POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL

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1 POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL Astute Training Pty Ltd 1/ High Street PENRITH NSW 2750 Phone No: (02) Fax No: (02) (RTO Number 91077) (CRICOS Provider Code: 02975F) ABN:

2 Table of Contents Quality Policy... 5 Continuous Improvement Policy... 6 Internal Audit Policy... 8 Risk Management Policy... 9 Assessment Validation Policy Client Feedback Policy Training and Assessment Strategy Policy Complaints and Appeals Privacy Policy Accessing Your Personal File Assessment Policy Assessment Code of Practice Assessment Procedures Recognition of Prior Learning Policy RPL Process National Recognition RPL Course Credit CRICOS Students Issuing of Qualifications Policy Occupational Health and Safety Policy Access and Equity Policy Access and Equity Anti Discrimination, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Financial Management Policy CRICOS Student Fees Fees Schedule Fees Refund Policy Local or Domestic Students Records Maintenance Policies and Procedures Manual Page 2 of 89 Version 3.1: Oct 2014

3 Training Records (kept for 2 years from the date of course completion) Staff Records Storage of files and records International Student Records Archiving files Records Retained for Audit Version Control Attendance Monitoring Procedure Domestic students Overseas Student Attendance Monitoring Policy and Procedure Overseas Student Course Completion Policy National Recognition Language, Literacy and Numeracy Policy Identifying Learning Needs Language and Literacy Assessing English Language Proficiency Procedure CRICOS Student Enrolment and Orientation - CRICOS Education Agents Deferral, Cancellation and Exclusion - CRICOS Academic misconduct Student s responsibilities: Astute Training s responsibilities: Notification and appeal General misconduct Penalties for general misconduct Staff Recruitment Policy Staff Induction Policy Staff Professional Development Marketing & Advertising Marketing Approval Procedure Compliance with Legislation Policies and Procedures Manual Page 3 of 89 Version 3.1: Oct 2014

4 Working with Children Transition to New or Reviewed Training Packages Policy & Procedure Critical Incident Policy Overseas Student Transfer Policy Procedure Letter of Release Enrolling a transferring student Student Support Services Change of Ownership or Management Compassionate and Compelling Circumstances Employability Skills Background to Employability Skills Employability Skills Framework Employability Skills Summary Competency Standards Information on Vocational Education & Training What is VET? What is the VET sector? The AQF: Registered Training Organisation (RTO) Scope of Registration Compliance Audits Training Packages Competency Based Training and Assessment Delivery Assessment ESOS Framework National Code of Practice Policies and Procedures Manual Page 4 of 89 Version 3.1: Oct 2014

5 Quality Policy The purpose of this policy is to confirm that Astute Training has a strong commitment to meeting the high quality standards expected by our clients in the delivery of the training and assessment services that we supply to them. Our quality management system takes the form of this manual and the associated operational forms and is based on the requirements of the VET Quality Framework which comprises: The Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) The Data Provision Requirements The Fit and Proper Person Requirements, and The Financial Viability Risk Assessment Requirements Our primary quality objectives are: To provide quality training and assessment services within our scope of registration To utilise our Quality Management System as described within this manual as the primary tool in achieving best practice outcomes across our entire operation To ensure continuous improvement of our training and assessment systems and customer service requirements To fully comply with all relevant Commonwealth and State Legislative and Regulatory requirements for the operation of Registered Training Organisation s In the implementation of this policy we will focus on the needs of our business to consistently meet the ongoing needs and requirements of our customers and that of all of our statutory obligations. Our quality management system will also provide us with mechanisms for the detection of system shortfalls and for stimulating continuous improvements. This policy and procedures manual describes the mechanism by which these improvements are achieved by us and how we are able to remain fully compliant with the standards for RTO s and the National Code of Practice 2007 at all times. We define our stakeholders as but not limited to students both current and potential, members of staff, employer groups, enterprises, various government agencies and bodies, professional bodies and associations, other learning institutions, industry training advisory bodies and Industry Skills Councils. The Training Coordinator and Continuos Improvement Committee, have direct access to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who has the defined responsibility and authority to ensure that ASTUTE TRAINING cooperates with the relevant authorities including ASQA and DEEWR: In the conduct of audits and the monitoring of its operations By providing accurate and timely data relevant to measures of its performance By providing information about significant changes to its operations In the retention, archiving, retrieval and transfer of records consistent with the registering authorities requirements We have a designated external Accounts person, who has direct access to the CEO, who has the defined responsibility and authority to: Ensure that we fully comply with our financial management policies; Ensure that all students fees paid in advance are protected Ensure that ASTUTE TRAINING refund policy is fair Provide when required a fully audited financial report of Astute Training s operations Policies and Procedures Manual Page 5 of 89 Version 3.1: Oct 2014

