Elements covered in this unit are:
- Plan and prepare evaluation
- Collect and collate evaluation data and information for a training program
- Analyse evaluation data and information and make conclusions
- Report on the conclusions and recommendations of the evaluation
To successfully maintain registration, an RTO is subject to very strict scrutiny and can be called upon at any time to justify its training and delivery methods. This scrutiny can take the form of internal or external evaluations—or audits—and these must form part of the organisation’s continuous improvement program. Every aspect of RTO operations must, at some point, undergo such an evaluation if the organisation is to remain compliant with ASQA requirements. The point of all training programs is that they increase the learner’s employment capabilities. Indeed, under certain government-funded programs it is a key performance indicator (KPI) that participants in a program achieve an employment outcome.
It is important, therefore, that workforce needs and capacity be considered when developing and evaluating a training program. Issues to consider include whether the field is oversupplied with labour, in which case it may be difficult for graduates of a training program to find employment, or whether there is currently a skills shortage, so that graduates in that field will be welcomed with open arms. This information should form part of any evaluation process—there is little value in supplying a training program if there is no real need for workers in that field and participants will not improve their employment prospects as a result of gaining that qualification.
It is equally important to ensure that any program offered meets the ASQA standards and conditions of operation as well as either the AQF (if based on a training package) or corporate requirements (if based on organisational policies and procedures).
Evaluation or audit of an RTO’s training programs should be properly planned and conducted on a regular basis to ensure that compliance requirements are met, that staff are performing to the required standards, and that students are receiving the best education possible. These evaluations may encompass the RTO as a whole, reviewing every aspect of its operations, or specific areas, such as trainer performance or assessment processes. In this chapter we will look at the skills and knowledge required to conduct a successful review.