Vocational Education and Training is all about learning industry skills. So……… it should be easy to align the requirements of the units of competency and qualifications with the industry requirements. The tips that follow are a result of working with businesses to provide them with qualifications or units of competency for their staff.
Take your time with the training needs analysis. Find out the purpose of the training and work it into the delivery. From our experience it is rarely to get the qualification (I hesitate to say never). A question we ask is’ “At the end of the course what will you have achieved that will make you feel that you have had an exceptional return on your investment? The answer is usually something like:
This is the WHY you are delivering the training.
This will tell you HOW you are going to do the delivery.
How you deliver must address the why. To attain collaboration there needs to be significant group work. To facilitate communication across sites; use cross- site workplace projects. To develop a common understanding of workplace projects; find out what they are and build them into the delivery of each topic. You probably won’t be able to address them all! To improve engagement and morale, use activities and games that get them excited and celebrate success.
Build assessment into what the employees do on the job.
I know ……….you have spent hours developing or a fortune purchasing your assessment tools. They are NOT going to be suitable for every circumstance and need to be customised for each group of learners. If you are going to achieve any of your outcomes in your WHY you are doing training 30 hours of assessment (or even 10 hours of assessment) over what they do in training or on the job is going to smash their enthusiasm for the course!
This one is related to Tip Three. Any assessment that can’t be done on the job should be done in class (if at all possible) The huge amount of assessment required in accredited VET programs is a real disincentive to participate.
Set schedules, emphasize deadlines and celebrate successes. Meeting deadlines is important and is a real struggle when your on-job requirements are excessive (and that is all of us). Support learners to meet their deadlines with email reminders, SMS, and anything else that works. But most importantly celebrate and praise those who get it done! Be silly and have fun with your celebrations.
It should be easy to deliver qualifications to teams in business. Unfortunately, it isn’t. It is like the ugly sisters and Cinderella’s glass slipper. But it can be done!