6 Continuous Improvement Policy ASTUTE TRAINING is committed to the process of constantly improving the way in which its operations occur and its continuous compliance with the VET Quality Framework and the National Code of Practice Through this process ASTUTE TRAINING will achieve further quality customer service and stay attuned to the current and future demands of the vocational education sector. ASTUTE TRAINING will progressively and actively seek out and eliminate all potential problems and act upon all opportunities in a way that results in the continual improvement of its training and assessment system and customer service standards. Astute Training s approach to quality encompasses all its operations including training and assessment services, student services, financial operations, facilities, staff development and occupational health and safety. Astute Training s quality system is based on adherence to the following guiding principles: A commitment by all staff to continuous improvement of operational processes, training and assessment products and services; Input and involvement of all staff and students in identifying and assisting in the implementing of quality improvements; Systematic use of qualitative and quantitative feedback as the basis for identifying and prioritising improvement opportunities To achieve the process of continuous improvement ASTUTE TRAINING acknowledges that Opportunities for continuous improvement can be identified from varied sources including: Formal and ad hoc feedback from students, staff and stakeholders; Complaints from student, staff and other stakeholders such as Education Agents and Work Placement employers; By undertaking a self-assessment audits against the VET QUALITY FRAMEWORK and National Code 2007; By undertaking internal Assessment Validation sessions; By attending internal and external professional development workshops Sources of Continuous Improvement Opportunities Feedback and evaluations: Students and staff are encouraged to provide feedback about the quality of the ASTUTE TRAINING programs, facilities and resources. Students are encouraged to provide both verbal and written feedback throughout their training via Evaluation Forms that are supplied at various stages during the course and via ad hoc feedback to their trainer or assessor. Once a year students are asked to complete the quality indicators learner questionnaire. Trainers and assessors are encouraged to provide feedback during staff meetings, on an ad hoc basis as well as through formal feedback at the end of a course. Administration staff are encouraged to provide feedback to the Management during regular staff meetings and on an ad hoc basis. The Training Coordinator will collect and analyse all feedback for consideration as part of the ongoing quality improvement process and report to the Chief Executive Officer. Where possibilities for improvement are identified it will be raised and supplied to the Continuos Improvement Committee (CIC) for action. Policies and Procedures Manual Page 6 of 89 Version 3.1: Oct 2014

7 Complaints: When ASTUTE TRAINING receives a complaint it is dealt with under the Complaints and Appeals Policy and Procedure. Any areas for improvement, which become apparent whilst handling a complaint, are raised with the Continuous Improvement Committee (CIC) and actioned accordingly. Internal Audit ASTUTE TRAINING will carry out regular internal audits against the VET QUALITY FRAMEWORK and National Code 2007 to measure compliance and highlight opportunities for improvement. For further information on the process for internal audits please refer to the Internal Audit Policy. External workshops The Management of ASTUTE TRAINING and other appropriate staff attend relevant workshops run by such groups as the NSW Department of Education and Communities, ASQA, ACPET and Industry Skills Councils. Internal Workshops ASTUTE TRAINING conducts internal professional development workshops on a regular basis with staff. This provides staff with an opportunity to gain information on changes to operational systems being implemented and to review a wide range of topics. These workshops are put together by the Training Manager or Training Coordinator with input from the General Manager. Assessment Validation ASTUTE TRAINING has a policy and procedure in place for undertaking assessment validation. Assessment Validation sessions occur also as part of the internal professional development workshops. All improvements that are identified are documented and actioned. An assessment validation session with the trainers is also conducted at least twice a year. External Audit reports ASTUTE TRAINING uses Audit reports from external bodies such as ASQA and DEEWR as a source of continuous improvement and makes changes based upon those areas identified in these reports. Record Keeping A Continuous Improvement File is maintained and includes agendas and minutes of meetings directly related to continuous improvement Records of all continuous improvement activity shall be maintained for a period of at least three years in hard copy and five years in electronic format after the continuous improvement action has been completed to allow review by management, for the purposes of internal audit and for review by external auditors. All instances of a potential risk are to be added to the risk assessment tool template and a mitigation strategy is to be created to minimise or eliminate the risk as per the requirements of the risk management policy contained within this document. Policies and Procedures Manual Page 7 of 89 Version 3.1: Oct 2014

