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5 Critical Aspects of a TAS

5 Critical Aspects of a TAS

Season 2, Episode 27

5 Critical Aspects of a TAS

About This Episode

In this episode I explain what you need to have within your Training & Assessment Strategy (TAS) to ensure it is compliant with RTO standards. In our experience, this is the area that most training organisations are non-compliant. 

But fear not: I can help you! I have addressed the five typical non-compliances and how you can ensure your TAS is compliant.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Why TAS trips people up and what you can do about it

  • How you should act on feedback in your TAS

  • The importance of speaking to student recruiters

  • Selection criteria and entry requirements

  • How to fully understand your target audience

  • Why foundation skills are so important

  • How to effectively use assessment tools

  • Why you need to constantly validate

  • How to prepare your trainers properly

  • How to handle work placements

  • Self-paced learning 

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Glin Bayley – Leadership ‘Heart’ in a Pandemic

Glin Bayley – Leadership ‘Heart’ in a Pandemic

In this episode, Glin Bayley, a Leadership Consultant and Executive Coach, shares her insights looking at leadership and the mindset of what leaders need right now during the Covid-19 situation

She also discusses her leadership method, a framework for self leadership called the HEART Method, an important structure for actual, strong, self leadership through aligning your heart and your mind together.

In this episode:

  • Who Glin is and what she does.
  • She is the CEO and Founder of Heart of Human. She is also a leadership consultant and executive coach. She works predominantly with female leaders in corporate at the executive level to help them have the leadership impact they desire.
  • What was Glin doing and working with clients before Covid-19?
  • Glin does one-on-one coaching or group leadership programs for female executives in their corporate offices. Covid-19 changed things dramatically.
  • What has been the biggest challenge to the business since Covid-19?
  • “At this time, what when most people are in survival mode, they (leaders) seem to recognise personal growth, development, and investment in their teams as discretionary spends.”
  • “What I find most curious is at the time when the environment is the most challenging and businesses are going through the most difficult time, leadership’s need for strength and confidence to be able to lead with less uncertainty is critical.”
  • “One interesting challenge is re-education of taking leaders out of a ‘wait-and-see’ mindset into ‘take-action-now’ to support your team through this period.”
  • Glin admits that her technical skills and know-how are limited in leveraging technology considering that most of her work before was delivered face to face. She considers this as a  personal challenge for her.
  • “What we foresee is going to happen is a lot of people will not return back to their offices. So in the future, we’re going to need different mechanisms, particularly for delivery of training.”
  • “What happens in this interim period is going to reset a new norm for this environment where I think there will be a mixture of virtual and face to face. But there’ll be more capability in virtual than there’s ever been because of this period in time.” 
  • What were the hurdles that Glin faced and how did she overcome them? 
  • “When you’re making decisions in uncertainty, you need strong leaders to do that from a place of calmness, clarity, and considered decision making.”
  • “My vision of my business is all around helping female leaders claim their seat at the table.”
  • “I’m a big believer in playing to your strengths and knowing what your limits are. In order to drive performance, that’s what leadership needs.”
  • What does Glin think would be important areas that leaders now need to focus on?
  • The 5 Components of the HEART Method: Hope, Energy, Action, Resilience, Trust.
  • “Having a map of the destination you want to go to doesn’t get you there. You have to actually take the steps to move you forwards.”
  • “What distinguishes between good leaders and those that follow are actually those that have cultivated resilience”
  • “What we know for certain is that there is nothing certain in life.”
  • “Being able to trust yourself, being able to trust others, being able to trust them, the environment around you is critical.”
  • Glen talks about her biggest achievement as of the moment.
  • What are the opportunities that Glin has identified through all of this?
  • Glin recognises that having systems and processes in place for her business can set her up for success beyond Covid. She also acknowledges that technology opened her business for a more global reach.
  • “Training organisations need to recognise that they have to take the lead. “
  • “When businesses are in the business of doing what they do, they don’t have the head space to step out and think what the future vision needs to be for the longer term.”
  • Where does Glin see her business in 6 to 12 months time?
  • How will Glin’s business be different from what she was doing before?
  • “What I’m excited about most is to say, ‘How do I scale my business now that I’m leveraging more online solutions?’, which means I could do more with less.”
  • “I think there’s a lot of so many opportunities for so many businesses and particularly working in the training industry, where we really, right now, need to get our training out there. “
  • How does Glin keep motivated every day?
  • “I choose to do things that I’m inspired by every day.”
Jeremy Harris – The Pivot Plan for Businesses in this Covid Season

Jeremy Harris – The Pivot Plan for Businesses in this Covid Season

In this episode, Jeremy Harris, co-founder of Grow CFO, shares with us what he does, how he changed and adapted his business in this difficult time, and his knowledge on the strategies business should put into place.

