A new study for the estimable National Centre for Vocational Education Research, by Tabitha Griffin, suggests “quality” in VET means many different things. “For students it is obtaining skills to get a job, or a better job; for employers it is staff with workplace skills; for providers it is optimal outcomes for all clients, along with provider reputation and viability; and for regulators it is all providers meeting and exceeding national standards. The common ground for all, including for governments and funders, is that learners are provided with the skills they are training for,” a summary of her analysis states.
Ms Griffith explores what is considered quality and how stakeholders determine if it is delivered and concludes that an all things to all persons measure is not easy; “the multiple purposes of VET signal that quality can mean different things, even within each of these stakeholder groups. These groups are not homogeneous and it is therefore unrealistic to expect that a subjective concept such as quality would be uniform,” she writes.
And she makes another compounding-the-confusion point, that existing measures of assessing quality could become obsolete, with students and employers “choosing shorter courses, skill sets and single subjects … this ‘micro-credentialing’ confounds more traditional views of requiring full qualifications and their completion rates as a proxy for quality … this growth can reflect a mismatch and imbalance between the regulation of qualifications and the needs of employers and students.”
Another challenge for ASQA.