8 Internal Audit Policy ASTUTE TRAINING is fully committed to ensuring its compliance with the VET QUALITY FRAMEWORK and the National Code of Practice. This is achieved and maintained by the conducting of an internal self-assessment audit on a yearly basis and conducting the scheduled activities as per the compliance calendar. When conducting the internal self-assessment audit, the audit team where possible will consist of a member from the Continuos Improvement Committee and an externally appointed compliance specialist and another experienced member of ASTUTE TRAINING staff as required. The audit team will use the processes outlined below to ensure that policies and procedures have been circulated, understood and implemented consistently throughout ASTUTE TRAINING and that these policies and procedures are fully compliant: Examination of all documents and systems that consist of policies and procedures, student handbook, relevant components of the business plan, trainers/assessor qualifications and the staff handbook will be scheduled as per the compliance calendar Examination of the records of actual training conducted Perusing a sample of student files Analysing resources for delivery and assessment required by the relevant National Training Package or course, including training materials and assessment tools Holding interviews as required with administration staff, trainers and students Observing processes such as assessment and learning activities Examination of existing facilities required by the relevant National Training Package or course Reviewing of processes with senior management Professional development Continuous improvement At the completion of the annual internal self-assessment audit a comprehensive report will be generated on Astute Training s compliance which is prepared by the compliance specialist and issued to the CEO. This report will make a series of recommendations on any non-compliance found and the required rectification to bring these areas of non-compliance to become fully compliant. This report will be signed off by the CEO after review and implementation. Where improvement actions eliminate a potential risk as defined under the risk management process, the risk matrix will be updated accordingly. Policies and Procedures Manual Page 8 of 89 Version 3.1: Oct 2014

9 Risk Management Policy ASTUTE TRAINING identifies and controls all possible and potential risks associated with its operation of a Registered Training Organisation and the maintaining of compliance. Identification and analysis of risks will be completed in accordance with the Risk Management Procedure, and is included in the Risk Assessment Matrix. This procedure expresses our commitment to manage risks in accordance with a systematic risk management process encompassing: The identification of potential risks. The analysis of potential risks. The assessment and prioritising of potential risks. The development of a risk management matrix to treat risks. The monitoring of risks and review of risk management strategies. The provision of feedback to improve risk management. Integration of risk management into our business planning and monitoring processes. We recognise the need to prioritise the treatment of risk, to concentrate on those risks that have a greater likelihood of occurring and/or more severe consequences when they do. All of our risk management processes are reviewed at regular staff meetings with key staff and shared with all staff via newsletters or short daily meetings. This is to ensure that the risk management matrix is kept up to date and those new areas of risk identified by staff are included in a timely manner and that the team is totally involved within the entire risk management process. At each of the monthly management meetings a portion of the identified risks are reviewed and reassessed to ensure that the risks continuously managed and to ensure that all staff are aware of the risk. The risks are reviewed based upon their category of risk, as detailed in the matrix below. All Extreme Risks are reviewed every three months, High Risks every four months, moderate risks every six months and low risks annually, thus over the course of the year, the Extreme Risk are reviewed four (4) times, the High Risks three (3) times, Moderate Risks twice and Low Risks once. The matrix shown below is derived from the Australian Standard for Risk Management and indicates management action prescribed within our organisation to address categories of risk: Consequences Likelihood Insignificant Minor Moderate Major Catastrophic Almost certain High Risk High Risk Extreme Risk Extreme Risk Likely Moderate Risk Possible Low Risk Moderate Risk High Risk High Risk Extreme Risk High Risk Unlikely Low Risk Low Risk Moderate Risk Rare Low Risk Low Risk Moderate Risk Extreme Risk High Risk High Risk Extreme Risk Extreme Risk Extreme Risk Extreme Risk High Risk Policies and Procedures Manual Page 9 of 89 Version 3.1: Oct 2014

