If you are operating in the South Australian training market then ‘get ready’ is the key message from the Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology (DFEEST). Get ready for:
- the application process to open in the last week or two of October 2011;
- the course (qualifications and skills sets/licence outcomes) list in November 2011 – could be a specialist occupation, state priority (such as Defence, Mining, Arts), foundation skills and/or meet specific industry needs; and
- the price list available in December 2011.
Prices will be detailed at a unit of competency level and will vary depending on AQF levels. The rates will be based upon an average of User Choice, Productivity Places Program and TAFESA’s recurrent funding amounts (referred to as FSI500) together with a comparison of interstate VET prices. Payments are planned on units of competency completion (RTOs will need to manage their cash flow well) paid on a monthly cycle with bonus payments for full completions.
Certificate I and II will be fully subsidised, Certificate III and IV 80% subsidised and Diploma and Advanced Diploma 70% subsidised with concessions available (Healthcare/Veterans Card) and 1 skills set/year for eligible applicants. DFEEST will publish a minimum and maximum fee to be paid to make up the difference between the subsidised % and the full costs. RPL will be fully funded.
The Quality Directorate is moving into the area of contract and purchasing quality. Applications for Skills for All will be online, no fees to apply, with no closing date and it’s recommended that the RTO’s CEO gain a log in. RTOs can work on their application over time until they are ready to ‘submit’ their submission. If providers submit in December 2o11, the Minister will make some providers an offer with contract negotiations over January – March 2012 and the first list of Skills for All providers will be made public in April 2012. Fact Sheet 2 Applying to be a Skills for All Provider procedure details the process for applications and assessments.
If you are a User Choice provider and want to continue after July 2012, you need to register as a Skills for All provider. Providers may also wish to register for VET fee help with the option of income contingent loans for students.
Now for the main game, what are the selection criteria (Fact Sheet 3) for providers? Well, it’s all about performance…
- regulatory record (information will be shared with DFEEST and the regulator, ASQA);
- contract compliance;
- financial health (of the whole organisation, not only the RTO);
- number of graduates;
- student and employer satisfaction (quality indicator reports via Training Packages); and
- graduate outcomes.
Tips for providers: focus on your strengths, where industry/client demand and your performance is high, where you have strong industry connections and excellent graduate outcomes.
DFEEST is taking an evidence based approach to Skills for All providers with data and evidence to be provided about:
- Meeting SA Guidelines for RTOs;
- Meeting student learning needs;
- the RTO;
- Training Package/s; and
- Each qualification.
Review Fact Sheet 4 Preparing to Apply to be a Skills for All Training Provider for all the details on specific evidence – if you don’t have a workforce plan for your RTO and/or a recent Training Needs Analysis then this has to be the catalyst!
A few final things..
- What RTOs put in their application will form part of the contract requirements;
- The contract will be monitored with an annual review, reporting and claims requirements, benchmarking across similar courses with triggers if you are an ‘outlier’ in terms of performance/price or receive complaints against your RTO; and
- Information on Skills in the Workplace will be available in October 2011.
Throughout 2012, the level of interest in workforce development, with RTOs building their own workforce plan’s and undertaking professional development in workforce development and planning, has significantly increased as leaders are positioning themselves to be primed for Skills for All and national reforms – are you?
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PS. Have you seen the latest announcement from Traineeship and Apprenticeship Services about additional User Choice funding for Existing Worker Certificate III Training Contracts? For commencing contracts on or after1.9.11, all existing worker trainees under a Cert III qual will attract a User Choice subsidy in South Australia. For further info, contact Chris Pyne, Manager, Traineeship and Apprenticeship Programs.