What will this mean for your RTO Systems?
No doubt you’re aware of the Morrison government’s plans to overhaul the VET sector, so I won’t dwell on the details. The point of this article is to look at how those plans might impact the processes and systems your RTO relies on. What are the steps you could take now to benefit from or protect against expected changes before and after they’re enacted.
Planned Overhaul of the VET Sector
Actually, we’re not starting with a completely blank canvas. Many changes have already been implemented.
- Vet Fee Help was scrapped in 2017
- National VET Regulator Amendment Bill was introduced in 2019
- TCSI was introduced in March 2020
- USI Device AUSKey was scrapped in March 2020
- USI Version 3.0 was implemented in March 2020
There are many others at National and State level. Higher Education, International Colleges, TAFE coleges and Vet Student Loan providers have all been examined under the microscope in recent years.
Considering the goals of the government’s plan provides clues into what to expect. Putting plans in place to take advantage of expected changes positions your RTO for whatever new set of rules Moses brings down from the mountain.
When you combine those changes with the economic impact of COVID 19 it’s easy to see how change to the VET sector is inevitable.
What would make a good RTO in the NEW VET Sector?
The government's main concerns are: over-regulation, inefficiency, poor outcomes for students and for industry. So good RTOs will be those who operate with less red-tape, run a tight ship and deliver outstanding results for students and the industry they serve. Most RTOs would be happier with less red tape. But does that mean less rigorous procedure and audits? Probably not. It’s more likely to mean the same rigor applied with a new focus, i.e. “performance” and “accountability”.
Since we don’t yet have the new rule book nothing is certain at this stage. Opinions and expectation are all we have. But following the principles laid out here will make you a good RTO, regardless.
- Demonstrate that you have measurable goals and objectives for completion rates, training results, trainer / assessor capabilities and financial health. An RTO Performance Dashboard is a must. Demonstrate that you have standards and systems in place to show that your business is aligned with industry goals, good student outcomes and you’ll be awarded with your first gold star.
- Set realistic and detailed goals. There’s no point listing vague or lofty goals that you are unlikely to achieve or unable to measure. Fortunately, the high-level goals for training and education are well established. But the devil is in the detail? If you’re in Aged care, for example, what are the attributes of a high-performing age care worker that your training can influence? These may have been the standards you’ve always adhered to. But in the new VET age they must be measurable KPIs.
- Simplify systems and processes. Compliance for the sake of compliance, and blindly following the book of rules will no longer make you a good RTO In the new world. Instead look for what works for you and your customers.
- Customer satisfaction is key. Good RTOs focus on student and employer satisfaction ratings. How does your industry rate you?
- Financial Performance asks the question, “how healthy is your training business?”. Are you profitable? Are you relying on Government funding to survive? How do you reduce costs while maintaining high standards of quality and customer satisfaction? Without financial KPIs, reports and measuring systems financial health is very difficult to plan and track.
The RTO Performance Dashboard
This sample dashboard in this video uses Microsoft Power BI to track
- Completion Rates
- Financial KPIs: Revenue, Cost and Profit
A successful RTO in the new VET Sector will run an efficient operation. Tools that help you deliver and assess training remotely will be invaluable in the new world. They include:
- Virtual Classroom accounts like Microsoft Teams, or Zoom
- SCORM compliant Online learning with full tracking and reporting
- Student Portals.
- Online Payments
- Online Document and Learning Resource repository
More efficient methods of reporting training and assessment activity would help your cause. It’s not clear why streamlined, transparent AVETMISS reporting, through web services needs to be futuristic thinking. Today, there is no good reason why RTOs should need to manually upload text files to NCVER or to their State Training Authority. For many funded RTOs this inefficiency causes stress and frustration every month. It adds a layer of unnecessary bureaucracy. Web Service technologies to automate the entire process have been around for more than 12 years.
The following videos provide simple, low-cost online and remote (virtual classroom learning) options.
In this video you'll learn how Microsoft Teams, WebEx, GoToMeeting or Zoom could be used to enrol students into a course that can be delivered F2F and/or in a Virtual Classroom environment. The process can be achieved with almost any video conferencing software.
In this video you'll learn how a Learning Management System (LMS) can integrate online and F2F training and assessment (blended learning). It presents a SCORM compliant system that tracks learner experience and responses in an online assessment.
At Bluegem we recognise what makes your RTO unique. But our 30 years experience also shows us that you also share the concerns of any Australian business. We think an overhaul of the sector has merit and the potential to dramatically improve outcomes for you and your customers. But there is a long journey ahead. The raod may be bumpy. You'll need a competent and established technology partner to help you navigate it. We encourage you to attend our next webinar.