10 Our response to risk: Extreme risk - all possible action is taken to avoid and insure against these risks. High risk management is accountable and responsible for ensuring that these risks are managed effectively. Moderate risk - accountability and responsibility for effective management of these risks is delegated to staff at an appropriate level. Low risk - these risks are managed in the course of routine procedures, with regular review and reporting through management processes. Assessment Validation Policy ASTUTE TRAINING ensures that it reviews, compares and evaluates its assessment procedures, tools and evidence on a regular basis to achieve standardisation so that the training outcomes are consistent and that assessment is valid, reliable, fair and flexible and where necessary ASTUTE TRAINING will redefine, clarify and modify its existing assessment practice. ASTUTE TRAINING will conduct regular validation meetings at least twice a year to assess all of its current assessment procedures, tools and strategies for each qualification on its scope of registration. Validation of assessments will also occur whenever there are changes in assessment as the result of changes to the Training Package or feedback from trainers or employers. To ensure that the validation process will be accurate and reliable, an external consultant may be engaged to chair and conduct the meeting. Prior to the commencement of the meeting all participants will be supplied with copies of the assessment tools to be validated and copies of the related units of competency and a copy of the assessment validation form. This form will be filled out by all participants and later used to assist in the outcomes report of the validation meeting. The validation process will include a sufficient number of trainer and assessors who have participated in the delivery and assessment of the particular qualification to enable informed judgments to be made. Other trainers and assessor who have not been involved in the delivery of training and assessment within this qualification will also attend this meeting to provide an outside validation of the assessment process. In addition, feedback on assessment tasks will be sought regularly from industry. ASTUTE TRAINING has a wide network of industry partners, including many who provide work placement for students. The validation process shall determine whether or not the assessment procedures and materials currently in use are, valid, reliable, fair and flexible in their application and whether they are considered to be suitable in light of all possible circumstances including reasonable adjustment requirements. All opportunities for improvement that are identified from within the validation process will be well documented. In a situation where it is further considered that an assessment activity may pose a potential risk against the VET QUALITY FRAMEWORK requirements for assessment (Standard 15.5), then this will be noted and the risk matrix will be updated accordingly. The General Manager will notify all staff of any changes to assessment practices or materials arising from the validation process. This will allow for feedback from the relevant staff members that may require further improvements to be made to the practices or materials All those who participate in the validation process will receive a Certificate of Participation and have the workshop clearly marked on their individual staff professional development record. This will count towards their professional development portfolio. Procedure: Policies and Procedures Manual Page 10 of 89 Version 3.1: Oct 2014

11 The validation meetings take place as part of the internal professional development workshop at least twice yearly and include all trainers, the Training Manager and/or the Training Coordinator and may include an External Consultant and any other individual invited by ASTUTE TRAINING Management to participate including industry stakeholders. The outcome of each validation undertaken is recorded and any further recommendations are raised in the report for action. The validation of assessment plans/ tools/ evidence includes the following steps: Assessment Validation meetings are scheduled to occur twice a year Ongoing assessment validation occurs in response to feedback or changes in Training Packages The Training Manager liaises with the Training Coordinator to decide what assessments will be put forward for validation. All relevant materials for validation are prepared and sent to all attending Validation is conducted on selected assessment tools using the assessment validation checklist Assessor judgement and evidence validation is conducted on selected assessment evidence All improvement recommendations are recorded All recommendations are submitted for consideration by the Training Manager in consultation with the General Manager All completed validation forms are to be filed appropriately. Selecting tools/ evidence to be validated include the following steps: Identify the qualification/ unit to be validated Identify the staff/contractors assessing that qualification Identify assessment/assessment tools used for the qualification/ unit Locate samples of completed assessments if available Make copies of the selected assessment tools/ evidence/ units of competence/ checklists for all attending the workshop Assessors complete validation checklists and provide recommendations during the workshop session. Client Feedback Policy ASTUTE TRAINING has defined its stakeholders as but not limited to students both current and potential, members of staff, employer groups, enterprises, various government agencies and bodies, professional bodies and associations, other learning institutions, industry training advisory bodies and Industry Skills Councils. ASTUTE TRAINING conducts various types of feedback gathering activities on a regular basis. The feedback activity is directly linked to continuous improvement activities and is a direct result of the capturing of data and feedback from all identified stakeholders during the course of normal operations. Feedback gathering activities can be initiated by any members of staff and monitored by the General Manager. The feedback gathering process includes but is not limited to: Regular informal monitoring and communications ( s etc) Gaining feedback from all identified stakeholders at semi - regular intervals, during a training program Random feedback gathered from time to time from the various stakeholders. Feedback from moderation, validation and professional development activities Student feedback received through the enrolment process Information from the complaints and appeals process Annual learner questionnaire feedback Policies and Procedures Manual Page 11 of 89 Version 3.1: Oct 2014

12 Feedback is collated and tabled at regular meetings. All areas identified as potential risks will be added to the risk assessment matrix and a mitigation strategy will be created as per the requirements of the risk assessment policy. Training and Assessment Strategy Policy ASTUTE TRAINING identify, negotiate, plans and implements the appropriate training and assessment strategies to meet the needs of each of its clients for all qualification currently on its scope of registration. Each training and assessment strategy will be required to identify the proposed target groups, learning and assessment modes and strategies, the assessment validation processes to be utilised and the pathways available for further training options. They will be developed in full consultation with the relevant enterprises and industries. ASTUTE TRAINING will review, compare and evaluate its current assessment processes, tools and evidence that are contributing to judgments by way of validation meetings with a range of assessors who are delivering the same competency standards. ASTUTE TRAINING will document any action taken to improve the quality and consistency of the assessment and the relevant assessment tools. ASTUTE TRAINING will ensure that whilst developing, adapting or delivering training and or assessment products and services: All methods used to identify learning needs, and methods for designing training and assessment materials are fully documented; The requirements of the relevant National Training Package or accredited course curriculum are met; Steps are taken to manage the transition to reviewed Training Packages within 12 months of their publication; Core and elective units, as appropriate, are identified; Customisation meets the requirements specified in the relevant Training Package or, for accredited courses, meets the ASTUTE TRAINING customisation policy; Language, literacy and numeracy requirements develop the learning capacity of the individual and are consistent with the essential requirements for workplace performance specified in the relevant units of competency or outcomes of accredited courses; Delivery modes and training and assessment materials which meet the needs of a diverse range of clients are identified; ASTUTE TRAINING will ensure that it has access to the staff, facilities, equipment, training and assessment materials required to provide the training and/or assessment services within its scope of registration and scale of operations, to accommodate client numbers, client needs, delivery methods and assessment. Policies and Procedures Manual Page 12 of 89 Version 3.1: Oct 2014

