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How often do Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) meet?

The number of meetings depends on the level of activity scheduled for the year.

IRCs hold at least one face-to-face meeting per year where members get together to discuss industry sector priorities and their IRC’s training product development work. Some meetings may be held by videoconference or teleconference.

What is discussed at an IRC Meeting?

Meetings cover discussions about industry sector priorities and the relevant development and review of training packages.

How are meeting decisions and outcomes recorded?

IRC members agree on a process for making decisions that suits their particular IRCs circumstances and scope.

This is a formal process that includes:

  • putting a motion to the meeting and someone seconding the motion
  • giving all members a chance to speak for or against the motion
  • agreeing on a two-thirds majority in cases where not everyone is in favour
  • having a Skills Service Organisation (SSO) representative attend and take minutes of the meeting to record discussions, decisions and agreed actions.

What is a meeting quorum?

A quorum is the minimum number of IRC members necessary to hold a committee meeting and make decisions. In this case, it is half the number of IRC members plus one.

A quorum of members may hold additional meetings as required, depending on available budget.

Who organises and pays for the meetings?

SSOs are funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment (the Department) to support IRC activities.

Each IRC and their SSO agree on the type and level of support for meetings.

They sign Memorandums of Understanding that outline how the SSO will:

  • provide secretariat services for meetings, such as circulating agenda and meeting papers before the meeting
  • arrange and book travel for IRC members who are attending any face-to-face meetings
  • cover reasonable travel and accommodation costs—up to $10,000 a year per IRC.

What are the travel requirements for IRC members?

Meetings are mostly held by videoconference or teleconference, minimising travel requirements. Where possible a face-to-face meeting occurs once a year. 

What support is available to IRC members?

SSOs support IRCs to do their work. This includes:

  • arranging videoconference or teleconference meetings, requiring no travel or accommodation
  • arranging face-to-face meetings including travel and accommodation for IRC members 
  • covering any reasonable travel and accommodation costs—up to $10,000 a year per IRC
  • providing secretariat services to IRCs as agreed
  • preparing documentation for the Department including skills forecasts, proposed schedules of work, business cases and training packages.

It is possible to minimise IRC operational costs by:

  • organising face-to-face meetings around events that most members are already attending, such as annual industry conferences
  • using teleconferences or videoconferences instead of meeting in person
  • agreeing that part of an SSO’s funding for developing training packages will be used to support related IRC meetings.

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