Good morning Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) and Skills Service Organisations (SSOs),
At its 45th meeting on 12 April 2022, the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) approved a number of training projects; made some important amendments to the IRC Operating Framework and approved a Good Practice Guide for mandatory workplace requirements (along with related changes to Case for Change and Case for Endorsement templates). Further details are provided in the communique as well as in the newsletter below.
On behalf of the AISC, I am also happy to report that the training product development (TPD) programme for 2022 is off to a good start: 70 TPD projects are currently in train with the vast majority of these progressing well. Due to the hard deadlines at the end of 2022 for the current system, it is critical for this momentum to continue, as we head towards August and the last few remaining meetings of the AISC when most of these projects are due for submission. As always, the AISC is happy to support IRCs to ensure training projects can be completed on time and before the end of the transition year. If you believe we can assist in anyway, please don’t hesitate to contact the Secretariat in the first instance.
Also, as many of you would have seen, Skills Ministers have now agreed that a new training product assurance function will be established within ASQA, initially from 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2024. Skills Ministers have agreed to undertake a post-implementation review of the new industry engagement arrangements to assess whether the system is working as intended, and to make improvements where needed. ASQA will initially take on the training product assurance function until 31 December 2024, subject to the outcomes of this review.
The AISC is committed to working with ASQA and the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (the Department) in 2022 to support a smooth transition to the new industry engagement arrangements, as outlined in a statement from the AISC. Further information on the assurance function is available on the Skills Reform website.
Thank you all for your continued work so far in our transition year.
AISC meeting update
The AISC has held its 45th meeting since the last newsletter. The meeting communique can be found on the AISC website. Two key meeting outcomes are highlighted below.
Updates to the IRC Operating Framework
- New conflict of interest provisions to better identify, declare and manage conflicts of interest.
- An updated section on the scheduling and commissioning of TPD work to reflect transition arrangements and the wind-down of the TPD Programme.
- Revisions for IRC membership reflecting the AISC’s previous decisions on extending memberships to 31 December 2022 and filling vacancies on a case-by-case basis.
Supporting material has also been developed to assist IRCs and SSOs with identifying, declaring and managing conflicts of interest. These include a Register of Interests template, Conflict of Interest Decision Tree, Conflict of Interest Checklist for IRCs and SSOs and Case Studies. We hope that these resources will also be helpful on an ongoing basis for stakeholders in the new industry engagement arrangements.
Further information on the updates to the IRC Operating Framework and the supporting material is available on the AISC website newsroom.
Mandatory Workplace Requirements (MWR): Good Practice Guide and advice for training product developers
As part of its 2020 review of the impact of COVID-19 on MWR, the AISC agreed to develop advice for training product developers where MWR are being considered for inclusion in training products.
This advice has now been finalised and the MWR Good Practice Guide (the Guide) is available on the AISC website.
The Guide aims to support good practice, consistency and clarity when determining, justifying and drafting MWR for inclusion in training products. It is framed around five good practice principles to apply when developing training products and sets out a series of steps that should be followed in the training product development process.
As part of the MWR project, the AISC has also agreed to immediate changes to the Case for Change (CfC) and Case for Endorsement (CfE) templates which are to be used for any training products going to the AISC from the August 2022 meeting onwards.
More information on MWR including links to the Guide and new templates is available on the AISC website newsroom.
Quality Assurance Panel Arrangements
The Department is progressing extensions for the Training Package Quality Assurance panel members until 31 December 2022 after which time the Panel and its function will cease. This is in line with the date for termination of the current TPD Programme.
An updated list of the panel members will be published on the AISC website when finalised.
National Skills Commission: Australian Skills Classification expanded
On Friday 1 April 2022, the National Skills Commission’s Australian Skills Classification (ASC) 2.0 went live. The ASC is an interactive tool for discovering the breadth of skills that underpin Australian jobs.
Since its launch a year ago, the ASC has undergone a number of updates and now provides even more up-to-date information on skills that employers are asking for and that are growing in importance in today’s dynamic labour market.
The ASC now has greater coverage of occupations with VET pathways and incorporates specialisations of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), to allow the introduction of roles that are growing in importance in the labour market, like Solar Installer and Wind Turbine Technician.
Other enhancements include the addition of over 500 new skills profiles, bringing the total number to 1,100.
National Industry Insights Report: 2021/22 National Skills Overview
The 2021/22 National Skills Overview is now live on the National Industry Insights Report website. The National Skills Overview provides high-level analysis of industry skills needs, and the factors and trends affecting the demand for skills at a national and cross-industry level. It comprises four key sections:
The NIIR website has been developed for the AISC by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).
The final report to support a National Recovery Training Program has been finalised by Australian Industry Standards (AIS) and is now available on the AISC website. Between July and December 2021, the Department commissioned AIS to identify common competency requirements for job roles related to disaster recovery. AIS also developed a Capability Matrix and recommendations for nationally recognised training products to support consistency in the development of the Australian recovery workforce.
The Public Safety IRC has been tasked with developing units of competency to address this identified gap with the first tranche of training product development endorsed by the AISC at the 12 April 2022 meeting. This project is due for completion by August 2022.