13 Complaints and Appeals ASTUTE TRAINING recognises the need for students, staff and other clients to have confidence that the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) will deal with grievances in a fair and equitable manner based on procedures that are appropriate, accessible and easily understood. ASTUTE TRAINING has a duty of care in ensuring students study in a happy environment, free of coercion, unfair treatment or harassment. Nothing in these procedures limits the rights of individuals to take action under Australia s Consumer Protection laws. ASTUTE TRAINING is constantly reviewing and updating policies, as a grievance helps us to fix a problem and assists with continuos improvement. Complaint or Appeal A complaint would generally be directed at the general performance of ASTUTE TRAINING or its staff in the delivery of our services. In the first instance complaints or appeals should be discussed informally with the staff or trainers involved. Where possible disputes are managed and resolved informally. However if the complaint or appeal cannot be managed informally the student can submit a formal complaint or appeal form. The complaint or appeal will be dealt with promptly. All formal complaints will be dealt with by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and contact will be made within 10 working days to arrange a time to discuss your complaint or appeal. You are welcome to bring a friend or advocate to this meeting if that is your choice. Internal complaints and appeal services are free of charge. You will be provided with a written outcome on your case including the rationale for the decision. If you are satisfied with the resolution agreed actions will be implemented and the complaint or appeal will be closed. External Appeals Where no mutually acceptable resolution can be found, you may wish to have he matter dealt with through an external resolution process facilitated by: Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) Complaints Team ASQA GPO BOX 9928 Melbourne VIC 3001 Australian Council for Private Education & Training (ACPET) appeals Overseas Students Ombudsman (OSO) There is no cost for lodging an external appeal. Once the relevant authority has received the appeal form they will contact both Astute Training and you to request applicable documentation. Policies and Procedures Manual Page 13 of 89 Version 3.1: Oct 2014

14 Record Keeping A written record of all complaints handled under this procedure and their outcomes will be maintained for a period of five years. These records will remain with the students file and cannot be accessed without a written request to the CEO. Assessment Appeal If a student does not agree with an assessment outcome they should first discuss the matter with the trainer/assessor concerned and if the complaint cannot be resolved at this point then the student can lodge an Assessment Appeal Form. The appeal will follow the same process as a complaint and will be investigated by the CEO Grounds for Appeal An application for appeal will be considered where: A student claims a disadvantage because the trainer did not provide a subject outline A student claims disadvantage because the trainer varied without consultation or in an unreasonable way the assessment requirements as specified in the subject outline A student claims disadvantage because assessment requirements specified by the trainer were unreasonably or prejudicially applied to him or her A student is of the view that a clerical error has occurred in the documenting of the assessment outcome A student claims that there is a discrepancy between the practical observation and the formal assessment. If the appeal for re-assessment is proven, ASTUTE TRAINING will appoint an alternative assessor who will make all necessary arrangements to conduct the re-assessment of the student at a time that is mutually convenient for all parties concerned. How to make a complaint or appeal 1. Initial complaint or appeal should be discussed informally with the applicable staff involved. 2. If the complaint or appeal is not resolved informally, the student may choose to lodge a formal complaint or appeal. 3. The complaint or appeal is recorded and the CEO will make contact within 10 working days to arrange a meeting 4. A meeting will take place to negotiate between all parties in an attempt to find a resolution agreeable to all parties. All appealed assessments will be re assessed by an alternative trainer/assessor. 5. Written documentation on the outcome and resolution is provided to all parties and actions are immediately implemented. 6. If a student is not satisfied with the outcome they will be referred to an external body where the matter can be dealt with independently 7. The complaint or appeal will be passed to the Continuos Improvement Committee for discussion. Alternatively the complainant may wish to lodge a complaint or seek further advice by contacting the National Training Complaints Hotline on: Policies and Procedures Manual Page 14 of 89 Version 3.1: Oct 2014

