Independent Validation Policy

version Sept 2016; updated Feb 2017; Dec 2018; Sept 2019; April 2020

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.

 

Validation Procedure Overview

  • Objective of Validation Activities

    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 wide number of procedures are implemented at ACCM.

  • Prioritisation of Training Products for Validation

    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 / re-submission 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).

  • Validation Participants

    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.

  • Validation Schedule and Plan

    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.

  • Verification of Assessment Outcomes

    The Validation Team will issue a report to the CEO that summarises the outcomes of the validation.

    Agreed improvements identified directly or indirectly from the Validation process are also added to the Improvement Register to be actioned. Staff training needs are also actioned as identified.

  • Validation on New Subject Materials

    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. 

  • Industry Validation of Resources and Assessments

    a) The College will confirm with industry that the program of training and assessment (including content, structure, duration, training and assessment materials, trainers and assessors, and other resources and components) will result in individuals who are equipped with the ability to participate in the industry.

    b) Industry input is specifically obtained to inform us about the learning content requirements and also current practices against which we should contextualise assessment activities. Industry engagement methods involve learning material and program reviews, industry representative/client interviews, completion of written surveys, and on-going reviews of learning program feedback and outcomes. 

    c) In addition, information about current industry practice is obtained via: College staff PD activities; attending industry conferences and expos; site visitations and tours; participation in industry network groups; subscribing to industry updates and legislation updates; via social networks amongst other activities. 

    d) Of critical importance to College qualifications is ensuring that compliance and legislative information in courses is maintained as current and reflects workplace practices.The College therefore engages with industry regulators (eg ASIC; ACCC; APRA...); industry associations; ITABs and Skills Service Organisations; and relevant government bodies and agencies eg Fair Trading; and relevant NGOs and associated industry support organisations as circumstances and needs require.

    e) The Validation Policy and Procedures outline the steps taken to achieve this as part of the validation processes.

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

  • Student Input on Each Subject

    Feedback on ACCM course materials/learning resources is systematically obtained from each student. At the time they undertake each subject they are given an online survey about that subject.

    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.

    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.

    The student satisfaction rating (from this survey) informs the priority of subjects for validation.

  • Validation of Resources Informed by Staff Professional Development Activities

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

  • External RTO to RTO Validation Activities

    ACCM participates and facilitates a forum where RTOs conduct joint validation activities on a quarterly 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 also invited to attend these external validation sessions.

  • 2020 - 2025 Validation Cycle

    In April 2020 the current 5 year validation cycle commenced.

    ACCM did meet the obligations required under the 2015 - 2020 cycle.

Link to South Coast Assessors Network (SCAN)