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AQIS: The new VET benchmark
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AQIS: The new VET benchmark

Research 4 minute read

ACER’s AQTF Quality Indicator Service provides a complete reporting solution to enable all Australian registered training organisations to collect quality standards information about the delivery of their training programs. Rebecca Simpson explains.

The national set of standards prescribed in the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) regulates Australia’s vocational education and training system to ensure the delivery of high-quality training and assessment services for clients. One way it does that is by requiring RTOs to fulfil reporting requirements under the AQTF Learner Engagement and Employer Satisfaction Quality Indicators, as well as Competency Completion. The focus is on an evidence-based and outcomes-focused approach to quality assurance in Australian vocational education and training.

The National Skills Standards Council advised in December 2011 that while RTOs are required to continue to use Learner Engagement and Employer Satisfaction questionnaires to collect data, they are not required to use the Survey Management, Analysis and Reporting Tool or SMART system to report to their regulators against the Learner Engagement and Employer Satisfaction quality indicators. It’s in response to this decision that ACER developed its AQTF Quality Indicator Service (AQIS).

AQIS enables RTOs not only to fulfil their mandatory reporting requirements under the AQTF, but also to collect additional quality data tailored in terms of a range of benchmarking options that include trainer quality, the effectiveness of assessment, the relevance of training, the quality of training resources and the like, as well as overall satisfaction.

An RTO may, for example, want to compare its performance on both the Learner Engagement and Employer Satisfaction questionnaires with ‘like’ RTOs in the same kind of location, of the same size or of the same type – TAFE, private college or enterprise.

AQIS enables all survey data collected online, manually or by paper-based scanning to be managed securely.  As an RTO, you register for an AQIS account, then choose your collection option and send through your data. You’re notified when your online reports are ready to be downloaded.

What’s in a report?

The standard AQTF report contains collated survey data from the Learner Engagement and Employer Satisfaction questionnaires to fulfil your mandatory annual AQTF Quality Indicator reporting requirements.

The customised benchmark report adds another level to the standard AQTF report based on the type of additional comparative information you might wish to collect. You select an initial set of benchmark criteria upon registering for AQIS.  The customised benchmark report is sent to you along with your standard AQTF report. You can also request additional benchmark data after your initial report is generated at no extra cost.

All data collected by ACER to produce baseline benchmark reports is treated as strictly confidential and no identifying RTO information is included in any of the benchmark reports sent to other RTOs.

Why benchmark?

Benchmark data provides a valuable, evidence-based source of information about the quality of education and training, student support services and staff engagement within your institution. Collecting and distributing benchmark data also sends a clear message to current and new students, employees and regulators that your RTO takes quality assurance and continuous improvement seriously.  

Benchmarking lets you:

  • compare yourself with ‘like’ RTOs using a set of standard criteria
  • see first hand how your students and staff rate their training and assessment experiences
  • actively engage and retain apprentices, trainees and other VET students
  • see those methods that can improve support services for students, apprentices and trainees
  • evaluate and manage learning resources, and
  • market your RTO and training services based on high-quality independent review by students and teachers.

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