15 Privacy Policy ASTUTE TRAINING abides by the Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth) and keeps student information private. ASTUTE only collects information that relates to a student s training and takes all reasonable steps to protect personal information from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure including restricted access to electronic files, secure storage of paper files and back up of data, ASTUTE TRAINING is required to be audited by ASQA in order to maintain registration and students files may be accessed by their representatives. We will only disclose information about clients to others on an as needs basis or where required by law. These people or organisations are: Clients authorised representatives or legal advisors Credit providers for credit related functions such as the provision of account facilities Government and Statutory Authorities, where required by law, for example: the reporting of academic results by DIAC. Information may be made available to Commonwealth and State agencies and the ESOS Assurance Fund (under the ESOS Act 2000 and The National Code); and to advise DIAC of changes to the Student s enrolment and any breaches of student visa conditions relating to attendance or satisfactory academic performance. The Fund Manager of the ESOS Assurance Fund, pursuant to obligations under the ESOS Act 2000 and the National Code. Personal Information Information held by ASTUTE TRAINING about students could include: Student name Current & previous address Telephone numbers address Drivers licence number Bank account details Passport number Assessment results Counselling or intervention strategies Interim transcripts File notes Have we got the right information? ASTUTE TRAINING takes all reasonable steps to ensure that information we hold, use and where appropriate disclose to others about students is correct and current. The accuracy of this information depends largely upon students providing us with details such as: Current address Telephone numbers Address Policies and Procedures Manual Page 15 of 89 Version 3.1: Oct 2014

16 Accessing Your Personal File A student may access their files at any time. To request to see their records a student must apply in writing (request to view documents form) and lodge at Reception and normally access can be provided within 24 hours of the request. If students find any errors in the records they are to advise us immediately so that the corrections can be made. Identifiers ASTUTE TRAINING assigns unique student identifiers to all students. This ID is entered on all assessments and is used on the Student ID card for CRICOS students. Assessment Policy The purpose of this policy is for ASTUTE TRAINING to determine whether a student who is participating in an ASTUTE TRAINING course has acquired the required competencies offered by the course and by establishing whether or not they have achieved the standards of performance required as outcomes of that course. ASTUTE TRAINING will at all times comply with the Assessment Guidelines contained within the nationally endorsed Training Packages or the assessment requirements specified within accredited courses curriculum documents contained within ASTUTE TRAINING scope of registration. Astute Training s assessment processes will be: Valid: that is all assessment methods utilised by ASTUTE TRAINING will be valid and they will assess what they claim to assess. ASTUTE TRAINING will utilise some of the following assessment methods: o Observation & Demonstration o Question and Answer o Workplace Projects o Written tests and examinations o Practical tests Reliable: that is all assessment procedures utilised by ASTUTE TRAINING will be reliable and they will result in a consistent interpretation of evidence from the participant and from context to context Fair: that is all assessment procedures utilised by ASTUTE TRAINING will be fair and they will not place participants at a disadvantage. Astute Training s assessment procedures will: o o o o be equitable and culturally appropriate to the needs of the individual participant or client group; involve processes in which the criteria for judging performance are made clear to the participants; employ a participatory approach; and provide for participants to undertake assessments at appropriate times and where required locations; Flexible: that is assessment procedures utilised by ASTUTE TRAINING will be flexible and they will involve a variety of methods that can be tailored to the circumstances surrounding the assessment situation. All ASTUTE TRAINING assessment procedures will recognise equity and cultural issues without compromising the integrity of the assessment. Policies and Procedures Manual Page 16 of 89 Version 3.1: Oct 2014

17 Assessments are conducted by experienced and suitably qualified staff that have the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAA40104) or TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. ASTUTE TRAINING will deliver and assess all qualifications currently on its scope of registration in accordance with the delivery and assessment strategies in place for each qualification or accredited course. Astute Training s assessment process will be fully equitable for all persons and will take into account the cultural, linguistic, and other individual participants needs in relation to assessment tasks. All participants of ASTUTE TRAINING programs will be informed of the assessments to be conducted throughout the program. Students will be provided with notice of when an assessment is to be conducted and provided with ample time for preparation and practice. All assessment results are treated as strictly confidential and ASTUTE TRAINING will provide feedback to students about the outcomes of the assessment and provide further guidance on future options. All assessments are marked as either Competent or Not Yet Competent. In a situation of an assessment being marked as Not Yet Competent students will be provided with an opportunity to resit the assessment at a mutually arranged time. If any participant in a program is dissatisfied with the results of their assessment they have the right to appeal the results. ASTUTE TRAINING will undertake an annual review of its assessment systems and procedures and the outcomes of assessment to ensure that they are appropriate and current and in line with the requirements of the relevant industry groups. This review and moderation process is essential in maintaining the integrity of ASTUTE TRAINING assessment system. Contextualisation or customisation of assessments ASTUTE TRAINING contextualises units of competency and/or assessments to accommodate specific industry or learner requirements by providing training and assessment that is specialised to the enterprise or individual. It is essential when contextualising a unit that the whole evidence guide is covered. Once the unit has been contextualised ASTUTE TRAINING will ensure that the integrity of the Training Package is maintained and that the outcome of the standard remains unchanged. This means we can create learning and assessment opportunities that are more relevant to our learners by including language that they are familiar with and the unit can be delivered and assessed in a variety of contexts. Policies and Procedures Manual Page 17 of 89 Version 3.1: Oct 2014

