Trades College Australia in Punchbowl, Sydney, has lost its RTO status for issues related to the delivery of recognition of prior learning (RPL) for refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) courses.
The Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) worked with the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), the training industry regulator, on the case. ASQA took action against Trades College Australia and, after numerous appeals, has cancelled the RTO.
“A significant element of ASQA’s review revolved around the use of recognition of prior learning,” says ARC CEO Glenn Evans, Affil.AIRAH.
“If a person can demonstrate they have the relevant skills and/or experience, they can get an RPL assessment. However, RPL needs to be conducted with the same rigour as any other form of assessment, including a comprehensive quality process that covers the content (skills and knowledge) of the qualification being assessed.
“The evidence used to make a decision about competence must be valid, sufficient, authentic and current. The RTO should have a system including policies and procedures to support the decision-making process.”
The RPL assessment process requires the learner to submit a significant amount of evidence.
The assessor needs to review and align a range of evidence such as referee reports, resumés, photographic and documentary evidence and interviews with the learners, against all requirements of every competency in every unit of competency.
The assessor also needs to verify that the evidence is authentic, reliable and sufficient.
For a qualification that usually takes several years to complete, such as a Certificate III in refrigeration and air conditioning, the documentary evidence for an adequately assessed RPL qualification could be hundreds of pages. This must be detailed and mapped across each unit of competency.
“With the help of industry, the ARC and the ASQA, sub-standard RAC training courses have been all but eliminated,” says Evans.
“Sub-standard courses have no place in our industry. Appropriate qualifications are the cornerstone of the ARCTick licence scheme and, on behalf of all licensed technicians and businesses, ARC will keep up the pressure on training bodies to help ensure quality courses are delivered for our quality industry,” Evans says.
If you believe an RTO is offering refrigeration and air conditioning qualifications inappropriately, you can report the issue via email.