Jeremy has more than 20 years experience in the financial industry. The company is co-founded with his wife Deborah, and aims to educate cutting edge business owners and their teams on finance so that they can actually leverage and grow and make their biggest impact.

In this episode:

  • Who Jeremy is and what he does.
  • Jeremy co-founded Grow CFO Co. with his wife, Deborah, and is currently its Lead Chief Financial Officer.
  • He was a co-owner of a tax accounting business for 20 years.
  • “I was able to make a transition into what for me was more fulfilling – to actually use numbers to help businesses look forward and to grow; to actually help, especially fast-growth businesses, to really understand cash flow and to plan what their future looks like and to predict the future.”
  • “In a tax accounting business, it’s actually fairly easy to maintain because everybody has to come back every year and do their tax returns. As long as the customer service is good, then there’s almost a guarantee of return business.”
  • “A number of our business customers are in different parts of the world, so we’re very regularly on Zoom meetings. So in that sense, even in the last period of recent period of time through Covid, it has not had a big impact on the way that we actually work.”
  • What would have been the biggest challenge in the business since Covid-19?
  • These two industries, tourism and events, have been really severely impacted by Covid-19.
  • “These businesses have had an immediate impact on their cash, which impacted their ability to pay us. But at the same time, they needed us more than ever.”
  • “We are servicing our existing customers more than ever in providing unprecedented value. We’re also now experiencing a level of growth that we haven’t had before.”
  • What’s different that Jeremy does now from what he was doing before as an accountant?
  • Wealth Dynamics: A profiling tool that helps us identify our main strengths 
  • “The details have to be right. The numbers have to be accurate to be able to know how the business is going and to make decisions based on those numbers. So that’s definitely one part of what the CFO does.”
  • “The premise of founding Grow CFO was to be able to provide access to that (needed) resource for businesses at a fraction of the price of having somebody do it full time.”
  • What strategies should any organisation put into place especially in these difficult times?
  • Triage the business –  Identify how the business has been impacted, if they have been, by the Covid situation.
  • The 3 Aspects of the Pivot Plan – Revenue, Trimming Costs, and Government Funding/Support
  • When it comes to government grants and funding, what does Jeremy recommend for our audience to do straight away?
  • The first steps for these government grants are to identify state-level assistance that’s available. Check eligibility requirements at the timing of when the eligibility might apply.
  • The 2 different kinds of the government’s support – Cashflow Boost and Job Keeper.
  • “One great thing has happened in South Australia. The South Australian government is offering up to $30,000 for registered training organisations to get their training online. But that’s not happening in all states.”
  • “I see the training industry changing forever and you will need this online learning model because people are going to expect it.”
  • For businesses with contractors, for example with businesses in the training industry that engage contractors, what does Jeremy think of the government grants for these businesses?
  • “A lot of contractors will actually be eligible for both of those programs, the Cashflow Boost and the Job Keeper, through their own businesses themselves.”
  • “Whenever things like this happen, the first thing the government will do is throw money into training, particularly when there’s high unemployment. We will be looking into that into the future with what government funding the training industry should be accessing for that.”
  • Another aspect a business owner should look at in this pandemic season is budget.
  • “A really important thing that comes off the back of the budget is a cash-flow forecast.”
  • “There’s a different type of cash-flow forecast, which is super important for just monitoring what’s going on, and seeing the ‘oxygen’ that is available, or any gaps that they’re going to come up in the next short period of time. And that’s to have a 13-week rolling cash-flow forecast.”
  • “It’s really important to recognise the difference between profit and cash flow because they could be two very different things.”
  • How do we work out 13-week cash flow in uncertain times like this? 
  • “Revenue is vanity. Profit is sanity. Cash flow is reality.”
  • Where does Jeremy think businesses will be in the next 6 to 12 months?
  • “I think the businesses that will thrive in the years to come are those who actually take the best out of what they’re doing through this period right now and make that a permanent change.”
  • “I much prefer the term physical distancing than social distancing. I think we’ve been more socially connected in the last six weeks than ever before. Yeah, definitely. I’ve never had so many Zoom calls.”
  • “So many businesses collectively have had to respond to changes very, very quickly. We don’t want to, and I think physically, can’t keep up the rhythm that we’ve had and maybe the hours that we’ve had to work for the last six weeks. But it has shown us what we are actually capable of as business owners and where we can improve efficiency without sacrificing connection.”
  • How does Jeremy keep motivated each day?
  • “I relate more to the word ‘inspired’ than ‘motivated’.” 
  • WIFLS = What I Feel Like Saying
  • Grow CFO Co. is a member of the B1G1 organisation.
  • “What we do when we provide quality education is we enable people to achieve and have confidence in themselves and excel in an area that they may never have even thought off before.”
  • “We are not about being the experts where business owners have to keep coming to and rely on us. We’re about educating edge cutting business owners and their teams on finance so that they can actually leverage and grow and make their biggest impact.”
Mike Clark – Making A Dent Despite The Pandemic

