Training Packages are developed by specific industries in response to their particular training needs. These packages contain the nationally endorsed units of competency, required by that industry to ensure that a person is able to perform their particular job.
The purpose of the nationally endorsed Training Packages is to ensure consistency across Australia, and to make sure that quality-training outcomes are achieved. Training packages provide guidelines for the required outcomes; however, there are no instructions on how the training is to be delivered. It is the responsibility of the RTO to interpret the units of competency.
What is Competency-Based Training?
Competency-Based Training (CBT) is an approach to training that is geared towards specific, measurable outcomes that are based on particular descriptions of actual job performance. These descriptions are usually derived from an analysis of a person considered to be competent in performing a particular job. The descriptions are formalized as competency standards to which training outcomes are tied.
The attractiveness of CBT to the industry is the focus on what a person can do at the end of the training. There are at least three themes that define CBT in Australia:
- The purpose of training is for the learner to be able to achieve a particular work outcome.
- The work outcomes of training are based on a specific standard of job performance.
- The standard of job performance is set by industry in conjunction with governments and sometimes unions.
What is competency?
Competency is the state of being competent to perform particular activities to a particular standard. In terms of vocational education and training (VET), competency is an expression of the performance expected of an individual in the workplace. It must be demonstrated by the individual, and is measured against a performance standard to determine whether the individual is competent.
The concept of competency revolves around three key aspects:
- The way in which a competency is constructed will include a measurement, which is an independent standard agreed upon by a relevant industry, standards body or organisation. This measurement is used as a benchmark to determine a person’s competency in a particular area. Persons who meet the criteria are considered competent.
- A competency must be demonstrated rather than just known. It is not sufficient for individuals to know something; they must be able to do it.
- A competency is a definition of satisfactory performance of an individual. It does not provide for standards that allow grading of competency, such as you might have experienced at school.
What is a unit of competency?
A unit of competency is the smallest achievable component of a competency standard and is expressed in terms of an outcome. Units of competency:
- are nationally agreed statements of the skills and knowledge required for effective performance in a particular job or job function,
- describe work outcomes,
- can logically stand alone when applied in a work situation,
Units of competency do not describe the procedures necessary to perform a particular role. Each unit of competency describes:
- a specific work activity,
- the conditions under which it is conducted,
- the evidence that may be gathered in order to determine whether the activity is being performed in a competent manner.
By Unpacking the unit of competency, trainers and assessors will be able to understand the following:
- the work activity and what it involves,
- the particular skills (and level of skills) that are needed to perform the work activity,
- the conditions under which the work activity may be conducted,
- the evidence that is needed to demonstrate that a person is competent in the work activity,
- the knowledge and skills that are required to perform the work activity,
- the generic work skills (or employability skills) that are needed,
- the evidence that should be gathered to demonstrate competency, and
- the resources that may be needed to gather the evidence.
If you want to learn how to interpret and Unpack Units of Competency and Training Packages, register for our half-day workshop here.