TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 28 February 2011


TDA endorses "substantive matters of principle" on National VET Regulator Bill

  • Issue prompts convening of provider roundtable in Canberra with NVR  

The TDA National Board met in Brisbane on Friday, and endorsed joint correspondence signed by the Chair TDA and the AEU Federal President expressing concerns at “substantive matters of principle” underpinning the National VET Regulator Bill, now referred to a Senate Committee.

The letter outlines TDA and the AEU’s significant concerns regarding:

  • the lack of transparency about the content of the Regulatory Standards being proposed.
  • the lack of significant stakeholder involvement in the development of the Standards.
  • the adequacy or appropriateness of the Standards’ for the new regulatory system proposed to be administered by the NVR.

Click here to view the letter. Click here to view a joint media release by the AEU and TDA.

The joint letter sets out what the Regulatory Standards (as yet not specified in the NVR Bill) should include if the NVR is to make a significant contribution to raising the quality of vocational education and training.

TDA and AEU argue that at a minimum, the Standards should require:

  • registered training organisations (RTOs)  to have as a primary or significant purpose, the education and training of students
  • RTOs to act in the best interests of their students, not just in the interests of shareholders, the company or the purchaser of the training
  • students to be guaranteed continuation of their study/training programs irrespective of the financial position of the RTO
  • RTOs to demonstrate the adequacy of their physical and human resource infrastructure, and their educational viability including educational governance structures
  • the NVR to fully assess the teaching and training standards, practices and procedures of a RTO, rather than simply approving outcomes against an accreditation standard.

TDA notes that the above matters are well-covered in the TEQSA documentation, which could be usefully used as a model for the NVR.

TDA CEO, Martin Riordan, said after the Board meeting that the NVR would ideally have coverage of well over 5,000 RTOs.  He said: “Our organisations believe that, consistent with and building on, the TEQSA process, provider categories should be introduced to enable students to make more informed choices.  Such categories might relate to the breadth, depth and capability of the providers concerned.”

The NVR has scheduled industry consultations in Canberra this week. 

To view the NVR’s latest update on its progression, click here.

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Draft legislation released for tertiary regulator

The draft legislation for the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Bill 2011 has been released for comment. Click here to view the legislation.

Comments on the exposure draft are due 10 March. The Federal Government will introduce the TEQSA legislation to the Parliament in the week commencing 21 March, and will also refer the legislation to the Senate Committee for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

The TEQSA review has followed several weeks of intensive consultation with universities and higher education providers, along with states and territories, and a re-drafting of the legislation after specific concerns expressed by university vice chancellors.

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Peter Holden (TDA), Pam Jonas (Victorian TAFE Association), Penny Robinson (Review Secretariat), Michael Knight, and Carole Ross (Box Hill Institute).

TDA meets head of student visa review

The Chair of TDA, executives and TDA member Institute leaders met with the head of the National Review into the Student Visa program, the Hon Michael Knight AO, at the Victorian TAFE Association offices last week.

Mr Knight, a former NSW Labor Minister in the Carr Government, was appointed to the role in December by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, the Hon Chris Bowen MP, and the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, jobs and Workplace Relations, the Hon Chris Evans MP.

Submissions to the review are due in April, with Mr Knight’s recommendations due mid-year.

Click here for more information.





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Australia and Mongolia bilateral MOU strengthens ties through skills training

The Federal Government has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding on vocational education and training with Mongolia, and the Tertiary Education, Skills and Jobs Minister,

The Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs, and Workplace Relations, Senator, the Hon Chris Evans, signalled out TAFE Directors Australia as one of several education agencies being asked to scope training strategies for skilled labour required by Australian-related mining operations in Mongolia.


L to R: Peter Holden, Director, International Engagement and Business Development, TDA, Colin Walters, Group Manager – International, DEEWR, Yondon Otgonbayar, Minister for Education, Culture and Science, Mongolia; Martin Riordan, CEO TDA; Colin Walters, Dean Woodgate, Education Counsellor Australian Embassy Seoul;

The ceremony at Parliament House was witnessed by Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, and the Mongolian Prime Minister H.E. Mr Sukhbaatar Batbold.

See a media release by Senator Evans here.  

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Digging into VET policy: report from TAFE summit

TDA’s Director of Policy and Stakeholder Engagement, Pam Caven, presented TDA’s views on the future for VET leaders at a TAFE Development Centre Summit held in Melbourne last Thursday.

The topic of the presentation was ‘Digging into VET Policy, An exploration of VET policy directions at state and federal levels: The policy context for VET leaders’.

To view Pam’s PowerPoint presentation click here. To view Pam’s notes click here.

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Welcome to new staff

TDA welcomes Sue Jeavons who will be working with TDA on secondment from TAFE NSW until June.