Mike Clark – Making A Dent Despite The Pandemic

In this episode, Mike shares his insights on how he’s changed his business model in this pandemic time, how he is delivering training now, and how he’s adjusted his mindset, which is where so many people need to focus now.

Mike has 20 years of background in the training industry helping entrepreneurs stand out in highly competitive marketplaces. He is also the head of the State of Queensland for the Key Persons of Influence Methodology for Dent Global which is designed to show business owners how to really stand out and scale up so they could make their Dent in the universe.

As their business relies heavily on live in-person events, Mike and the team at Dent have had to make significant adjustments to how they do business.

In this episode:

  • Who Mike is and what he does
  • Mike has a 20 year background in the training industry helping entrepreneurs stand out in highly competitive marketplaces
  • How he was delivering training before the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Workshops and training were geographically constrained.
  • They handle promotional workshops, introductory sessions, in-depth strategy sessions, open workshops, and more.
  • Currently, events are broken down into territorial geographical regions and have shifted into online events.
  • “Numbers have been picking up. Registration is more at the moment.”
  • “We had to redesign programs and make sure they are super engaging because, obviously, everybody’s there at home or in their facility.”
  • “People have been loving it (online events) because they don’t have to travel anywhere. They could do it from the convenience of their own place, but it also just creates another dynamic environment.”
  • “We could provide more context and framing for each person in the session which is why I think people are really enjoying it.”
  • Are more people asking questions than they would in the live, face-to-face sessions?
  • What has been the biggest challenge in the business since Covid-19?
  • “Everything needs to be reworked. It’s almost like recreating a business the first time you’re doing it. You’re having to rethink everything as opposed to, you know, when you’re business as usual. “
  • What were the hurdles that he faced and how did he overcome them?
  • Mike finally had the time to focus on setting his office space at his home and launching his podcast called Queensland Business Influencers.
  • “Remove the word ‘Online’ and consider that you’re just being more convenient. You’re meeting people where they’re at. You’re closer. You’re more connected. You’re more engaged for them because you’re making it more convenient.”
  • Reflecting back, what does Mike believe has been his biggest achievement?
  • “The top achievement is making sure that the hard work of adapting is working.
  • “Fresh innovation has been brought to events.
  • Where does Mike see himself and how will the business operate in six months time?
  • “If things did move online again, it would give us the ability to be able to engage with people anywhere
  • “The Five Pillars of Influence: Pitching, Publishing, Product, Profile, and Partnerships.
  • According to Tim Dwyer, there’s 3% of business owners now that choose to stand up, not hide away. It’s these 3% that actually adopt the new technologies now that then become the pioneers over the next 12 months.
  • “Through adversity, leaders are born.”
  • “With the training industry it’s so important that we keep going, keep moving forward.’
  • What keeps Mike motivated everyday?
  • “I just keep finding ways to keep myself vital. Fresh. And it’s really helping. And reverse engineering the future is the best way for doing that.”
  • “Where the focus goes, the energy flows.” – Tony Robbins
  • “We need to make sure we get our clients online because the only way they’re going to survive is by being online.”
  • “You want to step in the 3% club. That’s the decision people have to make and expect to be challenging because nothing worthwhile is ever easy.”
  • “More million dollar, billion dollar companies are created in a recession than in any time in history.”

Vivacity Update – ASQA Audits – May 2019

ASQA Audits… is it a case of being over regulated?

Since ASQA’s inception in 2011 we have experienced a roller coaster ride of changes and challenges to the ASQA Audit model, from the personal interpretation of the legislation by ASQA Auditors, to changes in the way ASQA are regulating through Audits. From our experience, it has never been tougher going to an ASQA Audit compared with the last ten years of our experience we have had servicing the training industry at Vivacity.