18 General Responsibilities Assessment Code of Practice ASTUTE TRAINING is dedicated to the improvement of assessment and evaluation practices in education. ASTUTE TRAINING has adopted this Code to promote professionally responsible practice in conduct that arises from either the professional standards of the field, general ethical principles, or both. The purpose of the Code of Professional Responsibilities in Educational Assessment, hereinafter referred to as the Code, is to guide the conduct of ASTUTE TRAINING trainer/assessors who are involved in any type of competency based assessment (CBT) activity in education. The four key responsibilities are as follows: Responsibilities of Those Who Develop Assessment Products and Services Those who develop assessment products and services, such as classroom trainers and other assessment specialists, have a professional responsibility to strive to produce assessments that are of the highest quality. Persons who develop assessments have a professional responsibility to: Ensure that assessment products and services are developed to meet applicable professional, technical, and legal standards. Develop assessment products and services that are as free as possible from bias due to characteristics irrelevant to the construct being measured, such as gender, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, disability, religion, age, or national origin. Plan accommodations for groups of test takers with disabilities and other special needs when developing assessments. Disclose to appropriate parties any actual or potential conflicts of interest that might influence the developers judgment or performance. Use copyrighted materials in assessment products and services in accordance with state and federal law. Protect the rights to privacy of those who are assessed as part of the assessment development process. Caution users, in clear and prominent language, against the most likely misinterpretations and misuses of data that arise out of the assessment development process. Avoid false or unsubstantiated claims in test preparation and program support materials and services about an assessment or its use and interpretation. Responsibilities of Those Who Select Assessment Products and Services Those who select assessment products and services for use in educational settings, or help others do so, have important professional responsibilities to make sure that the assessments are appropriate for their intended use. Persons who select assessment products and services have a professional responsibility to: Conduct a thorough review and evaluation of available assessment strategies and instruments that might be valid for the intended uses. Recommend and/or select assessments based on publicly available documented evidence of their technical quality and utility rather than on unsubstantiated claims or statements. Disclose any associations or affiliations that they have with the authors, test publishers or others involved with the assessments under consideration for purchase and refrain from participation if such associations might affect the objectivity of the selection process. Policies and Procedures Manual Page 18 of 89 Version 3.1: Oct 2014

19 Inform decision makers and prospective users of the appropriateness of the assessment for the intended uses, likely consequences of use, protection of examinee rights, relative costs, materials, and services needed to conduct or use the assessment, and known limitations of the assessment, including potential misuses and misinterpretations of assessment information. Recommend against the use of any prospective assessment that is likely to be administered, scored, and used in an invalid manner for members of various groups in our society for reasons of race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, language background, socioeconomic status, religion, or national origin. Immediately disclose any attempts by others to exert undue influence on the assessment selection process. Responsibilities of Those Who Administer Assessments Those who prepare individuals to take assessments and those who are directly or indirectly involved in the administration of assessments as part of the educational process, including trainers, administrators, and assessment personnel, have an important role in making sure that the assessments are administered in a fair and accurate manner. Persons who prepare others for and those who administer assessments have a professional responsibility to: Inform the students about the assessment prior to its administration, including its purposes, uses; and consequences; how the assessment information will be judged or scored; how the results will be kept on file; who will have access to the results; how the results will be distributed; and students rights before, during, and after the assessment. Administer only those assessments for which they are qualified by education, training, or certification. Understand the procedures needed to administer the assessment prior to administration. Administer standardised assessments according to prescribed procedures and conditions and notify appropriate persons if any non-standard or delimiting conditions occur. Not exclude any eligible student from the assessment. Avoid any conditions in the conduct of the assessment that might invalidate the results. Provide for and document all reasonable and allowable accommodations for the administration of the assessment to persons with disabilities or special needs. Provide reasonable opportunities for individuals to ask questions about the assessment procedures or directions prior to and at prescribed times during the administration of the assessment. Protect the rights to privacy and due process of those who are assessed. Avoid actions or conditions that would permit or encourage individuals or groups to receive scores that misrepresent their actual levels of attainment. Responsibilities of Those Who Interpret, Use and Communicate Assessment Results Persons who interpret, use, and communicate assessment results have a professional responsibility to: Conduct these activities in an informed objective and fair manner within the context of the assessment s limitations and with an understanding of the potential consequences of use. Provide to those who receive assessment results information about the assessment, its purposes, its limitations, and its uses necessary for the proper interpretation of the results. Provide to those who receive score reports an understandable written description of all reported scores, including proper interpretations and likely misinterpretations. Communicate to appropriate audiences the results of the assessment in an understandable and timely manner, including proper interpretations and likely misinterpretations. Policies and Procedures Manual Page 19 of 89 Version 3.1: Oct 2014