Sue’s first tasks will be to:

  • liaise with all TDA representatives on external committees, and reference groups to ensure updated reports are ready for the 29 April Board meeting
  • coordinate the preparation and production of the TDA 2010 Annual report

Sue will also be supporting TDA with a number of projects including the current Green Skills scoping study involving TDA and the China Education Association for International Exchange, and a visit from two Indonesian education officials in mid-March.  

TDA also welcomes Brian Yun Zhang, who will be working with TDA on Green Skills, and coordinating with China CEAIE visitor Li Xudong on a proposed joint Australia China Symposium of Sustainability and Green Skills, for Beijing in 2012.

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National Austrade seminars on international education opportunities

Austrade will be running a series of seminars across Australia in May on market trends and opportunities for Australia’s international education sector.

The seminars will provide country market briefings by experienced Austrade staff from across the globe along with updates on Austrade’s initiatives such as the repositioning of Australian education, and the redevelopment of the Study in Australia website including enhancements to the Market Information Package.

Market briefings will be provided on countries in South Asia, North East Asia, South East Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and the Middle East and there will be an opportunity for one-on-one consultations with Austrade offshore staff. Dates include:


Monday, 16 May – Brisbane

Wednesday, 18 May – Sydney

Friday, 20 May – Melbourne

Monday, 23 May – Adelaide

Wednesday, 25 May – Perth



The cost will be $100 per person. If interested in attending, please fill out the attached expression of interest form.

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Skills shortages ‘patchy’

A new report on skills and demand says the situation remains patchy, and finds that filling vacancies in sectors like resources is still challenging, but sectors such as teaching and accounting remain relatively easy to find workers.

The Skill Shortages Summary was released by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

It showed that in 2010, industries including automotive, construction, and child care faced difficulties in finding employees and all recorded less than 20% of vacancies filled. On the other hand, more than 75% of vacancies were filled for jobs including teaching, accounting, building associates and social professionals.

Click here for more on the report.

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Data compliance information

NCVER has recently updated its website with more ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ about Australian Vocational Education and Training Management Information Statistical Standard (AVETMISS) compliance.

This information includes details of the process for those fee-for-service only Registered Training Organisations who may wish to voluntarily submit their data to the 2010 National VET Provider Collection.

Click here for more information.

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Draft implementation arrangements for qualifications framework

The Australian Qualifications Framework Council (AQFC) has made available its draft implementation arrangements for the strengthened Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

The release of the implementation arrangements is in preparation for a July 1, 2011 starting date, pending final approval from the Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment (MCTEE) at its March meeting.

Late last year, the AQFC submitted its advice on strengthening the Australian Qualifications Framework to MCTEE which was accepted with some amendments. To view the submitted document click here. To view the areas where amendments were requested as outlined in the AQF Council Newsletter, November 2010 click here. The final approved version, incorporating the changes approved by MCTEE, will be published following the MCTEE March 2011 meeting.

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Job opportunities with the United Arab Emirates

There are currently a range of employment opportunities with the United Arab Emirates National Qualifications Authority.

The positions include:

  • Director – Quality and Performance Directorate
  • Director - Corporate Services Directorate
  • Director - Accreditation and Awards Commissions Directorate
  • Senior Manager – Education and Training Research and Development
  • Senior Manager - Qualifications Framework
  • Senior Manager - Qualifications Register and Information System
  • Senior Manager - Commissions Coordination

For more information click here.

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Diary Dates

TAFE Governance and Regulations Forum
DATE: 28 February – 1 March, 2011
LOCATION: Rendezvous Hotel, Melbourne 
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Closing date for nominations
DATE: 25 March, 2011
DETAILS: Click here for more information

TAFE Governance and Regulations Forum
DATE: 27-28 April, 2011
LOCATION: Rutherford House, Wellington
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Gaining the Edge – Outcomes, Equity and Innovation
DATE: 3-4 May, 2011
LOCATION: Hilton on the Park, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 Queensland VET Symposium
DATE: 12-13 May, 2011
LOCATION: Hilton, Brisbane
DETAILS: Click here for more information

No Frills
DATE: 13-15 July, 2011
LOCATION: North Coast TAFE, Coffs Harbour
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Nominations closing date
DATE: 25 March, 2011
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Interconnected Tertiary Education - Stronger pathways across Higher Education & VET for increased participation
DATE: 30-31 March, 2011|
LOCATION: Mercure, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

The 9th Annual Higher Education Summit
DATE: 27-29 April, 2011
LOCATION:Sofitel, Brisbane  
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Research in VET: Janus – Reflecting Back, Projecting Forward
DATE: 28-29 April, 2011
LOCATION: Rendezvous Hotel, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 National VET Conference
DATE: 4-5 August, 2011
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 National Conference
DATE: 17 August, 2011
LOCATION:Four Season’s Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 Conference
DATE: 11-14 October, 2011
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

ePortfolios Australia Conference 2011
DATE: 17-18 October, 2011
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Looking ahead - Group Training National Conference
DATE: 19-21 October, 2011
LOCATION: Grand Hyatt, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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