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AQIS and continuous improvement

ACER’s recently released AQTF Quality Indicator Service 2011-12 Report shows exactly how AQIS is helping RTOs to collect quality standards information to support the delivery of their training programs.

The AQTF Quality Indicator Service (AQIS) draws on survey resources from the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) developed in 2007 to help RTOs collect and use feedback from learners and employers to enhance the quality of their training activities.  The AQTF Learner Engagement and Employer Satisfaction surveys were designed to collect valid and reliable data, providing a foundation for evidence-based and outcomes-focused quality assurance and a structure for enhancing conversations within the Australian VET sector about strategies for developing and delivering high-quality training.

AQIS was established by ACER in 2012 following the decision by the National Skills Standards Council to cease funding of the national helpdesk for AQTF survey data.  According to Ralph Saubern, ACER’s Director of Professional Resources, the establishment of AQIS demonstrates ACER’s continued commitment to supporting RTOs, industry and regulators to participate in and benefit from a world-class continuous improvement and risk assessment process.

AQIS delivers a standard report that enables RTOs to fulfil their mandatory reporting requirements and gather the basic AQTF Quality Indicator evidence for quality assurance and continuous improvement analysis and planning. A customised benchmark report for each RTO adds another level, enabling RTOs to compare themselves with other RTOs in terms of their trainer quality, assessment, training, resources and the like, as well as overall student satisfaction, while a diagnostic report identifies areas where they are excelling or where they could improve.

The AQTF Quality Indicator Service 2011-12 Report includes a technical analysis of the data from the 2011-12 AQTF reporting season. ‘ACER conducted a thorough analysis of the 2011-12 data from more than 5 000 employer satisfaction surveys and more than 70 000 learner engagement surveys. What that analysis shows is that the AQTF Quality Indicator surveys continue to work as a robust, valid and reliable evidence base for quality assurance processes,’ says Associate Professor Hamish Coates.

According to Coates, ‘The analysis also reveals further opportunities for the use of AQTF Quality Indicator data to identify and drive continuous improvement at the individual RTO and system level.

‘The AQTF data collected and analysed through AQIS can help support continuous improvement processes in RTOs to ensure that the RTO provides quality training and assessment across all of its operations; the RTO adheres to principles of access and equity, and maximises outcomes for its clients; and management systems are responsive to the needs of clients, staff and stakeholders, and the environment in which the RTO operates.’

‘With continuing demand for high-quality data to support RTOs to implement evidence-based policies and practices to drive continuous improvement, ACER plans to further develop its range of Quality Indicator services,’ he says. ‘This will include enhanced reporting, additional survey tools, resources supporting quality assurance and continuous improvement, and seminars and professional development events.’ ■

Read the full report:
The AQTF Quality Indicator Service 2011-12 Report is available at <research.acer.edu.au/transitions_misc/15/>

Find out more:
For further information on AQIS, visit <www.acer.edu.au/tests/aqis>

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