AOT & VOL in the TAS
Amount of training and volume of learning can be confusing when looking to set out in a Training and Assessment Strategy (TAS) exactly how requirements are going to be met.
As part of the VET Quality Framework (VQF), the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is a national policy that outlines the learning outcomes for each of the ten levels within the framework (Certificate I up to Doctoral Degree at 10). It uses ‘volume of learning’ as a descriptor of qualification types and is an expression of time deemed as typically required to attain all of the learning outcomes, skills and knowledge of a particular qualification. The AQF talks about ‘volume of learning’ as:
“...a dimension of the complexity of a qualification… The volume of learning identifies the notional duration of all activities required for the achievement of the learning outcomes specified for a particular AQF qualification type. It is expressed in equivalent full-time years.”
Volume of learning therefore refers to everything a student will undertake to complete their course: structured learning in class, assigned study and research, and unstructured learning and self-initiated study, research and preparation.
Training organisations offering AQF qualifications must meet the AQF requirements to maintain ongoing registration. This means they need to justify how their programs are aligning to the timeframes mentioned in the AQF and how the instruction they provide contributes to this. However, ‘amount of training’ is not mentioned in the AQF.
Amount of training is mentioned in another part of the VQF - the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015. In this legislative instrument (with which RTOs must also comply to maintain ongoing registration), Clauses 1.1 and 1.2 say training organisations must provide enough training to ensure students can meet the requirements of the nationally accredited course they are undertaking. And evidence of this is documented in an RTO’s TAS. ‘Amount of Training’ is the formal instruction given to learners, and managed by the RTO. This can vary depending on the learner’s existing knowledge, skills and experience.
Just as the AQF makes no mention of ‘amount of training’, ‘volume of learning’ is not mentioned in the Standards.
This means RTOs must consider the requirements of course complexity and total learning activities to achieve the outcomes for qualifications at specific AQF levels. They must also ensure that the amount of training they will provide is going to be sufficient to allow the specific learner cohort to achieve the requirements of the course.
Final note to make it interesting: ‘volume of learning’ and ‘amount of training’ are both different to course duration and nominal hours.
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