3 Good Reasons to Buy our Book ‘The Essential Guide to Building a Successful RTO’

If you have been following us this year you will know that we devoted quite a bit of time to writing our book ‘The Essential Guide to Building a Successful RTO’. The book is now available and we would love you to use it in your RTO. So here are 3 good reasons why we believe you need to buy it right now! 1. Quality improvement and continuous improvement will …
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The Essential Guide to Building A Successful RTO – Coming Soon

We are very much looking forward to sharing our new book with you.  ‘The Essential Guide to Building A Successful RTO’ will be available at the end of this month and is ready for pre- order on websites including Amazon. As we prepare for the launch we have been thinking back on why we wrote the book and its predecessor back in 2014. Firstly, the RTO world is full of …
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Future Skill Trends and Implications for the VET sector

Skill development and delivery of training and assessment has certainly been a hot topic in recent years as we face major changes in the way businesses work. Some of the key challenges include the changing growth industries, globalisation, the influence of technology, the reduction in manufacturing and a shift to service based industries, a mobile labour market, and in Australia, an ageing work force… Just how will we work in …
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Why is assessment so difficult to get right?

And why are the regulators so concerned about the quality of assessment in the VET sector? According to ASQA … The primary risk for ASQA to manage is an RTO certifying that a person has competencies that do not reflect his/her skills, knowledge and attitudes. The potential damage flows not just to the individual, but to employers, and the wider community (ASQA Regulatory Risk Framework, Version 1.0 April 2016). So …
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Becoming an Innovative RTO

Becoming an Innovative RTO How can you change the culture and the environment within your RTO to enable innovative staff working practices and innovative approaches to training and assessment? Tina Seelig’s Innovation Engine[1] provides us with a useful framework to consider how to create these types of environments and encourage innovative practice. The three categories listed around the outside of the model describe the characteristics of an innovative environment. These …
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Developing Innovative Practices in your RTO

  Innovation – the future of VET Back in February this year we began talking to you about the future of the VET sector and the revamp of Training Packages as we know them. The topic of conversation at the moment is about future skills and the way we will be working in the future. The Prosperity through Innovation Plan[1], released by Innovation Science Australia in January 2018 called for …
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How to develop great staff to build your business

6 ways to develop awesome staff through coaching “Driven, enthusiastic team members will be your best asset.” – Richard Branson Ask any successful entrepreneur about the key foundation on which they built their business and great people will always be at the top of the list. Having great people on staff is common to all successful organisations. Smart leaders know that great staff are a valuable asset and therefore spend the …
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Jane was out of her depth. Julian was always late. Can underperformance be turned around?

              Do you have a team member who has poor work habits or is not working to the standard you need? I am sure most managers would agree that they want a safe and happy workplace with high performing staff. Managing underperforming staff can be a difficult and stressful task, but what if it was possible to turn this poor performance into good. Jane …
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Providing a Quality Student Experience

 What is the Student Experience? The best way to learn is by experience, right? But sometimes this can be tough because we often make mistakes as we learn and acquiring new skills and knowledge can take time. Providing opportunities to practice skills and try out new knowledge is a core part of the approach to the training in the VET sector so that our students gain the confidence they need to …
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Break down the silos – it will be good for your business

Break down the silos – it will be good for business! The themes of team, collaboration and community often underpin our writings and have been the focus of our recent videos and podcasts. Why? Because we see so many organisations not operating as effectively as they could be because staff sit in their teams or ‘silos’ and don’t have the opportunity to explore how their role fits with the purpose …
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What’s good for your RTO’s business?

