Volume of learning and lesson duration
The national centre for vocational education research (NCVER) has created a long list of units of competency with the respective nominal training hours listed alongside. This is a useful list especially where state funding is required, as the nominal hours form part of the contract with the students and funding providers in most cases. However, it should be clearly noted here that these are nominal, meaning symbolic or theoretical, and ultimately, it is up to the RTO to determine the required training to meet the requirements of the training package. So, where a unit has 40 nominal hours, this would be a combination of learning skills such as reading, class time, practice, research, and assessment.
Volume of learning on the other hand, is a guide provided under the AQF that relates to the qualification level. For example, a Diploma level program should include a volume of learning equal to between 1 to 2 years, or 1200 – 2400 hours. At 3.3 hours per day, every day, with no holidays or breaks, this is not a particularly realistic figure, no matter what you define the word ‘learning’ to mean. So practitioners tend to use these as guidelines at best, to help students set expectations and help RTOs arrange their resources to suit. For example, using additional readings and textbook resources is one way of increasing the time a student might spend learning the topic, and setting long-term projects over a semester of two would extend the time invested into practicing new skills and knowledge outside of class time.
For a complete understanding of volume of learning and nominal hours, visit the ASQA webpage here: https://www.asqa.gov.au/course-accreditation/users-guide-standards-vet-accredited-courses/standards/standard-105-australian-qualifications-framework-levels and the NCVER website here: https://www.ncver.edu.au/rto-hub/statistical-standard-software/nationally-agreed-nominal-hours
The program resources are separated into several areas. The first one we’ll look at is the learning support materials, followed by the training aids and HR resources.
Learning support materials are any resources created or provided, that support the learners ability to complete their training. Consider yourself as a learner right now. Watching this video is one learning resource provided to you. In this case, it directly relates to key learning content and is therefore one of the more important resources. Additionally, there are links to websites, readings, documents and so on. Each of these is a resource that may be accessed to gain a deeper understanding of the key points mentioned in the videos. They may also serve as tools for developing your skills, such as the TAS template.
Experience suggests that at the time of creating a TAS, you’ll have an idea of the types of resources you’ll provide, but you will not have a complete list of every resource you intend to use, as some may not come into your awareness until you’re researching the content or even creating the assessments. So, in your TAS, list these at a high level, such as: Learner guide, power point, completed example templates and so on. This leaves room to develop the resources in more detail at a later stage.
Training aids are another set of resources that you will only have a high level idea of using at the time of creating your TAS. If you know where the training will take place, and you have begun to consider how much time may be spent in class or on a worksite conducting the training, then you’ll be able to note a number of important training aids that will need to be available. These can include screens, computers, stationery in classrooms, or copies of project plans, machinery or plant on a worksite.
Lastly, lets touch on our human resources. These are the people who will be training and assessing your course. We know that they will need to be qualified as trainers as well as in their current industry skills – the one they wish to teach. Are these people on staff? Will they be contractors? Or a combination of both? Will you need to have trainers working under supervision, as they don’t have current TAE qualifications? Will you need to upskill existing trainers to be able to assess the new qualification? In your TAS, you will simply need to record their names and whether they are able to train and/or assess. But these other questions will need to be answered at the RTO manager level before the training can commence.