student handbook

Competency Based Training

All nationally recognised vocational level qualifications in Australia are ‘competency based‘. This means the student must demonstrate skill and knowledge to set criteria.

There are no varying grade levels or percentages in the final results. Students are deemed ‘Competent’, or ‘Not (Yet) Competent’.

Competency based training is quite different to school and university. It has been designed for workplace skills, where the student needs to be able to perform the task correctly each and every time to be useful in their role. At school or uni you could “fail” an assessment yet still pass. In competency based training, you must pass all assessments to gain your qualification.

You cannot be partially competent at a task at work, or your boss might have something to say! The same goes for competency based training. The training and assessment continues until you can show that you are competent as per the skills and knowledge required by the training package (designed by the industry you are training for).

This does not mean you get unlimited attempts to pass. You will receive two attempts at all assessments, and sometimes we may offer a third when you are almost there! If you cannot demonstrate competency in the two attempts, then you will be deemed ‘not yet competent’. This is not the end of the world, it just means you need more practice or study before attempting again. When you are ready, you just reenrol and try again.

This competency based system is why you will be asked to resubmit an assessment if you have missed out discussing a point we asked for (same as missing a question entirely), or if you have not discussed it in enough detail.

Being asked to resubmit is not a fail. It just means we have not finished our assessment of your skills and knowledge yet as we need more information or evidence from you, which could be an expanded answer, a small video etc. Feedback is how we facilitate your learning and skill development across the course and is one of the most powerful learning tools available.

When we ask for a resubmission, make sure you read the feedback carefully to ensure you cover everything we ask for. Then make your changes to your original document, in a different coloured font so we can easily see them amongst your original text. If you do not highlight your changes, you will be asked to do this before assessment can take place. Then you just resubmit like any other assessment submission.

When you receive your results for an assignment, we will tell you if you are ‘Satisfactory’ or ‘Not Satisfactory’. Remember if you are asked to resubmit, there is not a final result yet, you have not failed!

With our satisfactory result we may give you a credit or distinction when you have done well. Consider this extra feedback. It makes no difference to the overall result for a unit of competency. This will still be either ‘Competent’ or ‘Not Competent’.

However, you do need to receive a ‘Satisfactory’ result on all assessments to pass the subject and be deemed competent on the associated units for that subject. Some subjects have more than one unit of competency in them, some will just cover part of a unit.

Many subjects have learning activities in them where you are given a percentage result. These activities do not count as evidence of assessment, instead they are evidence of training. You can “fail” some of these yet still pass the assessments that count towards your overall competency. These are still mandatory to complete as they give you and your Educator valuable feedback on your learning. They also prepare you for your assessments and the knowledge necessary to pass.

Some subjects have auto-marked assessments in them where you have to gain 100% to get a Satisfactory result. This is because you cannot be 93% competent!

Government auditors of training have deemed that this style of assessment must have a 100% “pass” rate. We have limited the amount of these types of assessments and only use them where it is the best way to assess your skill.

We know this can all be a little daunting and confusing. Just ask us if you are ever unsure!

To help you understand what is required to pass each assessment, you will find a notification page for each one in your Learner’s Guide, showing you how it will be graded. The instructions for each assessment will also tell you what you need to include, so read them carefully and always double check you have addressed all the points before submitting for marking.

Each Learner’s Guide also lists all assessments at the front, along with a suggested submission schedule to help you keep on track. Use this to design your study schedule and as a method of checking your results and progress in each subject.