Independent Validation Policy

version Sept 2016; updated Feb 2017

Independent Validation Policy Statement

The College, through the application of its Independent Validation Policy, will ensure that in accordance with Standards for RTOs (clauses 1.8 - 1.11): 

  • learner resources address the full requirements of the units of competency and Training package to the depth of training required for that level
  • assessment tasks and activities meet the rules of evidence: valid, reliable, current and authentic
  • assessment processes meet the principles of assessment including offering an appeals process and flexibility for reasonable adjustments
  • assessment strategies meet the needs of industry;
  • opportunities for improvement are identified and implemented
  • the relevant RTO Standards are implemented in a systematic manner; and that

the Staff PD and Industry Engagement Policies and Practices will inform this policy.

In accordance with Standards for RTO 1.10 the College will ensure each training product is validated at least once every five years, with at least 50% of training products validated within the first three years of each five year cycle.

In accordance with Standards for RTO 1.11 the College will properly structure the validation panel.

 

Independent Validation Policy Details

Assessment validation should answer the question: ‘Do the assessment practices meet the requirements of the training package and are assessment judgements being consistently applied?’ To this end a number of procedures are implemented.

College Validation Plan and Program

The College "Dashboard" systems are used to manage the validation process and to prepare a Plan and to record Validation Outcomes and Progress.

Training products are internally defined as "subjects" and are prioritised based on factors such as: licencing implications; legislative changes; risks including safety factors and industry volatility to change. Prioritisation is also influenced by: student completion / resubmission statistics; total student enrolment numbers and student and employer feedback on the subject. Also a newer "subject" may be validated as a priority (including training package unit updates).

Although the Standards for RTOs allow for Training Products to be regarded as a sample of a qualifications units to be used to meet the criteria, College Policy is to validate all subjects across the 5 year time frame.

During ACCM’s Validation process, either independent or panel validation can occur (as suits the subject). Where one validator, that person will individually meet the requirements of Standards for RTOs Clause 1.11. Where a panel, the Validation panel will consist of at least one member who was not directly involved in the particular instance of delivery and assessment, but who otherwise meets the competency and skills required in Clause 1.11.

All staff will be rostered to participate in validation activities to ensure maintenance of training PD.

The College Dashboard Subject Validation System will create a Validation Schedule/Plan. It will assign and record lead validator and panel members. It will generate a sample of assessments to be validated, and provide template forms to be used at each stage of the process. The processes address the assessment process; the assessment tools; evidence used in assessment including where flexible assessment is used; consistency of assessor application of the assessment process and content; and the RPL processes. Dashboard will be used to record the steps in the process undertaken and the results at each stage. Documents can be uploaded as evidence of the activities undertaken.

The main stage is the "verification of assessment outcomes" ; with other stages undertaken as directed by the Director of Training and Compliance. (The College Subject Validation System also is used to manage and record other associated activities like mapping; identified improvements; and industry engagement actions.)

Agreed improvements identified directly or indirectly from the Validation process are added to the Improvement Register to be actioned or where immediately implemented, this information is recorded. Staff training needs are actioned as identified.

Resource Development

Standard assessment tools and learner resources are prepared by curriculum designers (who hold TAE qualifications) in conjunction with industry experts. In this development a "picture" of what is competence is the focus of the subject. This addresses performance and knowledge evidence which describe what a learner must demonstrate in order to be considered competent. It also addresses assessment conditions describe the conditions under which a learner must demonstrate this, including any specific requirements for resources, trainers and assessors and the context for assessment.

Validation will occur of both these standard tools and any customised versions developed for specific clients. Resources developed for newer subjects are prioritised for early validation. 

Structured Industry Input

Draft resources and assessment tools may be identified to be externally validated by industry experts prior to implementation. 

Structured industry input is also obtained through Industry and Employer Engagement. Engagement methods involve learning material and program reviews, industry representative/client interviews, completion of written surveys and on-going reviews of learning program outcomes. 

Feedback on ACCM course materials/learning resources, training and assessment strategies and feedback on completed learning outcomes are systematically obtained in compliance with RTO Standards 1.5 and 1.6.

This information is evaluated by ACCM curriculum developers with all relevant changes being made to materials, resources and training strategies to reflect industry best practices, current legislation, relevant delivery methods and realistic business standards.

Additionally, as ACCM staff conducts their required monthly Industry Professional Development, additional changes to training and assessment resources are evaluated and implemented based on results of their industry research, industry consultation and direct industry engagement.

Structured Student Input

Student surveys are used for each subject. This data is reviewed as received and also used to inform the Validation processes. Students are specifically asked 4 questions related to the training resources and 4 questions related to the assessment content and processes. They are also allowed to provide general comments. This information identifies student views on relevancy of assessment activities as well as fairness of practices.

RTO to RTO Validation

The College co-ordinates and conducts a forum where RTOs conduct joint validation activities on a bi-monthly basis. This serves to provide further independent validation outcomes and also informs the College Validation process and provides further staff PD opportunities. Industry experts and independent trainers and assessors are also invited to attend these validation sessions.

Staff Updates

Changes to all course materials and training and assessment strategies are made known to staff as they occur and via monthly Professional Development sessions to ensure ACCM staff are current with the most recent products and assessment practices.

 

Link to South Coast Assessors Network (SCAN)