20 Evaluate and communicate the adequacy and appropriateness of any norms or standards used in the interpretation of assessment results. Inform parties involved in the assessment process how assessment results may affect them. Use multiple sources and types of relevant information about persons or programs whenever possible in making educational decisions. Avoid making, and actively discourage others from making, inaccurate reports, unsubstantiated claims, inappropriate interpretations, or otherwise false and misleading statements about assessment results. Disclose to students how long the results of the assessment will be kept on file, procedures for appeal and rescoring, rights students and others have to the assessment information, and how those rights may be exercised. Report any apparent misuses of assessment information to those responsible for the assessment process. Protect the rights to privacy of individuals and institutions involved in the assessment process. Grading All courses offered by ASTUTE TRAINING incorporate competency based assessments. The purpose of assessing competency is to confirm that students can perform tasks to the required standards expected in the workplace. Assessment methods can include but are not limited to: practical demonstration, projects, case studies, oral questions, assignments, portfolios, written work, role plays or observation of activities. The outcome of each assessment task will be either Satisfactory (S) or Not Satisfactory (NS). Once students have satisfactorily completed all the assessment tasks for a unit of competency they will be awarded Competent (C) or Not yet Competent (NYC). At the completion of all units for a qualification students will be issued a Certificate or a Statement of Attainment for units completed. Review Process If an assessor assesses a student as Not Yet Competent they will be given oral and written feedback on areas needing improvement and be given an opportunity to re-submit. Timeframes for resubmission should be negotiated between the student and assessor. Assessment Procedures Step 1: Students are issued with a timetable at induction and at the beginning of each term. The assessment process is also explained in detail with particular emphasis placed on the fact that all assessments must be completed in the presence of a trainer. Step 2: At the commencement of each unit of competency the Trainer informs the students of outcomes expected from the unit, the date of the assessment and the type of assessment methods that will be used. The student is informed that if he/she is absent for the assessment they will be given one opportunity for re sit of that assessment within the month of the original assessment date on the Policies and Procedures Manual Page 20 of 89 Version 3.1: Oct 2014

21 nominated day by ASTUTE TRAINING. If the student does not attend the re-sit they will be deemed not yet competent in that unit of competency. Step 3: Once the assessment has been completed the student will be given the result of either S (Satisfactory) or NS (Not Satisfactory) within 14 days. Once the student has satisfactorily completed the required assessments for a unit of competency he/she will receive an outcome of C (Competent) or NYC (Not Yet Competent). Step 4: If a student is deemed NYC (not yet competent) the trainer/assessor will explain why and inform the student of what needs to be completed in order to demonstrate competence. The trainer/assessor will give this information to the student in written format and may need to include an example to assist the student. The student will be advised of the date of re assessment. Please note: Students have a maximum of 2 opportunities to prove competency for every assessment completed. The first attempt is when the unit of competency has been completed and the assessment date scheduled as per the timetable. If the unit is deemed not yet competent the student is offered one re sit opportunity. If still not competent, students will have to pay $100 per assessment to re sit. Students are only offered 2 paid re-sit options for every assessment task. If the student is still deemed not yet competent they will need to discuss re enrolment for those units of competency with the Training Coordinator/Student Support. Step 5: It is an important part of the assessment process to gain feedback from the student. The feedback process also is a requirement for continuous improvement. Step 6: If a student is dissatisfied with the outcome of the assessment marking process, he/she has the right to appeal the assessment results. Step 7: The student continues the course, completes the required assessments, and is issued with a Certificate at the end of the course. If all units of competency have not been graded as competent a Statement of Attainment will be issued for the units of competency that have been deemed competent. All certificates and statements of attainment will be issued within 14 days of course completion Policies and Procedures Manual Page 21 of 89 Version 3.1: Oct 2014

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