Calling all trainers: Competent and Current, it doesn’t have to be so hard!

So 18 audits down this year and trainer competency and currency was a fairly consistent focus, and just as it is with every RTO I’ve ever worked in, my trainers hate updating and creating trainer matrices. Now to some extent, I get it. As a trainer at heart, we wake up in the morning to go out an engage, transform lives, make a difference. The idea of sitting at a desk, by ourselves, to fill out an excel or word table is a less than thrilling concept. With all the superseded quals I am going to be spending a lot of time this year helping my trainers with this so I wanted to get some ideas out to get the process started!

The fact of the matter is that as trainers, we can spend so much time doing that the focus becomes covering content and completing the questions that we forget to take time to reflect on our practice and the outcomes we are there to facilitate. Completing/updating your matrix is a great opportunity to set up your personal and professional development priorities for the year, reflect on updates to qualifications and units and do an internal check of your roles and responsibilities as a trainer.

Here’s where my trainers tell me that they are so busy training, marking assessments and filling out the paperwork overload that I, as ‘compliance’, created they don’t have time to waste on another document. So let’s take a step back and I am going to graciously take off the table the fact that you have to provide this to be compliant to the standards, at the end of the day we can have the best materials, assessments and facilities, without a trainer who knows there stuff, Houston, we have a problem. So, as management we/you/us/I need to work with trainers to make the process easy to follow as well as to ensure that we have the best people delivering training that they are suited to deliver. A trainer out of their depth is pretty easy to spot and depending on the audience can significantly impact your student outcomes, especially if you are delivering to a corporate/existing worker audience!

If you/the trainer are/is competent and current, it should take about 6-9 minutes at most per unit to complete your trainer matrix, 4-5 if you really know your stuff and if you have a supportive admin/curriculum/quality team to prep the matrix for you. So let’s get started and see how we can break this down to a few easy steps…

  1. Know your unit content- A good trainer should be able to describe each of the units they deliver in no more than 2-3 sentences if you are updating to a new unit from an old version this may require 2 minutes skimming the new unit criteria to refresh as if you are going to be training the unit, you would have taken time before to familiarise yourself with new content.

 Eg. TAEASS404 Assess Competence is about being able to undertake assessment (including RPL), being able to provide reasonable adjustments to meet learner needs, applying the principles of assessment and rules of evidence, and provide and document feedback. (0-2 minutes)

  1. Map the units you hold- If you hold old units or current ones, you note the unit code and in some organisations I have had trainer note the year they attained it, this can be harder when you are mapping down from a higher ed qual but even then if you are familiar with your subjects it shouldn’t be laborious. Hint: Do not map a qual to a unit, units to units only and if you can include if they are equivalent that is brilliant. (1-2 minutes)

Eg. TAEASS404 I hold TAEASS402B - Assess competence, equivalent under the TP

  1. Tell me a dot point story- When it comes to industry currency, knowing you have 20 years in the field is great but doesn’t tell me how you are competent to the unit. Instead highlight projects you have done, major achievements, moments that stick out in your head that you may recall in the classroom. (2-3 minutes)

Eg. TAEASS404 Assessed 500plus candidates over the last 9 years, including RPLs in BSB, HLT and CHC training packages including validation of RPL and completed assessments. Provide internal and external training on assessment best practice, application of rules of evidence and principles of assessment (refer PPTs, VELG webinars). Final approval of reasonable adjustments to ensure compliance with TP requirements and 2015 standards.

  1. Reflect on how you will continue to be the best you can be- Our industry is about lifelong learning so it’s incredibly disheartening to see trainers who don’t want to undertake PD, often I find this is because they worry they won’t engage with it. Completing your matrix or working through your PD plan is an opportunity for you to get input into how you believe you need to develop and where you want to develop so use the opportunity to reflect, identify your areas of weakness and put forward your ideas on how you can get the buzz back. (1-2 minutes)

Eg. TAEASS404 TEDTalk on feedback (Bill Gates) and assessment design (Emily Pilloten), group validation sessions with local ITC, quality team, Program Manager and CEO.  


                            And that’s it! You are done with your unit and you have a contextualised, relevant, audit ready trainer matrix and solid base for a professional development plan for the year ahead. A really great trainer matrix is one that someone can read and get a feel for the kind of professional they are dealing with. It’s also a fantastic tool to have ready if you are looking for employment as a trainer!

As always, happy to take questions and comments on this or provide advice to anyone who needs it! Otherwise, happy mapping!

Bea Chambers
Bea Chambers