  The things we have learned This week we launched our ‘Good for Business’ month. To kick the month off we filmed a video and discussed our reflections on the lessons we have learned from working with RTOs over the past 13 years. The Learning Community has worked side by side with RTO owners and staff in so many different aspects of operations and management. We have helped set up …
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Developing Resilience and Future Work Skills

What do you think the world of work will look like in 2030? It has been estimated that in every job there will be an increase in the time workers spend focusing on people, solving strategic problems and thinking creatively. Whilst we need to be technologically savvy, there is a need to ensure we prepare ourselves and our students for this increased need for what is being referred to as …
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The power of the paradigm shift

What do you see? Two Fish … or Two Eyes? Both are correct. And if you can see both your brain is switching between two different interpretations of the same image. Being able to switch from one interpretation to another is a bit like a paradigm shift. In other words, the change that happens when the usual way we think about or do something is replaced by a new and different way. …
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Six Simple Steps to Take Action and Hit the Ground Running

Did you make any New Year resolutions? What were they? Getting fit, finding better work life balance or learning something new often tops the list. Alongside these resolutions you also have to focus on achieving your RTO’s vision and the strategic, operational or training/assessment goals. These goals are important because achieving them can give meaning to your day to day role. One of the biggest problems with plans is that …
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Audit is not a dirty word. No really, it’s not!!!

Audit is not something to fear. The Learning Community has worked with many RTO businesses over the years and every one of those RTOs feared the words ‘audit’ and ‘auditor’! Even we have been guilty of this fear. Many years ago we arrived at an RTO where we were working as consultants and were greeted at the front desk with this welcome: ‘You are the auditors aren’t you?’ Our reply …
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Is your RTO a Learning Organisation?

Do you encourage a culture of learning in your RTO business? Is the culture of your RTO a regular topic of discussion? Do you talk about the culture of the organisation? Have you ever thought about why some RTOs perform better than others, even if they have similar demographic, facilities, funding and opportunity? Are you willing to accept and learn from your mistakes and be transparent about the need for …
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How can complaints lead to improvement?

  The Significance of Complaints Management If you have survived a serious complaint situation in your RTO you probably now respond in one of two ways. You either live in fear of it happening again or perhaps despite how arduous it was you have learnt from the experience, take a proactive approach to managing compliance across your RTO and ensure you are equipped for unexpected issues. It is almost certain …
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Why does compliance matter?

Why does compliance matter? Compliance is the air that we breathe in the VET world. It is such an integral part of our day to day operations and yet sometimes it seems that it gets in the way of business effectiveness. Perhaps one of the reasons is that effective compliance management requires more than a shift in the organisation’s policies and procedures. It also relies on a shift in culture …
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Do you use coaching to maintain leadership effectiveness?

  Leadership Effectiveness – a Mandate for all Leaders Whatever organisation you lead, whatever community you serve, leaders all have the same key mandates in common. They are expected to be exceptional people who set an inspiring vision and lead others to follow that path. We know that RTOs thrive under great leadership. However maintaining leadership effectiveness in the ever changing world of vocational education is becoming increasingly more complex …
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What are the 5 areas you should focus on to build capability in your RTO?

                Building Capacity is Being Prepared For What Lies Ahead How do you go about building capability in your RTO in the midst of so much change in the VET sector?  Our social media focus over the next 5 weeks will be on building capability. So, we thought we would kick it off with a blog post to outline our thinking on the …
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Assessment Validation: getting it done and making the most of it!

Making the Most of Assessment Validation I was reminded the other day that in just under 12 months, all ASQA registered RTOs that were already operating as at 1 January, 2015, should have validated 50% of all training products on their scope of registration. Why? Well the ‘compliance’ answer is that Clause 1.10 (of the Standards for RTOs 2015) states that ‘each training product is validated at least once every …
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Quality Improvement- It must be a team effort!

  Quality Improvement Over the past few months we have been writing about critical reflection on your RTO’s practice in terms of the student experience, the learning environment and pedagogy or teaching practice. The reflection process is beneficial in itself if the RTO team is encouraged to contribute to reflection and review of current practices. But of course, the key purpose is to identify areas for quality improvement and to …
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What is the keystone in your learning programs?

A keystone is the middle stone in an arched structure. It can be thought of as the central principle in a system, the foundation on which other parts of the system rely. What is the keystone in your learning programs, is it your pedagogy? The desire to see your students become successful learners equipped with appropriate skills and knowledge for the workplace should be the central goal of your RTO. …
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The Student Experience Approach to Auditing: What Does It Mean for Your RTO?

What is the “Student Experience Approach” to Auditing? The regulator is moving towards using an audit model that is structured around the key phases of the student’s engagement with your RTO. The phases are: Marketing and recruitment Enrolment Support and progression Training and assessment, and Completion. Each of these key phases is mapped to the Standards for RTOs 2015 and of course the auditors will be reviewing your policies and …
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The key to good quality training!

