Guide has been drafted to be consistent with the current requirements under the Training Package Organising Framework (TPOF).

A one-page summary of the Guide has been developed and is available here.

Updates to the Case for Change and Case for Endorsement templates

In addition, the AISC has agreed changes to the Case for Change and Case for Endorsement templates to ensure that the requirements for, and evidence in support of MWR are clear. The templates:

  • require training product developers to refer to the process set out in the MWR Good Practice Guide
  • request additional information around consultations/negotiations with stakeholders regarding the inclusion of MWR, including reasons as to why it is not possible to replicate the workplace as an assessment option
  • ask that qualifications that list units of competency with MWR are explicitly identified.

The new templates should be used for any training products going to the AISC from August 2022 onwards.

Together, the MWR Good Practice Guide and the changes to the CfC and CfE templates aim to improve users’ understanding of and satisfaction with training products. They form part of several actions the AISC has undertaken to support students, RTOs and employers in relation to the inclusion of MWR in training products.

For any queries in relation to this MWR advice, please contact the AISC Secretariat at AISCSecretariat@dese.gov.au.