Some interesting statistics sourced from www.training.gov.au on 6 May 2019:

  • 1155 RTO registrations have been cancelled (including ASQA cancelling the providers registration and the provider cancelling their own registration) and
  • 163 registrations withdrawn since ASQA took over regulation in July 2011
  • There are currently 3,837 RTOs in Australia, down from over 4,400 RTO’s in October last year.

These statistics do not include RTO’s registered under WA TAC or Vic VRQA.

On 1 May 2018, ASQA announced increased scrutiny on new applications for organisations that wish to deliver VET and/or international education. ASQA’s aim for the additional scrutiny was to ensure that only providers who can demonstrate they are resourced, ready and willing to deliver high-quality training and assessment are registered. Since this announcement, ASQA has received an unusually high number of applications, which has led to delays in ASQA finalising applications. Vivacity has experienced through our clients, that ASQA are taking over a year to process initial applications, which has had an impact on the time frames for additions to scope and re-registrations too.

For the first time ever, Vivacity has had a number of clients who have gone to Tribunal, over what would have been considered minor non-compliance’s in the past and would have been rectified by submitting further evidence to ASQA in previous years.

Recently we had a case whereby a client ended up going to Tribunal over a simple matter that could easily have been resolved if the Auditor had simply picked up the phone or sent an email, instead they undertook the audit with the documentation submitted and deemed the application non-compliant with no opportunity to provide further evidence, except by paying for a Reconsideration application as ASQA have removed the Rectification stage for initial registrations. We submitted a Reconsideration application, which did not go to a site audit, and the client was deemed non-compliant again, which was stated within ASQA’s own report that the non-compliances were minor. Due to the minor non-compliances and the fact that we were not given the opportunity for a site audit, we decided to go to Tribunal. As I stated earlier, this whole case could have been sorted by a simple phone call or an email, which is exactly what the ASQA Solicitor had identified during the mediation session. Following more than a year since submitting their application, we are finally going to a site audit, which is a great outcome except for the fact that our clients, Vivacity and ASQA have wasted more than 12 months in time and expenses that did not need to be incurred when it could have been sorted by a simple phone call.

Last September ASQA released their Annual Report for 2017-2018 (sourced https://www.asqa.gov.au/news-publications/publications/annual-reports2 on 6 May 2019), which addresses ASQA’s purpose and their KPIs against each Purpose. In the report it includes the KPI to “refuse entry or reject renewal applications from existing providers that do not meet the requirements for registration”, even though ASQA have not shared with the RTO community what these stricter requirements are and how we are to address them.

ASQA’s purposeASQA KPIs, more prominent this year than last year, is to close RTO’s down in an effort to “clean” the market up and remove the dodgy operators. Unfortunately, from what we are experiencing, is that in ASQA’s effort to clean the market of dodgy operators, the good operators with limited knowledge or understanding of how to meet the compliance requirements are getting swept up with the dodgy operators.

 

 

Regulatory CancellationsThe Annual Report reveals an alarming increase of cancellations in 2017-18, with the percentage of cancellations higher than in any financial year since 2013–14, we suspect that this percentage will have a dramatic increase in the next report for 2018-19.

 

 

 

 

As you can see from the following table, the percentage of providers who were deemed non-compliant in previous years at the time of being audited has increased extensively over the last five years:

We have heard through our connections that there are a number of RTO’s that intend to take a stand against ASQA through a class action, it will be interesting to see the results of that action and how many RTO’s actually get involved.

We believe that as a collective body, we should unite and be heard, especially considering the legislation is under review and there will be more changes. If you would interested in attending a forum with other RTO and CRICOS Providers to discuss this further, please register your interest by sending an email to enquirenow@vivacity.com.au and provide your name, title, RTO Name and your phone number. If we get enough interest, we will be holding a forum in Sydney and will be in contact.

If you have an ASQA Audit in the next 12 months, we highly recommend that you conduct an internal audit to identify your current compliance risks, so that you don’t become another ASQA statistic. The best way to prepare for an ASQA Audit is to conduct an internal audit and even more so that you get a compliance expert from outside your organisation to conduct the audit, who is not part of your culture and can review your RTO from an unbiased point of view with experience in the current ASQA audit processes.

Vivacity has a special on this week for a one-day SystemsScan or a two-day SystemsCheck, whereby we come into your organisation and conduct a site audit. Call 1300 729 455 for more information.