        What’s the key to good quality training I hear you ask? We will share some of our ideas to this question below. When you think about it, you probably have all the answers yourselves already but sometimes it’s helpful to be reminded. We often find ourselves in environments where we feel restrained by the expectations and practices of the RTO or perhaps you have not reflected …
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Catch up on compliance news for 2016

  Are you ready for 2017? Christmas is just around the corner, your social calendar is full, your 2017 to-do list is already growing – but you really need to catch up with all the regulatory and compliance news from 2016 before the holiday season begins….. So what can you do to ease your mind and your list? Well, we thought that you might just find time for a quick …
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A Systematic Model for Professional Development

Developing a systematic approach to professional development in RTOs A few weeks ago I was watching an ASQA webinar about one of their strategic reviews.  ASQA presenters mentioned a broad reaching  recommendation regarding professional development that grabbed my attention. Here it is. RTOs enhance their ongoing professional development by: providing advice on relevant professional development for trainers and assessors, and investigating more systematic models that will assist trainers and assessors …
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Learning Organisations: How they keep up with Regulatory Change.

Can you learn faster than other RTOs to ensure that you remain compliant and competitive? Is your RTO a learning organisation? Are you ready to respond to changing needs and external challenges and remain competitive? Karash (2002) stated that a ‘learning organisation’ is one in which people at all levels, individually and collectively, are continually increasing their capacity to produce results they really care about’. Earlier this year we wrote …
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8 tips to help you navigate the course accreditation process

So you want to get a new course accredited for VET delivery? The process of new course accreditation can be very long and complicated –it’s like putting the pieces of a complex jigsaw puzzle together. So we thought it might be helpful to share some of our learnings on the topic. We hope you find them helpful! 1. Consult with industry Once you have identified the need for the course …
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5 reasons to review your RTO’s compliance management

  Are you being proactive? Is compliance management an integral part of your RTO business? Are you being proactive or reactive in your approach? A good governance system enables management to achieve the vision and goals of the organisation and at the same time ensure that the needs of the many stakeholders are met…….The system should incorporate clear policies and processes, information about your organisational structure, and systems to manage …
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4 strategies to help achieve educational excellence

Four strategies to help achieve educational excellence Educational reform is firmly on the agenda in Australia with the link between quality teaching and student achievement at the focus of the debate.  Good teachers make all the difference to both the student experience and student outcomes! In fact: ‘Ensuring that qualified, professionally trained, motivated, and well-supported teachers are available for all learners is essential for addressing today’s key education challenges…………. The quality …
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How to motivate staff in times of uncertainty

How to motivate your staff Setting strategic directions and targets is the first step towards achieving results and seeing change in any particular setting.  But in themselves strategy documents and targets will not guarantee that goals will be met.  Understanding what motivates people and drives performance is crucial to success.  Motivation can be defined as the “willingness to exert effort towards a team or individual goal”.  Motivating staff is an …
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What’s your RTO’s strategy for success?

Are you focusing on strategy or survival? ‘Strategy-making is one of the most important activities undertaken by Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), in their pursuit of high- performance. Active, continuous strategy-making is essential for the survival and prosperity of RTOs.’ (Strategy–Making in Turbulent Times, ANTA report, 2003) Most RTO managers tell us that they are just trying to keep their heads above water with compliance requirements and changes to the sector …
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How can history help us to improve the quality training and assessment in VET?

  A reflection on my VET journey Have you read the Quality of assessment in vocational education and training – Discussion Paper? Are you considering answering the questions that sit under each focus area? You can read the paper here. The three areas of focus covered in the paper are: Foundation reforms – competence of trainers and assessors, Reforms to the assessment of VET students – engagement of industry to …
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7 ways to get your RTO ready for the new financial year

Time is flying, are you ready? June 30 is nearly upon us. It is hard not to notice with all those EOFY sales! But focusing on your expenditure, taxation and cleaning up all those loose financial ends is not the only way to make good use of this time of year. Why not take stock of a few other areas of your RTO as well and get ready for bigger …
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